Vice Admiral Charles E. Rosendahl Collection
Scope and Content Notes
The collection arrived in good condition and was packed by Special Collections staff at Flagpoint, the Rosendahl Estate in Toms River, New Jersey. It was processed by History of Aviation Collection. Twenty series were identified, with the first being the photograph series, divided into eight subseries: 1. Personal, 2. United States Rigid Airships, 3. Germany Rigid Airships, 4. Other Countries Rigid Airships, 5. Blimps, 6. Ships, Submarines, and Aircraft, 7. Other Photographic Collections, 8. Published Photographs.
Subseries 1. The chronology of CER's personal photographs begins with a high school photograph (1907-1909) of him and spans the intervening years of his life up to 1977. Of the eight boxes in this sub series, the first four are in chronological order while the remaining four are in subject categories with an interval chronological sequence. Box 1 covers CER's early and Naval Academy years, first ship duty aboard the USS Shenandoah, USS Los Angeles, Commanding Officer of Lakehurst, USS Akron Christening, USS Macon, Hindenburg arrival, photographs of his wife Jean, and Navy portraits.
The photographs in Box 2 portray events relating to K type airships, blimps built by Goodyear and used by the Navy in WW-II, at NAS Lakehurst and other Naval Stations. Along with these commissioning are photographs of the inspection in Brazil, Brazilian officers award of wings, CER's retirement presentations, portraits, and CER and Jean at home.
Boxes 3 and 4 vary from 1 and 2 in that subject categories are included within the chronology of 1940-1977. Some categories are airship transfers, awards, clubs and societies, dinners, CER's retirement, NATTC, public relations, and Flag Point, which was the name of the Rosendahls' home.
Box 5 contains picture-postcards, photos of Wing Club events, and prints of Fiji Island.
Box 6 focuses on the Rosendahls' Norwegian Elkhounds which they bred and raised; the sire was a gift to "Rosey."
In Box 7 are photographs of three of CER's friends. The Commander Bolam photographs chronicle part (10/27/1948 - 8/12/1952) of his Naval career--from his first division (n.d.) through training at Lakehurst to command at NAS Weeksville, North Carolina. Karl Lange's photos and memory book were occasioned by his retirement from Goodyear, which was celebrated at the University Club in Akron, Ohio. The celebration of Peter E. Wiberg's 90th birthday on October 15, 1948 is recorded in nine personal photographs.
Admiral Rosendahl first visited Germany with Jean in 1938 to commemorate the 100th birthday of Count Zeppelin. Rosey and his wife later made approximately six other trips which are documented in Box 8 of the personal photographs.
Subseries 2. includes photographs of rigid airships operated by the U.S. Navy, divided into sub-subseries by individual airship: A. USS Shenandoah, B. USS Los Angeles, C. USS Akron, D. USS Macon.
Sub-subseries A. The photographs of the USS Shenandoah, the first of the US Navy's rigid airships, portray its parts, construction, flight, and crew. Patterned after the German Zeppelin airship L49 (LZ96), which had been forced down and captured over France in 1917, the American airship was originally called ZR-1 and later "Daughter of the Stars." After construction at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, the parts for the rigid were shipped to NAS Lakehurst for assembly. Photographs in boxes 10-11 are from the Naval Aircraft Factory, Books I and II respectively. Box 12 also includes airship parts listed in an index from Goodyear.
On September 4, 1923, the Shenandoah flew its maiden voyage. Photographs, which arrived in a scrapbook, depicting maneuvers, training, and moorings, are found in box 9. When ZR-1 encountered a storm on September 3, 1925, Commander Zachary Lansdowne and navigating officer C.E. Rosendahl attempted to no avail to save the aircraft. The airship broke into three parts. Whereas CER and six crew members free ballooned to safety and twenty-two others descended safely, the fourteen remaining airship men, including Lansdowne, died in the wreckage. Photographs in Box 9 depict the wreckage as well as portray the survivors.
Sub-subseries B. Mrs. Grace Coolidge's christening of ZR-3, the USS Los Angeles, is documented in Box 13 of the photographs. Others in the single box of ZR-3 photographs include the commissioning, the crew, Canal Zone trip, and maneuvers. This airship was delivered to the US under a reparations agreement with Germany after WW-I. On March 9, 1926, Rosendahl became Executive Officer, and on May 10, he assumed command of USS Los Angeles. On May 9, 1929, CER was relieved as Commanding Officer by Lt. Commander Herbert Wiley.
Sub-subseries C. Photographs of the USS Akron depict the ringlaying ceremony at Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation in Akron, Ohio. As indicated by the airship's name, Akron was the construction location where Goodyear took the photos of construction. Other photographers whose works are included are F.W. Tupper, Jack Woods, and Dr. W.B. Klemperer. Activities chronicled in this group, consisting of 2 MS boxes, are moorings, landings, and taking off. These photographs show not only the wreckage of the USS Akron (ZRS-4), but also the survivors of the crash. Rear Admiral Herbert V. Wiley, with whom CER corresponded, was the only officer to survive the crash on April 4, 1933, in which 73 of 77 men aboard died. The manuscripts, it might be noted, contain articles by CER about the USS Akron and USS Macon.
Sub-subseries D. Construction photographs are also found in the 1/2 size MS box of the USS Macon, ZRS-5. These prints, which span the years 1931-1935, reflect activities such as Mrs. Moffet's naming of the airship, hook-on in flight as well as arrivals and departures from various Naval Air Stations. As commanding officer of the USS Macon, Admiral Wiley again escaped death when the dirigible fell into the sea on February 12, 1935.
Subseries 3. includes photographs of rigid airships operated by Germany, divided into sub-subseries by individual airship: A. Graf Zeppelin, B. Hindenburg, C. Other German Airships.
Sub-subseries A. Soliciting contributions from the German public and government, Dr. Hugo Eckener was responsible in large measure for the construction of the Graf Zeppelin, LZ 127. Eckener's motivation was based upon his conviction that the airship was a viable form of passenger transportation. Between 1928 and 1929, the LZ 127 flew fifty long-distance flights. Admiral Rosendahl was aboard the first westward flight of the Graf Zeppelin. One of the more famous flights, which occurred in 1929, was the circumnavigation of the globe. Among the sixty-three passengers were C.E. Rosendahl (by invitation of Eckener), Lady Drummond-Hay, and the polar explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins.
Another famous passenger, who later played a role in the US's entry into WW-II, was Ryunosuke Kusaka of Japan. Kusaka, along with other Japanese military officers, was later credited with planning the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the war CER renewed his friendship with Kusaka through his correspondence which sought information about the attack. Photographs of Kusaka, as well as correspondence between the two, are found with the Pearl Harbor Manuscript, where CER arranged them.
Whereas the photographs documenting the Around the World Flight are found in Box 17, additional printed materials, such as wine lists and dinner menus, are located in a box in memorabilia.
Although most items in Box 17 pertain to the 1929 flight, the first three folders contain published photographs of LZ 127. The last four folders contain photographs of German airship personages with the exception of P.W. Litchfield, President of Goodyear. Identifications are more specific on the folders than inventory, but the researcher is advised to seek verification for some photographs.
Additional photographs of the Graf Zeppelin appear in Box 19, which contains what the Archives staff has termed "miniature photographs" or "miniatures." The Staff was unable to identify positively whether some of these were taken during circumnavigation. Box 19 also has postcards and other photographs of the "queen of the skies." Information about the numerous flights of LZ 127, particularly the Polar Flight, can be found in the Clara Adams Collection, Box 11. Among her German airship books was one entitled Zeppelin-Weltfahrten, Books I and II, which includes miniature photographs. For the few photographs in the collection of the Graf Zeppelin II, LZ 130, a researcher should note the Klemperer ones in Box 19. Any other photographs of German airships, their operations of hangars, are in this box with the exception of those of the Hindenburg, LZ 129.
Sub-subseries B. Box 18 contains the Hindenburg, LZ 129, photographs, most of which were taken on the day of disaster, May 6, 1937. After passing the Empire State Building at 3:30 p.m., the airship headed towards Lakehurst, where commanding officer C.E. Rosendahl awaited it. Shortly after the landing ropes were moored at 9:25 p.m., a flame shot up from topside, just ahead of the top vertical fin, and within forty seconds the conflagration was over. A total of 13 passengers and 22 crew members (one ground crew) died, whereas 23 passengers and 39 crew members survived the inferno. Some died later in the hospital as did Ernst Lehman. The photographs by various photographers document the disaster as well as the wreckage and ceremonies following the disaster. The last two folders contain published photos of construction. The collection houses an incomplete transcript (copy) of the investigation as well as Hermann Goering's letter thanking Jean Rosendahl for her kindness to the German disaster victims.
Sub-subseries C. contains photographs of other models of rigid airships operated by Germany.
Sub-series 4. Box 20 houses British airship photographs as well as two pieces of correspondence from J.G. Struthers and a confidential report from R.H. Leigh. It also includes a document compiled by Struthers, RAF, classified secret, dated April 1918 and entitled Notes on Aids to Submarine Hunting. Folders 1-9 contain materials on British airships which include Turner and Drinkwater photographs. Materials in folders 10-17 were removed from a scrapbook labeled British airships (R series). The final section has photographs of airships from various countries that embarked upon Polar Expeditions: F 19, F 26, and F 27. Some of the dirigibles depicted in the prints are French and Italian.
