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USS MACON AIRSHIP

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Military and Wartime3865 of 6855Missile Nose ConePHSCC Combination cover with stitched emblem.
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    Posted 7 years ago

    Jono
    (178 items)

    I was in storage today and ran across a box with some belongings of my late uncle. I came across a box labeled "keep". In the box were several items. One was a piece of aluminum that had scratched writing on it. It said "USS MACON WRECKED OFF POINT SUR FEB 12 1935 5:35 PM TUESDAY".
    I looked up the USS MACON War Ship. It was Launched 15 October 1944. That wasn't good news.

    Then I found this...
    USS Macon (ZRS-5) was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy for scouting and served as a "flying aircraft carrier", launching Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk biplane fighters. In service for less than two years, in 1935 Macon was damaged in a storm and lost off California's Big Sur coast, though most of the crew were saved. The wreckage is listed as USS Macon Airship Remains on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
    Less than 20 ft (6.1 m) shorter than Hindenburg, both the Macon and "sister ship" USS Akron (ZRS-4) were among the largest flying objects in the world in terms of length and volume. Although the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg was longer, the two sisters still hold the world record for helium-filled airships.

    The other items seem to be melted metal which I'm guessing is also from the USS MACON. Then their is a bullet that looks melted. Fun find!

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    Comments

    1. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      Great souvenirs of the Macon!

      scott
    2. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      Thanks Scott!
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Got the imagination going!
    4. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      I know Blunderbuss. No one is alive to tell me the story. Was my Uncle there to see it go down? How did he get these?
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I'm in the aircraft business & the melted aluminium caught my eye. Was there a fire then?
    6. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      I just finished reading about it blunderbuss. No mention of a fire.
      It may be a piece that was repaired prior to the crash or recovered after in the debris field. This is driving me crazy.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Macon_(ZRS-5)
    7. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      On 12 February 1935 the repair process was still incomplete when, returning to Sunnyvale from fleet maneuvers, Macon ran into a storm off Point Sur, California. During the storm, the ship was caught in a wind shear which caused structural failure of the unstrengthened ring (17.5) to which the upper tailfin was attached. The fin failed to the side and was carried away. Pieces of structure punctured the rear gas cells and caused gas leakage. Acting rapidly and on fragmentary information an immediate and massive discharge of ballast was ordered. Control was lost and, tail heavy and with engines running full speed ahead, Macon rose past the pressure height of 2,800 ft (850 m), and kept rising until enough helium was vented to cancel the lift, reaching an altitude of 4,850 ft (1,480 m). It took 20 minutes to descend and, settling gently into the sea, Macon sank off Monterey Bay. Only two of the 76 crew members were lost thanks to the warm conditions and the introduction of life jackets and inflatable rafts after the Akron tragedy. Radioman 1st Class Ernest Edwin Dailey jumped ship while still too high above the ocean surface to survive the fall and Mess Attendant 1st Class Florentino Edquiba drowned while swimming back into the wreckage to try to retrieve personal belongings. An officer was rescued when Commander Wiley swam to his aid, an action for which he was later decorated.
    8. tom61375, 7 years ago
      I'd say that round is a 710 grain full metal jacket boattail. Is it steel core, or lead?
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Tom, you're thinking .50 cal.?
    10. tom61375, 7 years ago
      I am. Good call bb2! =)
    11. tom61375, 7 years ago
      Then that must be a 40mm projectile in the pic?
    12. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      Send me an email and I'll send some close up pics. My email is in my profile.
    13. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Neither cal. mixes with a 1935 dirigible wreck very well. Maybe only the marked piece is from the Macon?
    14. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      You may be right blunderbuss. It's a puzzle that's for sure. Just curious how it all ended up in that one small box together.
    15. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      What a treasure to find and I will watch the mystery unfold as you experts in Military figure the meaning of it all as a unit .
      Merry Christmas Jono I sure have enjoyed you joining us and I smile every time I see your name and your description of the set of dolls you gave :-) Have a Blessed New Year !
    16. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      I agree with bb and wouldn't tie all the pieces to wreck.

      Most likely just items of significance to your Uncle that were collected (not necessarily by him) over the years.

      What is your Uncle's "story"? Did he have military service? Was he a collector? What about his father?

      Some of that information MAY shed more light on the collection.

      scott
    17. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Half my drawers have incongruous items in them.
    18. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      I'm going to do a new post on my uncle to give some background.
    19. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Make it quick before I partake of some of this green vegetable matter. Salads always make me sleepy.
    20. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      Done.....
    21. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Jono, 18 minutes was too long! Or too late.
    22. Jono Jono, 7 years ago
      You're killing blunderbuss :))))))
    23. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      There is your connection. The USS Colorado was part of the rescue search for survivors of the Macon:

      http://www.usscolorado.org/History/history.htm

      See the "USS COLORADO SHORT LOG" section.

      scott

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