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Progress Report Archives - July, 2007 - September, 2007

Progress Report Update
Posted September 28, 2007
A Collage of Photos from LST Week 2007

More photos to come!

Progress Report Update
Posted September 22, 2007

From a small town with a big heart - LST Captain Bob Jornlin presents USS LST Ship Memorial Executive Director Mike Whicker with a donation check from Henry, Illinois, for the amount of $15,800.00

Progress Report Update
Posted September 21, 2007
Captain's Update - 2007 River Cruise

Hi LST Fans !

Here it is six years after 9/11.  The LST was in Mobile in Bender's shipyard getting ready for the US LST convention when the news came in that some dirty rotten cowards killed babies, women and innocent people for why - no one knows.

Today we have just finished our summer tour up the Illinois River to Peoria, IL.  We were stopped from Henry, IL by a freak flood - making the bridges too low for our 53' whistle and spot light.  The bridge at Lacon, IL just south of Henry is only 59' at normal pool.  I was worried about too little water in the IL River - not too much!

However, Henry came to us in Peoria which allowed us to stay moored the entire time we would have been in Henry.  We gave some 90 people rides from the Peoria Lock to our mooring spot just north of the I74 bridge.  Then on Tuesday we opened the 'gates' - bow doors and dropped the ramp.  The city of Peoria put together a great gangway, repositioning it some 9' higher later as the water rose up.  They and the Peoria Park District really did a job for us.  LST fans started to come and for 16 straight days they jammed the gangway, toured the ship, bought souvenirs and some came back two and three time! In all over 31,000 came aboard.  We moved on Sept. 5th towards Alton.  We arrived on the sixth, set up.  and opened to a huge crowd but again the rains came. Still the LST fans came.  We had lots of school groups throughout the tour.  All learned about the "ship that won the war". 

Today, September 11th, the crew is tired.  What a job all have done to make this trip a success; make people, kids, families, veterans all feel welcome.  They have answered all kinds of question from "what is an LST" to how did it get off the beach, what did it carry, was it in the Pacific or Atlantic??  They learned that LST's were in Korea and Vietnam as well as in WWII.  They learned about the LST 325 being in the Greek Navy for 35 years.  But above all they learned the major role that LST's played keeping America free.  In all 157 ships came down the IL River in 1942 to late 1945, but LST 325 is the first to ever go back up the river - another first for this great ship. 

I can't thank our pilots enough - John Vize, Bob Peyman, Allen Stukel, and Quent Harris.  I cannot thank Lee Hofer of Henry, Bud Ruff and Bill Roeder of Peoria, Brent Stawar in Alton and LST crewmember, Garry Hisel, enough for all their work and planning on this trip.  We also had help from the US Coast Guard, US Corps of Engineers, Caterpillar, the Hotel Pere Marquette in Peoria, Super 8 in Alton, LCKS (Lettercraft of Peru, IL), Artco tugs, Midwest Foundation, and again much help in Alton from Luhr Brothers. The Luhr brothers have been involved with LST 325 since 2003.  There are so many to thank it would be impossible in one newsletter.

We are home in Illinois for a few days before heading back to the LST 325 and Evansville to get ready for "LST WEEK" Sept 25 to 30. As all looks now, with reservations coming in at a fast pace we will more than double our attendance next week over last year. We will have a lot of fun and see so many old friends and make a ton of new friends. That is what is so great about volunteering and being close to LST 325.

Captain Bob Jornlin

Progress Report Update
Posted September 15, 2007
A Note from an Alton. IL Visitor

What a wonderful day we had on LST 325! It was especially moving to our family because my father, Dwight, served on LST 995 in North Africa and during it's landing in the south of France in August 1944, and later served on LST 61. My Dad passed away on December 7, 1998 or he would have done everything he could to sail the high seas for the return trip of the 325 from Greece.

When we heard that the 325 was in Alton, we decided to retrieve some of the dirt where Dad's ashes were spread and take them with us to put over the side in symbolic tribute to him. Little did we know how wonderful the crew would be in assisting us!

I would like to give a special thank you to Chaplain Perry, to the wonderful gentleman who tracked down the Chaplain and assisted with the service for my Dad and also the person who manned the gun for the salute. Your kindness and efforts were truly appreciated.

I am sending some of the photos we took that day. My favorite is the one of my brother-in-law Dale and my sister Betsy escorting Mother to the fantail. I know Pop was present in spirit.

