Haze Gray Photo Feature
LST 325 Returns Home
LST 325 was built by Philadelphia Navy Yard, commissioning on February 1st, 1943. She saw service throughout the European theater during WWII, including participation in the D-Day landings in Normandy. After the war she went into reserve, and was eventually sold to Greece 29 May 1964. Renamed Syros (L144) and overhauled, she served in the Greek navy into the 1990's. Eventually replaced by newer ships, she and her ex-US sisters went into storage at Souda Bay, Crete. Despite her years of service, she was relatively unmodified, except for an enlarged bridge and superstructure.
The former LST 325 might have gone to scrap, had it not been for a group of US LST veterans seeking an LST as a museum/memorial ship. They came to Greece to survey the available LSTs, and picked Syros/LST 325. The Greek navy donated the ship, and the veterans set to work repairing the aged and deteriorated vessel, working in primitive conditions at Souda Bay. After months of work they sailed LST 325 out of Souda Bay on November 14, 2000, and after a stop at Salamis, set out for Gibraltar. The trip was not without problems, as the old ship suffered one breakdown after another, finally arriving at Gibraltar on November 30th.
After two weeks of repairs, LST 325 sailed from Gibraltar on December 12th, bound for Mobile. Many considered the winter crossing of the Atlantic to be foolhardy, due to the poor condition of the ship, age of the crew, and breakdowns experienced in the Mediterranean crossing. The US Coast Guard strongly advised against sailing. But the veterans paid these warnings no heed, and set off anyway. Although they suffered several breakdowns en route, they arrived in the Bahamas on January 4th. They stopped in the Bahamas only long enough to pick up an emergency supply of lubricating oil to keep the engines running, then set off again. The port engine was leaking oil uncontrollably, and the starboard engine's water manifold was badly cracked, held together only by wooden bracing.
Finally, on January 10th, the aged LST 325 arrived at Mobile. The LST will remain in the Mobile area for the near future, as funds are raised to restore her as a museum. It is hoped that she will be a mobile museum, capable of getting underway to visit various ports.
If you have photos of LST 325 that you would like to share, please drop me an email.
|Haze Gray & Underway|
|Naval History Info Center||US Warship Histories - DANFS||World Navies Today|
|Photo Galleries||Shipbuilding||Navsource Photos|
|HG&UW Home||Contact Info||About the Site||Web Links||FAQs||Back|
Back to the Photo Galleries Main Page