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Miss Moffett: 1923

Miss Moffett: 1923

Washington, D.C., circa 1923. "Janet Moffett, debutante daughter of Rear Admiral Moffett." 5x7 inch glass negative, Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


As mentioned before

Miss Moffett is a favorite around here. I wonder if she was wearing the same coat in this previous Shorpy shot:

Any Flying Phobia?

She lost both her father and her husband in aircraft crashes in the same year (1933). I wonder if she tried to keep her loved ones out of the skies from then on?


A bad year for Janet. Her father was killed in the aforementioned dirigible accident in April, then her husband was killed in a plane crash on take off in November.

The Admiral's Daughter

There's a joke in there somewhere.

The daughter of naval aviation

Little Miss Moffett is a Shorpy favorite

Here she was on Shorpy in 2008. Quite an active family in U.S. aviation.

Doomed Hero

Sadly, Miss Moffett would lose her father ten years later when the dirigible USS Akron sank off the New Jersey coast in 1933. William A. Moffett was the Navy's greatest proponent of using dirigibles for fleet scouting operations. The airship base at Sunnyvale, California was named in his honor, though it's been a long time since the last gas bag landed there.

Non-Rated Father of Naval Aviation

In addition to siring three sons and at least this one daughter, Admiral William Moffett is considered the father of naval Aviation for having headed the Bureau of Aeronautics during its formative years. Though never qualified as a pilot, he had the misfortune to be a passenger aboard the dirigible Akron when it went down in 1933 off the Jersey coast, and perished.

The dual irony is that he was both a champion of lighter-than-air craft and just a few months shy of the age for mandatory retirement at the time of his death.

The former dirigible base near Sunnyvale, CA (now a NASA facility) was named Moffett Naval Air Station in his honor. The immense hangars are -- or used to be, at least -- visible from the 101.

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