A screen grab of video from the Aug. 18, 2015 dive on the USS Macon. Ocean Exploration Trust Photo
SILVER SPRING, Md. – Eighty years ago, the Navy’s last flying aircraft carrier crashed off the coast of California and sank to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
The sinking of USS Macon (ZRS-5), a lighter-than-air rigid airship, resulted in few deaths but its loss ended the Navy’s quest to use airships as long-range scouts for the fleet.
While the idea died, the wreck Macon lives on as an important archaeological site and this week Naval History and Heritage Command, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several non-profits came together to explore the wreckage, mapping out pieces of the airship and its four biplanes and studying the change in its material condition over time. Read More
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Navy experimented with lighter-than-air craft in its fleet. In addition to work with blimps, it built and commissioned two dirigibles – with USS designation – to serve as flying aircraft carriers. Read More
Features on an historic photo of USS Independence CVL 22 are captured in a three-dimensional (3D) low-resolution sonar image of the shipwreck in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Coda Octopus Echoscope 3D sonar, integrated on the Boeing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Echo Ranger, imaged the shipwreck during the first maritime archaeological survey. NOAA image.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), the Navy and Boeing together found and surveyed the sunken USS Independence (CVL-22), a light aircraft carrier the Navy sunk in 1951 after subjecting the ship to an atomic bomb blast. Read More
An image of the I-400 submarine. Hawai’i Undersea Research Laboratory Photo
Last week the media around the world carried stories about the rediscovery of the Japanese super-submarine I-400. One of the more unique submarines of the past century—part aircraft carrier, part submarine—she inspired books, television documentaries, and a years-long quest to find exactly where it had come to rest in a postwar weapons test designed to keep it from Soviet eyes. Read More