Addendum: Official Military Visits to Foreign Countries
During the summer of 1928, CER studied the construction of airships at Cardington, England and Tempelhof, Staaken, and Friedrichshafen, Germany. At Friedrichshafen he participated in the trials of the airship Graf Zeppelin. As US Naval Observer, he made the first westward crossing of the North Atlantic in that ship in October 1928. In August 1929, he had additional duty in preparation of the world flight from Lakehurst of the Graf Zeppelin. In addition, he was a Naval Observer on several crossings of the airship Hindenburg.
Sub-series five houses material on non-rigid airships and is divided into sub-subseries: A. Balloons and Blimps, B. Blimps: Goodyear, C. Blimps: Class A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, L, TC, ZMC-2, D. Blimps: Class K and 1944 Scrapbook, E. Blimps: Class Ma and N, Air Sea/Rescue, Air to Ground, F. Naval Air Fields, Landing Fields and Installations.
Subs-subseries A. Box 21 of the photographs includes Kite, Racing, Weather, and U.S. Army Balloons, which span the years 1961-1962. Prints depict racing in Houston, the National Balloon Race, Kelly Field in Texas, Pittsburg, and the G.W.P. Custis, which flew the Potomac between Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C. The Navy's free balloon races are noted at N.A.S. Lakehurst between the years 1917-1930. The photographs labeled Jones indicate the name on the backs of the photos. Not only are the U.S. Army Balloon photographs contained in this box but also the few photos of Army Blimps are found there as well.
Sub-subseries B. The Goodyear blimp photographs, (June 1917 - May 1976), comprise the first class of student pilots as well as the Volunteer, Resolute, Columbia, and Pilgrim. This classification also includes the dedication of the Mayflower Hotel in Akron, Ohio and P.W. Litchfield, President of Goodyear and a strong supporter of the blimp program.
Sub-subseries C. Vice Admiral Rosendahl collected photographs of each class of blimps used by the Navy and some used by the Army. The folder listing delineates these which range from about (1915-1917) to 1948. A Japanese firm, it should be noted, bought several L-Class Blimps in 1973.
Sub-subsereis D The K-Class, designed and built by Goodyear for the Navy, was used primarily for anti-submarine warfare. This class also escorted convoys and assisted in air and sea rescue work. These photographs in Box 24 show the blimps at work, landings, aerial views, and equipment. Box 25 contains the 1944 Scrapbook, spanning the months March through September, which is primarily devoted to K ship activities. Some activities depicted are rescues and experimental practice with life harnesses. Also included in the photographs are those of the K-9 and K-14 crashes. After WW- II, the U.S. Naval Reserve used K-Class airships for advertising as did American firms who purchased them. Photographs of advertisements are found in Box 25 as well as later airships that were modifications of the wartime K-Class. The ZP4K, for example, might be said to be the final extension of the modified K-Class. Between December 28, 1953, and November 24, 1954, the Bureau of Aeronautics altered airship designations resulting, for instance, in the ZP2K becoming the ZSG-2 and the XZP4K becoming XZSG-4 or ZSG-4. The date of these photos is 1950-1956.
Sub-subseries E Available information indicates that the U.S. Navy ordered only four of M-Class airships, used during and after WW-II, the photographs of which date from January 5, 1943, to February 21, 1949. The N-Class, beginning with the ZPN-1 (later designated ZPG-1), was the prototype of a series designed for long range Early Warning service. The designation of ZP2N became ZPG-2. Modifications continued and ZP2N-1W was designated ZPG-2W. The last airships used by the Navy were N-Class, that is ZPG-3W's. Photos of the M and N classes cover the years 1950-1961. Box 26 contains photos of Air/Sea Rescues which run from May 13, 1944 - April 23, 1961. Cities and sites photographed from blimps categorized Air to ground during the period of June 6, 1949 to March 31, 1952 include San Juan, New York, Washington D.C.; U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and N.A.S. Weeksville, N.C.
Sub-subseries F The subject category of hangars contains not only specifications for steel and wood construction but also photographs of particular blimp hangars which range from April 12, 1920 - November 10, 1944. Among these photos is one of the DN-1, the first Naval airship; other photos of DN-1 are found with A-Class airships (Box 23). In the accident category is a photo of the wreck of C-7, the first helium-powered airship. The folder listing notes the particular airship involved in an accident from July 28, 1920 through February 14, 1958, while the 1944 Scrapbook includes additional photos of K-Class accidents. The folder listing for mooring masts indicates the owner or kind portrayed.
Box 28 of the photographs depicts Naval Air Stations, arranged alphabetically, as well as other landing fields and installations used by the U.S. Navy. The date span for this group is July 6, 1920 - March 22, 1957.
Box 29 is devoted entirely to NAS Lakehurst, particularly to projects of the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration. Although these photographs range from November 27, 1932 to March 5, 1940, the most active years are 1935-1937. Some of the projects shown, in various stages, are of building and expansion, renovation, and ground improvements.
Another group of photographs taken at Lakehurst focuses on Naval Military activities from 1920 through November of 1974. These comprise early prints of Hangar #1, the power plant, and aerial views of the station. Activities such as blimp erection, bomb runs, and fire-fighting are among the photographs. Included as well is an economic analysis conducted in the 1960's.
Sub-series 6. Box 31 photographs depict the damage the USS Minneapolis received in the Battle of Tassafaronga (November 30, 1942) and subsequent temporary repairs at the Island of Tulagi as well as dry dock ones at Pearl Harbor. Rosendahl commanded the USS Minneapolis from August 1942 through April 1943. The register, along with the first folder in this box, contains a list of events of USS Minneapolis. Additional photographs in the box portray other ships, such as the USS West Virginia that CER served aboard. Box 32 contains the submarine and very few HTA photographs that CER collected.
Sub-series 7. The photographs in Box 33 are all believed to be from other collections. The researcher should note that the first three folders contain prints of early aviation pioneers, such as Mrs. Henry Breckenridge, the first woman pilot. Herr Zaschka invented the precursor of the helicopter while Monsieur Farman is shown with his first aeronautical machine. A thank-you letter from CER to P.M. Jackson, Sr. documents that the latter collected the photographs depicting nose repairs to the USS Shenandoah, the USS Los Angeles in flight, and early scenes at NAS Lakehurst. The Jackson Collection includes prints of the photographer Clements whose images are included elsewhere in CER's photographs. The Sherman Fairchild photographs, which are named for the photographer, appear to be part of a larger collection. These historical prints portray the French airship Republique (1909), Baldwin's California Arrow (1904), and Zeppelin No. 4 (1908). They also include a photograph of Teddy Roosevelt with an airship.
Admiral Rosendahl received in December of 1944 the camerascope and photos from Ernest Muehleck, who in turn received from J.D. North of Boulton and Paul, Ltd., Norwich, England. These pictures depict the construction of the R-101 in November 1928. Although the register does not include a folder list for these photos, Box 34 contains contact sheets of them.
Sub-series 8. Box 35 contains approximately 55 slides for the booklet They Were Dependable, yet an enclosed note indicates that 2 are missing: one is for the preface page and the other is for the final page. Also included in the box is a container of approximately 19 glass plate negatives of dirigibles.
Box 36, OS, houses published photographs and proofs from books and articles designed for the purpose of public relations. In particular, the US Navy publications promoted the War effort (WW- II). Some of the publications are incomplete, yet the staff has tried to describe them, as fully as possible, in the folder listing.
The second series, Manuscripts/Research, is divided into twelve subseries: 1. What About The Airship/They Were Dependable/Airshipper, 2. Memoirs, 3. Far Away Places, 4. SNAFU, 5. A History, 6. World War II, 7. Pearl Harbor, 8. Comparison of HTA and LTA in Transoceanic Commerce, 9. Manuscripts-Articles, 10. Manuscript-Statements [Congress, Federal Agencies, and Press], Sub-series 11. Manuscript-Speeches, Sub-series 12. Manuscript-Others.
The manuscripts, by CER and others, contain a variety of works in various formats. CER's unpublished manuscripts appear as holographs, typescripts (with or without the author's or an editor's handwritten revisions), typescript carbons, and mimeographed texts. No extant copy of the manuscript or typescript exists for Up Ship, the Admiral's first volume published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1931. The manuscripts included the master typescript of What about the Airship? His second published volume by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1938. Fragile bound volumes of both are housed in the Rosendahl Room of the HAC.