Thank you...thank heart is full.

Dwight in his state room
Dwight's brother Byron
Omaha Beach landing on D-Day

Progress Report Update
Posted August 30 2007
Photos from Peoria Thanks to a Few Visitors

Progress Report Update
Posted August 17 2007
LST Sails!
The LST 325 sailed today for a month long cruise to various Illinois towns. For a complete itinerary, check out the Upcoming Events page and stay tuned for photos and updates.

Progress Report Update
Posted August 10 2007
#1 Eagle Scout candidates from Troop 399 have taken on the project of chipping and painting one of the 40mm mounts.
#2 Cotton is doing the same thing on one of the other 40mm mounts. He probably won't get his Eagle Scout award.
#3 Doug is preparing his suite for the cruise. Looks like it will have all the comforts of home.

#4 Doug has constructed a drain device so when the fire system is flushed it won't get nasty water all over the soon to be repainted deck.
#5 The signal flag box markers are being refurbished.
#6 Gene and Ray are renewing and improving some of the piping in the galley.

#7 Joyce greets customers in the gift shop. The ladies are always busy.
#8 Ken shows visitors from the Visitors & Convention Bureau around the ship. The lady next to Ken is bringing a large tour to view the ship this fall.
#9 Larry was responsible for procuring and inventorying new life vests to satisfy the needs of the upcoming cruise.

#10 Along with his other duties, Larry can often be found chipping and painting various pieces of equipment around the ship.
#11 We recently had a lot of unpaid visitors aboard in the form of Mayflies. Thank goodness they weren't around very long.
#12 More Paint!! This was a recent shipment of paint. It will not last very long at the rate that it is being applied to the ship.

#13 To give you an idea how the paint is being used, this is a view of the fantail deck after Doug finished it.
#14 This is a view of the starboard side main deck after a new coat of paint. Both sides of the main deck have now been painted to just forward of the superstructure.  
#15 Once again we have new neighbors tied up just upstream from the ship. The Corps of Engineers is beginning a major dredging operation just downstream from the ship.
#16 The dredge is set up and pumping where the horseshoe bend in the river begins. They will create a man made sandbar in the middle of the river which boaters will use for the rest of the summer. Once the river starts to rise and fall the sandbar will be washed away and next year or the year after the Corps will return and do the same dredging.   
#17 Pete needle guns in preparation for paint........always more paint.  
#18 Pete needle gunned the main deck but he is painting in the Aux. Eng. Room. Hmmm  

#19 Another of our loyal office ladies, Phyllis makes change for a tour customer.  
#20 Before all the beautiful deck painting Doug pressure washed the deck.  
#21 Ray grinds off an old stanchion base before welding a new one in place. This is to make the lifelines safer.

#22 Before painting a bulkhead Roy wipes it down.  
#23 One of our "Young Guns", Tyler, mans a paint roller.  
#24 Dave and Harry position a new hot water heater in the crews quarters.

Progress Report Update
Posted August 4 2007

Every year for the past 20 years a group of more then 200 individuals known as Amphibs meet with their amphibious vehicles consisting of Military Duck’s, GPA’s, and an assortment of civilian and hand crafted amphibian vehicles. Some refer to it as Water Week, always held during the European Holiday.

The Amphibs meet in a different location each year, last year they gathered in Italy, and this year being their 20th anniversary they met at the same location as their first gathering in 1987, Arnhem, Holland. For you History buffs, Arnhem is the site of the Allied Invasion forces during WW II code named Market Garden. Most everyone recalls the movie “Bridge to Far” that was filmed in this area.

The LST Crew became involved with this Amphib Group in 2005 during the filming (Flags of Our Fathers) in Iceland at which time lots of conversation between Americans and Europeans took place that transformed a European dream into a possible reality of coming to the United States for a Water Week. It would be hosted by the U.S. involving a Landing Ship Tank, recognized by Europeans as the Mother of all Amphibians.

