Disastrous Allied D-Day landing drill - Operation Tiger - commemorated
During his early days in the U.S. Navy, Thomas Glynn tapped the shoulder of an officer and requested he be put aboard a ship instead of land duty. Weeks later, he was serving aboard LST 289 (Landing Ship Tank), and was in the midst of a historic attack that was classified for decades. Operation Tiger (AKA Exercise Tiger) was the code name for a 1944 full-scale rehearsal for the D-Day Normandy invasion. During the exercise, an unescorted Allied convoy was attacked by German surface vessels. Because of extreme secrecy, radio silence and miscommunication, 946 American servicemen perished.
Divers have discovered D-Day ship wreck LCT 427 in Solent
Divers have discovered the wreck of a British ship which sank with all its crew in the Solent while returning from the D-Day landings. Landing craft LCT 427 was returning to Portsmouth in the early hours of 7 June 1944 having delivered her cargo of tanks to Sword beach. Just 4 miles from shore it collided with battleship HMS Rodney and was sliced in half. All 12 crew were lost. Divers from Southsea Sub-Aqua Club have now located the wreck. Alison Mayor, project leader, explained: "It is such a tragic and sad story. The crew had made the crossing to France, survived the engagement with the enemy and successfully delivered the cargo of tanks - only to be lost in the dead of night, 4 miles from home."
LST 393 opening for tour/event season on shoreline of Muskegon Lake
There will be more activity onboard USS LST 393 in the summer of 2011 than at any time since the ship made 30 round trips to Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy. The busy calendar of LST 393 — the WWII warship moored at the Mart Dock in downtown Muskegon — will include parties, receptions, entertainment, weddings and movies. All this will be in addition to the museum's main mission, honoring America's veterans. In 2010 over 25,000 visitors from 48 states toured the landing ship tank.
WWII veteran Stanley Antanaitis recalls serving on LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank)
Stanley "Jay" Antanaitis served as a watertender 2nd class on a number of LSTs, but most of his time was spent on LST 1011 - nicknamed the Good Shepherd. LST (Landing, Ship, Tank) was the military designation for WWII naval vessels supporting amphibious operations by carrying tanks, cargo, and landing troops onto a shore.
"I really liked serving on LSTs, because it was a big ship, but a small crew. [During invasions] we went in with tanks and trucks and troops. We pretty much were in the first and second waves."
LST 325, the last operating warship of its kind, lands in Marietta, Ohio
A U.S. Navy ship that once landed troops on Omaha Beach during the D-Day+1 has arrived in Marietta, Ohio. LST 325 is the last of 1,051 WWII Landing Ship Tank vessels still in operation. "LSTs were built to haul 20 Sherman tanks on their tank decks. They're basically big, self-propelled barges that can go right up to a beach... lower their ramps, and have vehicles and troops drive off," said Ronald Bezouska, of the USS LST Ship Memorial. After unloading elements of the 5th Engineer Special Brigade on Omaha Beach on D-Day+1, LST 325 made 44 trips delivering vehicles and troops at Omaha, Juno, Gold and Utah beaches.
Landing craft pilot Mike O'Connor faced heavy fire in Pacific battles
Mike O'Connor piloted a landing craft, known as a Higgins boat, during the Pacific campaign in the Second World War under heavy fire, moving Marines and soldiers to beach heads. The boats carried 36 troops and a crew of 4 and the ramp opened in the front, giving the enemy a clear shot at what was inside. "They were plywood boats and it was easy, in those waters, to knock holes in them. And then you'd have to haul them out, haul them up and repair them on ship. They gave me a jeep to land in Guam. I couldn't get the boat up to the shore, so we opened the front and the water came in and swamped it."
Historic naval vessel, Mark III Tank Landing Craft LCT 7074, used in D-Day in danger of being lost
From seeing combat in one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War to being used as a floating clubhouse in Liverpool's docklands, the Landfall has had a colourful history. Now the historic Merseyside naval vessel - Mark III Tank Landing Craft LCT 7074 - is in danger of being lost after she started sinking in the Birkenhead dock. The 500-ton Landfall is the last surviving tank landing craft to take part in the D-Day invasion, The tank landing craft's future has been uncertain ever since her former owner, the Warship Preservation Trust, went into liquidation in 2006.