Included with the manuscripts are articles (published and unpublished) by and about CER, editorials, and interviews. Official testimonies before committees or inquiries of the U.S. Congress, the House or the Senate, or before federal agencies are grouped with press releases. These official statements are separated from his public speeches to American and foreign organizations. CER's radio speeches, both foreign and domestic, are housed in a separate box. Manuscripts by others comprise the remainder of boxes in this series. The subseries are as follows:
Boxes 39-61: CER's MSS
Boxes 62-64: CER's Articles Box 65: CER's Statements Boxes 66-68: CER's Speeches Boxes 69-72: MSS: Others Boxes 39-59: CER The unpublished manuscripts present difficulties for the researcher, as they did for the processor. An early manuscript, it appears, was seminal to later ones. Completed prior to December of 1955, the manuscript appears with the title Airshipper or Rosendahl the Airshipper along with the criticism of Hugh Allen, former Public Relations Representative for Goodyear. To maintain provenance, duplicate chapters, particularly I through IV, remain with Allen's criticism rather than with the other typescript copy. The work begins with CER's involvement in LTA activities and proceeds to the launch and flights of the USS Shenandoah as well as its loss, the operation of the USS Los Angeles, the story of British airships, and the arrival and departure of the Graf Zeppelin's flight to the US. The early manuscript also includes circumstances about the loss of the USS Akron and USS Macon, the "destruction" of the US airship program, and the role of blimps in WW-II, especially Guadalcanal.
What appears as an expanded or revised version of the early manuscript is labeled Memoirs, most chapters of which are dated, or dated revised, in 1956-1957. As the ascribed title indicates, the slant of this work is autobiographical. This typescript includes, at least in one version, the same "Prologue" and many of the same chapters, though some differ, as the typescript CER titled Far Away Places. Even though some duplicate chapters are marked 1956-1957 in Far Away Places, and most bear the date 1958-1959. Yet, another revision date is 1962.
A notation in the manuscripts indicates that CER extracted chapters from Far Away Places for SNAFU: The Strange Story of American Airships, yet most of the chapter, or revision, dates of the latter are 1958-1959. The Admiral may have been working simultaneously on these two, or possible three, manuscripts. Another unpublished manuscript contains chapter, or revision, dates that span 1957-1959. This manuscript had three titles: one version is "God Bless the Blimps," another is "How Soon We Forget and the final "A History of U.S. Navy Airships in World War II." The early titles seemed to have lost favor to the final one, which is a variant of an earlier subtitle. "A History of U.S. Navy Airships in World War II" contains chapters dated 1960
In turn, "A History...." appears to have spawned a more detailed study of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This unpublished work is hereafter referred to as the Pearl Harbor Manuscript, the dates of the chapters span the years 1969-1974. To maintain provenance, the drafts, research materials, and correspondence about Pearl Harbor remain together. Inquiries about Pearl Harbor led Admiral Rosendahl to renew his friendship with Ryunosuke Kusaka, a Japanese military officer who assisted in planning the attack. Kusaka and Rosendahl were passengers on the Around the World Flight of the Graf Zeppelin. The Pearl Harbor materials contain references and photographs of the World Flight. The researcher should note that some official Navy memoranda, which CER pulled from other places, appear with the Pearl Harbor materials. Three copies of the unpublished manuscript were donated to the HAC by Dr. Wiltie Creswell, a nephew of CER. One copy, noted in the box/folder listing, is labeled complete.
In Box 60 of the manuscripts is a mimeographed study of Pan American Airways Trans-Pacific Service dated June 1939. The twelve-page study--for "private use, not for publication or reproduction"--appeared seminal to at least one later detailed comparison of flying boats and airships in trans-oceanic commerce. The latter mimeographed study, dated 8/27/1941, compares "clipper" flights (Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic, and Latin America) with Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg ones across the north and south Atlantic. Factors of comparison are "speed, schedule- keeping ability, reliability, safety, comfort, and costs." The Admiral states that the airships would not necessarily replace HTA (heavier-than-air) aircraft but would provide and "additional, appealing service." Additional reports and studies of airships for commerce - apparently solicited from private corporation and individuals by government committees - are housed with CER's research materials.
Box 61 contains a comparative study of HTA and LTA for commercial purposes which, in the final draft, bears the title "Miss Mars" and later "Message from Mars." Shortly after two official press releases appeared (12/10 and 12/1943) about the Naval Air Transport "Mars" cargo flying boat, CER wrote an article (12/17 and 22/1943) comparing the "Mars" with the Hindenburg. CER's collection does not contain a published copy of this article.
The articles, statements, and speeches are in chronological order and items of particular significance are noted.
These boxes contain correspondence, drafts, charts, and reports used in Dr. Wolfgang B. Klemperer's study entitled "Technical Problems Confronting A Resumption of the Construction of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin-type Airships." An appendix of the final reported (dated 12/31/1964) contains a resume of each contributor: G.E. Bockrath, B.H. Carmichael, V.H. Pavlecka, W. Pfenninger, and T.H. Troller. The preface contains the following statement of purpose: "The present report was prepared in compliance with a specific order received from an organization seriously interested in resumption of the construction and operation of Zeppelin-type rigid airships (dirigibles) and their further development."
How P.C. Barnes' manuscript entitled Airships, A Discussion and copy (offset) came into Rosendahl's possession leaves an unanswered question, particularly since it is a study of British airships. A feasible explanation is that the Vice-Admiral acquired it for the proposed LTA Museum. A cover sheet on the copy included two names, both preceded by "Property of." The first name is J.H. Hykes, USN, and the second is Mr. Halliburton. These two names have been struck through and replaced by "Lt. Commander C.E. Rosendahl." Whereas the copy remains in relatively good shape, what appears as the original typescript shows considerable vermin damage. Yet both contain photographs, some of which have faded. The date March 30, 1919 appears only on the copy; therefore, this date has been placed in brackets on the original. A search of the National Union Catalog of Imprints fails to verify the publication of the manuscript.
Folders 2-5 contain the original typescript while folders 6-9 contain the copy. While attempting to ascertain whether either manuscript or copy is complete, the archivist observed that a section entitled "Introduction" appears to correspond, although the page numbers differ, to that of the Table of Contents labeled "Concerning Rigid Airships." Page 14 of this section is missing. This section, in folder 10, is found in the copy only. Internal evidence suggests that the section contained some confidential material which may explain its withdrawal from the original.
Though the majority of the airships included in the work are of British design, some are French, German, and Italian. The work contains not only a table of contents, but also a list of 65 photographic illustrations. Barnes discusses in detail the design of rigid as well as non-rigid airships, while explaining and describing the fabric, aluminum dope, and general items as cars, rigging, and grounding of riggings. The contents span the years 1900 to 1919.
Box 72 contains manuscripts and galley proofs by others. One folder contains What Appears to Be? Hugh Allen's partial manuscript entitled Why Doesn't America Have Rigid Airships? Questions arise over whether it was published and whether it was intended to be an official Goodyear publication (See letter in folder 1). What is known is that Allen served as Director of Public Relations for Goodyear for numerous years; he offered editorial advice to CER; and he promoted airships for commerce. Another short sketch by Hugh Allen entitled "Outline of Suggested Airship Story" appears in mimeograph format without a date. It is questionable whether this sketch bears any relationship to the previous one.
The other manuscripts in this box are listed in the box/folder inventory. The researcher should note that folder 5 holds the galley proofs for A.A. Hoehling's Who Destroyed the Hindenburg, published in 1962 by Little, Brown, and Company. A legal controversy appears to have arisen about the publication or contests of the volume. Box 65 contains CER's legal deposition for A.A. Hoehling vs. Universal City Studios.
The third series consists of eight sub-series: 1. Personal Clipping Files, 2. Philately, Autographs and Mementos, 3. US Airships, Blimps, and Ships, 4. Clubs: Programs and Awards Banquets (Includes Correspondence), 5. Ocean County, New Jersey Centennial (1850 - 1950), Location of Toms River, N.J., CER's residence - Flagpoint, 6. NAS Lakehurst, 7. Museums and Archives, 8. Newspapers and Newsletters.
Sub-series 1. includes information about Rosendahl's life and career.
Sub-series 2. contains material related to stamps and postal material as well as autographs from famous subjects.
Sub-series 3. consists of badges, fabric, postcards and other items representing the craft that Rosendahl served or traveled on.
Sub-series 4. houses formal banquet programs, menus, and invitations.
Sub-series 5. documents the centennial celebration of Ocean County, New Jersey.
Sub-series 6. Contains historical information about NAS Lakehurst.
Sub-series 7. consists of correspondence and brochures from various aviation museums.
Sub-series 8. includes issues of various newspapers and newsletters related to aviation topics.
The fourth series is correspondence. The Vice Admiral's official correspondence, unless otherwise noted in the box and folder inventory, is contained in Boxes 98-132. Most of CER's and Jean's personal notes and letters from friends are included in Memorabilia. The distinction between personal and official correspondence overlapped at times because most of the Rosendahls' friends were associated with the military, particularly LTA. Such is the case of the German correspondence. From CER's initial and subsequent trips to Germany, he met and maintained friendships with German personages associated with zeppelin and other airship activities. Regardless of their personal tone, these letters have been placed with official correspondence because rarely do they fail to mention some aspect of airship activity, either foreign, domestic or international. The notable exception is the location of the correspondence between CER and Ryunosuke Kusaka. Because inquiries about Pearl Harbor led Rosendahl to renew his friendship with Kusaka, a Japanese military officer who assisted in planning the attack, the correspondence is shelved with the Pearl Harbor manuscript and research materials. The Kusaka-CER correspondence contains references to and photographs of the Around the World Flight of the Graf Zeppelin, on which both were passengers.