The week Monday through Friday (July 21st -28th-) consisted of riding in different amphibians, (DUCK) swimming some 15 plus miles down stream every day. In a different river, eating a lunch and driving by highway back to camp, almost always in the rain. Captain Jornlin had the rare opportunity to ride with Jean-Paul Caron from France who was also a participant in the 1992 Alcan Highway convoy to Alaska that the Captain was a part of as a truck driver.  Anna and I rode one day with Captain Erik Korevaar from Holland and another day with Captain Bjorn Folsholm from Norway. Just being in the Neder-Rijn (Rhine) River, because of the historical events that took place there, was exciting to Anna and me. One trip on the River Ijssel, Anna found to be a real adrenalin rush - when we helped a Duck that lost his engine and pushed us in to the rocks that created a very noticeable water leak in our duck. At which time life jackets were put on the children and Captain Bjorn looked for a possible site to get our duck ashore, as our bulge pumps worked double time. Bjorn found a slipway in ¾ of a mile and we got to dry land returning to camp by road.

On Wednesday afternoon a special meeting was held to discuss the possibility of a United States Water Week in 2009. Approximately 150 people were in attendance.

Captain Jornlin presented the group a written invitation to the U.S. on behalf of the LST 325, along with a brief history of the LST and why we came to the Netherlands to meet all of them. The Captain and I then used a power point presentation prepared specifically for this occasion by Garry and Tammy Hisel, depicting the 09 MVPA convention in Evansville and a very brief agenda for a possible United States Water Week. Lois and Anna were surrounded and swamped with questions as they passed out ships flyers during the meeting. ( you need to keep in mind the need for translations during the course of the presentation) – France, Dutch, Norway, German, ETC.---

Countries that we spoke with at this years gathering included Italy, Sweden, Belgium, England, France, Norway, Germany, Scotland, Thailand. Manny & Merike Rogers, who have been involved with the Amphibs and represented the United States for the past 20 years were also there.

The final consensus of the group by Thursday morning was to make plans to come to the United States in 2009.
1.  A committee was formed with one representative each, from 11 different countries to provide assistance to the United States.
2.  A web site or a network of communications will be put in place for the group by the United States.
3.  The United States will form a group to create an agenda for an Amphib Water Week in the U.S.
4.  The Europeans will look into transportation for their vehicles to the U.S. per over seas transport.
5.  The U.S. will look into transportation of these same vehicles to the LST in Evansville and back to the over seas transport following a possible 3 week stay in the United States.

Prepared by – Jornlin and Adams  


The Fleet on the River Rhine (11 countries represented) for 16 km A good day for a swim

WWII German Schwimmwagen

 Amphib car Lunch time

M-2 Amphib crane and 2 GPA (Ducklings)

Captain & Lois Jornlin and Kenny & Anna Adams in front of Brick Factory that was destroyed during WWII Entering the “GAT van MOORLAG”   River for 22km
Photos by Anna Adams

Progress Report Update
Posted July 17, 2007
Apologies for this report being tardy but things have really been busy and I'll try to get the next report out in a more timely manner........


#1 Pete works on sound powered phone hookups. They are throughout the ship but many of them are corroded and don't function properly. 
#2 Harry is working on the compressor on the barge. He is trying to get it going so that the very noisy compressor on the tank deck can be used less. When conducting tours and the tank deck compressor is running it's very difficult to explain to people about the ship. 
#3 Pete has found a new mode of transportation around the ship. He is a rather wild rider though so be careful. 

#4 This plaque is given to the LST 585 group for their contributions to LST 325. Thank you folks..... 
#5 Darlene is always busy with her duties in the gift shop and office. 
#6 Harry and Gene continue to work on the barge compressor. It has been an ordeal but we're sure they will win out. 

#7 Another of our office ladies, Pam, is seen here packaging items to be sold on the August cruise.   
#8 Ray is seen here applying a coat of paint to the bow doors. It is unbelievable how much painting Ray and Doug have done getting the ship ready for the August cruise. Sorry Doug I didn't get you in the picture. 
#9 The starboard bosn's locker is going to be converted into a public rest room. This will make it a lot more convenient for visitors.

#10 Roy is working on the deck inside the locker in preparations for the conversion. 
#11 New life rafts have been installed under the port boat davits. Lets hope they never have to be used. 
#12 The bow doors with a fresh new coat of paint. She looks better every day guys....

#13 Pam greets visitors who come aboard for a tour. 
#14 Tom Price who owns the LVT and spends time with us lends a hand at the controls of our small boom. They were moving things off the tank. 
#15 Boats and Jerry are moving gear around. Some things were brought up from the tank deck and other things were lowered to the tank deck.