Underwater camera gets first images of sunk Australia World war II hospital ship Centaur
An Australian WWII hospital ship, the Centaur, has been seen for the first time since it sank over 60 years ago with a loss of 268 lives. Images of the wreck, 2km (1.3 miles) below the sea, were captured by a remote-controlled underwater camera. Australia says the ship was torpedoed by the Japanese in May 1943. Japan says the circumstances surrounding its sinking are unclear. Although the wreck is badly damaged, markings and features that identify the wreck as the Centaur were clearly visible. Among the features shown by the camera were the large red crosses marked on each side of the bow.
A team of 12 divers try to find a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) which sank in 1944
The team, from Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, hopes the 5-day project in Bracklesham will solve the World War II mystery and save the LCT, which was used in the D-Day landings. The LCT was part of J Force and was due to land at Juno Beach before it was sunk by gunfire. In 2008 the divers solved the mystery of how two Centaur tanks and two bulldozers came to rest on the seabed 8 miles offshore in Bracklesham. But there is no known shipwreck near the armoured vehicles. The historic war diaries for 2nd Royal Marine Armoured Support Group revealed that one LCT was forced to turn back and later capsized while under tow.
Restored World War II Higgins Boat ready to serve, again
WW2 Navy veteran Earl Norwood recalls carrying troops to Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. "When the transport door dropped I watched two men get cut in half by machine guns firing from the beach." Troops were transported onto the beaches using a Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP), or "Higgins Boat". 23,000 were constructed during the Second World War, but just 12 are left in the United States. One of those is located at the N.C. Maritime Museum's Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort, where volunteers have restored the vessel to its former glory.
9500 people toured LST-325 during 5-day visit
The Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau has revealed that the visit by the USS LST-325 was a success. CVB Director Heather Hilgendorf-Cooley said that in spite of heavy rain 2 days of the 5-day visit almost 9,600 visitors toured the ship, with countless others taking photographs from Riverview Drive. "This event generated more than $780,000 in tourism related revenue. In the community, this rolled over in goods and services, impacting that number to $4.68 million." The land ship tank is an amphibious vessel designed to land battle-ready tanks, troops and supplies onto enemy shores.
John Richards served on LST 454 in the Pacific during World War Two
In Oct. 1944, after working through invasion after invasion in the New Guinea, the men aboard LST 454 were ready for a rest. Instead, they sailed for Leyte Gulf to be part of the largest naval battle in history... After reaching Halmahera, a lone Japanese plane nicknamed "Washing Machine Charlie" often strafed LSTs. One night it came by for a second pass and American gunners were ready. This time "Charlie" wasn't alone. It was being tailed by a second aircraft the Americans didn't id. The gunners opened fire. The plane (a P-61 Black Widow, so new the Americans had never seen one) turned its wings up to show the American insignia, but it was too late.
WWII LST 325 to cruise Illinois River and dock for tours
Ken Mann still remembers June 6, 1944. He was there when Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, the beginning of the end for Adolf Hitler. Millions had already died during the blitzkriegs, on battlefields, in camps, in the English neighborhoods bombed by German rockets and planes. Whether millions more would die depended on people like Mann, who served onboard an LST (landing ship, tank). The amphibious ships had a big task: They carried tanks, soldiers and equipment. LST 325 is the only LST that remains, says the USS LST Ship Memorial. The ship has received 50,000 visitors since it opened in Evansville, Ind., 18 months ago.
The USS LST 393 opens bow doors and years of World War II history (Article no longer available from the original source)
The power of modern machinery took on the corrosive resistance of time. "The worn gear that open the door are so rusty inside we're having to pull it like this little at a time," said Daniel Weikel, who heads the preservation association to restore the USS LST 393. Landing Ship Tank 393 will become World War II Museum. "The whole length of that ship on the tank deck will be filled with WWII memorabilia."
WWII's last Mighty Midget heads to Mare Island to become museum
Patrolling the Pacific: With Japanese kamikaze war planes ramming ships and raining bombs from the sky, sailor William Mason faced the fury of the enemy in a tiny landing craft support ship called the USS LCS (L) (3) 102. Firing a 20mm anti-aircraft gun, he and his shipmates formed the first line of defense in the invasion of Okinawa and in other WW2 amphibious battles. The brave sailors aboard those tiny ships, called "Mighty Midgets," are an unknown part of World War 2 who deserve their own place in history. The Mare Island Historic Park Foundation is gearing up to accept the ship and turn it into a museum and memorial.
