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Friday, March 3rd 2006, 6:25am

USA News Q2/30

Monday, March 17th, 1930
Construction on what will be the tallest building in the world officially began today here in New York. The “Empire State Building” will tower over twelve hundred feet over lower Manhattan. A spokesman for the building’s architects, Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, claims that the towering edifice will be completed in little over a year. There are also reportedly plans to affix a mooring mast atop the building that would allow airships to unload passengers right in the heart of New York.

Thursday, April 3rd, 1930
The new United States Lines super liner Columbia departed New York this morning for her maiden transatlantic voyage to Southampton. The giant liner is the largest and most luxurious passenger vessel ever built in the United States and is expected to make the voyage in record time, winning the United States the heralded “Blue Riband” currently held by the British liner Mauritania.

Monday, April 7th, 1930
The Columbia arrived in Southampton this morning and has secured her place in history with the fastest eastbound crossing of the Atlantic ever at an average speed of just under thirty knots and taking about an hour over four days to make the transatlantic crossing. The liner is expected to make an attempt for the westbound record later this week.

Tuesday, April 15th, 1930
The S.S. Columbia arrived returned home to New York today after taking the Blue Riband for the fastest westbound transatlantic crossing in history, with an average speed just over twenty-nine knots. This was slightly slower than her eastbound time but still nearly three knots faster than the previous record held by Mauritania. Her record may be short-lived however. as England and France are already reported to be working on even faster vessels. Columbia’s sister, Liberty, is scheduled to set sail next month for her maiden voyage on the New York to Cleito route and may try to break her sister’s records.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 1930
Work continues on the Navy’s new “Queen of the Skies”, the airship Akron inside the massive Goodyear-Zeppelin hanger at Fulton Airfield. Much of the framework has been put in place and latest estimates have the vessel being completed by the end of the year with a first flight early in 1931. Work is scheduled to begin on a second airship hanger this summer. The new hanger will be located just to the northwest of the current Airdock. Once the Akron is finished and transferred to Lakehurst work will begin on her sister ship, Macon, which is scheduled to be completed in 1932. Goodyear-Zeppelin’s chief engineer, Dr. Karl Arnstein, estimates that eventually it will be possible to build an airship the size of the Akron in about six months by 1935.

The skeleton of the airship Akron takes shape.

Thursday, May 1st, 1930
The liners Columbia and Liberty left New York side by side today, one bound for England, the other for Atlantis. This will be Liberty’s maiden voyage and Columbia’s third transatlantic crossing. Reportedly, Liberty will try and best the Columbia’s record crossing speed of just under thirty knots. The actual route from New York to Cleito is about three hundred nautical miles further than the New York to Southampton route but the record is based on average speed, not time. There is considerable debate though if she will gain the actual Blue Riband if she does beat Columbia’s speed since technically the Riband is for the fastest crossing to Europe, not Atlantis.

Monday, May 5th, 1930
No records this time for America’s new super liners, but only by the thinnest of margins. The Liberty missed breaking Columbia’s eastbound speed record by less than one-tenth of a knot. Columbia failed to break her own record as well, primarily due to heavy North Atlantic seas that forced her to slow down and added nearly fourteen hours to her typical voyage of just over four days.

Sunday, May 11th, 1930
After failing to beat her sister Columbia’s eastbound speed on her maiden voyage, the liner Liberty has successfully captured the unofficial title of fastest ocean liner after racing from Cleito to New York at an average speed of thirty and five-hundredths knots, making the voyage in just under one hundred and seven hours, or a bit less than four and a half days. Reportedly, United States Lines plans to not make further record attempts for the time being, letting each ship hold their respective records, the Blue Riband for Columbia, and fastest average speed overall for Liberty. Some maritime analysts have cautioned that the repeated attempts to break records may be pushing the new ships’ power plants too hard too soon. There are also apparently some concerns about excessive vibration when running at full speed and some modifications may be needed after the 1930 season ends.

Monday, May 12th, 1930
In testimony before Congress today, Coast Guard Commandant Frederick C. Billard requested a major increase in funding to help combat illegal liquor smuggling in United States coastal waters. “Frankly, we currently do not have sufficient resources to secure our coasts from rum-runners and the units we have are often older and slower than the competition. Many of our best craft are actually former rum-runners that have been seized and incorporated into the Guard.” Billard wants the Coast Guard to build a new series of ocean going cutters as well as large numbers of smaller coastal pursuit craft for intercepting rum-running small boats.

Friday, May 16th, 1930
A U.S. Naval delegation arrived in Wilhelmshaven, Germany to inspect the new U-boat under construction. The party is lead by the American Naval Attaché in Berlin, Captain Castleman. According to Captain Chester Nimitz, commander of Submarine Division Six, the party will ensure that U-1 meets the restrictions put on German submarine construction under the terms of the Cleito treaty which limits the maximum size of German submarines to primarily small coastal boats. “Since we remained neutral during the war, Germany and the other treaty members felt the United States would be the most qualified, impartial party to examine the new German boats and make sure they meet treaty requirements.”

