Blimp Hangar #1 (U. S. “Lighter Than Air” Airship Dock #2)

Luther Lashmit, architect


Weeksville, Pasquotank County
Street Address:

End of SR 1126, 1.1. mi. east of NC 34





Images Published In:

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).


To protect the nation against attacks from German U-boats (submarines), the United States Navy commissioned a series of coastal air bases with giant hangars for surveillance blimps that could float over the ocean and locate the U-boats, sometimes attacking them, other times lingering over them to enable warships to attack them.

Two hangars were built at the base near Elizabeth City near the community of Weeksville. Architect Luther Lashmit was part of a team that designed the immense and novel hangars. The first, #1, is built of steel with great clamshell doors from which the giant vessels emerge. At 960 feet long and looming 300 feet above the flat landscape, it is an awe-inspiring sight. (The second one, #2, was built of wood because of wartime materials restrictions, and at 1,058 feet long was an equally imposing sight until it was destroyed by fire in 1995. Its wooden structure was described as the largest in the world at the time.) They were put into service in 1942, with the blimps playing an effective role in defending against U-boats. (“The U-boat war in North Carolina,” Forsyth County Public Library, Fam Brownlee, 2013,