Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Albert Holderried

Albert Holderried 3Crew Member

Age: 26

Hometown: Langenenslingen, Germany

Occupation: Mechanic

Location at time of fire: Keel walkway, aft crosswalk

Died, either in wreck or in infirmary

Albert Holderried, born on February 4th, 1911 in Langenenslingen, was one of the Hindenburg’s mechanics. He served an apprenticeship as an engine mechanic, and on September 1st, 1930, at the age of 19, he began working with the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin and soon was assigned to duties in the company's gas works. His work impressed his employers so much that Holderried was sent to South America, first to Pernambuco and later to Rio de Janeiro, to work on construction of the hydrogen plants at the airship bases there.

Holderried was eventually asked to serve on the Hindenburg as an engine mechanic, and joined the ship's crew on August 1st, 1936. He flew with the Hindenburg for the rest of the 1936 season, and was aboard on the ship's first North American flight of 1937.

As the Hindenburg came in to land at Lakehurst at the end of the flight, on the evening of May 6th, Holderried was on keel watch on the walkway at the aft crosswalk leading to engine gondolas 1 and 2, one of several crew members who were routinely ordered to take up positions at points in the ship where their weight would help to bring the ship into trim in preparation for mooring.

Albert Holderried's location at the time of the fire (diagram is top view of ship.)

As he wasn't far from the source of the fire, and since he was stationed in the portion of the stern which fell almost immediately to the ground, chances are that Holderried was trapped by wreckage and unable to escape.

Albert Holderried died, either in the wreck or in the air station's infirmary shortly thereafter. His body was shipped home where he was buried in his hometown of Langenenslingen.

On May 6th, 2007, the 70th anniversary of his death, a memorial ceremony was held in Langenenslingen. Albert Holderried's nephew, Franz Holderried, unveiled a restored gravestone for his uncle at a ceremony at the town cemetery.

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