WWII ship freed from mud, headed home

Vessel from D-Day had run aground in Lake Barkley

October 5, 2012 

WWII Ship Stuck

The LST-325, a restored World War II troop landing ship, was undamaged after running aground in Lake Barkley and is headed home to Indiana.

LLOYD FORD — AP

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The restored World War II troop landing ship that ran aground in a Western Kentucky lake was freed from the mud undamaged Wednesday and is returning to its Indiana home port.

The LST-325 was freed from mud in Lake Barkley using a tugboat, the ship's anchor winch and its engines in full reverse, Capt. Bob Jornlin told the Evansville Courier & Press.

The ship became stuck with 42 crew members aboard during a rainstorm Monday when officials say it traveled outside the lake's Cumberland River channel. It was returning to its Evansville dock on the Ohio River after a trip to Tennessee for stops at Nashville and Clarksville.

Jornlin said the ship, which was part of the 1944 D-Day landings in France, was built to be run aground as it carried troops, tanks and other equipment.

"It's a tough old bird," Jornlin said.

Lt. Dan McQuate of the Coast Guard office at Paducah said the ship was cleared to go after an inspection for damage.

Jornlin said he expected the ship to arrive Thursday night at Evansville, where it has been based since 2005.

The LST-325 was brought back to the U.S. from Greece in 2001 to be restored. It is open for public tours when docked in Evansville and often travels to other cities.

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