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USN Airship Patrol Squadrons in WWII- Coastal Defense Plan and Overseas Operations


For the coastal defense plan, 10 main airship bases were established on the coasts of the Atlantic (5), Gulf of Mexico (2), and Pacific (3) to escort shipping and search for enemy submarines and mines. Seventeen wooden airship hangars were constructed at these bases to house the Navy's non-rigid airships (mostly K-ships). Today, the old airship base at Tillamook has one and Santa Ana, Moffett Field, and Lakehurst each have two of these hangars, which are still some of the largest wooden structures in the world. Overseas, ZP-42 K-ships utilized a German Zeppelin hangar at Santa Cruz, Brazil and ZP-14 K-ships made use of a hangar at Cuers, France which once housed the French Dixumude and the Graf Zeppelin (LZ-127).

 Fleet Airship Wing 1
  Fleet Airship Wing 2
  Fleet Airship Wing 3
  Fleet Airship Wing 4
 ZP-11 at S. Weymouth, MA
 ZP-21 at Richmond, FL
 ZP-31 at Santa Ana, CA
 ZP-41 at Sao Luiz, BR
 ZP-12 at Lakehurst, NJ
 ZP-22 at Houma, LA
 ZP-32 at Moffett Field, CA
 ZP-42 at Maceio, BR
 ZP-14 at Weeksville, NC
 ZP-23 at Hitchcock, TX
 ZP-33 at Tillamook, OR
  Fleet Airship Wing 5
 ZP-15 at Glynco, GA
 ZP-24 at Weeksville, NC
   ZP-51 at Trinidad

ZP-14 K-ships made the first transatlantic crossings by non-rigid airships and the squadron was assigned to Fleet Air Wing 15 at Port Lyautey, French Morocco in 1944. ZP-14 advanced bases were later established at Gibraltar; Oran, Algeria; Cuers, France; Bizerte, Tunisia; Cagliari, Pisa, and Rome, Italy.
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