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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 13, 1935, Image 3

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Two Missing in Disaster
110 Miles South of San
Francisco.
(Continued From First Page.)
Point Sur. but could not see surface
until shortly before landing.
"The ship landed stem first with no
way on (no speed ahead) at 5:40. All
hands took to rubber boats and saw
ship finally sink. Discipline excellent
end all hands had alarm in time to
don life jackets."
Watched by Light Keeper.
The lighthouse keeper at Point Sur
told of seeing the airship suddenly
sink and then rise rapidly and dis
appear from sight so that he could not
see it through the fog even with pow
erful glasses.
Simultaneously Wiley sent out his
only SOS reporting the ship was
••failing."
Naval craft in the immediate vicin
ity headed at once for the Macon's
position, and Admiral J. M. Reeves,
commanding the fleet maneuvers, took
charge of all air lilies to direct the
search.
Thirty boats in the aera. mostly
fighting craft steaming for San Fran
cisco Bay. where the Macon was a
familiar sight, turned to her aid.
Six Coast Guard cutters were or
dered to put out from various Cali
fornia ports—the Calypso, Tahoe,
Shawnee, Ariadne. Perseus and
Hermes.
All hands in the Mare Island Navy
Yard, in San Francisco Bay. were
ordered to stand by. The Red Cross
directed nearby agencies to be ready
to lend aid. The Naval Hospital ship
Relief was ordered to speed to the
scene from Southern California.
Massing Aid Impressive.
The ability of the Navy to amass
so much aid immediately was im
pressive, but such ample help was
unneeded.
Three ships breaking from the
column of cruisers, with the aid of
their powerful searchlights and cal
cium flares let oil by the Macon,
quickly picked up the 81 survivors.
The Richmond took aboard 64. the
Concord, 11, and the Cincinnati, 6.
After a futile search of the dark
■waters for the two missing men. they
continued to San Francisco.
President Roosevelt, as soon as he
heard of the disaster, phoned the
naval communications headquarters
to obtain first-hand information of
the Macon's casualty.
As messages relating to the crash
flashed into the Capital these were
quickly relayed to the President's
desk. The Chief Executive was known
to be relieved that the casualty list,
if any, would be small.
Hoover Receives News.
Former President Herbert Hoover
received the startling news while he
was attending a Lincoln day dinner
in New York.
"This is very sad news indeed."
said the former President. "The
Macon was launched during my ad
ministration and I hope that all of
those aboard are alive and safe."
It was indicated by the Navy De
partment in Washington that a Naval
Board of Inquiry to attempt a deter
mination of the case of the Macon's
crash would be appointed as soon as
direct information was received from
Admiral Reeves and Comdr. Wiley.
Hardly had reports of the disaster
reached the Capital than congres
sional leaders intimated the tragedy
might provide the answer—"No!"—to
the question of the practicability of
lighter-than-air craft for naval scout
ing purposes.
The Macon crash probably has
sounded the "death knell" of air
ships for the Navy, unless investiga
tion should uncover something not at
first apparent, asserted Representative
Vinson, Democrat, of Georgia, chair
man of the House Naval Affairs Com
mittee.
Sirovich Plans Probe.
The impending investigation also
may take another turn. Representa
tive Sirovich. chairman of the House
Patents Committee, announced the
present inquiry into purported indus
trial control of patents would be
broadened in scope to include an in
vestigation of the Macon crash.
It was assumed by observers in
Washington that this phase would be
in the nature of an inquiry into the
structural factors of the stricken di
rigible and their relation to patents.
A quick and insistent congressional
demand for a thorough investigation
of the latest dirigible tragedy was con
sidered a certainty.
Rear Admiral Ernest J. King, chief
of the Bureau of Aeronautics, de
scribed the disaster as "shocking and
regrettable" but, pending more com
plete information, declined further
comment.
At Akron. Ohio, P. W. Litchfield,
president of the Goodyear Zeppelin
Corp., which constructed the Macon,
offered "every resource" of the com
pany to aid the Government in its
endeavor to determine what caused
the airship to fall.
At Washington. Mrs. W. A. Moffett,
widow of Admiral Moffett, who was
lost in the Akron disaster, was shocked
when she heard the Macon had fallen,
and asked to be kept informed of
news of the dirigible.
Christened Dirigible.
Mrs. Moffett christened the dirigible
Macon at Akron, Ohio, March 11, 1933.
