A windy clearing surrounded by a forlorn forest of scrub pines is the setting of the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst. N. J. Above the plain looms a sombre hangar, home of the Navy's Los Angeles and of other dirigibles when they visit the U. S., a structure so enormous that it has contained two mammoth and two smaller bags all at once. But, even in the Skyscraper Age, size is not everything. The relatively tiny, thoughtfully beautiful chapel may attract quite as much attention as the mighty, bleakly utilitarian hangar.
Conceived as a "Cathedral of the Air" by the Rev. Gill Robb Wilson of Trenton, N. J., onetime National Chaplain of the American Legion, the chapel's solemn purpose is to memorialize the U. S. military dead, particularly those of the aviation service. Under the auspices of the New Jersey American Legion, famed Philadelphia Architect Paul Phillipe Cret has prepared plans for a sturdy Norman-Gothic edifice with a steep-gabled carillon tower, suggesting the village churches of France. A minute side chapel, seating possibly a score, will have altar vessels of duralumin salvaged from the wreck of the Naval dirigible Shenandoah which soared away from Lakehurst and crumpled over Ava, Ohio, in 1925 (TIME, Sept. 14, 1925). Non-sectarian services will be conducted by the Navy's Lakehurst resident chaplain.
A two-week (Feb. 9-22) campaign for funds will be directed by Herbert H. Blizzard of Audubon, N. J., active American Legionary, prime proponent of the Chapel scheme. Estimated requirement: $150,000. Let donors address: Bayard R. Kraft, 525 Cooper St., Camden, N. J.