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The USS LST Memorial Ship was in Pittsburgh recently. I recently had the opportunity to tour this ship with my family. My nephew is 11 and had a great time exploring and learning about the history of this ship and WWII.
The tour takes around an hour. There is a set route to tour route. I went in the summertime and it was very hot. We drank a lot of water that day. I can't imagine living and working on this ship.
The USS LST 325 Navel Ship is one of 1,000 landing ships in operation during World War II.
These ships were designed in 1942 to land battle-ready tanks, vehicles, soldiers, and supplies directly onto enemy beaches.
USS LST 325 participated in several operations, most notable was D-Day at Omaha Beach, Normandy. She was there for Operation HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily in 1943. She sailed as support for the invasion of Salerno, Italy later that year. This ship has seen 70 years of history and survived as the last fully-operational WWII LST.
When you first enter the ship there are things on display: Uniforms, flags, and a Jerry can are just a few.
Since the men lived on the ship 24/7 you needed to be able to do laundry and get the mail. In World War II they did not have internet like we do today. To contact the family at home they had to write a letter and could only mail it when in port. It took months sometimes for a letter to reach them. Can you imagine doing laundry in that tight space? The post office is so small it could be a jail cell.
I couldn't believe the area they used for their refrigerator for food. You have to imagine how many crew members there were on the ship. That is a very small area to use. Shocking really.
You can see what the Captain's Cabin looks like. On the deck, they have a propeller for you to see. My nephew upon seeing it said in awe “wow that's one big propeller!”. It has to be large to propel a ship of that magnitude.
On the deck of the ship is a jeep that shows the types of vehicles they used as an ambulance. This jeep is not just any jeep though. This was the actual jeep used on the TV show Mash. The show donated the jeep to this ship for the purpose of the tour. How awesome is that?
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You can also have your picture taken on the 40 mm anti-aircraft gun. My nephew loved posing for pictures.
I know the above picture is blurry, it was hard to get a good picture in the cramped space. Can you imagine sleeping on these bunks? I would hate to be the guy on the middle bunk! They don't look very comfortable at all.
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To learn more about the LST Memorial 325 ship or to see their tour schedule check out their website.