Forgotten US airship crash recalled 80 years later

LAKEHURST, N.J. (AP) - A major airship disaster will be remembered this week in New Jersey. And it's not the one you're probably thinking of.

Newsreel footage and radio announcer Herbert Morrison's cry, "Oh, the humanity!" made the 1937 explosion of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst Naval Air Station probably the best-known crash of an airship.

But just four years earlier, the USS Akron went down in a violent storm off the New Jersey coast. The disaster claimed 73 lives, more than twice as many as the Hindenburg.

It crashed just a few hours after leaving Lakehurst.

Thursday is the 80th anniversary. The Navy Lakehurst Historical Society will hold a ceremony at a memorial in nearby Manchester. Its members say the Akron disaster has almost been forgotten.

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