LST 325 Tours to Resume September 18th
Had things gone according to plan, the LST 325 would still be on its annual tour visiting different locations in the region to allow history buffs in those areas the same opportunity to tour the World War II transport ship we here in Evansville are fortunate enough to do any time we want (during their business hours, anyway). However, as it has done with so many other plans over the past 18 months, COVID threw a wrench into things when one of the crew members tested positive for the virus forcing the warship to cut the tour short and return home. But, there is a silver lining. The early return means the ship and its museum on the Evansville riverfront will reopen sooner than originally planned.
The Memorial posted the announcement last week on its official Facebook page stating that after the ship was cleaned and sanitized, it would reopen for tours starting this Saturday (September 18th). The visitor's center (across the street from Tropicana Casino) would operate under its regularly scheduled hours until then.
According to the Memorial's website, the standard tour includes what seems to be nearly every inch of the ship from "the Main Deck, Troop Berthing, Tank Deck, Mess Deck, Galley, Stern of ship (Guns and Anchor), Wheel House, Officer's Country, and the Captain's Cabin." They also note the standard tour includes climbing six sets of stairs. Since that could be difficult for some, a tour of the main deck with no stairs is also available. It also notes that while not required, "visitors are encouraged to wear masks and practice "social distancing" as best as they can."
I had the opportunity to broadcast live from the deck of the LST 325 a couple of years ago to celebrate the opening of its new home in front of Tropicana Casino, and it ranks as one of my all-time favorite broadcasts in the 24 years I've been in radio. You can just feel the history the moment you step on the deck. To think about the role it played in the war and how hundreds of soldiers, as well as vehicles, once stood on the same ship preparing for battle is truly incredible. I highly recommend taking a tour to experience it for yourself.
For hours and ticket prices, visit out the LST Memorial website.
[Source: USS LST-325 Memorial on Facebook]