LAKEHURST – While the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society museum remains closed, the 84th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster was not left unobserved on May 6. The tragedy claimed the lives of 36 people.
Carl Jablonski, the long-time president of the NLHS said he was pleased that a ceremony could be held at the Hindenburg crash site this year. Last year a virtual ceremony was held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s ceremony also served to not only note the loss of those who died during the fateful night in 1937 but “we also observed those served in all the branches of the military with a parade of wreaths.”
Jablonski noted that the NLHS was still closed due to the pandemic but “we hope to reopen shortly. Our collection is there and we are all ready to go.”
Normally, the organization offers tours at the base and has a gift shop in its museum. Jablonski said “base security checks our spaces, displays and gift shop areas on a daily basis.”
Last year’s planned air show at the McGuire Air Force portion of the Joint Base was another casualty of the pandemic but Jablonski said he believes it will return next year.
The pandemic negatively impacted the group’s financial status. “The airshow and our gift shop provided NLHS with our main source of income. However, we still have expenses to take care of.”
Although Navy Lakehurst will forever be remembered as the site of the Hindenburg disaster, many other significant events have taken place here. The station was the western terminus for the commercial transatlantic flights of the German dirigibles Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin. It also served as the first international airport in the United States. The first Navy Helicopter Squadron and the first live ejection seat test were at Navy Lakehurst.
Jablonski said the organization’s membership remains strong and stands at 225. Those wishing to make a donation to the NLHS can do so by sending a check to the group’s address which is NLHS PO Box 328 Lakehurst, New Jersey, 08733. The group’s website also links to a PayPal account to accept donations.