Graf Zeppelin’s Round-the-World flight: August, 1929

by Dan Grossman on August 15, 2010

August is the anniversary of Graf Zeppelin’s Round-the-World flight in 1929.

In honor of this anniversary, I have published a list of passengers and crew aboard the flight.

The flight was made in five stages:

Lakehurst – Friedrichshafen
August 7, 1929 – August 10, 1929
7,068 km / 55 hrs 22 mins

Weltfahrt: Lakehurst - Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen – Tokyo
August 15, 1929 – August 19, 1929
11,247 km / 101 hrs 49 mins

weltfahrt-map-fried-tokyo

Tokyo – Los Angeles
August 23, 1929 – August 26, 1929
9,653 km / 79 hrs 3 mins

weltfahrt-map-tokyo-la

Los Angeles – Lakehurst
August 27, 1929 – August 29, 1929
4,822 km / 51 hrs 57 mins

weltfahrt-map-la-nj

Lakehurst – Friedrichshafen
September 1, 1929 – September 4, 1929
8,478 km / 57 hrs 31 mins

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexey Belokrys July 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm

The trans-Asian leg of the flight has gathered significant media coverage in the Soviet newspapers. Not always benevolent. Some said the Zep flew almost unnoticed, and this was disturbing. The Japanese also noted that the flight was somewhat of military reconnaissance nature.

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Ingrid June 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

I have been enlightened about this Historical moment.

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Ingrid May 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I have a beautiful post card, that was sent to my great uncle and aunt, to England posted September 26’1929. Picture of The Ambassador hotel, Los Angeles, California . With the “Graff Zeppelin” On it with stamp from the Boden see, Friedrichshafen….
It looks like the card went in the “Graf Zepplin” to , Friedrichshafen, Bodensee Luft Post…
Got back to the U. S. And was sent September 26th, 1929 !

This post card was sent by my great Aunties sister Bessie Roth. and her husband, Gene.

Date of card , Los Angeles post stamp August 27, . It includes a large circular red stamp reading : First Round the World Flight, U. S. Air Mail
The postcard reads ” Columbus – Jules Verne – are outdone. the wonderful “Graf Zeppelin” passed over our home in Hollywood, at 1.40 am In its history flight around the world By Air..And who was not thrilled in the strangest way?

A loving message to you all. Bessie and Gene

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Janice Hokerson March 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

In going through my husband’s old things I discovered a framed letter or postcard ( still in a frame with backing) addressed to his grandmother that was sent via German Airship L.Z #127 Los Angeles to Lakehurst Postmarked Richmond CA, August 26th – 9:30AM -1929 and again postmarked Lakehurst NJ, August 29th – 9:30AM. It has a 4 stamps on it 2 us 5 cents and 1 us 50 cents plus a sticker that says Graph Zeppelin-Round-The-World-Flight inside a drawing of the Graph Zeppelin in bright green on a crème background. I enjoyed reading all the stories above and will keep them for my grandchildren with the Framed document.

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Patrick Harvey March 18, 2014 at 10:48 am

My grandmother, Gertrude Ames, once told me that she had seen a UFO when she was a young woman, near Joplin, Missouri. She described it as cigar-shaped and flying against the wind. I figure that she may have seen the Graf Zeppelin.

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Steve September 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I have a LZ 127 cover. It was addressed to someone in New York City (from someone in Massachusetts.) It says Los Angeles to Lakehurst but has cancellations from Los Angeles – August 26 and on the back Friedrichshafen – September 4. This corresponds with the Around The World flight but did the cover actually fly to Germany? How did it make it back to the USA and why are there no cancellations that show the journey after September 4?

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Hartland Smith January 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm

It was after dark on a late August night in 1929 that my family and some neighbors decided to head toward Ford Airport in Dearborn, MI. There was talk on the radio that the Graf Zeppelin might land there, since Ford Airport boasted a Zeppelin Mooring Mast. We were heading down Southfield Road when my mother spotted a moving star in the western sky. We stopped the car, walked into a farmer’s pumpkin patch and watched as the moving star came closer and closer. We tried to stop the many autos headed toward Ford Airport with no luck. Soon, a giant fish with lights in its belly flew directly over us. I was almost 7 years old at the time and I definitely remember seeing the Graf on its round the world flight. What a thrill. I’ve never been aboard a Zeppelin, but I have flown in two different Goodyear blimps. Once over Chicago and again over Cleveland.

