Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blimp L-8 Story, at last.

L-8 approaches USS Hornet CV8 with delivery of parts
www.history.navy.mil  - click to enlarge
  On August 16, 1942, the L-8 left Treasure Island in San Fransisco Bay to first deliver 300 pounds of parts to the Hornet steaming offshore and loaded with B-25 aircraft for the "Doolittle Raid" on Japan.
The airship was to continue to monitor shipping offshore for a number of hours.  It carried a crew of two; Lieutenant Ernest DeWitt Cody age 27 a graduate of the Naval Academy and Ensign Charles Adams 37 years old, a "mustang" he had been commissioned only the day before, the former enlisted Aviation Boatswain Mate had nearly 20 years experience with blimps.  Another crewman, the enlisted member, James Riley Hill, a third class Aviation Machinist Mate; left behind because the early morning fog made the fabric surface of the airship wet and heavy.  The L-8 was assigned to ZP-32, at Moffett Field near Sunnyvale and south of San Francisco.
  About an hour and a half into the mission Cody radioed that an oil slick had been spotted and they were going lower to investigate.  That was the last transmission anyone ever heard.  The men were never seen again.
  The L-8 apparently drifted to near some cliffs on the coast and the fabric tore, it drifted about and finally came to rest in Daly City, near South San Fransisco.  The crewmen were never found, even after an exhaustive search - not a sign of them.

Being readied for a flight.  www.check-six.com
A map of the area, Treasure Island is near the I-80 sign between
San Francisco and Oakland.  www.google.com maps.
Well, well, well.  It took four days, or was it three, but I was able to find a workaround to get the photos on the blog, it takes a couple of extra steps through Picasa photo sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Gogi, In 56-57 I was stationed with VU-5 at
    Atsugi, at that time we had the JD-1 (I think
    they were converted B-29's) anyway we lost one
    going to Okinawa (sp) the crew of 2 officers and
    two enlisted were never found to this date, one
    of the enlisted was a very good friend of mine.