In Loving Memory

A strikingly beautiful Chapel in Edinburgh Castle displays great books listing those Scotsmen who gave their lives defending the United Kingdom in many conflicts. One book is below an intricate stained glass window with outlines of many of the airships flown by the UK in The Great War. Photography is forbidden, but one cannot visit the Chapel and not find it a moving experience.

In the US, while there have been plaques and stone markers here and there, such as the famous one at Wingfoot Lake shown here, to our knowledge no official US Government agency has assembled and published a list of all American servicemen who lost their lives while in airship service.

We have attempted to do so on this page, beginning with data assembled by James Shock for the hardcover version of his most popular book, US NAVY AIRSHIPS 1915-1962. Neither that book, nor this listing, seeks to marginalize non-American lives lost in airship service. We only hope to make a complete list of Americans lost, and make it manageable on one internet page.

This is merely a list of the honored dead. While we feel there is strong evidence to suggest those lost in the K-14, to site one example, should be listed as a result of combat, we make no assessments as to the nature of their loss on this page.

The Government chose to honor some of these men by naming bases after them. Street names within those bases remember more of the honored dead. For whatever reasons, others were not selected for such notoriety, even on bases long since closed and leveled.

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This is also not meant to marginalize those other brave men lost in research and other balloon accidents; “helium dives;” electrocutions; prop strikes and other ground support mishaps; in HTA transport, or other deadly accidents.  We simply do not have access to all such information. Our list is built from the most accurate sources known, but is not complete, and names might be mis-spelled. (For example, one of the men lost in ZR-2 has an alternate spelling on the grave marker/monument (photo below) than is in the US Navy record.)  If you can help fill in some of the blanks, or fix information published in error, please contact us.


R.38/ZR-2, 24 AUG 21: Cmdr L H Maxfield; Lieutenant Commanders – V. N. Bieg, E. W. Coil; Lieutenants – M. H. Esterley, H. H. Hoyt, C. G. Little; Chief Machinists Mates – R. M. Coons, L. E. Crowl,  J. T. Hancock, W. Julius, A. L. Loftin, W. J. Steele, G. Welch; Chief Riggers – C. I. Aller, M. Lay, A. D. Pettit.  (28 British also lost; 1 American and 4 British survivors)

ROMA, 21 FEB 22:  MJR John G. Thornell; MJR Walter Bautemeier; CAPT Dale L. Mabry; CAPT Frederick H. Durrschmidt; CAPT George D. Watts; CAPT Allan P. McFarland; LT John P. Hall; LT Wallace C. Cummings; LT William E. Riley; LT Clifford E. Smythe; LT Ambrose Victor Clinton; LT Harold K. Hine; SGT Roger C. McNally; SGT James Murray; SGT Homer Gorby; SGT Lee M. Harris;  SGT Louis Hilliard; SGT Marion Jethro Beall; SGT Edward M. Schumaker; SGT James M. Holmes; SGT William J. Ryan; SGT Virgil Hoffman; SGT Thomas A. Yarborough; CPL Gus Kingston; PVT Marion Hill; PVT Theron M. Blakely; PVT John E. Thompson.  Civilians, McCook Air Field: Walter W. Stryker, Robert J. Hanson; William O’Loughlin; Cressie R. Merriman; Charles Schullenberger.  (11 Survivors)

TC-2  bomb explosion 2 OCT 24  Lt. Bruce N. Martin, USA

ZR-1, 3 SEP 25: LCDR Zackery Lansdowne; LCDR Lewis Hancock, Jr.; LT John B. Lawrence; LT A. Reginald Hougton; LTJG E. W. Sheppard; Riggers CPO Everett P. Allen; James W. Cullinan; Pilot 1/c Ralph T. Joffray; Machinists CPO Charles H. Broom; 1/c Celestine P. Mazzuco; 1/c James A Moore; 1/c Bart B. O’Sullivan; 1/c William H. Spratley; and Chief Radioman George Schnitzer. (Survivors: 7 officers, 20 enlisted, two passengers)

