History buffs and military enthusiasts alike will be flocking to McGregor Park this September for a rare opportunity to see a unique World War II relic and experience a piece of military history firsthand. On Sept. 26-30, the LST-325 will be docked in Clarksville and available for tours.
An LST (Landing Ship, Tank) is an amphibious vessel with roots dating back to the Second World War. Its one-of-a-kind design allows the ship to land battle-ready tanks, troops and supplies directly onto enemy shores. LSTs were extremely useful during times of war and peace. LST-325 was used in Operation HUSKY; D-Day Invasion, Omaha Beach, France; Belfast, Ireland, and arctic operations in the 1950s. After decades of service, this ship was transferred to Greece and served in the Greek Navy as well. In 2000, the USS LST Ship Memorial Inc. acquired the vessel, bringing her eventually to her current home in Evansville, Ind.
Currently, the ship serves as a museum and memorial ship for the men who bravely served their country aboard LSTs. While in Clarksville Sept. 26-30, the LST-325 will be open for self-guided tours. Each tour will take approximately 45 minutes and will include a walk around the entire ship (including areas with stairs). Ship personnel will be on hand to answer questions. Photographs are welcome and encouraged.
The ship will be open at 9 a.m. on Sept. 26, and the last tour will begin at 5 p.m. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-17 and 5 and under are free. Families can get a pass for $20, good for two adults and two minor children.
Parking is available north of the boat ramp at the River Center. However, handicap parking will be available at the boat ramp. School groups may unload their buses at the ramp. The McGregor Park boat ramp will be closed to other boaters for the duration of the LST’s stay.
School groups interested in visiting are strongly encouraged to contact Doug Barber for information on special rates and to reserve a time slot. All school groups will receive a guided tour throughout the ship. Group leaders can contact Barber at 931-245-4343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This would be a great field trip opportunity for JROTC programs, homeschool groups and Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts too.
For more information on the LST memorial program, please visit www.lstmemorial.org. For more information on the LST-325’s visit to Clarksville Sept. 26-30, please contact Barber at 931-245-4346 or email email@example.com.