"Set the watches and pipe down."
February 12, 2006 10:05 PM Subscribe
Desperate for Depression Era jobs, the communities of Santa Clara, Alameda, San Mateo and San Francisco raised 476,066 dollars to purchase 1000 acres of land in the fertile Santa Clara Valley and put their community in the running for the first West Coast base for rigid airships. On February 20th, 1933, President Hoover signed the bill that authorized the Navy to accept the Mountain View property. Half of the five million dollars appropriated for construction went to the building of Hangar One, the eventual home of the USS Macon. Sunnyvale Naval Air Station, commissioned on April 4th, 1933, was renamed Moffett Field after the death of RAdm William Moffett in the crash of the airship USS Akron. On February 12th, 1935, the USS Macon ditched off Point Sur, effectively ending the Navy's rigid airship program.
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