Fear expressed by Comdr. Charles
E. Rosendahl, in charge of the Naval
Air Base at Lakehurst, N. J„ that the
Macon would be lost forever, was cor
robated by word from Comdr. Wiley
that the dirigible had sunk
Rosendahl, veteran blimp skipper
ind survivor of the crash of the Navy
dirigible Shenandoah, observed one of
Second Close Escape.
It was Lieut. Comdr. Wiley's sec
I ond close escape from death in a dis
aster to a huge Navy dirigible. Wreck
age and his ability as a swimmer were
credited with his being among the
three survivors of the Akron dis
aster.
In the hope that the two missing
men may have had similar fortune
in seizing wreckage and keeping them
selves afloat one cruiser division and
the cruiser Milwaukee were ordered
to continue the search throughout the
night.
Comdr. Wiley's previous experience I
and his intimate knowledge of lighter
than-air craft doubtless played a
large part in preventing a heavy loss
of life last night.
While he was giving orders in an
attempt to save the ship he messaged:
•'Will abandon ship as soon as we
land on water, somewhere within 20
miles of Point Sur about 10 miles
at sea."
Maneuvering Successful.
He directed his maneuvering sue- !
cessfully to bring his charge down
near the line of battle cruisers.
Earlier in the day the Macon had
trouble bucking a wind of near gale
force along the Santa Barbara Chan
nel, but this apparently was not re
garded as an omen of disaster. While
attempting to head north, she was
driven 80 miles to the southwest, ob
servers along the channel reported.
The other 7,000 hours aloft of the
Macon, almost identical with the
Akron's hours in the air, nad been
without untoward incident.
SEES OWN CAR STOLEN
READING, Pa., February 13 </P> —
Daniel Dudley, private detective, sat
in the office of Alderman Charles
Lease, conferring on a prospective case.
They faced a window, and outside
at the curb was the detective's auto
mobile.
"That fellow there certainly knows
a good car when he sees one," said
Dudley. "Look how he's giving my
new machine the once-over."
"M-u-mmm," agreed the alderman.
"Now look," said Dudley, "he's tak
ing a peak inside. Maybe he wants
to buy one like—hey! Stop, thief!"
City police are helping the private
detective look for his stolen car.
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Navy's Lost Dirigible and Officers Who Were Rescued i

! several things could have happened
to the M.icon—a break in the struc
ture, a break in the bag, or dis
mantled steering and power gear.
Wives and naval officers not aboard
the dirigible hurried to the Macon's
home port at Sunnyvale, only 65 miles
from the ocean grave of the "Queen
of the Skies." to await anxiously the
brief reports of the disaster and
rescue.
The aerial beacon which normally
would have welcomed the Macon home
within an hour turned on auto
matically even as the craft sank into
the sea.
I
D. C. Man, Rescued in Macon
Disaster, Escaped Two Others
Failed by Narrow Margin
Gain a on Akron and
Shenandoah.
Father and 2 Brothers
Are Residents of
Washington.
A lucky star seemingly governs the
life οf Lieut. Anthony Leo Danis.
U. S. N., Washingtonian, who was
rescued in the crash of the airship
U. S. S. Macon oft the California
coast and who narrowly escaped
going on the U. S. S. Shenandoah,
another of the Navy's dirigibles that
crashed in Ohio, and also on the
U. S. S. Akron, which met destruc
tion off the coast of New Jersey in
the Atlantic.
The father of the lieutenant. Alfred
Danis, lives on Conduit road here and
one of his brothers. Norman F. Danis,
Potomac Electric Power Co. employe,
lives with his father, and his other
brother, Robert C. Danis, makes his
home at 1540 Forty-fourth street. The
latter is an architect in the War De
partment. The lieutenant was aero
logical officer aboard the Macon.
His family recalled the day he was
transferred from sea duty to the U.
S. S. Shenandoah, but delayed report
ing so that he was not aboard at the
time of the disaster. Orders for his
transfer from the U. S. S. Akron came ;
shortly before the tragedy.
The Navy Department announced I
that Lieut. Danis is one of the sur- I
vivors aboard the cruiser U. S. S. :
Richmond.
Born in Woonsocket, R. I., February
1, 1899, the lieutenant entered the
Naval Academy In June, 1918, from
North Dakota, and he was graduated
four years later. Prior to entering the
lighter-than-air service he served
about five years at sea. Members of
his family said he attended Dowd's
Academy in this city. The naval offi
cer served at Annapolis, Md„ a short
time back and he completed post-grad
uate courses at Harvard and Mass
achusetts Institute of Technology at
Boston, Mass., specializing in aerology.
Officials here said Lieut. Danis was
LIEIT. A. L. DAMS.
first to observe the weather conditions
on the last flight of the Macon and to
report them to the commanding offi
cer, Lieut. Comdr. Η. V. Wiley.
