87 years ago on April 4th, 1933
The USS Akron, one of history's largest airships, crashes into the ocean off the coast of New Jersey, killing 73 and leaving three survivors
The 785-foot-long airship was an airborne aircraft carrier, able to launch and receive fighter planes via a trapeze system and trap doors on its bottom side. It crashed into the ocean after storms and violent wind gusts pushed it too near the water, and its lower rear fin was torn off when it hit the water's surface. Another smaller Navy blimp also crashed while searching for survivors, killing 2 of the 7 crew on board. New Jersey would also be the site of the Hindenburg disaster just four years later and 10 miles away from the USS Akron crash site. As a result of the Akron's crash, its sister blimp the USS Macron was equipped with adequate life vests and inflatable lifeboats and only two crew members were killed when it suffered a crash into the Pacific Ocean two years later.