By Jeff Small
Chester, IL (KSDK) - A World War II naval ship is in on display on Chester, Illinois's riverfront this weekend. USS LST 325 was headed to a scrap yard until a group of veterans saved it. The 325 is one of only two of its kind preserved in the United States.
This weekend is a rare opportunity to see the 325, and talk to the four WWII veterans who spent time on the historic ship.
The history of LST's or landing ship tanks date back to 1942. They were built to transport tanks, supplies and troops directly onto shore. The 325 is more than 300 feet long and more than 4,000 tons.
LST's like the 325 were used during WWII along with the Korean and Vietnam wars. The 325 was taken out of service in 1999. In 2000 a group of veterans used their own time and money to save the war ship. Now veterans and volunteers share the 325 with visitors of all ages.
"They love it to death and it's something they will never forget," said WWII veteran, Irwin Kuhns.
Remaining tours are available Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults. Ages 6 through 17 are $5. Kids under 5 get in free.