PHILATELISTS TO MEET
Washington Society to Hold
"Open House" Session Tonight.
The Washington Philatelic Society
will hold an "open house" meeting at
the Hotel Carlton this evening for
stamp collectors of Washington and
vicinity. Philip Simms Warren, treas
urer of the organization, will be
chairman of the Reception Committee.
The program includes brief ad
dresses, movies, an exhibition of
stamps and covers, and other features.
Ice-Cutters Win Strike.
CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa., February
13 <>P).—Warm weather probably
would have settled this strike anyway,
but the ice-cutters on Conneaut Lake
got what they wanted. After a two
day walkout the cutting firm granted
a boost of from 20 to 40 cents an
hour and the sawing went on before
the thaw commenced.
COUR! TO PROBE
DIRIGIBLE CRASH
Future of Navy Airships
Hinges on Findings in
Inquiry.
The future of airships in the Navy
hinges upon facts to be developed at
the forthcoming Court of · Inquiry
which will sit shortly aboard one of
the battleships of the United States
fleet. Rear Admiral Ernest J. King,
chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.
Navy Department, today indicated.
This Court of Inquiry, before which
the survivors of the Macon will testify,
will be convened within a couple of
days by the commander in chief of
the United States fleet. Admiral Jo
seph M. Reeves.
"Each man will tell his own story
i of the disaster and this will be pieced
ι together." said Admiral King. "Until
I this is done, it is mere conjecture to
attempt to establish what really hap
pened.
Explosion Reported.
"I have heard rumors about an ex
plosion, but Lieut. Comdr. H. V. Wiley,
commanding, says nothing about it."
The naval air chief gave an inter
view to newspaper men this morning
in his office at the Bureau of Aero
nautics and commented that the
tragedy "could have been a whole
lot worse." He paid high tribute to
Lieut. Comdr. Wiley and said that
he didn't see "how he could have
handled his ship any better under the
circumstances. as the results speak
lor themselves."
Admiral King declared "the disci
pline of the crew was beyond praise
and accounted for the very small loss
of life."
"I think it's wholly unwise and
wrong to attempt to say anything
about the cause of the disaster,"
continued the admiral. "In due course, |
the commander in chief will order a
court of inquiry, whose function it
will be to inquire into the facts."
The fleet is going into San Fran
cisco. the admiral said, explaining that
wherever there is loss of life, there
must be a Court of Inquiry. He added
that he is confidant there will be
ample evidence adduced as to just
how the serious casualty began and
the sequence of events.
Lieut. Comdr. Wiley got prompt in
formation as to what happened aboard
and the ballast and fuel slip tanks
were dropped to balance the ship, said
the admiral. Men were stationed at
all points aboard the Macon and each
will tell his own story, and this will
be pieced together.
The Court of Inquiry, probably to
be held on one of the ships of the
fleet, will likely be a very senior board,
asserted Admiral King. He explained
that such a board plays the same role
in the Navy as does a grand jury, de
, veloping facts upon which to base
any further action.
I As the admiral saw it. the court will
! be composed of three officers and a
! judge advocate. One of these, said
: lie, would be expected to be familiar
with aviation and. if available, a
lighter-than-air officer.
Officials said it was likely the Gen
oral Board of the Navy would be called
upon to decide definitely the military
value of airships and recommend to
Secretary Swanson the policy that
should be adopted.
There was a disposition among line
officers of the service stationed here.!
who are not lighter-than-air experts |
and not even aviators, to view the :
Macon tragedy calmly. Conceding
that there is a structural weakness in
the present design of naval airships,
as indicated by the disasters to the,
Akron and Macon, the officers ex- |
pressed the opinion that the Navy |
should "fight this thing" and not let ι
the structural weaknesses baffle the
service.
PRINCE AND BRIDE
AGAIN HUNT SHARKS
Duke and Duchess of Kent to Fly
Tomorrow From Trinidad to
Windward Islands.
By the Associated Press.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb
ruary 13—A prince turned fisherman,
the Duke of Kent cruised about
Trinidad's Boras Islands yesterday
with his bride in search of sharks.
It was the second time the royal
bridegroom had joined the shark
hunters since arriving here last week
on his honeymoon. Sunday he and
the duchess came back with nothing.
This morning they were oil again.
Prince George vowing he would get
his shark before they come back to
land. Tomorrow they will fly to the
Windward Islands.
Their last night in Trinidad will be
marked by a small private dance to
be given in their honor by Gov. Sir A.
