Built by the U.S. Navy in 1923, the Shenandoah was one of four airships that used a new structure design. The frame made from a new alloy of aluminum and copper, called duralumin. The outer cover was constructed of durable cotton cloth, which was sewn, taped or laced to the frame and then painted with aluminum dope.
It was to be used as a scouting vessel in the U.S. Navy weapon systems, armed with 6, 30cal Lewis machine guns and the capacity to hold 8, 500lb bombs. When finally completed, the Shenandoah was 680ft long, 93ft hight and weighted 77,500 pounds. Top speeds were around 60kt.
On September 3, 1925, while on a promotional flight of the Midwest, which included a flyover of the Noble County Fair, the Shenandoah was caught in a updraft that caused the helium gas bags to burst, causing the airship to be ripped apart and crash to the ground, killing 13 members, including the commanding officer, LCDR Zachary Lansdowne.
An isolated US flag on the east side of Interstate 77 in Noble County Ohio, marks the final resting spot of the U.S.S. Shenandoah.