Memorial Day 1944
Memorial Day 1944 in Pittsburgh saw the launching of LST-750 from the makeshift ways of Dravo Shipyard on Neville Island. LST-750 would not officially get the name, but it was unofficially called the USS Allegheny County and had been paid for with war bonds purchased locally. The moment may represent Pittsburgh's peak as a shipbuilding region.
LST 750 would be sunk just 6 months later at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. You can now even see the location in this mashup.
These are not big ships and circumstances required speed in their production. Today it might take years to build something similar. I only mention that because it really does say something about the folks who built it when you consider the ship's end. LST 750 was hit by both a Kamikaze attack and then by an aerial torpedo, yet still didn't sink! It was irrevocably damaged and was then ordered sunk by additional gunfire from a nearby destroyer once its crew abandoned ship. It really is hard to imagine such a small ship taking all that and yet still remain afloat. In all likelihood the crew at the time has all passed by now, but if there was anyone around we really need to find them and at least get some oral history of the ship.
founders of the Heinz Endowments.
The scene above may soon be repeated as has been dreamed from one of the first posts here. What is going to be a big event I suspect is that in September a sister ship, LST 325, is slated to come to Pittsburgh along with the reunion of the LST Association.
My strange career has even taken me onboard a latter day LST, having once taken the USS Boulder transiting from the East Coast to Guantanamo Bay many