It was the first successful Atlantic crossing by an airship and met with matchless jubilation in the United States. As the giant airship flew over New York harbor, it was greeted by the stupendous noise of the city's fire sirens and the sirens of the ships lying at dock in the harbor. On arrival at Lakehurst, the thousands of people who had come to watch the landing maneuvers almost prevented the airship from entering its huge hangar. The German crew was led through the streets of New York in a triumphal parade. The airship was then flown to Washington and officially christened the USS LOS ANGELES by the first lady. Dr. Eckener and his officers were then invited by President Calvin Coolidge to an official reception in the White House. The President considered the flight of the airship more than a technological milestone; he called the flight by Dr. Eckener and his crew a message of peace with which, after the war years, decisively contributed toward Germany's renewed acceptance into the Community of Nations. When enthusiastic American viewers spontaneously broke into singing the German national anthem during the showing of a film about the Atlantic crossing of the ZR-3, the war in Europe so recently left behind seemed forgotten. On a political level, the ZR-3 had helped significantly to overcome post-World War One anti-German feeling in the United States, a gain later nullified by Hitler's anti-Semitism and aggression.
     The USS Los Angeles had the most successful and longest life of any rigid airship ever built. Indispensable for training and airship development projects, she was in flying service until June 30, 1932 having logged more than 4000 flight hours. She served as a ground test vehicle until officially stricken from the Navy List on October 24, 1939.

Senior Military Attaché

     On June 30, 1924, Major Geiger was designated to succeed Lt. Colonel Foulois as Senior Military Attaché (Aviation) by Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick, Chief of the Air Service. He and Lt. Colonel Foulois had made many aviation friends in Germany, some who later became very famous, one way or another: Dr. Hugo Eckener, Herr G. Dornier, Ernst Heinkel, Anthony W. Fokker, Hermann Goering, Ernst Heinkel, Dr. Hugo Junkers, Gustav Krupp and Ernst Udet. A lot had been accomplished. The Germans hated the British, French, and Italians for the plundering of their industries, but they had a more friendly attitude toward the Americans. American policies of playing fair with its former enemies and paying for what was received netted millions of dollars worth of advanced aeronautical data for the United States, but it was peacetime and the war had been over for more than six years and much of what was learned in Germany would later be disregarded.

Back to the United States

     By 1925 Major Geiger and his family had been in Germany for four years. He wanted to command a flying unit and they returned to the United States in the fall. His first assignment was at Langley Field, Virginia where he again took up heavier-than-air flying. He took the flying course of instruction at the Air Service Tactical School at Langley and showed himself to be as proficient in flying as he had formerly been 10 years before.

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