LST 393 Veterans Museum needs volunteers for work bee weekend

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Are you handy with your hands or all thumbs? Can you paint like a pro or does most of it end up on your jeans?

Then USS LST 393 needs you. All of you. For the day shift or even just an hour.

USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, one of America’s most historic warships, is having a volunteer fix-up work weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, from 10 am to 3 pm.
The World War II veteran of three invasions -- including D-Day -- is moored at the Mart Dock in downtown Muskegon.

“We have a lot of projects we need help with” said museum board President Scott Grant. “If you’re handy with tools or even if you’ve never had one in your hands, we could use your help.”

“We need willingness more than skillfulness.”

There are several projects to work on, from landscaping to building. One of the most unusual jobs is to help restore the museum’s recently acquired 40 mm dual-mount anti-aircraft cannon.

Equipment will be supplied, but anyone with their own tools will be gratefully welcomed.

LST 393 will provide rolls and coffee for breakfast and hot dogs for lunch for those working.

Among the projects and skills needed are:

— Landscaping
— Painting
— General cleanup
— Carpentry

Anyone interested in helping for any part of the weekend or with questions can call Grant at (231) 740-3503.

The museum will open for tours April 28-29 and will be open weekends only through May 13. Then it will be open seven days a week through mid-September. She closes for tours at the end of September.

Adults can take a self-guided tour of the ship for a $8 donation; students are $5. Volunteers are always on hand to answer questions about the ship and the museum displays. A large gift shop offers a variety of ship mementos.

LST 393 was built in 1942 to help America defeat the Axis powers in World War II. She was at the Sicily and Italy landings and made 30 round trips to France during the invasion of Normandy, delivering weapons of war. Sold as surplus in 1946 to Sand Products Inc., owners of West Michigan Dock and Market in Muskegon, she was converted to a cross-lake ferry called Highway 16 and was a fixture on Lake Michigan for almost three decades. She was retired from service in the 1970s. Of the 1,051 LSTs built during World War II, she’s one of only two left in original form in America.

LST 393 is located at the Mart Dock adjacent to Heritage Landing county park on the downtown Muskegon waterfront. The ship opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.; the last tour starts each day at 4 p.m. Special guided tours are available and group events can be scheduled by calling 231-725-5918. More information is available at www.lst393.org.

For museum information, call 231-730-1477 or send an email to info@lst393.org.

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