USS LST Ship Memorial
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This page was last updated 28 MAR 06, 1800Z

 
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Progress Report Archives May through March, 2006

Progress Report Update
Posted 26 May 2006

A big thanks goes out to all that have helped donate their time and energy. Several names are being added to the list on the crewmembers page.

Name - Hours logged
Carnahan, Don - 164
Cerling, Bob - 80
Copeland, Frank - 75
Donahue, Chris - 144
Hardesty, Don - 108
Huck, Charlie - 95
Johnson, Clyde - 172
Lenn, Bob - 161
Mahrenholz, Dick - 90
Norlin, Howard - 295
Voelker, Jim - 97
Wessel, Bob - 150


Progress Report Update
Posted 21 May 2006

The LST had around 2000 visitors come aboard while we were in Louisville and each was special but I thought I would introduce you to a few that make being a tour guide special for me.

The first is Thomas B Crump. Sgt. Major Retired 1940 - 1967 Marines.

Tom was serving as a Security Guard on December 7th 1941 at Pearl Harbor when the bombs started falling. Tom is a Pearl Harbor Survivor. His watch, when the attack came, was guarding the dry dock where the Battleship USS Pennsylvania and Destroyers Cassin and Downes were being worked on. The Pennsylvania was one of the first ships to fire at the enemy, opening up even before a general quarter was called. It was a great pleasure meeting you Tom.

This is Clarence Warren.

Clarence was a Private in the army during WWII. He served in the pacific area and was an Army Marksman who won 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Bronze Stars and 3 Oak Leaf Clusters. Another hero that walks among us.

This Gentleman is Les Kavenaugh.

Les has not been on a naval vessel since 1968 when he was discharged after serving as a Radar Man 3rd Class on the U.S.S. Perry which was a Gearing Class Destroyer #DD844. He served from 1962 until 1968. He was into some happy memories when I walked up and started talking to him. I think the Navy made a big mistake in letting him get away.

Cadet Lauren Arnold

She is only one of about sixty Sea Scouts that came on board the day we left. They got to take a short cruise up the river and back and it was a pleasure having them aboard. You are probably wondering why I have her photo and not some of the others. Here’s why. We had a pile of well over 100 chairs that had to be taken off of the ship and the Scouts helped by forming a line and passing the chairs from one to the other as shown here.

When Cadet Arnold received the last chair, she preformed a monkey drill with it. She flipped it up, spun it around one way and then the other and then passed it on. I thought that was rather neat.

We are not going to say anything at all about the first picture of her having an old salt in the background, showing off his peg leg to Les. He is always showing that thing around.

I met another Cadet that impressed me a great deal and his name was Cadet Caleb Stephenson. Unfortunately, my photo did not come out or being the klutz that I am, I probably left the lens cap on. But, I have never seen a smarter salute and request to come aboard as he gave when he boarded. We were all impressed.

There was one other vet aboard that came with the Sea Scouts and I messed that one up too but I did want to acknowledge him. His name was Patrick and he served in the Navy as an Engine man 3rd Class. He served from 1967 until 1970. He was thrilled to be able to ride the ship with the scouts.

Captain's corner
Posted 17 May 2006

The LST 325 has had another very busy month, with around 1500 people taking tours. This does not include our Louisville tours where around 3000 paid visitors and some 900 "guests" came aboard. We gave tours to about all of the firemen in Louisville and a lot of the police force. We are happy that they were watching the ship. "Thunder" officials had 300+ people come on the ship and we let active military people in uniform on free also. In short we had a very good response in Louisville, and many hope we will return next year.

The fireworks were definitely OUTSTANDING!! Another significant note is that WWII crewmember, Bruce Voges, got to turn the key that set off the fireworks display. What an honor! He will not let you shake that hand yet! He also turned 80 recently. We had a full crew to take the ship to Louisville, and had a first on the 325 - a husband and wife pilot team, Ludy and Frank Hobbs. She is the Captain of the gambling boat at Cannelton, IN, and he is the Capt. of the AZTAR in Evansville. We thank them for taking our LST safely to and from Louisville. They were just great! I also want to thank our Master, Ron Colpus, who gave his valuable time to help us on this trip.

We have a lot of reservations coming in for "LST WEEK". If you are planning to attend, please call the LST office for 'banquet reservations' and the Executive Inn for 'lodging reservations'. We have a lot planned for you and your guests, and hope that you will participate in our 'Discussion hour' where the main topic will be "Where do we go from here." This meeting will be held just prior to the banquet Friday evening.

