Warship makes a stop at Chattanooga’s riverfront

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – A large metal piece of U.S. history floated into the Chattanooga downtown riverfront and will stay there for three days.

The USS LST 325 warship docked at Ross’s Landing Thursday morning with a lot of onlookers including retired navy veteran Ron Roy.

“I think today is more touching because I served on the 601 with a fellow who is onboard the 325. He was my engineer. I was the executive officer of the 601 and he was my engineering officer and he’s presently serving as a volunteer on the 325. So it’s special seeing an old shipmate bringing one of these old ships in,” Roy said.

For other navy veterans, the arrival of the old warship is special because of the day in which it arrived.

“This being 9/11, my thought was just to come down here,” said retired navy veteran Gene Weathers.

“It just gives me a good feeling; proud to be a navy veteran; proud to see these guys who are all navy retired veterans,” said retired navy veteran George Cromie

The LST 325 participated in the D-Day invasion on June 6th, 1944. It also took part in other invasions and occupations. But now it’s a floating museum that has been fully restored after it was rescued from an old shipyard in Greece.

Captain Bob Jornlin, told WDEF the ship saw a lot of action in its hay-day.

"It served through the whole WWII and the Greek Navy for 35 years. So it’s had a lot of history.  I wish it could talk. It would have a lot of stories,” Jornlin said.

The arrival of the USS LST 325 also represents freedom on a day when America was attacked by terrorist who used commercial airliners to kill thousands of people.

“This ship is part of our freedom today,” said Cromie

“We all say freedom is not free. This ship went through all of WWII to make us free and end world war but it seems as though 9/11 brought us back into a war,” said Jornlin.

Tours of the warship will be offered daily from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. through September 17th.

The cost is $10 for adult and $5 for children over the age of 5.

Categories: Local News

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