Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering Bartholomew B. O'Sullivan and the Shenandoah Air Disaster

The United States Navy's first American made Dirigible was the Shenandoah ZR-1. The Shenandoah was 680 feet long and had six 300 HP engines capable of going 60 MPH. It flew on the east coast and was based in Lakehurst, New Jersey. 

Photo Courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

On September 2, 1925 she crashed in three pieces after breaking up in heavy winds over Ada, Ohio. Fourteen men of the crew of 42 were killed.  Chief Petty Officer, Bartholomew B. O'Sullivan a nineteen year resident of Lowell, Massachusetts was killed. He was thirty five years old. 

Photo Courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

He was born in New York and moved to Andover, Massachusetts as a small child. He graduated from Lawrence High School and Lowell Textile school. He was married to the former Elizabeth Rawley. He left four children; Edward who became Rev. O'Sullivan, OMI of the Immaculate Conception parish, Francis, Bart Jr. and Elizabeth who later married James Dunn. 

His funeral was widely attended at Sacred Heart Church on Moore Street. His flag draped casket was carried on the Battery B caisson. The funeral cortege proceeded for burial at St. Patrick's cemetery on Gorham Street. Planes flew overhead to honor the valiant hero. Thank you.

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