The correspondence, because of its volume, is arranged in alphabetical order with few exceptions. CER sporadically kept his correspondence in chronological order; these letters appear in Box 98. Personal handwritten notes indicate that he stripped the correspondence files for reference in his manuscripts. The other notable exception is that CER filed his book publishers and movie scripts correspondence in these designated subjects, which overlap and have been placed at the end of the correspondence. Because the movie scripts correspondence relates to his personal military career as well as the production of training films (LTA), it has been placed in proximity to the series of Official Naval Records: Logs and Official Memoranda. The researcher should note that cross references appear on the folders.
The fifth series consists of Rosendahl’s personal flight logs, diaries, military personnel records, orders, and Official Memoranda. The researcher should note that Official Memoranda (O Memo) are shelved in the following boxes as well as in correspondence and manuscripts. Official memoranda comprises records stating policy or written in an official capacity for/about/by military or congressional personnel. These records contain reports, summaries, charts, and some correspondence. CER's withdrawal of materials for research created organizational problems. His arrangement includes subjects, year dates, and date spans from two to twenty years. The folders in the boxes appear in chronological order with year dates first, month/day/year dates following, and finally span dates. For example, the order is 1942, then 1/24/1942, and 1942 - 1948.
The sixth series is divided into two sub-series: 1. General History, and 2. Rigid Airships.
Subseries 1. including BUAER LOG was generated by the Bureau of Aeronautics for the restricted use by its personnel and later personnel under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air). Because the newsletter chronicles activities of personnel (assignments), squadrons and patrols as well as accidents, it has been included with LTA history. These official histories result from CNO letter of 17 August 1944 requesting Chief of Naval Airship Training and Experimentation to prepare the history of LTA. In turn, all NAS and fleet airship groups submitted monthly reports that focused on WW-II and extended to 1960. The researcher should note that group and unit divisions were reorganized, resulting in changes of names and commission status. Some histories include photographs.
Sub-series 2. is divided into seven sub-subseries: A. USS Shenandoah, B. USS Los Angeles, C. USS Akron, D. USS Macon, E. Graf Zeppelin, F. Hindenburg, G. Metal Clad Airships.
Sub-subseries A. includes information about the flight and crash of the USS Shenandoah.
Sub-subseries B. houses information about the USS Los Angeles and its construction.
Sub-subseries C. contains memos and documents about the loss of the USS Akron.
Sub-subseries D. consists of weather, aerology, logs, and maintenance notes of the USS Macon.
Sub-subseries E. includes trip data and planning for the flight of the Graf Zeppelin.
Sub-subseries F. includes historical information, plus the United States Government’s official investigation into the crash of the Hindenburg.
Sub-subseries G. houses engineering and design proposals for airships using metal components in their lifting bags and envelopes.
The seventh series entitled "LTA Training" consists of the following materials: Class rosters and photographs, Training handbooks and syllabi, Flight Manuals, Training aids for instruction
These materials, generated by the Bureau of Aeronautics of the US Navy and by Goodyear, span the years 1924 - 61, although the chronology of materials becomes more consistent in the 1940's. The researcher should note various yearly omissions. These manuals were used at the NAS Lakehurst facility, though the collection includes some from Headquarters Naval Air Basic Training Command at Pensacola, Florida.
Boxes 181-82 contain rigid airship training manuals and history of training airships. Box and folder contents lists designate particular non-rigid airships. The instructional aids provided the learning resources for those who received the designation "Naval Aviator Airship", both pilot and maintenance crews. As the technology of the airship progressed, the training materials likewise became more complex. From the offset or stencil hand-out of the 1920's the materials evolved into printed manuals of various mechanical and electrical components of specific airships. Goodyear produced customer training manuals for individual non-rigid airships during the 1950s. Each folder containing these manuals is labeled with the Goodyear designation.
The eighth series contains training, operations, and maintenance manuals for the various systems and components of airships and their ground handling equipment, to support their basic operation and piloting.
The ninth series includes U.S. Naval Light-than-Air Operations Reports printed on transparencies for projection. The following is a list of abbreviations used throughout the reports:
AFR Atlantic Fleet Regulations AR Assembly and Repair BAM Bureau of Aeronautics Manual BOM Bureau of Ordnance Manual BPM Bureau of Naval Personnel Manual BUAER Bureau of Aeronautics BUORD Bureau of Ordnance BUPERS Bureau of Naval Personnel BuWeps Bureau of Weapons CESF Commander Eastern Sea Frontier CFAWL Commander Fleet Air Wings, Atlantic Fleet CGFS Commander Gulf Sea Frontier CI Communications Instructions CinClant Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet C/L Circular Letter CND Commandant Naval District CNO The Chief of Naval Operations CoMinch Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet CSF Commander Sea Frontier CSFL Commander Service Force, Atlantic Fleet CSFL(SC) Commander Service Force, Atlantic Fleet Subordinate Command FAW30-I Fleet Airship Wing 30 Instructions FAWL Fleet Air Wings, Atlantic Fleet FAWLI Fleet Air Wings, Atlantic Fleet, Instructions FISA Federation Internacionale des Societies Aerophilateliques GO General Order JAG Judge Advocate General MMD Manual Medical Department NACA National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics NARTU Naval Air Reserve Training Unit NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NATCC National Air Transport Coordinating Committee NCB Naval Courts and Boards OPNAV Naval Operations SecNAC Secretary of the Navy SfLAB Service Force Atlantic Fleet Activities Bulletin SRO Service and Repair Officer USNR U.S. Navy Regulations
The tenth series of technical manuals was generated by the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics and Bureau of Naval Weapons. Although these bureaus originated as separate entities, the U.S. Navy later combined them. Therefore, the materials for the units have been combined. The technical manuals include handbooks of maintenance instructions and illustrated parts breakdown as well as overhaul instructions. The manuals are arranged into two sub series. Individual airships which includes Flight Logs and service records comprises a sub series. The other is component parts. Within subject headings these manuals are filed in chronological order and, where applicable, under the date of revision, the date of these runs from 1945 - 1961, though most were produced in the decade of 1950.
The eleventh series are the technical reports, authorized by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and conducted at the Airship Experimental Center at Lakehurst, spanning the years 1935 through 1961, the year the Navy terminated its LTA program.
The Experimental Center, according to the Experimental and Flight Test Center Manual, formed "a composite of all other LTA engineering groups, adding to the sum total of knowledge in each engineering phase of airship equipment and armament by functional tests, development and research." The Center also acted "as a service organization for operating (airship) units requiring controlled tests and development." These reports, labeled TED (Technical Engineering Data) and TDM (Test Data Memorandum), include Progress and Final Reports. The Progress Reports, as well as the other Lakehurst Technical Reports, should be used with the Goodyear Engineering Reports. An index exists for the year 1944 while another index covers the years 1950-61. Both indices are shelved in the third box of the sub-series.
C.E. Rosendahl arranged a box of the reports as subject files while grouping together various contracted and non-contracted reports and years. The box listing contains the dates and subjects.
The twelfth series contains technical Goodyear Engineering Reports (GER) and Subcontractor's Reports. The reports should be used with NAS Lakehurst Airship Experimental Center reports, such as the TEDs (Technical Engineering Data), Design Memos, Progress Reports, and TDMs (Test Data memorandum). The Navy Bureau of Aeronautics contracted these studies of engineering data through Goodyear. Weight and balance data about individual airships have been placed with Goodyear Engineering Reports since the company conducted the initial studies before delivering the airships to the Navy. Later weight and balance data conducted during flight trials for the new airships - most of which were either tested or based at NAS Lakehurst - have been placed along side the Goodyear reports for the convenience of the researcher. If the researcher fails to locate weight and balance data in the Goodyear sub series, he/she should be advised to check for the information under Individual Airships, Lakehurst Airship Experimental Center reports. The researcher should likewise take note that reports for particular subcontracted parts for Goodyear manufactured airships appear with these Engineering Reports. Some of the companies who received the subcontracts for parts were Sperry, Vickers, and Curtiss Wright.
The thirteenth series includes reports, hearings, laws, studies, basic chemical information, and other material related to the use of a helium, and other lifting gasses, in lighter-than-air craft as well as other commercial uses.
The fourteenth series consists of manuals, regulations, promotion material, and managment of U.S. Naval Officers and enlisted men.
The fifteenth series houses whole journal issues as well as individual articles about lighter-than-air aviation and related subjects.
The sixteenth series includes hearings, briefings, bills and laws, investigations, and testimonies before the United States government on matters of aviation and naval policy.
The seventeenth series includes reports, statements, speeches, and expert testimonies on aviation and naval policy.
The eighteenth series contains clippings from a number of sources on topics of interest to Rosendahl.
The nineteenth series consists of artifacts collected by Rosendahl during his life and career in the U.S. Navy.
