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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Paintings of Naval Aviation

 

The Convoy Brood
Adolf Dehn #11
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CH

Like maternal hens, Navy blimps hover over a sea-borne convoy, alert to any danger on the horizon or beneath the surface. Airships are capable of speeds of 60 knots or more, yet can ride indefinitely over danger spots. Their cargo of depth bombs makes them a deadly danger to the submarine. As convoy escorts, the lighter-than-air branch of the Navy has played its part in reopening coastal shipping lanes.

 

Lighter-Than-Air Fleet
Adolf Dehn #8
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CE

Strung out over a coastal inlet, a fleet of Navy blimps steers for home. Known to the Navy as "K Ships"--denoting their class--they are a sturdy breed. The lines trailing from the blimp in the foreground are handling lines, which will be caught by the landing crews to ease the big craft into a soft landing.

 

Landing Lines Trailing
Adolf Dehn #2
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BY

 

A Navy blimp comes carefully in for a landing. Long training and expert ground supervision provide quick, exact handling of the lines in bringing the big non-rigid airships earthward. The skipper will keep his engines turning over, however, until he is fast to make sure he has a reserve of power for quick maneuvering in case of emergency.

 

Safe Landing
Adolf Dehn #7
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CD

Cabin landing wheel settles to earth, and this Navy airship has made another landing. So well trained and skilled are Navy ground crews, that blimp landing accidents are rare. The big "K Ships" possess stability and control from twin engines and their fins and rudder astern.

 

Home Berth
Adolf Dehn #6
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CC

Looming big and awkward on the ground, a Navy airship is walked toward the portable mooring mast where a crewman waits to make it fast to the mooring swivel. Once brought snug against the mast, the blimp is able to revolve in a full 360 degree circle, or be towed into the hangar to its berth beside other non-rigids.

 

Down Ship
Adolf Dehn #1
Watercolor; 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-BX

Landing lines trail, and bow dips, as a Navy blimp nuzzles up to its mooring mast at completion of the day's mission. Other ships of the unit hover, meanwhile, over the field awaiting their turn. Note mooring man at the mooring swivel atop the portable mooring mast. He will take a line from the blimp's nose to make the ship snug to the swivel.

 

Home the Weary Blimpman Makes His Way
Adolf Dehn #5
Watercolor; 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CB

Navigating lights atwinkle and cabin windows agleam, an airship unit comes in to a landing after dark as a portable floodlight illumines the mooring scene. The blimp in the foreground has made fast a line to the mooring mast, and is being worked in to attach it to the mooring swivel after which it will be walked into its hangar. Ground crews strain at the hand lines, while the propellers still turn to allow the skipper maneuverability.

 

By the Light of the Moon
Adolf Dehn #4
Watercolor; 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-CA

A Navy airship rests immobile at its mooring mast, engines idle, as its crews walks forward in a floodlight's illumination. Engines soon will turn over, and it will be released to take to moonlit skies on a night mission. Meanwhile the ground crew, hands in pockets against the sharp night air, idle alertly in position until they are called to the handling lines.

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01 August 2001