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Bill Smith June 29, 2012 at 4:06 am

I remember being held up to see the Graf Zeppelin pass over Chillicothe Missouri
on a bright, sunny day. My Mother, Olevia Smith and my aunts, Mary and Nell Smith were very excited. Since that would have been in August of 1929 I would have been two months shy of two years old. It was very big and noisy. I thought it was the biggest bumblebee I had ever seen and was very scared.

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Gladys Fordham May 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

As a young child my brother and I living south of Dixon, Illinois saw the Gras Zepellin in the south about where Mendota is located traveling east. I will never
forget it!

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Gladys Fordham May 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Gentlemen, I remember as a child living south of Dixon, Illinois when my brother and I were home in the country we saw what we later learned was the Gras Zeplin going east about where Mendota is located. I will never forget it!
Gladys Fordham

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isac Galvao September 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hi Gladys! This is amazing.
I am learning about the subject to make an small project about it. If you want to share you memories, it would be great!
Take care!

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Marv Hoffmeyer April 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm

When I was a youngster I saw the Graf Zeppelin fly over city of Detroit from our back porch which was about a mile from the Tiger’s ballpark named Navin Field then I believe. Prompted by a website a friend sent me of a small zeppelin opperating in the San Fancisco bay area, flying out of Oakland and taking passengers on a one hour tour, piloted by an English young lady, I started my search for the newspaper clipping showing the Graf flying over downtown Detroit. I found the picture in the scrap book that my dad started. The date was not clear, but thanks to this website I found that I was only six when I saw the graff that day in August of !929.

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Maryann Brown August 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My 93-year-old aunt tells of seeing the Graf Zeppelin flying over Kittanning, PA when she was a young girl. Said all of the kids came running out of the house to see it, and they could hear music coming from the gondola. This must have been part of the 1929 world tour (making her 12 at the time, which fits).

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isac Galvao September 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Hi Marynn!Can she tell more about it?
Thank you very much.

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Peter Alan Clark July 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi,
thanks for the written comments, it is good to read about the positive things the Zeppelins achieved. Wouldnt it be great to see a large ship run again!To my mind they are cleaner than aircraft, if you want to sight see are brilliant.
I wouldnt mind taking one up to 100,000 feet, being longer than a balloon would it be more stable?Theres a challenge regards LandRoverPETER c-treon@hotmail.com

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Clyde Riggle May 5, 2011 at 2:17 am

I have in my collectionan”interrupted flight” ppc of LZ3(my german friends insist this is it, I don’t have any source material to back it up myself)flown from Freidrichshafen on 15 Mai 1929 and arriving in Anaconda, Montana shortly after it’s arrival in NYC on August 5th of 1929. Has red handstamp basically saying it was held up on the 1st Amerikafahrt. Any one else know about this flight, I have seen several other examples.IE who ,what,when, where and why would make my stamp clubs day./ I belong to the Germany Philatelic Society#9991. Viele Danke, thanks alot.

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Edwin Daley April 8, 2011 at 12:18 am

I have seen three of the rigid airships. On its world flight in 1929 the Graf Zeppelin flew over my home town of Erie, PA. I was only two and a half years old at the time, but I have a distinct memory of seeing it. A couple of years later the Los Angeles (LZ-126, U.S. Navy ZR 3) flew directly over our house, headed south, then made a 180 degree turn to the west and then north. A year or so after that the Akron (ZRS 4) flew west to east over Erie, and I saw that. Seeing the Los Angeles and the Akron were fortunate opportunities, as I had no advance knowledge that they were coming – I just happened to be outside when they appeared. At the time I had no idea what unusual experiences these would turn out to be.

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Dale Berkihiser March 1, 2011 at 3:01 am

I was 13 years old when one night dad put the family in our car to go see the Graf Zeppelin leave Mines Field (LAX), Los Angeles, in the middle of the night. The newspapers said that this time of night was chosen because the air was more dense therefore making the airship have more lifting power with which to carry its huge payload.
I recall seeing the zeppelin take off and it was flooded with floodlights from the ground, the only lights around. The newspapers next morning described how the dirigible barely made it over the power lines because the dew on the covering was heavier than anticipated. The press claimed that ballast (or something, I forget) had to be shifted so that the zeppelin could “hurdle” over the power lines. I don’t know if this was really true or not, but the sight was so very impressive.

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L. Prendergast October 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

About 1928/1929 we saw a huge zepellin pass over our house in Tama, Iowa. I am thinking now that it was the Graf on the Round the World flight. This was on a Sunday, seems like it was after Sunday dinner, a sunny day. It was flying very low and we were located about a block from railroad, and it occured to me later that it might have being using the tracks as landmark on its way to Chicago. It was an awesome sight, and one I never forgot. Any info on this flight greatly appredicated.

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