There is a petition circulating that will be presented to the National LST Association at their convention in Nashville in September. You must be a member of the national to sign it. Many of you have dropped your membership for the very reasons the petition is being circulated. If you are a member and did not receive a petition, please call our office (812-435-8678) if you are interested. They can send you one. The LST Memorial had nothing to do with initiating this petition as this was started by the state chapters, but we fully support its purpose.

The bow doors on the ship and the ramp are now down for visitors to see and enjoy. Bruce Voges got all the fuse boxes along both sides of the superstructure sandblasted and painted, and they have been reinstalled and look great. We have the port LCVP on board with new lettering, all painted, and looking good. The starboard one is ready to be placed in the water off the barge. Our volunteer crew has done a lot of work with painting, electrical, and plumbing work, and at the same time keeping up with the tour schedule. No small feat!

The crew to Louisville was one of the best crews ever to sail the ship. All of them worked well, helped each other with no complaints, and just had a lot of good fun!! All of the new crew have a whole new perspective on what it takes to sail an LST! They all want to sail again! In this crew we had our cook, Joe Lewin, who came all way from CA to cook for us. We had engineers from Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada, Missouri, and New York. Our deck force came from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and I'm sure I missed a state or two.

We averaged 8 ½ MPH going up the river at 9-20 feet above normal pool. Coming back, we had speeds of up to 14 MPH! That must almost be record for an LST. The Coast Guard allowed us permission to take about 40 NJROTC cadets (sea cadets) from New Albany, IN out for a short ride on Sunday before we left for home. They were a great bunch of sailors and we were glad we could do it. Where would you go to get a ride on a 1942 US Navy Ship? Why the Ohio River and the legendary Landing Ship Tank, LST 325!

We have over 50 groups signed up to tour the ship this year and people continue to come from all over the country. The Courier & Press just had a full page article on "What does the LST 325 mean to me?" This was from 10 or 12 8th grade students from the area who have toured the ship. A great article, and some of you only thought the older generation was interested in the LST - not so!

I want to especially thank the Toyota maintenance folks for all of the painting and work accomplished on a cool Saturday in April, Thank you all.

May the wind be always at your back!

Bob Jornlin


Painting the ship 
Posted 12 April 2006

Workers from Toyota Manufacturing of Southwest Indiana spent a cool but very productive morning on April 8 painting LST 325. Much work was accomplished. Thank you.


A Wonderful Work Week on the 325!
From Kenny & Anna Adams
Posted 28 March 2006

This first scheduled Work Week in Evansville will not soon be forgotten by the 24 out-of-town crewmembers who teamed up with the Evansville crewmembers to brave the winter cold and complete a long list of maintenance items on the 325 in preparation for the Thunder Trip.

Day One found our Chief Bos'n's Mate and Gary sanding, chipping, and painting the LCVP’s. This was the only day temperatures made it into the 50’s. The rest of the week you would find Charley chipping ice from the main deck.

The ship’s fresh water system was turned back on and then off again to repair some leaks, then back on and off some 5 or 10 more times to fix more leaks. This process went on all week until the last known little drip was put to rest. Tom and the fresh water pump are on a first name basis now.

Crews' quarters and Officers' Country were made more livable, even with hot water for showers after some hot water elements were replaced and the rust was removed from all the faucets and shower heads.

The engine room was full of activity the whole week. The oil pump on the #3 generator was repaired by Joe and Terry along with a new starter. All three generators were run, and we were on ship's power for a part of the day. Everyone got a reminder of why we need to carry flashlights!

An air line in the clutch of the port main engine was replaced. This was a two-day, four-man job, assisted by a very helpful parts runner Gator Gal who also served some galley duty and fire watch when Ad let her out of the engine room.

Butch repaired a tooth on the port flywheel before an attempt was made to start the main engines. But his left Old Man Winter the winner. IT WAS JUST TOO COLD!

The old fresh water expansion tank was cut up and removed from the port shaft alley. The jeep and army truck were brought topside and taken off the ship for maintenance. The picnic table and the pyrotechnic boxes were also brought topside in preparation for their installation. A new 1200-lb. overhead roll-up steel door was lowered in to the tank deck and was then installed just aft of the bow ramp. This will permit the bow doors and ramp to stay open throughout the summer and provide security in the evening hours.

