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What If ??

March 10 2008 at 11:01 AM
Stata70  (Login stata70)

What if

What if the LST 391 (the original choice of the LST Memorial) was actually the one brought back to the USA rather than the LST 325? Would all of the LST Weeks be around a WWII LST? Would the banquets always be around the 40’s music? Would the tour guides make only a small mention that LSTs served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars?

Not likely in my opinion.

The LST 391 was a WWII and Korean War veteran ship. Many others built during WWII served in WWII, The Korean War, The Cuban Crisis, The Vietnam War, and other LSTs built after WWII served in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. The need for LST’s and their work requirements were not completed in 1945 at the end of WWII.

Are we fulfilling the mission promise completely?

Mission Statement:

The mission of the USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc. is to educate its visitors to the role of the LST in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is our desire to preserve the memory of these ships and all the countless heroic men who died in battle during the service to their country. The names of all who died while serving on LSTs will be displayed on the ship. By preserving this priceless piece of American history, we will bring honor to the American ship building industries that produced them, the crews who served and defended them, and those who were carried onto the invasion shores by them.

Will there ever be a LST Week where these other veterans of Korea, Vietnam, The Cuban Crisis, and Gulf War are highlighted? Could there be at a future LST Week a reenactment of the Inchon Invasion (Korea) or maybe a Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club experiences like occurred in the canals of Vietnam? Or are we welded to WWII only and not fulfilling the original mission for bringing the LST back to the USA?

It doesn’t take anything away from the deserving WWII veterans or those who brought the LST back in fulfilling the original mission and highlighting the service of LSTs in all wars. In fact I believe that it would add. Would it not be an encouragement for these other veterans to attend LST Week if it highlighted their years of service?

I am not a veteran of any war, so this is not about me. However, I did serve on a LST that earned several Battle Stars and Presidential Unit Citations while in commission.

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