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The History of LST 325

The History of LST 325



the lst-325 has had over 65 years of service and has seen the shores of North Africa Sicily and Normandy after sailing mini seas it was pressed into service by the Greek Navy and later junked into the shipyards of Crete it was reclaimed by a group of veterans and traveled over 6,000 miles back to America after a long journey the LST 325 has finally found a permanent home in Evansville and serves as our community's new tourist attraction in Pennsylvania in October of 1942 the LSC 325 was launched onto the first of many missions during the European conflict it participated in the invasion of Normandy and had many more critical battles during the World War two the Aussies main function was a tank and vehicle transport that could land on the beach heads while the LST was most often identified with delivering tanks and trucks they also transported supplies ranging from gasoline and ammunition to beer for the troops sometimes they would serve as temporary hospital transports and remove only troops from action following the war most LSTs were sold for their scrap or given to our allies to serve in their navies after the war in 1946 325 was decommissioned from the US Navy in 1951 the LC was active within the military sea transport Arctic operations in 1964 it was sent to Greece and served in their Navy for many years until is decommissioned in 1999 but the cultural impact that the Greeks had upon it remains to this day in the 1990s a group of retired LLC veterans had a dream to educate people about their role in the role of the ships in winning World War two the LSTs were a critical part in our success in world war ii and were also the unsung heroes being overshadowed by bigger and more glamorous ships it was really where the work one of the workhorses of the Navy where they LSD because they ever did was ship that they had it could actually land troops and equipment or take him off for beaches on the old veterans formed the USS shipping Oriole Inc whose mission was to save and restore an LST in 2000 the LST 325 was acquired by USS ship memorial incorporated originally they set out to acquire the LST 391 which was built in Evansville after much strenuous work to get a law passed allowing them to bring it home they returned to Greece only to find the 391 stripped and far beyond repair the group then decided to recover the LST 325 which was sitting at dock in the shipyards led by Robert Jordan the retired military servicemen paid more than $2,000 a piece to travel two degrees to recover the lst-325 the servicemen were at a significant disadvantage with the average age of the crewmen being 72 there were many necessary repairs that had to be made before the ship could make a trip back home the crew worked in temperatures that averaged 104 degrees Robert Jordan had stepped in as captain after the original leader returned home after all the repairs were made to get the LST operational the crew then set out on a 78 day journey to return home conditions on the 6,000 mile trip were extremely harsh the crew had been warned by US officials not to attempt the trip considering the age of the crew the condition of the ship and the hazards of crossing the Atlantic in January many feared that it might not survive they persevered despite the discouraging views of others the crew was not alone in keeping the ship running the u.s. embassy convinced the Greek Navy to help out with aiding the crew without which the LC repairs could not have been possible upon the journey home the LC faced many roadblocks two compasses failed steering was lost and two out of the three generators stopped working it was broken down in Gibraltar and more repairs were made before they could cross the Atlantic the LST crew received help from the Bruce Petrov by donating a fifty two thousand gallons of diesel fuel and for Higgins boats the ship returned to Mobile Alabama in January of 2001 commander Jackson Carter the LSTs executive officer passed away five weeks after returning home he served as an avid ham radio operator and assisted immensely in recovering and restoring the ship in Greece at first Mobil became somewhat of a holding place for the LST the veterans and members of the USS Ship memorial incorporated knew that if a return to mobile overshadowed by the great battleships and destroyers then it would perish without receiving the type of publicity that it would receive in a different location from there the LST began its – route up the Mississippi River to Evansville upon the first day of touring it was estimated that the ship received 30,000 viewers for the ten-day tour in Evansville it stayed for ten days a marina point in downtown Evansville well our first arrival Evansville was in July of all three that was for a 10-day visit and that was quite something about 35,000 people came through in ten days there was lines all the way down onto Water Works Road constant during World War two Evansville led the nation in production of landing ship tanks by producing 167 LSTs Captain Robert Jordan was thoroughly impressed by the large crowd drawn from Evansville saying it was the greatest amount of people he had seen altering the LSTs due to these reasons and the great determination of the council for the LST in the fall of 2005 the lst-325 became a permanent memorial for Evansville within a short amount of time the importance of the LST that the veterans had recognized became visible to the public annually there is an LSU week in September that is dedicated to the lst-325 and the many veterans involved in previous wars in the summer of 2007 a d-day reenactment was held with many old active war crafts with the LST leading the way the 325 is the only landing ship tank that has the aptitude for being in a reenactment as it is the only running LST today in company with some 2,000 viewers of this reenactment was the History Channel crew filming footage for an upcoming special also in 2007 The History Channel did additional filming aboard the ship for the series hero ships I'll be a 13-part series you know aircraft carriers will be one of the heroes ships and submarines etc LSTs are one of those and so we'll get a full one-hour show in History Channel due to the publicity generated by History Channel the austie became very popular on a local and national scale DLC as of 2007 has received over 50,000 viewers the LST 325 serves as a great token to all veterans a generous swelling of pride is felt within every heart and military heart for this monument the LST 325 represents the history and potential of the city they may not have the flamboyance of a battleship or aircraft carrier but the OSI holds a part in every proud member of this city as a great representation of Evansville contribution the courage and determination of those who have passed is forever cemented with LSD you


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