It isn't very often that a ship used in the D-Day invasion at Normandy makes a stop in Iowa. A historic World War Two ship is docked and open for tours but only until next week.

The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reports that the USS LST-325 is the last operating landing ship from World War Two. It is currently docked in the port of Dubuque and open to the public for tours. The ship visited Iowa back in 2018 and drew over 16,000 visitors. The ship was originally designed to carry equipment and soldiers right up to a beach and unload.

The Herald reports that when visitors enter the ship they see a huge space that once held hundreds of U.S. soldiers and equipment. In fact, the ship is so big it can hold 20 Sherman tanks. The USS LST-325 was built in 1942 and launched in 1943. It briefly saw action during the North African campaign and also was used in Sicily and Salerno in Italy. But it was during the D-Day invasion that the ship really pulled its weight.

According to the Herald, at Normandy, the ship was a multipurpose medical ship. It would carry 20 Sherman tanks, 20 to 30 trucks, and nearly 300 soldiers. When the ship hit the beaches at Normandy, the supplies were sent out and wounded soldiers were put on the ship and eventually taken back to England. The Herald reports that the USS LST-325 played a crucial role in the success of the invasion. The picture below shows trucks being unloaded from an LST-style ship.

Invasion Embarkation
Getty Images

The Herald reports that public tours of the USS LST-325 run today through September 12th. The tours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Tickets are $15 per adult, $7.50 for kids ages 6 to 17, and children 5 and under are free. An opening ceremony is scheduled for around 9 a.m. this morning in the port of Dubuque.

This is a rare chance to see a historic ship that helped win World War Two.

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