Historic Warship LST 325 Sets Sail for East Coast Tour

This decorated veteran of the D-Day and Italian invasions is making East Coast ports of call in May and June. Ceremonies are planned for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and escorting “Old Ironsides.”

Mobile, AL (PRWEB) May 17, 2005 -- “Anchor’s Aweigh!” was the cry heard along the waterfront in Mobile, Ala. on Tuesday as USS LST 325 set sail under her own power for the first time in four years. The proud veteran warship headed toward the Gulf of Mexico on its way to ports of call on the East Coast. LST 325 served in the European Theater, earning two battle stars. She was involved in the invasion of Italy and made 44 round trips during the D-Day invasion.

The ship and crew’s mission is to increase public awareness of the role and history of the LST (Landing Ship, Tank) in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam, as well as to provide a memorial to the veterans who fought and died on them.     LST’s were designed specifically to land directly on enemy shores with mission-ready tanks, troops and supplies, unloaded through doors and a ramp at the bow of the ship.

LST 325 is the only operational ship of its kind in its original wartime configuration. It is the ship that gained national attention in 2001 when it was sailed back to this country from Greece by a group of 28 veterans whose average age was 72 years old. It has since been lovingly restored by crewmembers and volunteers to preserve the history of these ships and their crews.

The ship is expected to arrive at Alexandria, Va. on May 26. It will later visit various ports in the Boston area, where it will escort the USS Constitution on a harbor turnaround and participate in Department of Defense celebrations honoring the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Thousands of visitors are expected to tour the 328-foot ship, whose tank deck could hold up to twenty Sherman tanks.

While in port, the ship will be open to the public for tours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm. Admission prices are $5 for children, $10 for adults and $20 for families, the proceeds of which are used to defray the expenses of restoration, maintenance and the voyage.

Radiomen aboard the ship will be conducting amateur radio operations during the trip. Operating frequencies and schedules may be found on the ship’s website at www.LSTMemorial.org. Also available are an itinerary for the voyage, along with historical and other information. Donations are encouraged.

USS LST 325 is owned and operated by The USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., a non-profit corporation.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/5/prweb241447.htm