Posted Online: 2007-09-06
'Ship was a magnificent site'
Comment on this story
To the Editor:
I had the opportunity to go on a trip with a wonderful group of individuals to visit LST 325. The trip was a sterling example of many different groups and individuals working together. The travelers came from throughout La Salle and Grundy counties and melded into a marvelous unit. They had no idea when they signed up for the trip that it might become a mystery trip! The trip was sponsored through the auspices of the Seneca Port Authority (thank you) and we originally thought we were going to Henry on Saturday. However, Mother Nature intervened and with the rising waters, the ship could not move as originally planned from Peoria on Tuesday. It was late Thursday before we knew our destination and I would like to thank all the participants for their flexibility.
Out of the original 103 that planned to go, 86 managed to board the buses and toured the ship. We were not only dealing with a different town but also with different accommodations for eating, boarding, etc. I cannot say enough about their willingness to "go with flow."
I would also like to give a tremendous thank you to Capt. Bob Jornlin and Don Lockas for their assistance in so many ways. They not only spent time leading tours during the day, they also were gracious enough to help me with when/where the ship would be and finding restaurants, etc. Initially, the Henry Chamber of Commerce had been outstanding with their suggestions and assistance and we were sorry we couldn't visit the town to repay them.
The ship was a magnificent site and I think everyone seeing it sitting on the river felt a deep sense of pride to know that Seneca had been a vital part in producing superb vessels like LST 325. I encourage anyone to visit Peoria, Alton or Evansville, Ind., to see this proud vessel. Photographs cannot do it justice. If anyone is interested in reading more about Seneca and the shipyards, the book "Social History of A War Boom Community" by Jan Havighurst is excellent.
My thanks also, to both The Times and the Morris Daily Herald for their timeliness and correctness in printing any articles I sent and updates from the ship. It helped tremendously in letting residents know of the trip's status.