ZRS-4,  16 MAY 32 ground handling mishap: Harold Edsal, Nigel Henton

ZRS-4,  4 APR 33: OFFICER CREW: Comdr. Frank C. McCord, Commanding; Lieut-Comdr. Harold E. MacLellan; Lieutenant George C. Calnan (CC); Lieutenant Herbert M. Wescoat; Lieutenant Richard F. Cross, Jr.; LTJG Hammond J. Dugan; LTJG Charles F. Miller, Lieutenant (JG) Morgan Redfield; Lieutenant (JG) Wilfred Bushnell; Lieutenant (JG) Cyrus T. Clendenning; Chief Machinist George C. Walsh.

ZRS-4, 3 APR 33: OFFICERS: Rear Admiral William A. Moffett; Comdr. Fred T. Berry; Lieutenant Joseph H. Severyns, Comdr. Harry B. Cecil; Lieutenant (jg) Robert E. Sayre; Lieutenant (jg) Charles H. Calloway; Colonel A. F. Masury, U S Army Reserve.

ZRS-4, CREW:  Anderson, Victor C. L. AMM3c; Angeles, Maximo Matt1c; Arthur, Wellington K. ACMM; Austin, Wilton G. BM2; Ballard, Henry A. BM2c;  Barnhart, Bennie, Cox.; Baughman, Harold R. F3c; Boelsen, Peter AMM2c; Boswell, Henry L. CBM; Carlson, Arthur E. CBM; Carr, Stewart S. CEM; Cooper, Fred AMM2c; Copeland, Robert W. CRM; Cridlin, Stanley L. AMM3c; Dean, Carl C. CBM; Duncan, Lester G. F3c; Engler, Ralph F., Cox;  AM2c; Eschette, Horace P. SC1; Fahey, Lawrence E. AMM2; Fennessy, Edward ACOM; Fink, Elmer E. CTM; Graves, Hilbert N. AMM3c; Hill, William T. PhM1c; Hoover, Paul S. SC3c; Hulting, Lewis O., Cox.; Jandick, Paul A. CBMM; Johnson, Rufus B. BM2c; Latham, W. R., CBM; Lamkin, H. R. Seaman 1/c; Liles, Leon D., CAerog; Lipke, Donald H. Amm2c; Magnuson, Fridolf R. AMM3c; McLellan, Benjamin C. AMM2c; Morlen, Herschel L. RMC; Oronez, M. Matt 1/c;Quernheim, A.C., ACMM; Rader, Leonard G., Cox; Russell, William A. ACCM; Rutan, Lucius W. ACMM; Rytell, John J. AMM1c; Shauger, Paul R. AMM3c; Shevlowitz, Joseph ACMM; Slayton, Douglas C. RM3c; Starr, Fred W. Sea1c; Stine, Ralph C. QM1c; Swidersky, Toney F., Cox; Thigpen, Benjamin J. Jr. AMM3c; Tomes, Gerald L. F3c; Ulrich, Oliver E. BM2c; Walck, Lewis T. AMM2c; Weeks, John L. Sea2c; Wind, Nobart AMM3c; Zanetti, Joseph Amm3c; Zimkus, Joseph J. BM1c.

STATION ENLISTED MEN  Hackett, Earl P., CAerog.     (One officer, two enlisted survivors)

J-3, 4 APR 33: LCDR David Cummins, Chief Machinist’s Mate Pasquale Bettio

USS Macon ditching 12 FEB 35:  Radioman Ernest Dailey, Mess Attendant Edquiba Florentino  (79 survivors)

G-1 and L-2 collision, 8 JUN 42: G-1 Crew: LT Frank A. Trotter , ENS Clarence C. Ross, ENS Kenneth G. Lee, Ole V. Roos, Aviation Chief Machinists Mate, William H. Herdon, Jr., Boatswains Mate First Class, Dr. Frank C. Gilbert, New London, CT, Dr. Charles R. Hoover, Middletown, CT, Dr. Lorenz S. Moyer, Minneapolis, MN.      L-2 Crew: LCDR Clinton S. Rounds, Raymond C. Poteet, Aviation Chief Machinists Mate, Dr. Arthur B. Wyse, San Diego, CA, Israel H. Tilles, San Diego, CA. (one survivor)

