USS LST 325 is a floating veteran, a steel memory that honors the World War II generation. Launched October 27, 1942, it was commissioned February 1, 1943. It served in the Mediterranean Theater and during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, engaged in arctic operations in the 1950s and later was sold to the Greek Navy, where it was L-144 (A/G Syros).
Purchased by USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., in 2000, the ship sailed 6,500 miles from Crete to Mobile, Alabama, before traveling on to Evansville, Indiana, where it is based today. The ship serves as a tribute to the workers on the home front who constructed 1,051 purpose-built LSTs between 1942 and war’s end; to the crews who operated them; and to the fighting men who disembarked from them with tanks, jeeps, trucks and other implements of war. LST 325‘s home now is Evansville, Indiana, but each year it travels to another city to allow tours of the ship outside its home berth, setting this ship apart from drydocked LSTs.
In September 2012, LST 325 tied up at the dock at Riverfront Park, Nashville, Tennessee, for several days. The color photos below were taken during that visit by World History Group’s senior editor for digital media, Gerald Swick. The World War II–era photos are courtesy of the National Archives. For more information on LST 325, visit The USS LST Ship Memorial Website.
(NOTE: After its visit to Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee, LST 325 ran aground on a sandbar near Kuttawa, Kentucky. The Coast Guard freed it within a few days. Since LSTs were designed to ground themselves on beaches, it is not believed the boat suffered damage.)
Look for a travel article by Tom Wood about LST 325 in an upcoming issue of World War II magazine.