The twentieth series is composed of large-size material and organized into the following sub-series: 1. Graphics, 2. Paintings, 3. Posters, 4. Certificates, 5. Photographs, 6. Scrapbooks, 7. Blueprints, 8. Framed Photographs, 9. Artifacts, 10. Film, 11. Audio.
Sub-series 1. contains large-size graphics of aviation images.
Sub-series 2. includes original paintings and prints of artistic depictions of aviation activities.
Sub-series 3. consists of posters and calandear pages depicting aviation subjects.
Sub-series 4. houses certificates of membership in organizations, awards and decorations, and military rank promotions.
Sub-series 5. contains photographs of various airships and aviation related subjects.
Sub-series 6. consists of scrapbooks documenting Rosendahl's career.
Sub-series 7. includes blueprints of airships, surface warships, and aircraft.
Sub-series 8. consists of famed photographs of officers and enlisted men from the U.S. Navy's airship program.
Subs-series 9. contains physical objects related to Rosendahl's career and lighter-than-air aviation.
Sub-series 10. includes motion picture film of various blimp tests and activities, as well as footage of airship in action.
Sub-series 11. houses recordings of interviews, recollections, and news broadcast about lighter-than-air aviation.
- 1861 - 1979
- Majority of material found within 1923 - 1965
Language of Materials
Literary Rights Statement
Born: Chicago, Illinois, May 15, 1892
Died: Philadelphia Naval Hospital, Pennsylvania, May 14, 1977
1909 December 27 - Received letter from Congressman O.W. Gillespie of Texas advising that he would have an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy to be filled before March 1910; also, that in February he would hold a competitive examination for the appointment.
1910 March 17 - Received letter of March 15, 1910, from Congressman Gillespie advising that he had made the highest grade in the competitive examination and that he had accordingly been given the appointment.
1910 July 9 - Entered U.S. Naval Academy as midshipman.
1914 June 5 - Graduated from U.S. Naval Academy and ordered to armored cruiser USS West Virginia in the Pacific.
1914 June 6 - Commissioned Ensign U.S. Navy USS West Virginia until it was decommissioned. Served briefly on USS Oregon and USS St. Louis.
1915 May 14 - Reported for duty aboard cruiser USS Cleveland.
1916 September 15 - Reported aboard recommissioned USS West Virginia, subsequently renamed the USS Huntington.
1917 June 19 - Commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade).
1917 August 31 - Temporarily appointed a Lieutenant.
1918 April 1 - Detached from USS Huntington for destroyer duty.
1918 June 6 - Ordered as Engineer Officer USS McKean (Destroyer 90).
1919 July 30 - Detached from USS McKean; proceeded Pacific Coast for further destroyer duty.
1920 February 2 - Reported aboard USS Brooklyn as Gunnery Officer.
1921 January 27 - Appointed temporary Lieutenant Commander.
1921 August - Began fitting out new destroyers, commissioning, and delivering them to Fleet; destroyers included USS William Jones, Yarborough, Marcus, Melvin.
1921 July 11 - Assumed command of active destroyer USS Claxton.
1921 September 13 - Detached from USS Claxton; ordered to duty Naval Academy as Instructor in Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics.
1921 December 21 -Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation Circular Letter No. 64-22 asked for volunteers for rigid airships.
1923 January 15 - Requested rigid airship duty.
1923 April 7 - Reported to U.S. Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey for rigid airship duty on 9 April 1923 and designated student naval aviator.
1923 October 6 - Ordered to duty aboard rigid airship USS Shenandoah as mooring officer and navigator.
1924 September - Temporary duty in connection with mooring masts at Fort Worth, San Diego, and Fort Lewis. October - Aboard USS Shenandoah's trip to Pacific and return Lakehurst.
1924 November 25 - Acted as ground handling officer at NAS Anacostia for arrival and christening of USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) by Mrs. Calvin Coolidge.
1925 January - Took examination for promotion to Lieutenant Commander.
1925 January 5 - Commissioned Lieutenant Commander.
1925February - Given temporary duty aboard USS Patoka (airship tender) in Bermuda for mooring USS Los Angeles.
1925 May - Aboard USS Patoka in Puerto Rico mooring airship USS Los Angeles.
1925 September - USS Shenandoah broke up in severe line squall over Ohio. Rosendahl and six companions free ballooned the bow section to earth. As senior surviving officer, Rosendahl took charge of operations at the crash sites. (28 out of 42 survived).
1925 October and November - USS Shenandoah Court of Inquiry in Washington, D.C.
1926 March 9 - Served as Executive Officer USS Los Angeles.
1926 May 10 - Assumed command of USS Los Angeles.
1928 July - Went to Germany for trials of airship Graf Zeppelin; also visited and observed British airship activities.
1928 October - Make first Atlantic crossing by Graf Zeppelin: Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst.
1929 May 9 - Relieved as Commanding Officer airship USS Los Angeles (replaced by Lieutenant Commander Herbert Wiley) and assumed duty as Commander Rigid Airship Training and Experimental Squadron, NAS Lakehurst.
1929 May, June and July - Became Member of Board headed by Rear Admiral Moffett to select Pacific Coast Airship Base site.
1930 June 27- Detached from rigid duty and ordered to duty in Bureau of Aeronautics.
1930 July 30 - Went to Montreal for visit of British Airship R-100.
1930 August - Made World Flight of Airship Graf Zeppelin.
1931 April 21 - Detached from duty to serve in Bureau of Aeronautics; (to duty) chose nucleus crew for airship Akron, and became officer in charge of flight trials.
1931 September 23 - First flight followed by more trial flights including delivery flight to Lakehurst. (Total time 111:37).
1931 October 21 - USS Akron commissioned; assumed command.
1932 June 22 - Relieved as Commanding Officer USS Akron after commanding forty of her seventy- three flights.
1932 June 27 - Left NAS Lakehurst.
1932 June 30 - Met Jean Wilson on train en-route to Los Angeles, California.
1932 July 2 - Reported for duty aboard battleship USS West Virginia.
1933 June - Served temporary duty in Washington, D.C. in connection with Congressional hearings on loss of the USS Akron.
1933 July 12 - Reported as Navigator aboard heavy cruiser USS Portland.
1934 June 11 - Assumed command NAS Lakehurst.
1934 October - With Lt. Commander. Wiley participated in conferences on airworthiness of Macon without permanent tail modifications.
1934 August 12 - Flew in Macon fleet exercises.
1934 December 22 - Married Jean Wilson of Los Angeles, California.
1935 February 1 - Commissioned Commander U.S. Navy.
1935 February 12 - Participated in Congressional Hearings on Airships.
1935 March 2, 14, 26 - Testified before Congressional Military Affairs Committee on Airships.
1936 August 20 - September 20 - Flew on Hindenburg: Lakehurst - Frankfurt - Rio do Janeiro - Frankfurt - Lakehurst.
1937 January 29 - February 1 - Appeared before Chairman of General Board [Congressional Military Affairs Committee] regarding airships.
1937 May 6 - In command of NAS Lakehurst when Hindenburg burned; led firefighting and rescue efforts.
1937 June - Testified in Hindenburg accident investigation. Appeared before Congress in Hearings.
1938 April - Appeared before Senate Naval Affairs Committee in regard to Naval Expansion Bill (LTA).
1938 July - Went to Germany for Count Zeppelin's 100th Anniversary celebration.
1938 August 6 - Relieved of command of NAS Lakehurst.
1939 August 31- Reported to Pearl Harbor as Executive Officer to light cruiser USS Milwaukee.
1940 May 23 - Reported to Office of Secretary of The Navy Charles Edison for duty in airship evaluations.
1940 May 29 - Reported for duty in office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy. September - Became senior member of Board to investigate site for non-rigid airship station Southern Florida.
1940 July 13 - Commissioned as Captain U.S. Navy.
1940November - Inspected airship station sites in Virginia and North Carolina.
1941 February 25 - Detached from duty to serve in office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy and then to duty in Office of Chief of Naval Operations, under Director of Fleet Training, for airship training and blimp base selection.
1942 April 23 - Detached from duty to serve in office of Naval Operations and then to duty in (BuAer) Bureau of Aeronautics (blimp production, base selection and training).
1942 August 16 - Detached from BuAer; reported to duty in command USS Minneapolis.
1942 November 30 - USS Minneapolis hit by torpedoes from Japanese destroyer near Guadalcanal; kept afloat and reached Tulagi harbor; awarded Navy Cross.
1943 April 1 - Detached from duty of USS Minneapolis; served temporary duty in Navy Department pending establishment of "Airship Training Command."
1943 May 15 - Reported at NAS Lakehurst and assumed duty as Chief of Naval Airship Training Command.
1943 May 26 - Given temporary appointment as Rear Admiral (all promotions at this time were "temporary").
1943 September 10 - Given additional duty related to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air). About this time, title was changed to Chief of Naval Airship Training and Experimentation.
1944 June – Ordered by Admiral King to inspect all LTA activities in the American theatre.
1944 September 15 - Made "upper half" of list of Rear Admirals.
1946 June 5 - Last LTA Flight-Total LTA time 6422.1.
1946 November 1 - Retired and advanced to Vice Admiral.
1947 - 1952 Aeronautical consultant and a Vice President of Flettner Aircraft Corporation, New York.
