Great Photos
from the Crew & Friends
of the U.S.S. Little Rock

Page last update: 28 June, 2017

The photo below is one of many special and unique photos that we've received from
the crew and friends of the U.S.S. Little Rock. Most have a story to tell, and that
story is related, as we received it. Feel free to provide feedback to us as you find appropriate.

NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, early 1940's

NAS Lakehurst, NJ

NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, early 1940's

Lakehurst Naval Air Station was established in 1921 to serve as the Navy's  headquarters for lighter-than-air aircraft testing and training. The first major facility built at Lakehurst was Hangar No. 1 was, designed to house the huge helium-filled dirigibles.

The above photo was sent to us from Thomas H. Moran, the son of Captain Henry G. Moran, the fifth Commanding Officer of U.S.S. Little Rock CL 92  (24 May 48 - 13 May 1949).

And you ask "Why was Captain Moran interested in NAS Lakehurst?"  Well, for one, he was stationed there on two different occasions ( Jun 34 to Jan 36, and  Jun 39 to May 41), well before he became CO of LITTLE ROCK, and secondly, he was a licensed LTA pilot, meaning he had been trained and licensed to fly "Lighter Than Air" aircraft.  Specifically blimps, dirigibles and ballons. It would seem unlikely that in the history of the U.S. Navy that any Commanding Officer of a Light Cruiser was also a LTA Pilot. Let us know if you are aware of any other(s).

A couple of things worth noting in the photo:

(1)  the large tethered dirigible in the U.S. Navy Dirigible Los Angeles. The USS Los Angeles ZR-3 was a rigid airship built in 1924 by the Zeppelin company in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It was delivered to the US Navy in Oct 1924, was decommissioned in 1932, recommissioned in 1933, and finally struck off the Navy list in 1939.

          USS Los Angeles' Specifications:

               Length:     658' 4"
               Beam:     90' 8"
               Draft (Height):     104' 5"
               Propulsion: Five 12-cyl water-cooled 400hp
               Propellers: Two-bladed, fixed-pitch
               Speed: 48 knots (55 mph) (cruising), 65 knots (75 mph) (maximum)
               Range: 5,770 nmi (6,640 statute miles) at 10 knots (12 mph)
               Complement: 40

(2)  the large building at the top-center part of the photo is "Hangar One" which once claimed the record for the largest "single room" in the world. Completed in 1921, the hangar is 966 feet long, 350 feet wide and 224 feet high, with a floor area of 211,434 square feet. At each end are two pairs of massive steel doors, mounted on railroad tracks. Each counterbalanced door weighs 1,350 tons and is powered by two, 20 horsepower motors, although the doors were made to be opened manually. The hangar was large enough to house two rigid airships as well as additional non-rigid airships (blimps).

(3)  there are two unidentifies blimps flying over NAS Lakehurst in this photo. They are traveling from right-to-left. One of the blimps is passing by Hanger One, the other is just ahead of it. Note their shadows on the ground which help visualize the altitude the blimps are flying,

If you have a special photo that you would like to share, send it to Art Tilley,
along with whatever you can tell us about the story behind the photo".

Back to Captain Moran's Bio Page

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