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July 23 2010 at 2:22 PM
Brolly  (Login dave101tlhs)
Forum Member

Response to July 1943 - USS LST-325 After Action Report for Operation Husky

Yes, it's easy to focus on the Normandy invasion, because it was such a significant moment in history, and the invasions of Silicy and Salerno get pushed aside a bit. But for the crew of the 325, this was their baptism in fire, and under fire they most definitely were, especially here at Sicily. My dad talked about going topside once as they were under fire, and it scared him so much he ran straight back to his station in the engine room!

One of the worst memories of any of the crew happened during this time... it happened when they were anchored in the harbor at Gela after it was taken, and the ships had just secured from a large German air raid. On the tail end of that, American transport planes came overhead, filled with paratroopers. Being it was dark, and thinking this was yet another German raid, all the ships... including the 325... opened fire on them and shot down several of our own planes. It was a painful leasson, and its why the airborne troops flew such a round-about route away from the fleet during the Normandy invasion the following year.

A can of tomatoes? I'm not sure I remember that... I do remember a story about a can of hard candy that was taken by the black gang from the Captain's mess. They felt so guilty about taking it though that they never had any, and it ended up being thrown overboard! Then there was the time they were cooking ham slices for sandwiches down in the engine room one night, forgetting that its intoxicating smell was being exhausted right by the Captain's quarters! Pretty soon they get a call from the Skipper, "Hey, make one of those for me!"

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