Happy Belated Birthday, US Navy!
I wish I had this post ready yesterday to coincide with the Navy's birthday, but the pictures I wanted to use were on my home computer. So.... I'm a day late, but I think you'll enjoy it anyway!
I present to you... the LST-325, visited by yours truly during Tall Stacks in Cincinnati last weekend.
The LST-325 was launched October 27, 1942 and was immediately put to use in Oran, Algeria in preparation for Operation HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily. The LST-325 also saw action on Omaha Beach, June 7, 1944 as a part of Force B. The Captain, Clifford E. Mosier, was awarded the Bronze Star for the heroic actions of his crew during the rescue of 700 men from the troop transport Empire Javelin which had been torpedoed off the coast of France.
In 1964, she was transferred to the Greek Navy, where she served under the name Syros (L-144) until 1999. The Greek government graciously donated the ship back to the US LST Association, a group of about 10,000 LST veterans who were looking for an LST to make into a memorial museum. The ship, now nearly 60 years old, needed a LOT of work to make her seaworthy again. Yes... seaworthy. A group of about 30 men under the direction of Captain Bob Jornlin sailed her from Greece to Mobile, Alabama. They had left Greece on November 14, 2000 after nearly 4 months of restoration, and arrived in Mobile on January 10, 2001. The home port of the LST-325 is now Evansville, IN. She is a fully fuctionally and seaworthy ship, as evident by her many trips through US rivers to functions such as Tall Stacks and the 61st anniversary celebrations of the D-Day invasion in Alexandria, VA and Boston, MA.
OK... enough text. Let's get back to the Ship Pron! Ladies and Gentlemen... the LST-325.