1953 - 1960 January 26 - Named Executive Director of the National Air Transport Co-ordinating Committee, an industry-wide group set up to study air transport problems in the greater New York area after three airplane crashes in Elizabeth, New Jersey during 1952. Also involved with noise problems during introduction of early jet transports.
1960 - Retired to Toms River to write and to organize Lighter-Than-Air Museum Association at Lakehurst. Navy conditionally deeded land to the LTA Museum Association, but because the group was unsuccessful in raising building funds, the land reverted to NAS Lakehurst.
1977 May, Decided to donate collection to the University of Texas and asked Jean Rosendahl to fulfill his request.
Awards and Honors
Fellow of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, now AIAA.
Elder Statesman of Aviation, National Aeronautic Association.
Winner of 3 Harmon International Awards, Aeronaut Class.
Who's Who in World Aviation, 1955.
Executive Director, National Air Transport Coordinating Committee, 1953 - 1961.
Advisory Committee and Trustee of Clifford B. Harmon Trust.
Frank M. Hawks Award.
Past President and Life Honorary Member, Wings Club of New York.
Honorary Member and Past President, John Ericcson Society of New York.
Founder and Member of Army-Navy Country Club, Washington, D.C.
Fifty-year "Gold Card" member of American Legion, Past Commander and member of its Air Service, Post 501.
Adventurers' Club, Quiet Birdmen, International Order of Characters, and Explorers' Club.
Awarded Legion of Merit, later withdrawn in favor of Distinguished Service Medal.
Distinguished Flying Cross.
Mexican Service Medal.
Victory Medal, Escort Clasp.
American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp.
Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal.
American Campaign Medal.
World War II Victory Medal.
Doctor of Science in Aeronautics from Tampa University.
Doctor of Laws from Rider College.
Significant Dates of USS Minneapolis Cruise:
August 16, 1942 Detached BUaer to Minneapolis.
August 23, 1942 Reported to CincPac-Pearl.
August 24-28, 1942 Enroute with Under SecNav James Forrestal to find Minneapolis. Aboard his flying boat. Captain Lewis Strauss, USNR, Frank Folsom (now RCA), RAdm. Robert E. Thomas (CEC, Ch of BuDocks), John Gingrich. Stopped at Palmyra; Canton Island, Suva (Fiji Islands); Noumea (New Caledonia).
August 28, 1942 Reported to Com. So. Pac. and So. Pac. Force. Quartered aboard transport flagship of RAdm. Kelly Turner.
September 1-6, 1942 Aboard transport Hunter Liggett (coast guard crew) and flagship of Commodore Reifsnider, Cmdr. Transport Divisions, South Pacific.
September 6, 1942 At Tongatabu; reported aboard Minneapolis as relief for Captain - later VAdm. Frank J. Lowry.
September 8, 1942 Assumed command of Minneapolis.
September 9, 1942 Sailed to join in reinforcement of Marines on Guadalcanal.
September 18, 1942 Effected reinforcement.
September 21, 1942 Arrived Espiritu Santo.
September 28, 1942 - Under Rear Admiral C.H. Wright, Minn. headed Task Force to land Marines at Funafuti, Ellice Islands.
October 5, 1942 Above operation completed and returned to Espiritu Santo. Rudder trouble had developed during above operation, necessitating dry-docking for correction. RAdm. Wright shifted flag to Cruiser Chester (Tom Shock, Skipper).
October 11, 1942 Departed Espiritu Santo for Pearl Harbor.
October 18, 1942 Back injury while inspecting ship.
October 20, 1942 Arrived at Nav Hospital Pearl for herniated intervertebral disc.
November 16, 1942 Departed Pearl enroute Espiritu Santo in company with BB North Carolina - Gunnery exercises en route. RAdm. Wright joined just before sailing.
November 23, 1942 Arrived Espiritu Santo.
November 29, 1942 Task Force 67 organized under RAdm. Wright to intercept Japanese force off Guadalcanal.
November 30, 1942 Battle of Tassafaronga. Torpedoed - Lost 80 feet of bow and three of four boilers.
December 1, 1942 Reached Tulagi. Temporary repairs, etc.
December 16, 1942 Arrived Espiritu Santo - 6 knots ave. speed - went alongside repair ship Rigel.
January 7, 1943 Minneapolis left Espiritu Santo for Pearl. Pensacola, several DD and a minesweeper 185 miles out, had to turn back in tow off Vireo.
January 9, 1943 Reached Espiritu Santo; alongside Rigel and Vestal.
February 12, 1943 Sailed for Pearl, with old tanker Gulf Queen and 2 DD.
March 2, 1943 Arrived Pearl Harbor.
April 1, 1943 Detached from service.
As U.S.S. Shenandoah Navigator and Mooring Officer:
9/19/1923 11 Hr. 32 Min. - Over N.J. and Eastern Pa. - First long test flight of ZR-1.
10/1-2/1923 20 Hr. 5 Min. - Flight to St. Louis for Pulitzer Air Race.
10/2-3/1923 20 Hr. - Return to Lakehurst from St. Louis.
10/10/1923 14 Hr. 32 Min. - Test flight over eastern seaboard.
12/18-19/1923 5 Hr. 23 Min. - Test flight over eastern seaboard.
1/13/1924 4 Hr. - Test mooring at high mast.
1/16/1924 4 Hr. - Test mooring at high mast just before the Shenandoah was torn away by a 67 MPH gust, drifting helplessly for hours before being nursed back to Lakehurst for repairs.
6/4/1924 23 Hr. 31 Min. - Test flight over eastern seaboard and to Albany, N.Y. and return.
6/24-25/1924 9 Hr. 15 Min. - Test flight over N.J.
6/28/1924 5 Hr. 13 Min. - Lakehurst, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Lakehurst.
8/9/1924 5 Hr. - First mooring on U.S.S. Patoka mast.
8/15-17/1924 39 Hr. 23 Min. - Scouting flight with fleet over Atlantic.
10/8-9/1924 10 Hr. 41 Min. - At mast Ft. Worth Helium Plant.
10/9-10/1924 39 Hr. 14 Min. - Ft. Worth to San Diego on U.S. perimeter flight.
10/11-13/1924 53 Hr. - At mast on Kearney Mesa, San Diego.
10/18-19/1924 16 Hr. 55 Min. - At mast Camp Louis, Washington.
10/19-21/1924 47 Hr. 35 Min. - Camp Lewis to San Diego.
10/21-22/1924 23 Hr. 27 Min. - At mast on Kearney Mesa, San Diego.
10/22-24/1924 39 Hr. 29 Min. - San Diego to Ft. Worth.
10/24/1924 8 Hr. 6 Min. - At mast Ft. Worth Helium Plant.
10/24-25/1924 37 Hr. 22 Min. - Ft. Worth to Lakehurst.
6/26/1925 3 Hr. 51 Min. - At mast at Lakehurst. 9 Hr. 2 Min. - Test flight to Bayonne, N.Y. City and New Jersey coast - first flight after an eight month maintenance lay-up.
7/2-3/1925 26 Hr. 5 Min. - Lakehurst, Bar Harbor and moored to U.S.S. Patoka.
7/4-5/1925 18 Hr. 5 Min. - Return to Lakehurst.
7/13-30/1925 174 Hr. 41 Min. - Sixteen flights of varying durations, towing targets, scouting with the fleet, and mooring to the U.S.S. Patoka at Newport, R.I., and at Hampton Roads, Va.
8/14-22/1925 38 Hr. 20 Min. - Six flights of varying durations, parachuting, movie work, mooring to the U.S.S. Patoka off Newport, R.I., and tests of towing by the Patoka.
9/1-3/1925 37 Hr. 20 Min. - Flight to Midwest - Shenandoah crashed near Ava, Ohio about 5:45 a.m.
As U.S.S. Los Angeles Navigator and Mooring Officer:
11/25/1924 3 Hr. 55 Min. - Mooring at Washington for christening, return to Lakehurst.
1/15/1925 5 Hr. - Mooring to U.S.S. Patoka mast at Baltimore.
4/22/1925 8 Hr. - Mooring to U.S.S. Patoka mast at Bermuda.
5/7-10/1925 51 Hr. 31 Min. - Puerto Rico flight and moored to U.S.S. Patoka.
6/2-3/1925 11 Hr. 30 Min. - At mast on U.S.S. Patoka at Annapolis and return to Lakehurst.
As U.S.S. Los Angeles Executive Officer:
4/13-30/1926 38 Hr. 30 Min. - Twelve local training flights.
As U.S.S. Los Angeles Commander:
5/13/1926 10 Hr. 2 Min. - Over New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
7/16/1926 to 10/16/1926 Hr. 34 Min. - Thirty-nine flights ranging from 1 Hr. 10 Min. to 24 Hr. for crew training, radio compass station calibration and flight tests for NACA (now NASA). Most were along the eastern seaboard, but Oct. 14-16, the Los Angeles flew to Ford Airport, Dearborn, Michigan, and return, the intended destination of the Shenandoah on her ill-fated flight.
