Monday, 16 April 2012 09:04

Volunteers work on upkeep for WWII troop ship

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Dozens of volunteers have started a week of intense maintenance work on the restored World War II troop landing ship that is docked on the Ohio River.

    About 60 volunteers spent much of Saturday taking on chores during the kickoff to the annual USS LST Ship Memorial "Spring Work Week."

    The work crew included several World War II veterans who served on ships similar to the LST-325 that was brought back to the U.S. from Greece in 2001 and has been permanently moored in Evansville since 2005, the Evansville Courier & Press reported (http://bit.ly/ITfoYa).

    "I guess you could call it a labor of love as much as anything," said 86-year-old Bruce Voges of St. Joseph, Ill. "All of us went over there with a mission, most of us in our 70s — we wanted one of them things back in the U.S. We've got battleships, destroyers, cruisers, but we did not have an LST."

    Some volunteers concentrated on chipping off old paint in the tank deck, an area which would've carried 20 Sherman Tanks during the war, and applying a new coat of paint.

    Volunteers will spend most of the week painting the interior, but if they have time and weather permits, they will paint exterior parts of the ship as well.

    Engineering crew volunteers will spend much of the week in the engine room fine tuning the ship's mechanical parts, electrical wiring and plumbing. Repairs are also planned for three of the ship's ballast tanks.

    Repair work is decided through a maintenance committee within the memorial association that determines which jobs are most important, according to deck officer Bob Barbier.

    The LST-325 was part of the second wave of the D-Day invasion in June 1944 and made 44 other trips between France and Great Britain and other ports before the war ended. While this one was built in Philadelphia, many other LSTs were constructed at a Jeffersonville shipyard upriver from Evansville.

    The LST-325 is open for public guided tours and organizers plan a multi-city tour starting in September to raise money.

    Source

    Related World War History Online Posts

    • World War II vet recalls Japan bombing raid
      Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and raided Japan on April 18, 1942, providing a huge morale boost for an American public weary of defeat after defeat in the early days of World War II. But there might have been only 15 bombers on the raid without Edward J. Saylor, then a 22-year-old sergeant and…
    • World War II fighter plane pulled from Waukegan Harbor - Video
      World War II fighter plane pulled from Waukegan Harbor - Video An FM-2 Wildcat that had been used during World War II to train pilots for landing on aircraft carriers was pulled this morning from Waukegan Harbor Nearly 100 people watched as crews pulled a WWII fighter plane from Waukegan Harbor this morning -- the first leg of a journey that could land it in a Glenview naval museum. “It’s a…
    • A World War II soldiers possessions passed on to Cornish family
      A World War II soldiers possessions passed on to Cornish family Possessions of a Cornish soldier, which were found in his field grave in the Netherlands, have been presented to his family in Liskeard Private Lewis James Curtis was killed while serving with the 5th Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment, in 1944. His family have been given items including his toothbrush and razor. Pte Curtis' remains were identified four years ago and…
    • World War II medals found abandoned at a bus station
      World War II medals found abandoned at a bus station Police are trying to reunite five World War II medals with their owner after they were found at a bus station It's thought they may have been left behind during a memorial service last Sunday in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Three photographs were also found with the medals, including the one below of a minesweeper. Anyone who has any information about…