Barnegat, NJ Akron Airship Disasters, Apr 1933

73 Perish In The Akron Disaster

Survivor Recounts Story of Plunge In Ocean During Storm.

NEW YORK, April 5 --- The crash into the Atlantic of the greatest ship of the skies, the Akron, early Tuesday, off the Jersey seacoast, was reckoned today as the most costly disaster in the history of aviation --- with only three of 76 men saved.

Hundreds of vessels, naval and civilian, were concentrated in the waters off Barnegat light, determined to renew with the dawn the pursuit on the faint chance that others might still be saved.

But the hope was of the slenderest nature. After estimating the drift of the wind and recovering one body, officials said they did not see how any wreckage could have drifted beyond the region explored from ship and plane. One explanation, given in authorative[sic] circles, was the belief that most of the missing were trapped in debris which sank.

Fourteen hours after this major disaster, the J-3, nonrigid navy airship, crashed into the sea 1000 yards off Jersey with a loss of two lives, as she was engaging in the search for Akron victims.

Rear Admiral WILLIAM A. MOFFETT; chief of the navy bureau of aeronautics, was among those lost on the Akron. Aroused from sleep by the storm, he had been in the control room shortly before the accident.

Roosevelt Standard Utah 1933-04-06