The U.S.S. Akron, built in 1931 for the U.S. Navy by the Goodyear Plant in Akron, Ohio, was a 785 foot rigid helium filled dirigible. The Akron and her sister ship, the U.S.S. Macon, hold the record for being the largest helium filled airships. In 1932 and 1933 the Akron made 58 successful flights crossing the United States many times!
The June 18, 1932 J-TAC states:
AKRON CREATES EXCITEMENT
PASSING NEAR STEPHENVILLE
Sunday evening, June 12, the huge Akron dirigible was seen gliding eastward near Stephenville. There was a bit of excitement displayed on the campus when two faculty members of the college discovered what it was. Upon first sight, they believed it to be a small dark cloud, moving at great speed - for a cloud - and neither of them had seen anything in the papers concerning its appearance.
Both faculty members hesitated in making known their discovery until they were sure of what it was. they did not wish to be accused of having wild imaginations. Just conscientious scruples or something similar!
What a sight that must have been for the Tarleton students in 1926! After making the many flights across the United States, the Akron's final flight was to take them to Philadelphia, the Delaware Capes, and up along the coast. The weather was great when she soared above the City of Brotherly Love, but by midnight they encountered a storm off the coast of Atlantic City, which would be its demise. The Akron crashed and sank April 4, 1933.