Our new LST 325 memories

Our new LST 325 memories

Joined: November 17th, 2008, 5:52 am

November 20th, 2008, 2:31 am #1

Hello to all here on the LST 325 site. I am coming here from SteelSoldiers (thanks lstmate) to thank you all for an experience that my family will never forget.



This past summer's voyage up the Mississippi presented us with the chance to see the LST 325 up close. As our town is built on the shores of the great River, this was an opportunity we couldn't miss. Garry had been chatting with me on SteelSoldiers for a few months concerning the scheduled trip. When she finally came up the River, it was after dark. What a sight to see this magnificent vessel come steaming up the Mighty Mississippi in the night!



Garry and crew went above and beyond in keeping me in touch with the ship's whereabouts throughout the day. I received several phone calls to let me know exactly where they were at, which allowed me to gather the family (my wife, 2 1/2 year old daughter, mom, and dad), warm up the M35A2, and head down to the riverfront.



We set up the lawn chairs, put a blanket in the back of the deuce, and had a great time waiting to see what would appear from downstream. At approx. 2210 hours, she rounded the bend downstream from our town. When the horns of the ship rang out from the night, we all got goosebumps. What a time! Our daughter sounded the deuce horn after the last blast from the ship, you should have seen her smile!



I tried to get a few pics, but the camera didn't do so well in the dark.



Although one would think it would have been nice to see it in the daylight, I think the nighttime experience is one we will never forget.



Well, the LST 325 sailed past our humble town on a Monday on her way back home. Unfortunately, I had to leave town at noon for work, but the wife and our daughter went down to the riverfront at 1500 hours to wave them on. I wish so bad to have been there with them, as it must be a real sight in person.



Our daughter was so excited all weekend to see the "great big ship" sail by and blow it's horns "just for her". She wouldn't go to bed on Sunday night until we told her a story of her upcoming experience. She was so excited!



Although the river was up, and the one street in our town that does flood, was flooded, my wife and daughter walked down across the tracks to the waters edge. When the ship sounded her two big horns, our daughter's eyes got REALLY big for an instant, and she began to laugh. That big ship was honking just for her! She couldn't have been any happier.



I can't express enough thanks to Garry and the crew of the LST 325. These folks are truly passionate for this wonderful piece of our nation's history, and it shows. I received several phone calls throughout their trip up and down the river, keeping us informed of the exact location, speed, and mileage of the ship. If it were not for this dedication, our family would not have had this truly memorable experience. I can only imagine how this wonderful experience will help shape our little girl. Someday I will tell her some of the stories that my grandfather told me of his journeys as a WWII Merchant Marine.



We are planning on visiting the ship next year. I hope to be able to help in any way possible while there.



A very big "Thank You" to Garry and the crew of the LST 325 for a great experience!








Last edited by 54reo on November 20th, 2008, 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 24th, 2003, 10:08 pm

November 20th, 2008, 11:55 pm #2

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. No matter how many times we visit at the ship, there can only be one first time.. and we re-live our own in the telling of others.

Your beautiful little daughter may be young to recite and recognize history, but you are teaching her the right way - hands on, visiting, listening and experiencing! We're all grateful that you've taken the time to share the ship with your family and the story with us.

Thanks for joining our LST 325 family... post often..
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Joined: September 1st, 2005, 8:06 pm

November 24th, 2008, 10:58 pm #3

I would like very much for a copy of the LST going under the river bridge. Could you mail one to the ship c/o Capt. or e-mail it to Gary? I would like to see what looks like two feet of clearance on the top. Thanks Capt.
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 4:45 am

November 25th, 2008, 7:57 am #4

CAPT. JORNLIN, Did you ballast down to reduce freeboard and gain clearance at any time? That would be a special ability of the LST, that the river pilots might not have had available before.
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Joined: September 1st, 2005, 8:06 pm

December 1st, 2008, 6:35 pm #5

I ballasted the 6 tanks in the bow full going up. This raised the stern some 6 inches, made the draft 8 ft. 10 inches in the stern. This helped a lot in the low water encountered in several places. Coming back we added more fresh water to the center tank that we use. We kept this to a minimum to keep draft low also on the way up river. This fresh water tank is just forward of the aft end of the tank deck We took out almost all the ballast in the forward six tanks. Only kept some in stbd three tanks to keep ship level. We had moved the fuel to port side as the ship is heavier on stbd side for various reasons.

