Seventy-five years ago, USS LST 325 helped the Allies win World War II.
Today, the vessel is home-ported in Evansville for 11 months of each year.
Groups can tour USS LST 325, the last remaining operational warship from the Normandy invasion.
“It’s possible for a group to walk the decks of history on a warship that was at Omaha Beach on D-Day 75 years ago,” said John M. Tallent, president, USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc. “See a ship just like the ones built at the World War II shipyard here in Evansville, ships that were an essential part of victory in WWII. Learn what it was like to serve on the Landing Ship Tank or LST, which was nicknamed the ‘Large Slow Target.’”
Tours are guided and last about an hour. Docents take visitors to the main deck, troop berthing, tank deck, mess deck, galley, stern of ship (guns and anchor), wheel house, officer’s country and the captain’s cabin.
In the fall, the vessel cruises U.S. rivers and conducts tours at port cities.
Because the Axis controlled virtually all the deep-water ports in Europe, every Allied assault began as an amphibious operation. But the Allies were unprepared to cover the gap between ship and shore in 1941.
The British and the Americans collaborated to solve the problem and designed the Landing Ship Tank. It was the largest ship built in the war designed to beach itself to load/unload and then retract. LSTs could carry up to 1,700 tons of cargo including up to 20 Sherman tanks.
For operators who wish to offer a World War II-themed tour, stop at the Evansville Wartime Museum, which commemorates the city’s considerable homefront contribution to “the Great Arsenal of Democracy.” Additionally, the Freeman Army Airfield Museum in Seymour and the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes are within easy reach for day trips.
Operators can contact the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau to book LST 325 tours when the vessel is in Evansville.
Contact LST Ship Memorial at 812-435-8678 or lstmemorial.com.
The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau can be reached at 800-433-3025 or visitevansville.com.