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WWII history in Southern Indiana: The LST 325

Destination Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) The LST 325 is the only WWII ship of its kind in operation, and it’s docked in downtown Evansville.

The ship was used during D-Day in France. Tours of the LST offer families a history lesson and a fun experience without having to leave the Hoosier state.

“There’s no ship in the world that can carry that much armament in shallow water up to a beach. So it was a game changer,” says Chris Donahue, LST 325 Board Member,” That’s why Churchill said if he had to pick one thing that won that war it was the LST.”

Known as a game changer, the LST, or Landing Ship Tank, carried 20 tanks and 30 military vehicles. Only 1,051 LST’s were built during WWII. The majority of the ships were built in Evansville.

“We tell you where the ship’s been. What’s this function is for. You’re going to stand right up next to to the 40 MM guns. There were six 40mm anti-aircraft guns.”

Not only will you have the chance to check out the guns on the top deck of the ship, but you can also hear the the communications from original equipment used in the radio room. You can also check out the pilothouse where crew would steer the ship from two stories high. And walk through the cramped living quarters and stand in the mess hall.

“At least a couple holes in the ship were shot by German planes. You can see 20mm and 30mm holes through the top deck. You’re down below and you’re looking at the exit wounds.”

The ship also sails around the country, telling the role the city played in WWII.

Along with its new home along the Evansville riverfront, there’s also a museum, a gift shop and a visitors center full of WWII artifacts and exhibits.

The LST 325 is open most days throughout year and closed on major holidays. It will be open on the 4th of July.

The LST also offers many online exhibits which you can see here.

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