The LST, or Landing Ship Tank, was originally developed in World War II as a way of transporting tanks and trucks. LSTs first saw action in the Pacific theatre, and were extensively used in the 1944 D-Day landings by both British and American forces. By the end of the war the LST would find its way into every theater of the war serving as troop and vehicle transports, repair and supply ships, and even launching aircraft! Known to its crews as the “Large Slow Target”, the LSTs were 328 feet long and sailed at only 9 knots! LST’s were built by shipyards across the US, including many that were sailed down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the sea! The defensive armament of LSTs varied but was usually a mix of 40mm and 20mm AA guns sometimes with a 3″ gun at the stern. The LST was designed to run up onto the beach and then pull itself off by winching in an anchor dropped off the stern. It could hold tanks and trucks both inside and up on deck. Originally the ships used an electric elevator to access the deck but later ships used a ramp. There was also a cargo hatch in the deck forward of the aft superstructure for additional access below. LST’s were equipped with two or more LCVP’s hung from davits on deck to aid in landing troops. They were designed to carry a 114′ LCT on deck, which was slipped off by tipping the LST to one side! Today the USS LST Memorial, located in Mobile, Alabama, has a fully restored LST and museum.