On Wednesday, August 18 and Thursday, August 19 the Indiana Chapter of the United States LST Association had its yearly reunion at Hall’s Guest House in Fort Wayne.
The United States LST Association is a not-for-profit association with its national office located in Oregon, OH. The purpose of this organization is to: (1) Promote the spirit of the Navy and Coast Guard LST’s through meetings, reunions and publications, (2) Publish a newsletter (Scuttlebutt), (3) Assist veterans in locating former shipmates, and (4) Hold National Conventions and Reunions.
An LST is best described by quoting an article in the September-October 2000 of Scuttlebutt, “When you stop and think, LST’s were just a shell with a tank deck running through the center of the hull. There was no armor plating to protect them from any type of firepower. They had a flat bottom and there was no speed for maneuverability. There was fire power against aircraft only and they were called upon to beach under heavy enemy fire.”
Many LST’s were used in WWII with some seeing action in Korea and Vietnam. LST’s (Landing Ship Tank) were about 327 feet long and 50 feet wide. They had a crew of about 110 and over 1000 were built during WWII. Many were built at the Kaiser shipyard at Richmond, California and some were built on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, in such towns as Seneca, Illinois, Evansville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Now back to the Indiana Chapter LST 2004 Reunion.
Early afternoon on Wednesday started with registration of 66 shipmates and wives and the Hospitality Room opened at 3:30pm. What would a Navy reunion be without a Hospitality Room?
Thursday morning they had a board of directors meeting and a ladies bus trip to DeBrand Chocolates. A General membership meeting was held at 10:00am. After lunch there was a bus trip to the Kruse Victory Museum at Auburn, Indiana. That night the dinner banquet started with a memorial service for nine shipmates that had passed away since their last meeting. The Reverend Norman Conklin conducted the memorial.
Soloist Ben Markley then entertained with songs of the 40’s such as “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “God Bless America,” and “White Christmas”. The hospitality room again opened followed with many stories and memories reviewed by the US’s “Greatest Generation.” All will be looking forward to next year.
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