USS LST 325 tour brings back memories for WWII Veteran
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
A.O. Currey is 87-years-old and for the first time in decades, he was finally able to board the ship he called home while serving overseas.
"When I went into the Navy," said Currey. “I was somewhere around 17."
Before this World War II veteran even stepped onto the Landing Ship Tank, he was re-living vivid memories.
"There were 300 and something on this ship loading it," said Currey.
Currey wasn't on the USS LST 325, but one just like it during World War II, just off the coast of Japan.
"That bomb that went off in Japan, that won it for us. They quit," said Currey.
Little things brought back hundreds of memories and the big ones brought on the tears.
"I put these, they're heavy, about this big around full or 20 mm shells shooting them as fast as they can shoot them," said Currey.
Currey walked through halls similar to ones he'd been through a hundred times, leading him to one room where he spent many of his days. As he got behind the wheel of the vessel one more time, it was like he had never left.
"It's just like it was, [I could] probably start it up and take off,” said Currey. "The Captain, his place is right above me, he'd tell me to turn to the right 10 degrees or whatever."
And if asked to do it all over again, Currey says he wouldn't think twice.
"Want me to be honest? I wouldn't have a choice," said Currey.
Nearly 4,000 people toured the vessel Wednesday, topping the grand total at 22,085 people, a new attendance record.
That is actually more people in one week touring the ship, than in the past 11-months docked in Evansville, Indiana.
If you want to see the ship sail away, it will be leaving the dock Thursday at 8 a.m.