#16 Doug seems to have a third hand sometimes and it is in the shape of a needle gun. If he's not needle gunning he is painting. Or he might be shining Boat's shoes.....
 #17 Another of our needle gun virtuosos is Larry. When not guiding a tour he can usually be found up close and personal with a needle gun.
 #18 One of the new shell casing baskets has been finished and remounted on the aft gun tub.

#19 Dorris is seen trying to free up one of out 20mm mounts. 
#20 I had the honor of riding in Charlie's truck pulling his calliope in the Evansville Freedom Festival Parade. We were the last unit in the parade and it was truly heart warming to watch the people sitting  on the curbs as they looked up and saw the banner that said LST 325. They would immediately stand, smile and applaud. Made for goose bumps.......

Progress Report Update
Posted July 12, 2007
Photos from the History Channel Filming - June 2 & 3, 2007
(For a larger image, click on photo)

For More Great Photos - Click Here

Progress Report Update
Posted June 23, 2007
(Click on photo for a larger image)

#1 Larry Hahn, even though he has not been feeling well and after spending  three days in the hospital, continues to needle gun the life jacket lockers on the 01 level aft.
#2 & #3 The renovation of the conn has been completed by Ray and Doug. The chairs have been redone and remounted. It really is a much nicer looking area now. It's a shame that the public is unable to see it. We understand though because the ladders up to the conn are very steep.

#4 Even the ships horn control has been redone with a new handle, mount and cable.
#5 One of the drawbacks to having the 20mm guns exposed to the weather is rust. Pete is applying a rust inhibitor to one of the guns. We feel it is important for out visitors to see the weapons that our sailors had to work with.
#6 Ray is inspecting the newly mounted accommodation ladder that Doug installed in one of our LCVPs. The ladder is solid as a rock and Doug is once again commended for a job well done. As a personal note, for those of you who cannot get aboard and see the quality of work that our maintenance men turn out I keep showing some of it here but I cannot do it justice. These guys are unbelievable. What a great bunch to work with......  

#7 This is the new ladder. Just one of the many, many jobs that are done daily aboard LST 325.  
#8 Dorris is cutting expanded metal to construct a new shell casing cage for the aft twin forties.  
#9 Jim and Dorris are doing the welding on the casing cage.

#10 Cotton Mears is one of our newer Maint. Volunteers and he has taken on the project of needle gunning the aft starboard 40mm gun. Maybe you haven't noticed but it seems that the crew of the 325 are something akin to the folks who "adopt-a-spot" on the highway. Several of the guys have said that this is my little area and I'm going to see it through.  
#11 Matt moves one of out hawsers to the barge.  
#12 Perry and some ham radio associates from the Tri-State Radio Club are participating in Museum Ships Radio Weekend sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey. There are approximately 70 Museum ships around the world taking part in the weekend and this group hope to talk to 30 to 40 of them.  

#13 Another of Doug's projects is the prep and painting of the exterior bulkhead where the old radio room vent was removed. Here he is needle gunning the large area to be repainted. I'll have a shot of the new paint in the next report.  
#14 Pete presents a check to Mike from American Electric Power. We thank AEP very much for their generosity.  
#15 Ray and Gene are repairing and adapt a piece of equiptment. It'll be better than new when they are finished with it.  

#16 Here  Mike is discussing with the Capt. of the cruise ship Delta Queen the possibility of LST 325 becoming a stopping point for the cruise  ship. We are hoping this comes about.  
#17 As you can see it is not all work and no play aboard the 325. Charlie Lawrence found an old rod and reel with a rusty hook and added a piece of hot dog and low and behold he caught a nice catfish. Not enough to feed the crew but it's a start.  
#18 Erik, Pam and Eric are seen here aboard the USS Sphinx ARL 24. The Sphinx is in a bone yard in Newport News, Va.  

#19 Here the stern of the Sphinx can be seen nested with other ship in mothballs.  
#20 This is the group that went to Newport News, VA to salvage what they could for use on the 325. They are Pete, Pam, Erik, Ad, Gordon and John. Good work folks.  
#21 Ad watches as parts are removed from the Sphinx.
#22 Pam removes an electrical box from a bulkhead on the Sphinx.  
#23 Parts can be seen here on the pier ready for transport.  
#24 This is a wider view of the bone yard. The ARL 24 can just be seen between ships.  

Progress Report Update
Posted June 9, 2007
D-Day Reenactment Photos
(Click on photo for a larger image)

Thanks to Don Hardesty
for these wonderful photos!

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