Evansville is really lucky to have the USS LST 325 in our area.  It is the only operational LST in WWII configuration that is still afloat in US waters, which is pretty freaking cool! You can usually find the LST sitting down along the Evansville riverfront, open for tours for anyone who wants to learn about the LST, and its history with the Evansville area, and WWII.  It' really is a gem to have in our city!

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Recently the LST 325 embarked on her annual river cruise. The ship had plans to visit places like Brandenburg, and Ashland Kentucky, as well as Charleston West Virginia. Unfortunately on September 7th after a  COVID infection aboard the ship, they decided for the safety of the crew and visitors to the ship, it would be best to cut the cruise short and head back to Evansville.  Here's what USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc. Said on Facebook about the trip and the difficult decision to cancel the rest of the cruise:

LST 325 Cruise Cut Short
Upon departing Brandenburg, KY, the USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc. Board of Directors made the painful decision to cut our annual cruise short and return to our home port of Evansville, IN.
This decision was not made lightly and was based primarily upon Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's calling a special session of the state legislature seeking emergency power authorization to implement COVID mitigation measures up to and including lockdowns in the face of the surge of the Delta variant of the virus.
Our next cruise venue after Brandenburg was to be Ashland, KY and the Memorial felt it could not risk the time and expense of getting there only to potentially be prevented from opening to the public.
The entire crew of the 325 is vaccinated and we felt that that, along with reasonable hygiene precautions, would protect the health and safety of our crew and our visitors.
However, we experienced a potential breakthrough infection in one of our crew members toward the end of our Brandenburg visit. He was sent home to self-isolate as per our protocol. He was subsequently confirmed by test to have the virus despite exhibiting very few symptoms.
At the end of our visit to Brandenburg, two further crew members reported possible symptoms even though they had no elevated temperature.
On the basis of all of the above, the Board felt it best for the safety of both our crew and our visitors that we cancel the remainder of the cruise and return to our home port.
The river cruise is such a cool way for the LST to share its history with other states, so it's definitely a bummer to hear that this year's cruise had to be cut too short.  Hopefully, next year will be much better, and we'll get to see the LST head down the river once again. In the meantime, we wish the crew members a speedy recovery.


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