This is definitely something that you won’t see everyday. The LST 325, a Landing Ship Tank, a 328 foot long ship will be docked at Madison’s riverfront and available for tours Sept 12-16 from 9AM to 5PM.
These ships could carry twenty Sherman tanks in the giant hold within the ship. They were the only ships ever made that could go anywhere in the world and deposit their cargo onto a hostile beach and then go get another load. On the main deck they could also carry 30-40 trucks, tons of fuels, ammunition or supplies and soldiers. The LSTs were used during World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam conflicts. This ship, LST 325, was in the invasion at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. It was also at Sicily on July 10, 1943.
The LST 325 was one of the first to be built and it is the only operational LST in the United States. It was built in Philadelphia, PA by the U.S. Navy Shipyard. Other ships were built on the Illinois River at Seneca, IL, on the Ohio River at two shipyards in Pittsburgh, in Jeffersonville and Evansville, IN. Hundreds of these ships sailed on the rivers on their way to the Gulf of Mexico and to WWII. These shipyards were able to complete a ship every five days. Workers, welders, and equipment installers then boarded these vessels and completed the ship while it was enroute down the Mississippi River. 1,051 LSTs were built in a little over three years. The United States never lost an invasion once the LSTs were designed, produced, and could land the big tanks right on the beach.
This is a great event for everyone in the family. Tours are $10/adult, $20/family (mom,dad & kids under 18), $5/5-18, under 5 free.