More than 1000 LSTs (landing ship tank) were built in the early 1940’s. They were designed for stability on the open sea and were capable of carrying as many as 20 Sherman tanks, delivering them directly to the beachheads. Once on shore, the bow doors would open, and a steel ramp lowers, allowing it’s lethal force out and into battle. Capable of about 8 to 9 knots, the LST is as long as a football field (328 feet) and 53’ wide.
On June 5, 1944 LST 325 was part of the back-up force for the troops going ashore at Omaha Beach. On June 7, LST 325 anchored off Omaha Beach and unloaded men and vehicles into DUKWs and LCMs. LST 325 made more than 40 trips from England to Normandy to provide support for troops.
LST 325, a sailing museum, is the only ex-Navy vessel that travels and is in working order. LST 325 is one of two from WWII in the U.S. to be preserved. It’s main deck still houses original anti-aircraft weapons. I recently visited the ship while it was berthed on the Illinois river in Peoria.
For more information, vist the LST 325’s website at www.lstmemorial.org.