There are now 38 fire extinguishers on the ship. Each one is now certified and logged by number for location and type. Many thanks to Jim Warner, Ron Bezouska, and Allen Nelson of Nelson Fire Protection for this needed safety inspection.

Click on any of the images for enlargements

Jerry and Bob, who were out
procuring stores
during the group picture (below)

Cornell door hangers (everyone
got a good laugh when they
brought their four-foot level to
hang the door, because the
ship is on a three-degree port list!)

The tow motor did not like the incline
while carrying the 1200-lb. door,
so a big 1 - 2 - 3 - PUSH was
the call of the day!

Not all -- but most -- of the
March Cold Work Week Crew

There were some supports repaired that hold up the cribbing on the tank deck bulkheads, and Rocky ran his needle gun until it froze up so many times that he finally had to give it up. The fuel transfer pump was picked up from GE and reinstalled in the aux engine room. Bob, Jerry, June, and Rocky kept the galley smelling good the whole week. Larry and Pete arrived every day at sunup and stayed long past normal hours to keep things moving and finish up on projects. They had the tool room and the plumbers shop in showroom condition and, even though we tried to keep it that way throughout the week, we left things in a bit of a mess for them. Most of the passageways, tank deck, and quarters were cleaned as projects were completed. Throughout all this activity, the tour guides were working non-stop -- in the snow, rain, cold, noise, and in the DARK, they kept giving tours. WHAT A GREAT GROUP TO WORK WITH AND WHAT A GREAT SHIP TO WORK ON WITH THEM ! ! ! !

Anna and I kept a list of all who were there and braved the cold weather for the week. We are sorry we did not put all your names in this report, and we know lots of work was done that was also overlooked here -- the little things that mean so much to so many. But one thing for sure, no one will ever take from us the week we had together with one and all in March of 2006.

  ~ Kenny & Anna Adams


Captain's update
Posted 23 March 2006

To all LST Fans: 

Please look at Mr. Whicker's list of projects that have been completed on the LST since Oct. 3, 2005. His list is right below. It is a very extensive list, but does not list setting up the LST Office and Souvenir shop, getting the souvenirs transferred from the ship to the office, and all that goes with an office; telephone, copy machine, coffee maker, storage, etc. That was a big job. If you read Mike's list you can see that even during the winter months a lot of progress has been made, and continues even now with LST work week going on. 

Plans for a big LST Week 06, in Sept. (See letter below) are coming together. You can see that a lot of excitement and fun are planned. We hope for participation by many in the informative discussion meeting planned before the banquet. Reservations are coming in for the motel rooms and for Friday night's banquet. You can e-mail Mike Whicker, just click on his "Rosie the Riveter" on the discussion page -- top right of his post -- for banquet reservations or call the LST Office 812/435-8678. It is early, but we don't want our BIG FANS to be left out. Hotel reservations need to be made with the Executive Inn, again see letter below for the phone number. We do not look for a huge crowd because there are many individual LST reunions planned throughout the year. However, we do believe most of our loyal LST supporters will all be there. 

I am looking forward to seeing all of you once again. Many of the Greece sailing crew, and crews from the '03 River trip, east coast cruise, and Mobile to Evansville river trip will be there, along with the new crew members from Evansville. We will have another crew -- the crew to sail her to Louisville, Ky. - this coming April. The plans for our trip to "Thunder Over Louisville" are coming together. We will sail at 0800 on Monday, April 17, arrive Louisville around 1200 on Tuesday. The ship will be open for tours on Wed. and Thurs. 0900-1700, Fri. 0900 - 1900. Tours will be given Sat. morning and maybe some in the afternoon and evening, but we will be closed for tours during the Blue Angels performance and in preparation for the fireworks show. Saturday is the BIG day. We will leave Sunday, April 23 and plan to arrive Evansville late afternoon on Monday, April 24. 

Attendance had increased as the weather got warmer but has slowed as the March weather has turned cold. Hoping for good weather as April approaches. 

Our web page continues to receive a lot of praise from just about everyone. Our web skipper is doing a great job. Our discussion page is very active with a lot of good information and help for those looking for answers on their ships, crew members, and trivia. We do have a lot of humor and fun with some individuals, but one needs to check the discussion page to see what is happening -- day to day. 