4/12/1927 to 124 Hr. 29 Min. - After a five month lay-up for replacement of helium cells and purification of helium, 22 tests and crew training flights were made, ranging from 1 Hr. 22 Min. to 24 Hr., including the unsuccessful search for Nungesser and Coli.
8/25/1927 8 Hr. 58 Min. - Test and crew training flight after a two and a half month lay-up for instrument and water recovery apparatus changes. After mooring to the high mast on return, the Los Angeles was caught by a gusty wind shift and pirouetted around the high mast, standing vertically momentarily, sustaining only minor damage.
9/2/1927 to 12/28/1927 423 Hr. 24 Min. - Twenty-eight flights ranging from 4 Hr. 23 Min. to 31 Hr. 40 Min. duration for tests, training, and mooring to new low experimental mast. Included were tests of an improved in-flight water recovery system and an unsuccessful search flight of 31 Hr. 40 Min. December 26-28, attempting to find Frances Grayson and her airplane "Dawn." No trace of this airplane attempting a trans-Atlantic flight has ever been found.
1/27/1928 15 Hr. 16 Min. - First landing on a Navy aircraft carrier was made on the U.S.S. Saratoga off Newport, R.I.
2/11-12/1928 16 Hr. 8 Min. - Test flights of new equipment and mooring to low portable mast with tail wheel to permit weathervaning.
2/26-27/1928 38 Hr. 24 Min. - Non-stop flight Lakehurst-New York-Panama.
2/28-29/1928 37 Hr. 48 Min. - Sightseeing over Panama, then proceeding to Guantanamo Bay and an overnight mooring to the U.S.S. Patoka.
3/1-3/31928 51 Hr. 58 Min. - Returning to Lakehurst against high head-winds.
3/3/1928 2 Hr. 18 Min. - Emergency takeoff and flight due to severe wind shift encountered on landing at Lakehurst.
5/23/1928 87 Hr. 37 Min. - Eight flights for crew training, mooring tests to experimental mast and ground radio facilities checks.
10/30-31/1928 10 Hr. 13 Min. - NACA tests and crew training.
1/8-15/1929 148 Hr. 38 Min. - Flight to Florida, mooring to the U.S.S. Patoka and return to Lakehurst.
3/1-2/1929 12 Hr. 54 Min. - Training for Washington Parade flight.
3/2-4/1929 26 Hr. 57 Min. - Three moorings at experimental mast.
3/4/1929 10 Hr. 45 Min. - Flight to Washington and return. Parade over capitol.
3/25-29/1929 34 Hr. 22 Min. - Radio range alignment and NACA test flight over east coast.
5/8-9/1929 9 Hr. 35 Min. - Radio range alignment and training. 9/11/1929 to 12/10/1929 128 Hr. 44 Min. - Nine flights instructing Lt. Commander Wiley in flight and at experimental mast while doing radio range alignment checks along east coast.
1/20-26/1930 85 Hr. 19 Min. - Four flights and mooring at experimental mast for instructional and radio range alignment checks.
3/31/1930 10 Hr. 2 Min. - Instructional flight with Lt. Commander. Clarke. 7 Hr. 7 Min. - at experimental mobile mast with Lt. Commander Wiley.
4/23/1930 to 92 Hr. 24 Min. - Seven instructional flights with Lt. Commander Clarke. Also testing new devices for installation in the U.S.S. Akron and mechanical handling methods for Akron.
1/22/1931 to 40 Hr. 19 Min. - Two instructional and equipment test flights with Lt. Commander Clarke, and an instructional and test flight with Commander Dresel testing water recovery equipment to be used on Akron.
As U.S.S. Akron Commander:
9/23-24/1932 7 Hr. 41 Min. - First two test flights of U.S.S. Akron. Controls were found to be overbalanced requiring modification of the servos.
10/6-13/1932 42 Hr. 19 Min. - Four test flights in Akron-Cleveland-Detroit-Toledo and Akron- Cleveland- Pittsburgh areas.
10/16-18/1932 48 Hr. 21 Min. - Akron-Cincinnati-St. Louis-Chicago-Milwaukee-Akron.
10/21-22/1932 13 Hr. 16 Min. - Delivery flight, Akron to Lakehurst.
11/2-24/1932 110 Hr. 12 Min. - Seven flights for test and training, first of which included news media representatives, including radio broadcast.
12/3-17/1932 92 Hr. - Three training and test flights including a 46 Hr. 32 Min. endurance flight to Mobile, Alabama and return via the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys.
1/4-5/1932 19 Hr. 55 Min. - Two test and training flights.
1/9-12/1932 62 Hr. 13 Min. - Scouting with the fleet over the Atlantic off South Carolina and Florida, en route to the scouting area, the U.S.S. Akron picked up eight tons of ice but still handled well.
1/16-17/1932 19 Hr. 35 Min. - Three training flights, including mooring to the U.S.S. Patoka mast at Plantation Flats.
2/22/1932 U.S.S. Akron damaged during undocking at Lakehurst and laid for repairs until April 28, 1932.
5/8-11/1932 88 Hr. 3 Min. - Transcontinental flight Lakehurst to San Diego via Norfolk, New Orleans, El Paso and Phoenix.
5/12-13/1932 31 Hr. 27 Min. - San Diego to Sunnyvale - fog requiring holding in Bay Area for nearly twelve hours.
5/17/1932 3 Hr. 41 Min. - Flight to and mooring on the U.S.S. Patoka mast in San Francisco Bay.
5/17-25/1932 98 Hr. 14 Min. - Flights down San Joaquin Valley, up Sacramento Valley, to Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, and return to Sunnyvale.
6/1-4/1932 75 Hr. 29 Min. - Scouting with the fleet.
6/6/1932 3 Hr. 5 Min. - Press flight.
6/9/1932 2 Hr. 56 Min. - Local training flight.
6/11-13/1932 53 Hr. 21 Min. - Sunnyvale to Parris Island.
6/15/1932 9 Hr. 8 Min. - Parris Island to Lakehurst. Command of U.S.S. Akron turned over to Commander Dresel at Lakehurst.
As a U.S.S. Macon Observer - Commander Wiley as Commander:
10/8-11/1934 69 Hr. 36 Min. - Scouting exercise with Sparrowhawks and spy basket.
10/12/1934 6 Hr. 6 Min. - Sparrowhawk hook-ons for media.
As Graf Zeppelin Watch Officer and Observer:
9/18-28/1928 25 Hr. 45 Min. - First four test flights of the Graf Zeppelin.
10/11-15/1928 111 Hr. 44 Min. - The Graf Zeppelin's first trans-Atlantic flight - Friedrickshafen to Lakehurst.
Around the World Flight - Graf Zeppelin:
8/7-9/1929 55 Hr. 24 Min. - Lakehurst to Friedrickshafen.
8/15-19/1929 101 Hr. 24 Min. - Friedrickshafen to Tokyo
8/23-26/1929 79 Hr. 59 Min. - Tokyo to Los Angeles
8/27-29/1929 51 Hr. 13 Min. - Los Angeles to Lakehurst
Note: On all of these flights Rosendahl stood regular watches serving as a regular ship's officer. Dr. Hugo Eckener was the dirigible's commander.
As a Hindenburg Watch Officer and Observer:
8/20-22/1936 43 Hr. 49 Min. - Lakehurst to Frankfurt - Lehmann as commander.
8/27-30/1936 87 Hr. 59 Min. - Frankfurt to Rio de Janiero - Pruss as commander.
9/4-8/1936 109 Hr. 53 Min. - Rio de Janiero to Friedrickshafen - Pruss as commander.
9/16/1936 3 Hr. 14 Min. - Friedrickshafen to Frankfurt - Pruss as commander.
9/17-20/1936 62 Hr. 55 Min. - Frankfurt to Lakehurst - Lehmann as commander.
Note: Rosendahl stood regular watches on these flights.
Other LTA flights:
Though most of his LTA flights were in rigid airships, Rosendahl also flew extensively in free ballooning the bow of the Shenandoah to a safe landing 9/3/1925. He also commanded and participated in hundreds of flights in the ZMC-2 metal clad dirigible, in TC, G, J, K, L, and M type Navy blimps, and in various civil Goodyear blimps. He also used both civil and military airplanes in his extensive travels.
261.26 Linear Feet (Originally 330 boxes of archival material. Linear ft. is an estimate, 1 non-standard box, 3 record center boxes, 1 non-standard box (4.5x7.75x5.75), 1 non-standard box (20.5x16.5x1.5), 3 negative storage box (5.5x12x4.5), 1 non-standard box (15x22x2), 1 framed picture (21.5x19.5x1), 4 Film canister 14 7/8.)
With the outbreak of World War II, he was given command of the cruiser USS Minneapolis, and steered it through several campaigns including its near sinking at the Battle of Tassaforonga. After the end of World War II, he was place in charge of the Unites States Navy's Blimp program, and remained a tireless champion for lighter-than-air aviation, writing numerous books and articles. He passed away at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1977. Before he died, he arranged for his collection to arrive at The History of Aviation Collection at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Series I. Photographs (thirty-seven manuscript boxes), 1900-1970.
