Diary of LST 351

By Albert Emil Klumpp

Landing Ship, Tank (LST), or tank landing ship, is the naval designation for ships first developed during World War II (1939-1945) to support amphibious operations by carrying tanks, vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto shore with no docks or piers. They were fondly called “Large Slow Targets” by the crew.

Wikipedia

March-28-1943 Sunday – Solomon’s, MD

From barracks #9, in the Solomon’s, Maryland, we left for Washington, D.C. We went by bus at 13.00.  It was a clear cool day.  Our bus was first to arrive.  Al MacIntyre, Richard Grant, Halbraum, Craig and others had one hour before train departure in which to see Washington.  After buying some small trinkets, we boarded our train and headed toward Philly.  We laid over North Philly Station for a quarter of an hour.  We stopped directly over Broad St.  We than made our way through Philly, past Frankford and other sections of our city and then headed toward NJ.  After passing through Newark, we then pulled into Grand Central Station.  Instead of boarding our ship we were taken to Pier #92, the worst place that I have ever been in my life.  We did not unpack.  We slept in our dress clothes and most fellows walked the floor all night to keep warm and to protect their belongings.  I, of course, slept.

March-29-1943  Monday – Bayonne, NJ

This day we got our things together and were taken to Bayonne, NJ.  We found our ship here.  It was a new L.S.T.

March-30-1943  Tuesday – Bayonne, NJ

I stood my first watch.  It was in the port troop compartment.  That night we were invited to the Hotel Plaza.  It was an affair given for our flotilla.  I went with Kipley and Kenny.  Kep got separated from us and Kenny and I continued on together.

March-31-1943  Wednesday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

After the six of us, the new firemen, painted the officer’s quarters, we were given Liberty.  I arrived home at 24.30, that night.  I sat and talked with mother, Dad and Ed (Al’s brother), before retiring.

March-32-1943  Thursday (as written wrong date) – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

I visited Lt. Forsyth in the Wiedner Bldg.  I also visited Ens. Hunter, Lt. Commander Holt,     Lt. Borlick, Chief Grieves, all of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

April-3-1943  Saturday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Today our Liberty expires. I met Johnson and others at 0:400 at Philadelphia Station and proceeded to our ship.

April-10-1943 Saturday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Between April 3 to the 10th our ship was being completed at Todds.  Today we left for Brooklyn to have our L.C.T. (Landing Craft Tank) put on.  This took two hrs. after which time we returned to Todds.

April-11-1943 Sunday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Workers are finishing their jobs.

April-12-1943 Monday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Today I was given our pay accounts and took them to Pier 45.  After straightening our pay accounts I was granted special liberty to the next morning.

April-13-1943 Tuesday – Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

We left for Pier 42, where we took on medical soldiers.

April-14-1943 Wednesday – At Sea

We left Pier 42 for sea.  It was early in the morning when we passed the Statue of Liberty; we then joined our convoy.

April-15-1943 Thursday – At Sea

The water got quite rough and sea sickness occurred. 

April-17-1943  Saturday – Bermuda

Up to this date we had no trouble.  We arrived at Bermuda.  It was late in the afternoon when we reached there.

 

Engine Room of LST

                                                                                                         Al in the LST 351 Engine Room

 

 

Normandy Invasion                                                                                    LST 351 Landing in Normandy

Related Link:
LST 351

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