For the second time in about 5 years, LST-325 was in Pittsburgh for Labor Day. This is the only remaining, operational, sea-worthy LST still around. One out of 1,051. Thankfully, I had a long lunch on Friday, so I was able to beat the weekend rush of people.
This particular ship's history is interesting. After the War it apparently sat around for a while until it was sold to the Greek Navy in the mid-1960s. The Greeks renumbered, renamed and repainted it. After about 35 years it was sold to a private individual and currently sails out of Evansville, IN. Costs $10 for a self guided tour.
As mentioned, the Greek Navy had this ship for over ten times longs than the US Navy, so the current owner decided to keep all of the Greek paintings. I have no idea what this says, but it is the name of a Greek island, which they used for the LST's name as well.
The LST is about 400 feet long, and you enter into the hold, which was absolutely huge. It could hold something like 20 tanks.
This particular LST was part of the first wave of reinforcements for Normandy beach on June 7, 1944. At some point it was hit by 20mm fire, and still has the scars, which the crew painted a red square around.
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." To honor the sacrifice of our Soldiers, Sailors and Marines that served aboard this vessel, this Greek sign and bell is one of the first things aboard..
The war gamer/ modeler in me found this to be almost as interesting as the ship itself. It is a block miniature of the ship with an invasion scene.
I have no idea why there was just a single leg kicked under the bulkhead. But I think I was the only one who noticed it.
I have never seen these cans. They were drinking water, I assume for emergency use for stranded crews.
There were at least three 30mm cannons in the aft, and a pair of 20mm toward the bow.
The jeep was apparently used in the show, MASH.
I asked if they had to use cranes to move vehicle to the upper deck, but no, the LST has an elevator to lift vehicles.
I've seen small quarters on ships, but these seemed especially small. Four men to a row of bunks! It was about 95 on Friday, and easily that hot or hotter aboard.
Living history at its best.