We must have the ship on an even keel when going into locks or one can scrape the LCVP on the lock wall on the side the ship lists to. We have to also make sure all 40 mm are turned fore and aft in a lock. We do not go uner bridges with less than a computed clearance of 3ft., I like 3ft or more! I have measured the free board and distance from water to top of radar at least 20 times. It is 53 ft. at a 9 ft draft on the stern. We also put up , what I call a"sweeper" on the Jack staff on the bow. It was measured to be 53 ft high from the river water.. I put a red ball on the top. This would tell us if we were going to hit the top of the bridge. The pilots also try to hit the center of the bridge span. This can give you another 3 to 6 inches or more as the bridges are arched up generally. You are always glad to get under safely the lowest bridge that you must go under. I always use several peoples calculations, with mine. The Coast Guard was very helpful in giving me river levels. These river levels are on the computer, projections etc. put there by the corps of engineers. I would like to see the verticle clearance in ft. of each bridge posted, instead of having to subtract the river gauge from the posted bridge height at mean water and then subtract 53 ft!

The fact that we only draw about 4 and 1/2 ft with fwd ballast tanks full and only 3 and 1/2 ft with them empty is a big plus when turning the ship. The bow does not have to stay in the channel, only the stern when turning around. This ship was not made to run the rivers, but I can tell you she is more at home on the rivers than in the oceans, and not one case of sea sickness! Capt.
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 4:45 am

December 3rd, 2008, 7:48 pm #6

That was a great answer. And, your reference to doing a turn in the river channel brought back memories of comments others had made about doing those "spins" on a dime during the Vietnam war.
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Joined: December 9th, 2004, 6:55 am

December 4th, 2008, 6:41 am #7

I ballasted the 6 tanks in the bow full going up. This raised the stern some 6 inches, made the draft 8 ft. 10 inches in the stern. This helped a lot in the low water encountered in several places. Coming back we added more fresh water to the center tank that we use. We kept this to a minimum to keep draft low also on the way up river. This fresh water tank is just forward of the aft end of the tank deck We took out almost all the ballast in the forward six tanks. Only kept some in stbd three tanks to keep ship level. We had moved the fuel to port side as the ship is heavier on stbd side for various reasons.

We must have the ship on an even keel when going into locks or one can scrape the LCVP on the lock wall on the side the ship lists to. We have to also make sure all 40 mm are turned fore and aft in a lock. We do not go uner bridges with less than a computed clearance of 3ft., I like 3ft or more! I have measured the free board and distance from water to top of radar at least 20 times. It is 53 ft. at a 9 ft draft on the stern. We also put up , what I call a"sweeper" on the Jack staff on the bow. It was measured to be 53 ft high from the river water.. I put a red ball on the top. This would tell us if we were going to hit the top of the bridge. The pilots also try to hit the center of the bridge span. This can give you another 3 to 6 inches or more as the bridges are arched up generally. You are always glad to get under safely the lowest bridge that you must go under. I always use several peoples calculations, with mine. The Coast Guard was very helpful in giving me river levels. These river levels are on the computer, projections etc. put there by the corps of engineers. I would like to see the verticle clearance in ft. of each bridge posted, instead of having to subtract the river gauge from the posted bridge height at mean water and then subtract 53 ft!

The fact that we only draw about 4 and 1/2 ft with fwd ballast tanks full and only 3 and 1/2 ft with them empty is a big plus when turning the ship. The bow does not have to stay in the channel, only the stern when turning around. This ship was not made to run the rivers, but I can tell you she is more at home on the rivers than in the oceans, and not one case of sea sickness! Capt.
I still don't fully grasp the dynamics of your river strategy. Could you please be a little more specific? The snipes would appreciate it.
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Joined: September 1st, 2005, 8:06 pm

December 4th, 2008, 10:58 pm #8

Chris, if you take me to your favorit place and buy three or four, I would be glad to try and simplify it so you can understand. I could get a couple of gator gals maybe to help! Shaft
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Joined: December 9th, 2004, 6:55 am

December 5th, 2008, 7:08 am #9

I'm not allowed in my favorite place anymore since that "Rocky" episode in August. And I have become somewhat selective as to who I'm seen with in public with since the last Seabat incident. The new ordinance states that all pitbulls must be kept on a leash.
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Joined: September 24th, 2003, 4:45 am

December 5th, 2008, 10:19 pm #10

Chris, if you take me to your favorit place and buy three or four, I would be glad to try and simplify it so you can understand. I could get a couple of gator gals maybe to help! Shaft
Perhaps Chris could provide refreshments for a seminar group.
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