USS ZR-1 Shenandoah Crash Site Images Guthrie

The USS ZR-1 Shenandoah was the first American-built rigid airship to use helium. Plans for the construction of the ZR-1 Shenandoah began in September 1919; the parts were manufactured at the Naval Aircraft Factory and then shipped to NAS Lakehurst for final assembly. The assembling began on 11 February 1922 and the ZR-1 Shenandoah was commissioned in 1923. During the ZR-1 Shenandoah's short life,it had many achievements, including: the first rigid airship to be inflated with helium; the first to use water recovery apparatus for the continuous recovery of ballast from the exhaust gas of the fuel burned; and 57 flights, logging 740 hours in the air, training crewmen in the science of handling large airships in naval missions. The ZR-1 Shenandoah was destroyed in a squall on September 3, 1925, with the bulk of the airship crashing near Ava, Ohio; fourteen of the crew of 43 men were killed.