More than 70 years ago, the Allied forces of World War II invaded Omaha Beach in Normandy, France as part of the D-Day operations. Thanks to the work of volunteers, a relic from that era lives on.
The USS LST 325 was commissioned on February 1, 1943, and participated in the historic invasion on June 6, 1944. It carried vehicles, tanks, soldiers and equipment to the shore.
Captain Robert “Bob” Kubota is a certified tugboat captain. He volunteers on the LST 325.
“This was such an important part of the war effort, Churchill himself said this is the ship that won the war,” Kubota said. “They were able to get them not only just the tanks but all the other necessary material that goes to fighting a modern war.”
He personally did not serve during the war. Nonetheless, he has a personal connection to it. His father was a Japanese-American, born in the USA.
He was placed in an internment camp during WWII, then paroled so that he could work the crops in order to help fill the labor shortage the US was suffering through, due to the war. Eventually, he was drafted and served as a Master Sergeant.
Kubota says that his treatment in WWII bothered his father.
Irwin Kuhns, 90, served on LST 325 in the war. He helped deliver supplies in Higgins boats – smaller supply boats used to ferry troops ashore. Kuhns still recalls the Higgins boats vividly, Fox News reported.
“I spent many hours out there in my Higgins boat doing these runs back and forth with the different ships. Bringing in supplies, bringing in fresh troops and taking out the ones that aren’t too fresh,” said Kuhns.
Kuhns likes to meet visitors aboard LST 325. He often gets emotional when he talks about the war.