Max Pruss

Deceased Person

Max Pruss (13 September 1891 - 28 November 1960) was the commander of the LZ 129 Hindenburg on its last voyage and a surviving crew member of the zeppelin disaster. Max Pruss was born in 1891 in Sgonn, East Prussia (now Zgon, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland). He joined the German Navy in 1906 and completed airship training during World War I, serving as an elevatorman on the German Zeppelins. Pruss received command of the Hindenburg in 1936 on the third flight to Rio Di Janeiro. Pruss was commander of the airship during the Hindenburg disaster of 6 May 1937. This was his first time commanding a trip to Lakehurst. Pruss and several crew members rode the Hindenburg down to the ground as it burned, then ordered everybody out. He carried radio operator Willy Speck out of the wreckage, then looked for survivors until rescuers were forced to restrain him. Pruss, however, suffered extensive burns and had to be taken out by ambulance to Paul Kimball Hospital in Lakehurst. The burns were so extensive that he was given last rites, but although his face was disfigured for the rest of his life, his condition improved over the next few months. Pruss was unable to testify at investigative  ( Wikipedia article )


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