Bob Jornlin 

LST Out-of-town
Posted 23 March 2006

Many have asked when the LST will be out of town. Thanks to Mike Whicker for passing along this information to us. 

  • April 17-24 in Louisville, KY for "Thunder Over Louisville"
  • Oct. 1-15 in Cincinnati, Ohio for "Tall Stacks"
Other than these dates, the ship will be at the Marina Pointe dock.
LST Week 2006
Posted 16 March 2006

TO: All in the LST and/or Amphibious Community 

You are hereby ordered to report to Evansville, Indiana, for LST Week 2006! From September 5th thru 9th, Evansville will travel back in time and become a homefront city in 1943. Just some of the events planned are:

  • LST/Amphib reception at Casino Aztar (Sept. 6)
  • LST/Amphib reception on LST 325 (Sept. 7)
  • LST/Amphib banquet at Executive Inn ($25 on Sept. 8)
  • Discussion forum about the future of the LST/Amphib community
  • Local radio station to broadcast only music of WWII that entire week
  • Actor portraying President Roosevelt to give speech on LST
  • Tours of the Reitz Home Museum: docents will be in 1940s dress for LST Week
  • Tours of Evansville Museum of Art, History, and Science (a fantastic LST display)
  • Visit to the monument erected at the WWII Evansville Shipyard site where 167 LSTs were built
  • General George Patton re-enactor to visit LST
  • WWII re-enactments
  • WWII military vehicles on display
  • Possible LCVP — Higgins boat — rides on Ohio River (subject to approval)
Conventioneers should feel free to come for the entire week or just the days of their choosing.

A block of rooms at a special rate is secured for LST/Amphib conventioneers at the Executive Inn in Evansville. Call toll free 1-877-424-0888 for reservations. Tell them you’re coming for the LST festivities. You can access information about the hotel at the website http://www.executiveinnevansville.com/.

For reservations to the September 8th banquet call the LST office at 1-812-435-8678 or email LST325@mikewhicker.com.

LST Week 2006 is sure to be the most fun LST/Amphib gathering of all time!

Join us for this extra special event.

Mike Whicker


LST Maintenance Log - Evansville
Posted 16 March 2006

Electrical

  • Port side troop berthing – repaired lights and switches
  • Evaporator Room – installed float alarm (connected to alarm panel)
  • Tank Deck – repaired electrical to lights, starboard side forward to midship
  • Flag pole light in bow fire control tub – light broken, reconfigured pole mount and repaired light and wiring
  • Light on bow flag pole repaired
  • Intercom – ran wire to dock office and wired to intercom (now we are able to make ship’s PA announcements from office on shore)
  • Install and wire interior open and close buttons for each of three dock office garage doors
  • Repair wiring to lights in Port storage compartment off tank deck next to paint locker
  • Shaft Alley: starboard side – repair wiring to lights in escape trunk; now have lights in escape trunk and forward compartment in shaft alley
General Repairs
  • Carpenter and ship fitters compartment – scraped, sealed, and painted deck (floor)
  • Engineer’s log room (between battery and machine shops) – repaired large metal storage cabinet
  • Port gun tub (aft) over bakery (rain leaks) – welded several steel plates on deck and patch on side of gun tub
  • Remove and replace feed thru electrical pipe (new pipe) next to port gun tub (rain leak to deck below)
  • Removed and repaired vent hood mount going thru the deck (rain leak)
  • Port 40mm gun tub (forward) – large holes rusted thru tub decking; cut out rusted areas and weld new plates
  • Removed pyrotechnic lockers for painting, and had painted
  • Removed rusted stands for pyrotechnic lockers and made new stands
  • Removed 2 aft ammo storage boxes (1 port, 1 starboard) for painting
  • Removed rusty/bent tank deck vent next to gangway and replaced
  • Painted radio shelf in radio room
  • Ship’s plumbing system drained and winterized
  • Port side of hull painted
  • Scullery: removed floor tile, scrape, seal and paint floor (Ron Maranto did a lot of the needle gun work on this one – thanks Ron)
  • Tank deck: starboard aft – needle gunned and painted white area above gray paint (about halfway up)
  • Four large electrical overhead heaters installed in tank deck
  • Needle gunning old paint in crew quarters currently underway
  • Paint locker repairs: scraping, fixing broken shelving
  • Bow door control room: scrapping and painting
  • Engine room starboard air system: removed old piping, valves, air tanks, etc.
  • Installed new air tank in shaft alley and replaced old piping, valves, and ran new piping to new air tank
  • Needle gun and scrape hallway near scullery
  • Scrape, needle gun, paint and seal “Engr. Log Office” (between Battery Charging and Machine Shop)
  • Scraped and painted aft starboard area outside galley
  • Install, seal, paint, rubber seals on new vent doors
  • Removed Korean War ambulance from ship
  • Oxygen and acetylene bottles refilled and bottle storage area redone to safely store bottles
  • Gift Shop: fabricated and installed rain downspouts
  • Gift Shop: install security gate
  • Painted gift shop rail
LCVPs
  • Boats taken out of water by crane and placed on dock beside LST
  • Flooring removed from one boat and water logged material removed
  • Both boats sandblasted and primed

