For many years, Jim was the original webskipper for LST 325. Jim's mother, Irene, passed away yesterday.
Although I never met her, Irene was a daily email friend. She always showed loving kindness to others, remembering special times with delight and true appreciation. She is now at peace.
Please keep Jim and the family in your thoughts and prayers.
A Personal Dedication
from the LST 325 WebSkipper
Posted 04 June 2004 (0100Z)
At right: WebSkipper Jim Anderson
flanked by XO James Edwards
and Captain Jornlin in Evansville
during the River Trip in July 2003
It's never been my intention to utilize this website as my own personal forum. I guess I've been able to resist that particular temptation so far, but today I break that tradition. I wish to dedicate my efforts on behalf of LST 325 to my family.
We have Tom Brokaw to blame for those efforts. After reading his book "The Greatest Generation," I was compelled to research my Dad's WWII history. Mr. Brokaw mentioned how many vets never spoke of their experiences. My Dad, Edward A. Anderson, Sr., was a MoMM3 on LST 1110 in the Pacific Theater. Though he wrote Mom often, he never spoke of what was happening. Neither did he speak of the war to me and my brother. All we knew was that he "ran the engines on one of the ships that carried tanks." At the time, that was plenty enough for us. After all, we were kids and the war was already just so much dusty history, even in the 1950's.
My search began with the personnel records I got from St. Louis. That was the beginning of a journey that will probably continue the rest of my life. In 1999, I created the "LST 1110 Home Port". I found many crewmembers who served on the ship during its long history from WWII up until its decommissioning in 1957. Only a handful were my Dad's shipmates, but I relived at least some of his experiences through their eyes. We had a small reunion in 2000, at which time I had the pleasure of meeting them and listening to them. Finally, someone had found an effective way to keep my mouth shut (with the exception of interspersed questions).
Working on a temporary assignment in the Netherlands in late 2000, I couldn't resist the urge to visit the 325. After all, I was most of the way there already. Also (and I have NEVER mentioned this to any of the Gold Crew), I had serious doubts that they'd get the old rustbucket back to the States -- at that time, it was one problem after another. I figured it might well be my only opportunity to see an LST up close and live. I have to add that when I met these wonderful old salts, all doubt immediately disappeared. I was overwhelmed with their wealth of talents and skills, not to mention their determination despite all odds.
I returned home in mid-December 2000. At that time, I used the LST 1110 website to issue reports and to display a daily progress map, updating it with every SITREP from the late Jack Carter (a more wonderful man is hard to find). I didn't intend to be at the arrival in Mobile, but when they reached Nassau, I could resist no longer. I was the jerk madly waving the BRAVO ZULU flags.
At that time I was fiercely determined to help the ship in any way that I could. Having full-time employment in Salt Lake City, opportunities to visit the ship would have been minimal. So I set up a working model for a website. I was ecstatic in February 2001 when Capt. Jornlin gave me the go-ahead.
So here we are and please believe me when I say I never intended to get so long-winded. As always with the 325, I got carried away.
And now I want to dedicate my far-off efforts to my family. First, of course, my Dad. He is now in his final port-of-call. If not for him, this ship would be just another curiosity for me. Next, to my older brother Ed, Jr. who unfortunately passed away at the tender age of 39. Finally, but foremost today, my Mom. She and I are the only ones left in the family. And I definitely have to include my stepfather, A. J. Barnes ("Pops"), who has now also passed on. That brings yet one more little story.
Pops very much wanted to serve in uniform. The government wouldn't let him, because he was in a war-critical industry. He served as foreman in GM's Electro-Motive Division. Yes, he built the exact same engines that my Dad worked on! I'll always wonder if they ever shared the same GM 12-567 in common.
Okay, I'm ready to wrap this up now with a little request. How about sending my wonderful Mom Irene ("Admiral Mommy") a little email birthday greeting? Can we fill up her mailbox? She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org (email address since deleted so that she doesn't wind up on too many spam lists). The sooner, the better ... she's the one that wakes up the birds.
I'm finally done. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!
~ LST 325 WebSkipper
05 June 2004 (0100Z): Many thanks to all those who sent birthday greetings to my Mom. She was thrilled to hear from each of you, and it really made her birthday one to remember. Just as crews bond on a ship at sea, our LST 325 people have really become a family!