CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The LST is back at Ross’s Landing for an extended stay.
The World War Two LST 325 will be open for inspection by the public.
Twenty thousand people paid to tour this LST the last time it was here in 2014. It got a good reception this afternoon at Ross’s Landing as military historians and just average folks stopped to take part in the ceremony.
“Our mission is also a two way street. For our part, we have the satisfaction of hosting about fifty thousand visitors a year, and those visitors in turn, restore our faith in America,” said John Tallent, President of the USS Ship Memorial, Inc.
More than 1,000 of these vessels were built for World War II. Many more were built for the Korean and Vietnam wars. They were noted for their for their ability to navigate inland waterways.
“I think I can speak for all the crew members, when I say that we’re all proud of having this national historical site, and we hope everybody sees it, has fun and learns some history,” said Captain Bob Kubota.
LST 325 was Launched in October of 1942, and it made 43 trips between England and France between June 1944 and April 1945. Most notably, it landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
“ATIT shells: high explosive, incendiary tracer. So, they’re going to explode 9 seconds, they have a fuse, so when you, if it rolls so many times, as it goes down the barrel, it’s going to explode 9 seonds later,” said Kubota.
This ship is based in Evansville, Indiana. Each year, its sets out on a cruise. It will be in Chattanooga until August 27th. From here it heads to Decatur, Alabama, then to Aurora, Indiana.
DAVID COKER – MEMBER OF THE DECK CREW LST 325
“When we went to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, I met over 90 WWII veterans back in 2015. It was kind of an unusual experience,” said David Coker, crew member on the LST 325.
Tours will be available daily from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-17, and free for children under 5.
WWII and Korean War vets along with active duty service members get in free.