Susie Bloom recalls memorable LCVP ride
Posted 9 March 2006
By Susie Bloom

There has been a great deal of interest shown in LST Week! This is a wonderful opportunity to tour LST 325, meet with other Veterans and see the sights and truly experience Evansville!

Many veterans are inquiring about the LCVP rides. Several items remain to be researched and approved - the cost and availability of insurance coverage, approval from proper maritime authorities, many safety issues regarding operations and life vests, proper staffing and so on. It is the board's hope to be able to offer this activity, but only if it is safe and approved.

Last June in Boston, Ron, Kenny and Ralph took Josh and I out in the LCVP. You've read my piece on that experience. One event that wasn't shared publicly at the time will forever remain embedded in my memory. My respect and affection for the 325 Board and crew was affirmed...and grew beyond bounds.

This is a piece that I recently shared with Captain Jornlin and Mike Whicker. At the Captain's request, I am sharing it with you. It illustrates the reason why the Board of Directors is taking the time and making the effort to investigate the possibilities of providing LCVP rides during LST Week.

***

Upon arriving back at the pier, we looked up and saw one of the Massachusetts LST members standing quietly on the boardwalk. This gentleman had worked as a volunteer for several days during the Boston visit.

The veteran Sailor had such a look of longing on his face, yet never said a word. He watched the men maneuver the LCVP. One could see the years were flowing back to the 1940s. What exactly this Sailor was 'seeing' in his mind, I do not know. I was respectful enough to not to wonder aloud.

Ron, Ralph and Kenny continued to 'practice' coming alongside the pier with the LCVP. They cast off again...came along side again... repeating maneuvers over and over again. Josh and I didn't mind, we were overjoyed to be allowed to participate. With every pass, our attention was drawn more to the man on the boardwalk.

Josh and I looked at each other and then again at the Sailor standing above on the walk. We were passengers, guests. We had no right to request anything - indeed we were very privileged to be aboard ourselves. However our thoughts were very similar, it was written on our faces.

I looked over at Ralph, then at Ron. They were looking at each other. Unspoken communication. A common occurrence between brothers.

Hope flickered, but we did not say a word.

As we approached the pier again, Ron, Ralph and Kenny greeted the man on the walk. Ralph called up "Have you ever been in one of these before?"

The man called down "The last time was in June, 1945..."

Ron looked at Ralph... it seemed as if time stopped. I held my breath. Ron casually called up, "Want a ride?"

I have never seen a man move so fast... his eyes were glowing. Josh and I were grinning ear to ear. We were so privileged to be in attendance at this very special event.

The man introduced himself as George Puliafico. Josh and I helped George into the LCVP, and a "Mae West", made sure he had good footing and something to hang on to. When Ron, Ralph and Kenny saw that George was set... off we went!

I still get chills thinking about the expressions on George's face as we passed the LST heading towards the Bay. He was private in his thoughts, but unknown to him the emotions were visible, tangible. We could feel the air... thick with emotion as the salt spray misted over us. At the edge of the Bay, George turned, a smile on his lips, pride in his face. I asked George if I could take his photograph. He was eager to pose for the camera....

Later as we approached the pier again, George spoke briefly of his experiences during WWII. His thanks to Ron, Ralph and Kenny were effusive. They had given him a gift beyond measure. Josh and I helped George out of the LCVP, then climbed out ourselves.

Ron, Kenny and Ralph received my hugs for making this WWII Veteran so happy. I always knew these LST 325 men were very special. My thoughts had been confirmed in one of the most wonderful ways possible.

What a precious gift all of you are... Pul