Arranged into eight sub-series: 1. Personal, 2. United States Rigid Airships, 3. Germany Rigid Airships, 4. Other Countries Rigid Airships, 5. Blimps, 6. Ships, Submarines, and Aircraft, 7. Other Photographic Collections, and 8. Published Photographs.
Sub-series 1. Personal (eight boxes), 1910-1970.
Sub-series 2. United States Rigid Airships (eight boxes), 1921-1925.
Arranged into four sub-subseries: A. USS Shenandoah, B. USS Los Angeles, C. USS Akron, and D. USS Macon.
Sub-subseries A. USS Shenandoah (four boxes), 1921-1925.
Sub-subseries B. USS Los Angeles (one box), Undated.
Sub-subseries C. USS Akron (two boxes), Undated.
Sub-subseries D. USS Macon (one box), Undated.
Sub-series 3. Germany Rigid Airships (three boxes), 1900-1930.
Arranged into three sub-subseries: A. Graf Zeppelin, B. Hindenburg, and C. Other German Airships.
Sub-subseries A. Graf Zeppelin (one box), Undated.
Sub-subseries B. Hindenburg (one box), Undated.
Sub-subseries C. Other German Airships (one box), 1900-1930.
Sub-series 4. Other Countries Rigid Airships (one box), 1916-1932.
Sub-series 5. Blimps (ten boxes), 1861-1950.
Arranged into six series: A. Balloons and Blimps, B. Blimps: Goodyear, C. Blimps: Class A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, L, TC, ZMC-2, D. Class K and 1944 Scrapbook, E. Blimps: Class Ma and N, Air Sea/Rescue, Air to Ground, and F. Sub-subseries F. Naval Air Fields, Landing, Fields and Installations.
Sub-subseries A. Balloons and Blimps (one box), 1861-1949.
Sub-subseries B. Blimps: Goodyear (one box), 1917-1961.
Sub-subseries C. Blimps: Class A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, L, TC, ZMC-2 (one box), Undated.
Sub-subseries D. Blimps: Class K and 1944 Scrapbook (two boxes), 1944.
Sub-subseries E. Blimps: Class M and N, Air Sea/Rescue, Air to Ground (two boxes), 1917.
Sub-subseries F. Naval Air Fields, Landing, Fields and Installations (three boxes), 1950.
Sub-series 6. Ships, Submarines, and Aircraft (two boxes), 1920-1945.
Sub-series 7. Other Photographic Collections (two boxes), 1900-1930.
Sub-series 8. Published Photographs (three boxes), 1961-1965. Arranged topically.
Series II. Manuscripts/Research (thirty-three boxes), 1925-1977.
Arranged into twelve sub-series: 1. What About the Airship/They Were Dependable/Airshipper, 2. Memoirs, 3. Far Away Places, 4. SNAFU, 5. A History, 6. World War II Research, 7. Pearl Harbor Manuscript, 8. Comparison of HTA and LTA in Transoceanic Commerece, 9. Manuscripts-Articles, 10. Manuscript Statements [Congress, Federal Agencies, and Press Releases, 11. Manuscripts-Speeches, and 12. Manuscript-Others.
Sub-series 1. What About The Airship/They Were Dependable/Airshipper (one box), 1937-1957.
Sub-series 2. Memoirs (one box), Undated.
Sub-series 3. Far Away Places (two boxes), 1929-1959.
Sub-series 4. SNAFU (three boxes), 1958.
Sub-series 5. A History (five boxes), 1958-1974.
Sub-series 6. World War II Research (two boxes), 1919-1977.
Sub-series 7. Pearl Harbor Manuscript (seven boxes), 1939-1975.
Sub-series 8. Comparison of HTA and LTA in Transoceanic Commerce (two boxes), 1943-1944.
Sub-series 9. Manuscripts-Articles (three boxes), 1928-1977.
Sub-series 10. Manuscript-Statements [Congress, Federal Agencies, and Press Releases] (one box), 1930-1977.
Sub-series 11. Manuscript-Speeches (three boxes), 1925-1976.
Sub-series 12. Manuscript-Others (three boxes), 1919-1967.
Series III. Memorabilia (twenty-five boxes), 1908-1978.
Arranged into eight sub-series: 1. Personal Clipping Files, 2. Philately, Autographs, and Mementos, 3. US Airships, Blimps, and Ships, 4. . Clubs: Programs and Awards Banquets (Includes Correspondence), 5. Ocean County, New Jersey Centennial (1850 - 1950) [Location of Toms River, N.J., residence CER: Flagpoint], 6. NAS Lakehurst, 7. Museums and Archives, and 8. Newspapers and Newsletters.
Sub-series 1. Personal Clipping Files (seven boxes), 1930-1979.
Sub-series 2. Philately, Autographs and Mementos (one box), 1928-1973.
Sub-series 3. US Airships, Blimps, and Ships (one box), 1908-1975.
Sub-series 4. Clubs: Programs and Awards Banquets (Includes Correspondence) (one box), 1930-1976.
Sub-series 5. Ocean County, New Jersey Centennial (1850 - 1950) (one box), 1950-1972.
Sub-series 6. NAS Lakehurst (two boxes), 1921-1972.
Sub-series 7. Museums and Archives (one box), 1957-1972.
Sub-series 8. Newspapers and Newsletters (eleven boxes), 1918-1978.
Series IV. Correspondence (thirty-four boxes), 1938-1979.
Series V. Flight Logs and Personnel Records (sixteen boxes), 1910-1969.
Series VI. LTA History (thirty-two boxes), 1815-1976
Arranged into two series: 1. General History, and 2. Rigid Airships.
Sub-series 1. General History (fifteen boxes), 1915-1961.
Sub-series 2. Rigid Airships (seventeen boxes), 1921-1976.
Arranged into seven sub-subseries: A. USS Shenandoah, B. USS Los Angeles, C. USS Akron, D. USS Macon, E. Graf Zeppelin, F. Hindenburg, G. Metal Clad Airships.
Sub-subseries A. USS Shenandoah (five boxes), 1925-1926.
Sub-subseries B. USS Los Angeles (one box), 1924-1931.
Sub-subseries C. USS Akron (one box), 1928-1931.
Sub-subseries D. USS Macon (two boxes), 1935-1975.
Sub-subseries E. Graf Zeppelin (one box), 1921-1929.
Sub-series F. Hindenburg (four boxes), 1937-1976.
Sub-series G. Metal Clad Airships (three boxes), 1923-1960.
Series VII. LTA Training (twenty-seven boxes), 1924-1960.
Series VIII. Pilot Manuals and Logbooks (five boxes), 1943-1961.
Series IX. LTA Report Transparencies (eleven boxes), Undated.
Series X. Bureau of Naval Aeronautics and Bureau of Naval Weapons (one-hundred and fifteen boxes), 1923-1976.
Series XI. Technical Airship Center (twelve boxes), 1936-1960.
Series XII. Technical Goodyear Engineering Reports (GER) and Subcontractor's Reports (fifteen boxes), 1917-1960.
Series XIII. Helium and Lifting Gases (six boxes), 1918-1977.
Series XIV. Military Manuals and Regulations (seven boxes), 1920-1976.
Series XV. Journals and Articles (three boxes), 1903-1979.
Series XVI. U.S. Government Hearings, Legislation, and Investigations (twenty-nine boxes), 1915-1963.
Series XVII. Reports, Statements, Speeches (ten boxes), 1932-1976.
Series XVIII. Clippings (thirty-two boxes), 1925-1975.
Series XIX. Artifacts/Miscellaneous (fifteen boxes), 1937-1975.
Series XX. Oversize 1909-1977.
Arranged into eleven sub-series: 1. Graphics, 2. Paintings, 3. Posters, 4. Certificates, 5. Photographs, 6. Scrapbooks, 7. Blueprints, 8. Framed Photographs, 9. Artifacts, 10. Film, and 11. Audio.
Sub-series 1. Graphics 1909-1936.
Sub-series 2. Paintings 1931-1971.
Sub-series 3. Posters 1940-1994.
Sub-series 4. Certificates 1910-1977.
Sub-series 5. Photographs 1931-1959.
Sub-series 6. Scrapbooks 1933-1976.
Sub-series 7. Blueprints 1919-1957.
Sub-series 8. Framed Photographs 1966-1967.
Sub-series 9. Artifacts 1914-1971.
Subseries 10. Film 1950-1975.
Subseries 11. Audio 1941-1974.
Note to the Researcher
The material in this collection is in good condition. The Finding aid was based on the original document created for the collection, with minor additions made to clarify and divide sections for the researcher. Parts of this finding aid may not reflect the actual structure of the collection due to its movement to a new location. Consult with Special Collections staff for clarification on any issue.
- Guide to the Vice Admiral Charles E. Rosendahl Collection, 1892-1977
- Thomas Allen, PhD, CA. Arranged by History of Aviation Collection Staff.
- Description rules
- Language of description
- English (eng)
- Edition statement
- First Revision by Thomas Allen, PhD, CA. 2018-4-10.
Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository
3020 Waterview Pkwy
Richardson Texas 75080 US