excerpt from Blimp Training Diary
Excerpt from the Blimp Training Diary, April, 1946.

Guide to the Blimp Training Diary, 1946

MS 400

A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
Nimitz Library

Naval Academy Seal

United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029

Prepared by: David D'Onofrio

November 2009

Descriptive Summary

Provenance:
Purchase. Accession No. 09-01.
Size:
0.5 linear inches.
Access:
Access to the Blimp Training Diary is unrestricted.
Copyright:
The Blimp Training Diary is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
Permission:
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information
Preferred Citation:
Blimp Training Diary, MS 400
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Biographical Sketch

The unidentified author of the Blimp Training Diary enlisted, most likely in the United States Naval Reserve, on March 6, 1943, at the age of seventeen. The author received lighter-than-air flight training and ground schooling at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Jackson, New Jersey throughout the spring and summer of 1946, where he trained on G and K class blimps, as well as balloons.

Scope and Content Note

The Blimp Training Diary, comprising a single, unbound, thirty-five page journal excerpt, spans from April until July 1946. The diary, which alternates between handwritten and typewritten, is a first-hand, daily account of the author's lighter-than-air training and social life at Lakehurst Naval Air Station.

Many of the entries throughout the diary make brief mention of the author's training experiences, such as training flights, basic blimp and balloon operation, and ground school classes and curriculum, as well as the author's opinions towards specific instructors and ground school classes. The author also makes frequent mention of various aspects of military life not specifically related to his training, such as meals in the mess hall, laundry, payday, and ongoing efforts to receive a "fogie/fogy" [longevity pay raise]. However, the bulk of the entries pertain to the author's social life and recreational activities. Among the activities and events the author describes are various dances, cocktail parties, movies, and trips to Philadelphia. The author also frequently discusses socializing with women from nearby Georgian Court College and his experiences with his 1936 Plymouth.

Container List

Box Folder  
1 1 April 5 - April 19, 1946

Entries include descriptions of blimp takeoff and landing (April 8), list of ground school classes (April 9), opinion of ground school classes (April 15), use of manual toggles during flight (April 17), a training flight over Throggs Neck, New York (April 18), and a description of the Cathedral of the Air in Lakehurst (April 19).

2 April 20 - May 16, 1946

Entries include descriptions of attempts to receive a "fogie" [longevity pay] (May 1), standing pressure watch (May 4), minor accident involving a K class blimp (May 6), quiz preparation (May 7), reference to the M class blimp treated as a "sacred cow" (May 9) balloon flight (May 14), socializing with Georgian Court students (May 4 and 11), and the purchase of a 1936 Plymouth (May 16).

3 May 17 - June 11, 1946

Entries include descriptions of a Jessica Dragonette concert at Georgian Court (May 19), distaste of Navigation instructor's teaching methods (May 23), participation in a Memorial Day parade (May 27 and 30), "fogie" authorization (June 10), deflating a blimp (June 11 - July 1), and persistent car repairs (June 8, 9, and June 11 - July 1).

4 July 1 - July 31, 1946

Entries include descriptions of inflation of blimp K-21 (July 7), an aerology film produced by Disney (July 9), navigation training flights (July 29 and 30), rejection of transfer application to the regular Navy (July 10 -25), and various car repairs.