Media
by Jessica Waytenick • January 30, 2018

Quad Cities – A World War II amphibious vessel arrives in the Quad Cities on August 30, 2018.  The USS LST 325 (which is almost as long as a football field!) will dock on the Mississippi riverfront at the Isle Casino Hotel, 1777 Isle Parkway, in Bettendorf, Iowa.

The last time this vessel visited the Quad Cities was 10 years ago, and it saw over 16,000 visitors when it was here.

Tours of the ship will be available daily from August 30 through September 3, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will last approximately 45 minutes.  Tour prices are Adults $10; Ages 6-17 $5; 5 years and under and WWII Veterans are free.  Group ticket pricing is available and group tour is 9-11 a.m.  For more information on the ship, visit www.LSTmemorial.org.

“The officers and crew of the USS LST 325 are excited to cruise on the Upper Mississippi River this year and to make a stop in in the Quad Cities,” says John M. Tallent, President of the USS LST 325 Memorial organization.  “One of the truly gratifying aspects of taking the 325 out to bring a piece of living American history to the American people is that we get to meet and greet thousands of good, decent, honest and hard-working folks.  It restores our faith in our great country and we get to educate our fellow Americans about a pivotal time in the life of our nation!”

“We’re beyond thrilled to be a part of such a terrific event happening in the Quad Cities,” says Nancy Ballenger, Vice President & General Manager, Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf.  “We believe our location, restaurants, and hotel will be a great complement to an already wonderful experience.”

When the USS LST 325 leaves Bettendorf on September 4, it will travel to Chester, Ill.

About the WWII Vessel

The LST-325 is a World War II amphibious vessel designed to land battle-ready tanks, troops, and supplies directly onto enemy shores.  Ships of this type proved to be enormously useful during times of war and peace both.  This particular LST was originally known as LST-325 during the Second World War, USNS LST-325 during its arctic operations in the 1950s, and later L-144 (A/G Syros) while it was in the service of the Greek Navy.  The ship was acquired by The USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., in 2000, and caught considerable public attention when the veteran crew brought it on a 6,500-mile journey from the Greek island of Crete to the U.S.

A History Lesson on the LST-325

The 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 is just short of the length of a football field and measures 50 feet across!  The ship’s Displacement is 1,625 t.(lt), 4,080 t.(fl) (sea-going draft w/1675 ton load).  The Length is 327 feet 9 inches with a Beam of 50 feet.  The draft is (light) - 2' 4" fwd, 7' 6" aft (sea-going) 8' 3" fwd, 14' 1" aft (landing) 3' 11" fwd, 9' 10" aft (landing w/500 ton load).  The ship’s propulsion is two General Motors 12-567, 900hp diesel engines, two shafts, twin rudders.  Her speed is 12 kts (maximum) and her range is 24,000 miles at 9 kts.

The LST-325 was launched on October 27, 1942, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The ship operated in the North Africa area and participated in the invasions at Gela, Sicily and Salerno, Italy.  On June 6, 1944, LST-325 became part of the largest armada in history by participating in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach.  It carried 59 vehicles, 31 officers and a total of 408 enlisted men on that first trip. On its first trip back to England from France, 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 that troops needed 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 in 1946 and sent to Greece on September 1, 1964, as part of the grant-in-aid program. The USS LST Memorial, Inc., a group of retired military men, acquired the LST 325 in 2000. They paid their way to Greece, made the necessary repairs to the ship and sailed it back to the United States, arriving in Mobile Harbor on January 10, 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 of 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 the last navigable LST in operation in the U.S. She is undergoing constant maintenance and restoration, and is in tip-top shape, according to her crew. On October 1, 2005 Evansville, Indiana, became her home port.

USS LST 325 Media Contact: Owen Chapman, 256-565-1930

 

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