Sunday, January 4, 2009
Hometown: Isny im Allgäu, Germany
Location at time of fire: keel gangway, amidships
Died, either in wreck or in infirmary
Alois Reisacher was one of the Hindenburg's mechanics. Born on September 14, 1909 in Isny im Allgäu, Reisacher apprenticed as a mechanic, and between 1927 and 1934 he worked variously for Luftschiffbau Zeppelin and Maybach Motorenbau. In August of 1936 he was hired by the Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei to serve as one of the engine mechanics aboard the LZ 129 Hindenburg.
Reisacher was aboard the Hindenburg's first flight to North America of the 1937 season. As the ship came in to land at Lakehurst on May 6th at the end of the flight, Reisacher was at his landing station on the lower keel walkway amidships, at or near the forward crosswalk leading to engine gondolas 3 and 4. This was just about at the point where the ship broke in two shortly after the outbreak of the fire, and was also the point at which about 50 feet of the ship's framework telescoped into the ground as the bow pointed skyward, and quite probably this was why Reisacher was unable to find an escape route.
Alois Reisacher died, either in the wreck or in the air station infirmary shortly afterward.
Thanks also to Herr Manfred Sauter of the Freundeskreis zur Förderung des Zeppelin Museums e.V., whose memorial article on the Hindenburg crew members who lost their lives at Lakehurst (Zeppelin Brief, No. 59, June 2011) provided additional details on Reisacher's career, and to Dr. Cheryl Ganz for providing me with a copy of the article.