Community Event Calendar

Mark your calendars now for an upcoming opportunity to visit a unique “place” on the National Register of Historic Places.

Usually, we have to go to the place.  This “place” is coming to us!

September 12 – 16. the city is hosting a visit from USS LST-325 at the Public Landing.

 

The LST-325 is a piece of well-preserved American history.  She was built in 1942 and is literally a small floating town that exemplifies the WW II American Craftsman genre in its transition to Bauhaus where “…form follows function.”

Ok – that’s a bit of CPA tongue-in-cheek hyperbole but – the LST-325 is the real deal and well worth a visit to see preservation in steel for a change instead of the usual wood and stone.

Out of 1051 built, the 325 is the last fully operational ship of her class.  She’s the largest ship built in WWII with the ability to beach itself (and retract) in order to deliver battle-ready tanks, trucks, heavy equipment, soldiers and supplies directly onto a hostile beachhead in support of an amphibious invasion where no deep water ports were available for cargo unloading.  Hence the designation – LST – Landing Ship Tank.  (Sailors tend to be an irreverent lot and called them Large Slow Targets!)

Irreverence aside, LST’s were crucial, if unsung heroes, in the victories in the European and Pacific theaters of the war.  The 325 participated in the invasions of Sicily, Salerno and Normandy.  She was just offshore at Omaha Beach on D-Day and landed in France 44 times during – and in the follow up to – that invasion.  This ship is a living tribute to the American home front in WW II and the massive effort that we put forth to wage that terrible conflict.

Although the 325 was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the majority of her sisters were built at Pittsburgh, PA, Evansville, IN, and Seneca, IL.  The 325 is home ported at Evansville and makes a cruise each year to bring American history to the American people.

The cargo she carries now are interpretive displays.  The crew are all volunteers, many of whom actually sailed on LST’s or LST variants in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  The skill set the crew and all the other volunteers bring to this monumental preservation and operational task is awe-inspiring.

The basic admission change is $10 per adult with special pricing for children and families.  Memberships are available for those who wish to be more connected with the life of this American treasure.