Airship pictures from 1954-56.

U.S. Navy Airships

What This Website Is About

Blimps are a majestic and fascinating aircraft. This site is about my experiences flying in Navy blimps from 1954 to 1956 as an aviation electronics technician. It is my ego trip, and I would like you to humor me and come along. Maybe my blimp pictures and stories will stir some of your own memories - - and dreams.

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Why Blimps Were Needed Then

The threat to the U.S. and Allies during this period was from the Soviets who started the world's largest ever production of submarines. This Soviet fleet of submarines formed the basis for their first cruise missile subs with capability to launch nuclear warheads.

To the U.S. and Allies there was a clear new Soviet underwater strategy for warfare. The U.S. Navy undertook several avenues for anti-submarine defense and warfare. One of these was the design, construction and testing of five ZPG-2N airships. Each was equipped with the latest anti-submarine electronic systems and two weapons racks for release of homing torpedoes. The ZPG-2N was intended for "hunt, find, and kill" anti-submarine warfare patrols of 2-3 days duration. Each airship was manned by 18 officers and enlisted men designated as Combat Aircrewmen. We were authorized to wear the Combat Aircrew Insignia on our dress uniform. Navy-Combat-Aircrewman-Insignia

This website is about my experiences flying in these airships developing and testing tactics for anti-submarine warfare during that period of U.S. Navy history.

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© Copyright 2002, revised 2014 by Lawrence Rodrigues
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