22 SEPT 18 / 2058 Hrs
We had a great LST-325 tour mission up the Mississippi River. At Dubuque Iowa we had well over 16500 people to take a tour of the LST, we had a waiting line of two hours one day. We had great support by the Visitor Bureau in port, great people their, made many friends for the LST. General Patton had a great time with the good folks in the waiting line. Doing photo ops, meeting veterans, talking history and taking question about the LST. As you all know some years ago we started issuing Ribbon / Medals to WW II Veterans who come on board the LST at the bow gangway. At Dubuque, Quade Cities Iowa and Chester,Ill on this trip we issued 135 Ribbon / Medal to WW II Veterans. We had one WW II Veteran who was 101 years old, moving along better then some of us LST ship mates. To date we have issue 385 of these Ribbon/ Medals to WW II veterans who came aboard the LST-325. Everyone can be proud of our crew and the great job they did to make this tour mission happen. Form The Get GO, it was well organized and coordinated mission up the Mississippi River. We did have one major problem keeping Harry Zillion from eating all the ice cream from the Galley ice cream machine, just kidding. Take care. SARGE
Sarge forgot the FUN part at our last tour stop, Chester, IL, where we supplied some extra additions to the main part of their annual Popeye Festival....the PARADE!
He was invited to be in their main event, as Patton. (of course)
Additionally, we were honored to provide a proper conveyance for two of the Star characters...Popeye and Olive Oyl. What more appropriate vehicle could there be, but a Navy Jeep complete with large Spinach Cans and Popeye tunes emanating from our portable PA?
Harry Z and I handled the driving and audio while our 7 1/2 foot Sailor and his companion waved to the crowds.
While our LARGE contribution to our host city was down on the waterfront being prepared for Saturday's tours, we were happy to supply this smaller contribution as an added attraction.