Philip Holcomb: D-Day exercise attacked by German E-boats (Article no longer available from the original source)
LST 289 stayed in England, which was "blanketed with Army troops," for maneuvers, practicing for D-Day. In the pitch-black darkness of the English Channel, a flotilla of LSTs were gathered. What the sailors didn't know was that the US had purchased a small town on the English coast, Slapton Sands, where everything was created to look like Normandy: a dress rehearsal for D-Day. Escort ships were unavailable for the maneuver, which began on April 28. As the flotilla approached the coast, stealthy German E-boats began torpedoing the U.S. ships. "They caught us out there like a bunch of sitting ducks."
World War II vessel LCI 713 is back in Portland but future is unclear (Article no longer available from the original source)
The LCI 713 survived combat duty in WW2, but the harsh elements on the lower Columbia River have proven to be a tough adversary. The vessel that had found a home at Pier 39 on the Astoria waterfront is back in Portland, where restorers continue bringing it back into wartime trim, and ponder where its future home will be. The vessel's owners aren't sure whether it will return to Astoria, where it arrived 2 years ago with the plan to become the centerpiece of a naval history museum. The vintage landing craft, one of the last of its kind still afloat, was honored with its acceptance into the National Register of Historic Places.
New museum plans abandon rare World War II-era landing craft
When a rare WWII-era landing craft, 500-ton relic, was donated to the Museum of the Marine 3 years ago, the benefactors thought it would add a unique touch to the effort to bring a Marine Corps museum to Jacksonville. But now the group that donated the landing ship medium, the USS LSM-LSMR Association, is afraid the museum's newly proposed design is leaving the ship high and dry. "The landing craft was to be incorporated in the design of the museum. But nowhere does it mention a placement for the landing craft. We are very concerned as to what is going to happen to the ship and if it will ever be part of the museum."
LST-510 is a ship with a proud past (Article no longer available from the original source)
Ships that have only historians to give a voice to their history. LST-510, now the USS Cape Henlopen, works as a ferry. Leap back in time to Sept. 1943 and World War II. Combat and transport ships were being built so fast that time did not always permit a naming, hence, LST (Landing Ship for Tanks) 510. In March 1944, LST-510 was loaded for bear and part of a 64-ship convoy crossing the Atlantic. She carried 600-tons of ammunition to the war effort. The most deadly to the LST-510 and her high explosive cargo were the U-boats. A week into the crossing, a wolf-pack of German submarines hit the convoy.
LCS - Landing Craft, Support -- Amphibious assault tools (Article no longer available from the original source)
LCS(L) stands for Landing Craft, Support (Large), and they were a ship type developed late in World War II. They were only 158 feet long, 23 feet wide and displaced 387 tons. They had a crew of 5 officers and 65 men and had a speed of 15 knots. Developed from a large landing craft, the LCI (L), they first went into action in 1944 and were used in the Pacific Theater where the fighting consisted of a long series of D-Days. Armed with 40mm and 20mm rapid fire guns, .50 cal. machine guns and rocket launchers they provided close-in fire support for the troops who would hit the beach at the time of the amphibious assault.
German torpedo boats attacked 8 ships killing 749 soldiers (Article no longer available from the original source)
It began on the morning of April 27, 1944: Nine German torpedo boats from Nazi-occupied France attacked eight slow-moving U.S. ships during what was a mock invasion for the Americans, known as "Exercise Tiger." Within minutes, 749 American soldiers died. Steven Sadlon served as radio operator on the Landing Ship Tank LST-507, which was to take part in the practice invasion, complete with tanks and ammunition. "I heard a scraping noise along the side of our LST." The general quarters alarm sounded and I thought "Wow, for a dry run they're making this pretty realistic." The scraping noise he heard turned to be a torpedo, fired by a German E-boat.
World War II Landing Ship Tanker - Serving with LST 552 (Article no longer available from the original source)
Landing Ship Tanker 552 on which Ralph Price served during World War II sported a crew of 115 sailors and hauled tons of tanks, vehicles and ammunition. It could drive right onto a beach, where its entire bow could open to discharge equipment, vehicles and tanks. 18 20-mm guns were dispersed around the ship and four 40-mm guns anchored the aft with two at the bow. He participated in six major island invasions aboard LST 552. At Leyte Island the ship came under attack. Three bombers were shot down by the LST’s heavy anti-aircraft fire, but not before one bomber released three bombs. One bomb struck amid ships on the port side of LST 552.