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Sky Ships : A History of the Airship in the United States Navy (Anniversary) (Paperback) (William F.
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Impressed by Germany's commercial and military Zeppelins, the United States initiated its own airship program in 1915. Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey was homeport for several of the largest machines ever to navigate the air. The success of the commercial rigid airship peaked in 1936 with transatlantic round trips between Central Europe and the Americas byHindenburg and by Graf Zeppelin-- ending with the infamous fire in 1937. That setback, the onset of war, and the accelerated progress of heavier-than-air technology ended rigid airship development. The Navy continued to use blimps to protect Allied shipping during World War II. Following the war, the Navy persisted with efforts to integrate the airships, but the program was finally discontinued in the early 1960s.