Blimp Hangar #2 (U. S. “Lighter Than Air” Airship Dock #2)
End of SR 1126, 1.1. mi. east of NC 34
No longer standing
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 out to sea, 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 second one, #2, was built of wood and concrete rather than steel because of wartime materials restrictions, and it was an 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, https://northcarolinaroom.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/the-u-boat-war-in-north-carolina/