L-8 crewless return, 16 AUG 42: LTJG Ernest D. Cody and ENS Charles E. Adams

K-74 vs. U-134 combat, 19-20 JUL 43: AM2/c Isadore Stessel

K-94 fire off P.R. 23 SEP 43: LTJG Wallace A. Wydeen, LTJG James W. Wagner, ENS Derl L. Schafstall, AMM3 Edward A. Weeden, F2 William C. Speigh, CBM George F. Nilla, ARM3 Ralph H. McCathern, and ARM3 Charles M. Bjork  (no survivors)

K-64 collision with K-7, 16 OCT 43: on K-64: ENS Warren Raymond Hockenstad; James Hayward Kreuter; James Joseph Flood; Raymond J. Woodbury; Daniel Edward Giodano;  Chandler Dilley; Joseph John Donnelly;  Harold Woodson Piercy (one survivor K-64; no injuries K-7)

K-133  crew drowning 19 APR 44: Ensigns Arthur Clelee, H. O. Dyste, G.A. Foster; AOM3 W.J. Fitzgerald; ARM2 J. E. Byrne; AMM2 G. D. Adams; ARM1 K.S. Blau; BM2 J. F. Ostrowski; AMM1 V. J. Hanninen (1 surv.)

K-5 crash into hangar  16 MAY 44: LT Jordan W. Kilpatrick; LTJG Frank B. Keller; William C. Durn; John W. Hulm; McCain Smith; MM2 Paul C. Bailey; Radar Technician 1st Leo W. Hajduk; Radioman 2nd class Roland A. Luther; Seaman 1st class Robert G. Wheaton

K-14 “accident” 3 JUL 44: LT Charles W. Kluber, ARM2c John B. Powles, AMM2c John V. Oldar, AR2c Edward J. Drzewiecki, ARM3c William H. Munro and AEM3c Walter O. Ozeski (4 survivors)

K-53 sinking off Jamacia, 7 JUL 44:  (1) Coxswain George L. Tallman  (9 survivors)

K-111 Santa Catalina grounding / fire, 17 OCT 44: LTJG Wallis H. Marriage, LTJG Thomas R. Smith, ENS Edward T. Groskie and crewmen Preston L. Girard, Gordon F. Kaiser, Tactical Unit Instructor LT Thomas H. Ralston (4 survivors)

K-34 icing, ditching 5 NOV 44: ENS Arthur H. Voss, Radioman Damian F. Spalding (6 survivors)

K-51 landing fire 3 MAY 45:  LT Arnold Brecknridge; LTJG Prior Hesse;  Gary C. King; ENS Robert J. Hink; MM3  REID RM2 Max N. Boling;  Bertram C. Paquin; Rigger 3rd class James A. St. Andre. (1 Survivor)

ZS2G-1 BuNo 137487 grounding and fire, 16 Feb 59, ____(?) officers and ____(?) crew (total 8)

ZPG-2 BuNo 135448 hangar collision 14 MAY 59: LTJG D. M. Loyd

ZPG-3W BuNo 144242  envelope failure 6 JULY 1960:  LT  J.J. Saniuk,  LT   W.J. Carey,  LT   W.E. Jennings, LT   R.H. Clapper,  LT  O.V. Montgomery,  LTJG  R.V. Hall,  LTJG  R.E. Leonard,  ENS R.H. Pipes, GM1/AT   L.J. Coutu,  AD1  F.E. Blalock,  AT1  F.J. Rosley,  AD2  S.B. Thompson, AMS2 F.A. Furney,  AT2  B.O. Garrison,  ACW2  E.B. Turner,   ATN3   J.E. Shabel,  ACW3  R.C. Kussel,  ACWAN   H.V. Godbold      (3 survivors)

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