Monday, June 2nd, 1930
Some details of this summer’s Fleet Problem X were announced by the Navy Department today. The exercise will be held in Hawaiian waters and will be considerably smaller than last year’s exercise in the Gulf of Mexico. The carriers Ranger and Constellation and their attending escorts will be joined by four battleships of the Battle Fleet as well as the airship Los Angeles. A Filipino squadron is also scheduled to attend. Scenario details were not announced but speculation centers on an assault on one of the islands in the Pacific Territory.


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 11:14am

I've got to ask, how do you pronounce "Macon"?

Is it "Makon" or "Maçon"? or something completely different?


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 11:37am

"Makon" is correct: "M", long "a", a "c" that could be replaced with a "k", and a "on". Rhymes with "bacon".


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 4:02pm

Hmm, the Philippines might be interested in retaining Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates in the near future... ;-)


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 8:31pm

Down south its "May-kun", but I've also heard Mack-on, May-cone, and a British airship documentary used May-con and Ay-kron.

As for Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, be my guest, but don't come crying to me when giant monkeys attack Manila!


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 8:52pm

I wouldnt be too worried about monkeys (actually apes) Id be more worried about an airship exploding over the building. ;-)


Friday, March 3rd 2006, 9:22pm never know. *evil laugh* Exploding giant monkeys!!!


Saturday, March 4th 2006, 12:23pm

or giant monkeys - full of Greeks.



Sunday, March 5th 2006, 12:36pm

The dreaded Trojan Monkey?!


Friday, March 17th 2006, 5:23am

USA News Q2/30 Supplement

Thursday, June 5th, 1930
The Navy announced today its intention to decommission the airship Shenandoah at the end of the year. Rumors of the decommissioning began earlier this year after she suffered damage during the Navy’s winter exercise due to broken wires tearing a gas cell. The ZR-1 was commissioned in 1923 and at the time was expected to serve approximately three to five years. Now seven, a recent inspection revealed moderate to heavy corrosion of many of the wires and aluminum framework that make up the ship’s structure. The design is also considered badly out of date, being based on a German design captured during the Great War and lacks many modern innovations and is quite slow, being limited to just over fifty knots. The veteran airship has seen her fair share of hard times, being seriously damaged twice, once when ripped from the mooring mast in Lakehurst in 1924 due to high winds, and again in a severe storm while flying over Ohio in 1925. The new airship Akron will take her place in the huge hanger in Lakehurst, and the Navy will ask Congress to provide funding to build a replacement training airship.

Friday, June 13th, 1930
Congress has approved the Fiscal Year 1931 Naval Appropriations Bill. The bill provides for the construction of a pair of new aircraft carriers, as well as continued refits of battleships built during the Great War. The bill authorizes the Navy to establish a new airship base on the southeast coast, possibly in Florida or the Carolinas. The Navy has also received funding to build a new training airship to replace the Shenandoah. It is not known yet exactly where the new airship will be built though, since the Goodyear Airdock is currently busy.

Monday, June 30, 1930
The American Naval Attaché in Berlin issued the following statement announcing the results of the American inspection of the German submarine U-1: “U-1 meets the requirements of the Cleito Treaty under Part Three, Chapter F, Article One and qualifies as a Type B submarine not exceeding 450 tons standard displacement as defined by Part Two, Chapter Six of the treaty.” As part of the negotiations to allow Germany to join the Cleito Treaty, the nation was prohibited from building larger, ocean-going submarines and the United States was chosen to inspect the new German vessels to make sure they did not exceed the treaty limit.


Friday, March 17th 2006, 6:34pm

Is Shenandoah damaged beyond repair, or simply considered to be not worth repairing?


Friday, March 17th 2006, 10:58pm

Beyond economic value. Her girders were not treated with the corrosion resistant coatings that later airships had.


Saturday, March 18th 2006, 6:36am

Perhaps she can be the first airship to hit the air museum display.


Saturday, March 18th 2006, 8:15am

My intent is to turn her into a ground test article, much like the Los Angeles was used from 1931 to 1940. She'll be used to test mooring practices, etc... but stripped of all useful items like engines and such.


Saturday, March 18th 2006, 8:54am

Interesting idea......with the Shenandoah out of service, how many airships are being operated by the U.S. besides Akron and Macon when completed?


Saturday, March 18th 2006, 10:07pm

The Los Angeles is in service now, Akron will join the fleet at the end of 1930, beginning of 1931, Macon in mid 1932. The new training ship will be in service by 1932, depending on where I decide to built her. Right now there is just the one Airdock in Akron, with a second facility in L.A. coming online in 1931 but its intended for commercial designs. I'm looking at an idea that Admiral Moffett supposedly had of building airships in Navy Yard drydocks. He apparently wanted to build them at the Charleston Navy Yard, which just happened to be his hometown. Another possibility would be to build a ship in the Cape May hanger, but its a tight fit for even the Shenandoah and any new ship would be comparable to the Los Angeles and would be too big to fit. As for blimps, the Navy only had 2-3 at any one time, while the Army operated several at a time. I still need to post data on them in my encyclopedia.