Claude Hollis and Lady Hollis.
SAN JUAN. Puerto Rico, February
13 '/P).—Soldiers m the 2d Battalion
of the 65th Infantry last night were
busy varnishing the iron helmets they
have never worn in public before.
The reason: The Duke and Duchesa
of Kent will arrive in San Juan to
morrow and the 2d Battalion will be
their guard of honor.
«
Cuba Asks for Machado.
HAVANA, February 13 i/P;.—The
State Dtpartment yesterday instructed
the Cuban Minister in Paris, Rene
Morales, to ask the French govern
ment for the extradition of former
President Gerardo Machado on charge·
of murder.
Above, left to right: .Map snow
ing point off California where
dirigible Macon crashed and sank
last night; Lieut. Scott E. Peck,
navigator, who was guiding ship
at time: A. T. Clay, senior officer
on board the Macon, although not
in charge of flight: Lieut. Comdr.
Jesse L. Kenworthy. executive
officer; Lieut. Comdr. Herbert
Wiley, in command of the Macon.
Wiley also survived the Akron dis
aster. giving a startling account of
that crash during the Navy inves
tigation.
At left: Victor L. Babb. who. as |
radio operator at Navy headquarters
in San Francisco, spread the alarm
of the disaster.
Center: The giant dirigible being i
handled by a ground crew. Note j
the tiny figures of men on the
ground.
—A. P. and Wide World Photos. |
Macon's Officers and Crew
By the Associated Press.
SUNNYVALE. Calif., February 13.—
Following are the officers aboard the
stricken U. S. Navy dirigible Macon,
as announced last night by officers of
the Naval Air Base here:
Lieut. Comdr. Herbert V. Wiley,
commanding officer.
Lieut. Comdr. Edwin P. Cochrane,
engineering officer.
Lieut. Comdr. Jesse L. Kenworthy,
executive officer.
Lieut. Comdr. George H. Mills, tac
tical officer.
Lieut. Comdr. Scott E. Peck, navi
gator.
Lieut. Comdr. Donald M. Mackey,
gunnery officer.
Lieut. Calvin M. Bolster.
Lieut. Howard M. Coulter.
Lieut. Anthony L. Danis.
Lieuts. Harold B. Miller, John D.
Reppy and Frederick N. Kivette,
pilots of the airplanes aboard the
Macon.
Lieut. George W. Campbell.
Lieut. Earl A. Van Swearingen.
Lieut. Gerald L. Huff.
Lieut. Leroy C. Simpler.
Lieut. C. S. Rounds.
William A. Buckley, chief boatswain.
Emmett C. Thurman, chief ma
chinist.
Comdr. Alfred T. Clay, scheduled to
replace Comdr. Alger H. Dresel as
commander of the Sunnyvale Naval
Air Base. Comdr. Clay had been as
signed to the Macon as an observer
pending his assumption of the poet
here next June. Lieut. Rounds was
also aboard the Macon as an observer.
The following roster of enlisted men
aboard the Macon when she crashed
also was announced:
Chief Boatswain's Mate R. J. Davis;
deck force, W. Brook, Ε. H. Harring
ton, T. C. Brandes, Ε. M. Jackson, C.
W. Miller, F. S. Donian, C. E. Adams,
L. E. Gentile. M. Feit. A. M. Oliver,
H. R. Rowe, W. H. Herndon, Jr.; W.
Mr. Conover. Β. G. Perks. L. E. Schel
berg, E. W. Kirkpatrick, W. A. Thomp
son, W. A. MecDonald. W. M. Ham
mond, W. H. Clarke. J. B. Connolly,
J. E. Speale and H. H. Ashcraft;
special rating men, P. P. Randall,
A. Prances, W. P. Butcher, J. C. Gil
more, W. S. Kosar, E. E. Dailey. W. J.
Bighouse, H. B. Sullivan, T. Class, V.
T. Moss, M. Cariaso, Edward Quiday,
K. H. McArdle, W. H, Germaine, M. I.
Walters and A. P. Glowaski; engi
neering crew, M. O. Miller, chief petty
officer; A. B. Galatian, M. G. Fraas,
jr.; J. N. Garner, G. L. Dunn, S.
Hooper, C. C. Padette, E. Klasson, C.
M. Sleek, C. S. Solar, J. F. Todd, J.
B. Hall, D. R. Safford, J. C. Jennings,
A. P. Carroll, J. P. Leonard, C. L. De
Forest, J. E. Malha, W. A. Baker, E.
R. Morris, D. W. Rounds, L. E. Leth
oven and F. M. Colvert.
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