Oswego Maritime Museum to Honor D-Day and WWII Veterans on June 6 | Local history
OSWEGO – The H. Lee White Maritime Museum will reunite D-Day and WWII veterans with the museum’s United States Army Transport (USAT) LT-5, the last functional United States Army vessel who participated in the Normandy landings, during a commemorative event Sunday June 6, 77th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
The tug is owned by the Port of Oswego Authority and is maintained by the museum. The H. Lee White Maritime Museum is located at 1 W. First St., Oswego, on the West First Street Pier overlooking Oswego Harbor.
“We believe it is more appropriate to welcome veterans of WWII, the D-Day invasion and their families to LT-5,” said museum director Mercedes Niess. “These veterans and this veteran tugboat are symbols of one of the greatest companies in the history of the world and we continue to honor their service. “
The LT-5 will be open to the general public free of charge from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6. A memorial service and ship tours exclusively for WWII veterans and their families will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 6.
The LT-5 Major Elisha K. Henson was one of the first large tugs built to carry supplies for the invasion of Normandy. According to the US Naval Institute, fewer than 30 documented ships that served on D-Day are still afloat, and only five are barely above the water. According to the National Park Service, this makes Oswego’s LT-5 the last functional US Army ship to participate in the Normandy landings.
Oswego Port Authority Executive Director William Scriber, a decorated military veteran who served in Desert Storm / Desert Shield with the US Army Special Operations Airborne Command, said he looked forward to welcoming other veterans at this special event. “We are very proud to have preserved and maintained the LT-5 so that our veterans and members of the public can see a unique piece of history docked right here in Oswego at the West Pier.”
World War II veterans and their families who wish to attend the June 6 ceremony are asked to call the museum for more information at 315-342-0480. For more information on the Maritime Museum, visit https://hlwmm.org/ or call 315-342-0480. For more history of Oswego County, visit http://visitoswegocounty.com/.
On June 6, 1944, the LT-5 left Exmouth, England, as part of a fleet of tugs, barges, merchant ships and concrete caissons with the mission of establishing man-made harbors to ensure supplies. constant in men and materials necessary for the continued assault on German forces. Delayed by strong winds, the LT-5 arrived off the coast of Normandy in the wee hours of the morning of June 7. After waiting for instructions, the LT-5 docked its barges to a sunken LST and began the logistical tasks for which it was assigned. The tugs were not spared from enemy attacks and, as indicated in their entry in their June 9 logbook, – “Planes Overhead. Everyone shoots them. The starboard gunner got an FW “- A German Luftwaffe fighter known as the Focke Wulf. During the remainder of the month, the LT-5 towed barges and landing craft to the man-made harbor carrying codenamed “Mulberry A” off Omaha Beach. “Mulberry A” – the US port – was completed on June 14, 1944 (D-Day +8), and in just four days had landed 11,000 troops, 2,000 vehicles and 9,000 tonnes of equipment and supplies.
After remaining in service throughout the war in Britain, the LT-5 returned to the United States and was posted to the Buffalo, NY district of the US Army Corps of Engineers in May 1946.