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Visit to the LST-325 Ship Memorial

Inside LST 325 »

On the bank of the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana

Photo descriptions for the LST Ship Memorial

1. A custom dock was constructed for LST 325, on the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana., a short distance upstream of a WWII LST shipyard.


2. There are three raised gun tubs on the bow, which, in WWII, mounted 40mm anti-aircraft guns. The fourth raised narrow tub contained the fire control station (in front of the American flag – see photo). The two short tubs below the fire control station, mounted 20mm guns.


3. The stern gun tub originally mounted a 3 inch duel purpose canon. Midway through WWII, the 3 inch gun was replaced with duel 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns. Currently Greek post war weapons are still mounted in the gun tubs.


4. Ammunition shown in the photo was used against German aircraft. Although LST 325 was not credited with shooting down any enemy aircraft, the fleet fired so many rounds that several crew members were wounded by falling shrapnel at Salerno and Normandy.1


LST Statistics

Length 328 ft
Freeboard 50 ft
Draft


18 ft
5 ft FWD
9 ft AFT
Engines 2 (GM V-12 Diesel)
12-67 ATL
Engine horse power 900 each
Screws 2 (7 ft diameter)
Displacement 3,005 tons
Ship's US registration #1151688
Home Port Evansville, Indiana
Hull 3/8 inch steel,
lap weld
Height to top of conn 52 ft
Height to top mast 65 ft
Mast lowered 52 ft
Number of crew 40
Passengers None
Tank Deck capacity 20 Sherman tanks
Tank Deck dimensions 230 ft x 30 ft
Anchors

Bow - 5,000 lbs.
Stern - 3,000 lbs
Speed 12 MPH
Crew war time 100 enlisted
10 officers
Number made - WWII 1,051
At the end of WWII
the total number of
US Navy ships was:
LSTS 1,005
All others 880

5.The weather deck was not strong enough to carry tanks or bulldozers but did carry large numbers of trucks, jeeps and trailers. Tie-down cloverleafs (cleats) were located on the weather deck to secure the vehicles. A fitting on the end of a chain, was inserted into the cloverleaf to secure.


On two occasions, special fittings were mounted on the weather deck to carry an LCT (landing craft tank). An LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized), was placed inside of the LCT.2


6. Photo shows how a maximum number of jeeps, truck, and trailers were parked on the weather deck. On average, about seventy vehicles could be carried on an LST on both decks combined.


7 - 8. Photo 7 shows a close-up of the tie-down cloverleaf on the weather deck (top image) and one from the tank deck (bottom image). Photo 8 shows cloverleaf tie-down with fitting, on the tank deck.


9. The deck house is located on the weather deck. Notice the two pairs of davits (cranes) that were used to carry, raise, and lower, the LCVPS (Higgins boats).


10. The cargo hatch in front of the deck house was fitted with three wooden sections and covered with a canvas tarp to make it water tight. It was used at major ports of to receive cargo by crane.


11. The captain's flying bridge and watch room were added after the war for arctic duty, as was the wood and steel ice breaker on the bow of the ship. In WW2, the flying bridge was open with railings. The structure just below is the conning station (conning tower). During WWII this would have been the highest structure on the LST and gave the captain or officer of the deck a better view than from the wheelhouse. The bottom structure shows a portion of the bridge (wheelhouse) with its circular windows.


12. A winch for the kedging anchor is located on the stern. The kedging anchor was necessary to keep the ship aligned when it beached on the shore to unload vehicles directly onto the beach. If the kedging anchor did not hold the ship perpendicular to the surf, the ship would be in danger of breaching (swinging around lengthwise onto the beach). In a breached position the ship could not unload vehicles and the surf could potentially damage the ship. On one occasion, a practice landing in North Africa was canceled because the kedging anchor was lost.3 A second use of the kedging anchor was to assist in pulling the LST off of the beach after the ship had been unloaded.


13. In the photo, the LCVP (Higgins boat) is on the dock, however, at sea it would have been carried whiled attached to a pair of Welin type, 15 ton gravity davits (small cranes) as shown in the background.


One of the LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel) would function as the ship's boat and the captain's gig. Pontoon causeways were often carried, attached to the sides of the LST, or towed behind to the invasion beach, where LCVPs were used for positioning the pontoons. LCVPs were also used to transport troops to invasion beaches.


14. Photo shows a Welin type, 15 ton gravity davit, used in pairs to carry, launch, and retrieve Higgins boats. All LSTs were constructed with at least two pairs of davits, but some LSTs had four or six pairs, so that two, four, or six LCVPs could be assigned, respectively, to those LSTs.


15. According to the tour guide, the orange barrels seen in the roll off bin were used to refuel the LVCPs. They were dropped overboard for recovery by boats which were already in the water. I have not see this in any WWII photographs, so this may be a post WWII practice.


16. During WWII, these rubber life rafts would have been made of canvas covered cork. Rubber life rafts during this time, were used in aircraft, and could be inflated by pulling a lever to release a pressurized gas. All of the WWII photos of LST life rafts that I have seen, show them mounted in a vertical position. These rafts are mounted in an inclined position which may be a post WWII practice.


17. The wheelhouse is located on the bridge, on the second level of the deck house. This is where orders were given to the helmsman for operating the the ship's speed and direction. Visible in the photo are the ship's wheel and telegraph. Above the wheelhouse is the conning station where the ship could also be steered.


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18. Photo shows the ship's chart room. Radio room can be seem through the back doorway. Charts were essential to navigating the ship safely. Notice the width of the drawers which would hold charts or maps. Equipment maintenance appears to be in progress on the counter. Normally this area would have been used for chart reading.


19. View of the Ohio River at Evansville, as seen from LST 325. During WWII, five new shipyards were constructed on the banks of the Ohio and Illinois Rivers, to build LSTs. Even though over 300 feet in length, the LST has a 7.5 foot draft when empty, so is able to navigate the Ohio River which has a 9 foot navigation pool.


Notes
1 David Bronson, Mosier's Raiders. New York : iUniverse, Inc. 2004, p. 58.
2 Rottman, Gordon, Bryan, Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 1942-2002. Oxford : Osprey Publication, 2005, p. 22.
3 Rottman, Gordon, Bryan, op cit., p. 24.


Photos taken by staff of WW2HQ with permission of the LST Ship Memorial.


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