USS LST-325

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LST-325 (left) and USS LST-388 unloading
LST-325 (left) and USS LST-388 unloading while stranded at low tide during the invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
Note: propellers, rudders and other underwater details of these LSTs, 40 mm single guns, and "Danforth" style kedge anchor at the stern.
Career (USA)
Name: LST-325
Builder: Philadelphia Navy Yard
Laid down: 10 August 1942
Launched: 27 October 1942
Commissioned: 1 February 1943
Decommissioned: 2 July 1946
Struck: 1 September 1961
Honours and
awards:
2 battle stars (WWII)
Fate: Transferred to Greece 1964
Career (Greece)
Name: RHS Syros (L-144)
Acquired: 1 September 1964
Decommissioned: 1999
Reclassified: T-LST (1951)
Fate: Sold, 2000
Career (USA)
Name: M/V LST-325
Renamed: USS LST-325 (2004)
Status: Operational museum ship at Evansville, Indiana
General characteristics
Class & type: LST-1-class tank landing ship
Displacement: 1,625 long tons (1,651 t) light
4,080 long tons (4,145 t) full (sea-going draft with 1675 ton load)
Length: 327 ft 9 in (99.90 m)
Beam: 50 ft (15 m)
Draft: Light:
2 ft 4 in (0.71 m) forward
7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) aft
Sea-going:
8 ft 3 in (2.51 m) forward
14 ft 1 in (4.29 m) aft
Landing (with 500 ton load):
3 ft 11 in (1.19 m) forward
9 ft 10 in (3.00 m) aft
Propulsion: 2 General Motors 12-567 900 hp (671 kW) diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Range: 24,000 nmi (44,000 km) at 9 kn (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 × LCVPs
Complement: 7 officers, 104 enlisted
Armament: 2 × twin 40 mm gun mounts
4 × single 40 mm gun mounts
12 × single 20 mm gun mounts
USS LST 325
PortOfEvansville.jpg
At 2006 Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati, OH
USS LST-325 is located in Indiana
USS LST-325
Location 840 LST Drive
Evansville, Indiana
Coordinates 37°57′11″N 87°34′37″W / 37.95306°N 87.57694°W / 37.95306; -87.57694Coordinates: 37°57′11″N 87°34′37″W / 37.95306°N 87.57694°W / 37.95306; -87.57694
NRHP Reference # 09000434
Added to NRHP 24 June 2009

USS LST-325 is a decommissioned tank landing ship of the United States Navy, now docked in Evansville, Indiana. Like many of her class, she was not named and is properly referred to by her hull designation (LSTs in service after July 1955 were named after U.S. counties and parishes).

The ship was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2009.[1] The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on 24 June 2009 and the listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of 2 July 2009.[2]

Service history[edit]

US Navy, 1942–1961[edit]

LST-325 was launched on 27 October 1942, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The ship operated in the North Africa area and participated in the invasions at Gela, Sicily and Salerno, Italy. On 6 June 1944, LST-325 was part of the largest armada in history by participating in the Normandy Landings at Omaha Beach. She carried 59 vehicles, 31 officers and a total of 408 enlisted men on that first trip. On her first trip back to England from France, LST-325 hauled 38 casualties back to a friendly port. Over the next nine months, Navy records show LST-325 made more than 40 trips back and forth across the English Channel, carrying thousands of men and pieces of equipment needed by troops to successfully complete the liberation of Europe. The ship continued to run supply trips between England and France before returning to the United States in March 1945. LST-325 was decommissioned on 2 July 1946, at Green Cove Springs, Florida, and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

The ship was placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service in 1951 as USNS T-LST-325, and took part in "Operation SUNAC" (Support of North Atlantic Construction), venturing into the Labrador Sea, Davis Strait, and Baffin Bay to assist in the building of radar outposts along the eastern shore of Canada and western Greenland.

Struck from the Naval Vessel Register, on 1 September 1961, T-LST-325 was transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Hellenic Navy, 1964–1999[edit]

T-LST-325 was sent to Greece on 1 September 1964, as part of the grant-in-aid program. She served in the Hellenic Navy as RHS Syros (L-144) from 1964 to 1999.

USS LST Ship Memorial Museum[edit]

The USS LST Memorial, Inc., a group of retired military men, acquired Syros in 2000. They paid their way to Greece, made the necessary repairs to the ship and sailed her back to the United States, arriving in Mobile Harbor on 10 January 2001. In 2003, LST-325 made a sentimental journey up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The 10-day stop in Evansville, Indiana, allowed more than 35,000 people to take a tour. In May and June 2005, she sailed up the east coast under her own power for a 60-day tour of several ports, visiting Alexandria, Virginia, and Buzzard's Bay, Boston, Gloucester, Massachusetts. LST-325 is one of the last navigable LSTs in operation in the U.S. Others include USS LST-510 in daily use as a ferry between Orient, New York and New London, Connecticut, and the dredge MV Columbia operating on the Gulf Coast. She is undergoing constant maintenance and restoration, and is in excellent shape, according to her crew. On 1 October 2005, Evansville, Indiana, became her home port (although she still visits other ports each year).

Evansville[edit]

During World War II, the Evansville, Indiana, riverfront was transformed into a 45-acre (18 ha) shipyard to produce LSTs. At its peak, the Evansville Shipyard employed a workforce of over 19,000 and completed two of these massive ships per week, becoming the largest inland producer of LSTs in the nation. Although the Evansville Shipyard was originally contracted to produce 24 ships, 167 LSTs and 35 other vessels were built in Evansville. LST-325 is now home ported in Evansville as a memorial museum to LSTs and the city's war effort.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boeder, Steve; Diebold, Paul (22 December 2008). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: USS LST-325" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-08-12.  (92 pages, with diagrams and approximately 40 photos)

External links[edit]