Historic ship sails into Vicksburg


VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) — A ship that saw action during World War II is docked a the Port of Vicksburg.

The Historic USS LST 325 sailed into Vicksburg.

The landing ship tank was built in 1941. It was designed to land troops and support equipment directly onto hostile beaches during WWII.

City and state leaders were among dozens that toured the ship Friday.

“How these ships were built back in the early day and at the same time how their being able to keep them up and keep them where they’re still being used,” said Mayor George Flaggs.

“To think that we are standing where people have fought and died, I mean that just blows my mind,” said Representative Oscar Denton, a Democrat for District 55.

Even though the ship has been restored, it still has some of its original features, such as the racks where soldiers slept at night and the cannons that sit on the top deck.
“There is like zero armor protection,” said Captian Bob Kubota, LST 325. “They’re not enclosed at all. they’re just out in the opening.”

82-year-old Army Veteran William Smallwood said he spent time on a ship similar to this one during WWII.

“I was in the Navy 16 days, but I was really in the Army Infantry,” he said. “I spent eight days going to Germany and eight days coming back to New York. This brings back some memories being on that troop ship.”

LST 325 is 328 feet long and 50 feet wide.

“I drove tow boats all my life, and now I get to drive an actual Navy ship that has such a terrific history behind it.” said Captain Kubota.

LST 325 was in Cape Girardeau before making its way to Vicksburg. It will be open to the public for tours from Friday until October 11.

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