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Another Hindenburg sighting is recalled

David Downs Old Lyme

Publication: The Day

Published 05/14/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 05/14/2012 09:24 AM

With all the attention given the Titanic sinking, many will overlook another terrible disaster that occurred 75 years ago during the month of May 1937, the crash and burning of the great airship Hindenburg.

A May 9 letter, "Eyewitness to historic airship Hindenburg," concerning the writer's observation of the Hindenburg, brings to mind the day I saw the giant ship fly over my hometown on the north shore of Long Island.

I was 5 years old and, as I stood in a field near my house, I saw the great silvery airship glide overhead, slightly to the north, her diesels running at near idle. I remember a red insignia on her rudders, but at the time I didn't know what it was - the swastika. The following spring she burned at her landing site at Lakehurst, N.J. Ignited hydrogen was the main cause, but the light metal skin also burned rapidly, according to the movies that were taken. Amazingly, there were many survivors. The U.S. Navy and civilian ground crew deserved much praise for their heroic rescue efforts.

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