Seen over Halifax

What’s that ghostly visage cruising over Halifax on an overcast Fourth of July, 1936. Hint: take a closer look at the logo emblazoned on the airship’s tail.

It’s Luftschiff Zeppelin #129, better known as the Hindenburg, on a transatlantic flight just 10 months before its catastrophic docking at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.

The photo is one of many fascinating images on a Nova Scotia Archives web display called An East Coast Port: Halifax in Wartime, 1939-1945.

The Hindenburg overflew the city at about 1000 feet, causing the Halifax Herald to fret two days later over the possibility “those aboard the Hindenburg were taking pictures of Halifax and other places, for the files of the German air ministry.”

The same Nova Scotia Archives web feature includes film clips from the period, including this riveting footage of a German U-Boat crew surrending to US and Canadian vessels off Shelburne in 1945. Note especially the crewmen being patted down at the 0:50 second mark, and the sullen faces of the hapless submariners assembled on an unidentified wharf at the 1:30 mark. This is not how they expected their war to turn out.

UPDATE: Reader Derek Andrews points out that a dirigible—one of ours, presumably—appears in this video as well.

The Nova Scotia Archives also makes its videos available in a more user-friendly format on YouTube.

H/T: Iain Grant and Richard Stephenson, and thanks to the Archives’ social marketing whirlwind Lauren Oostveen.