"It has a feeling of it being alive," Jornlin said of the operational vessel.
Jornlin said the tank landing ships were awarded the most battle stars during World War II. He would know, he served on one during Vietnam. The amphibious vessels were loaded down with tanks and other battle necessities.
USS LST 325, during its time serving in North Africa, carried Army General George Patton's officers to Sicily. The ship also made a wartime trip to Salerno, Italy.
The vessel also was one of thousands that participated on D-Day, delivering trucks, tanks, and hundreds of servicemen to Omaha Beach at Normandy. It made 44 trips between France and England, ferrying wounded soldiers to England and bringing supplies to those on the front lines.
In 1964, the ship was transferred to Greece where it served in the Greek Navy. It was decommissioned in 1999.
Jornlin was one of about 60 veterans who went to Greece in 2000 to retrieve the ship. They had been looking for an LST to turn into a museum and were excited when they found it, more so when Greece said they could have it.
The crew, made up of World War II and Korea veterans, worked for months to get it seaworthy but finally began the arduous trip across the Atlantic to Alabama in November 2000. The museum ship now calls Evansville, Ind. home.
Barbara Kuhns, a volunteer aboard the ship, said the average age of the crew aboard the LST 325 is about 72. They work aboard the ship doing maintenance, selling memorabilia in the gift shop and leading tours.
She said the public is welcome just about everywhere aboard the ship except in the bridge where the pilot steers the ship.
And they've had a lot of visitors. Kuhns said more than 28,000 people came aboard when they made stops in Tennessee.
It's open for tours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Tuesday. It's is set to leave Charleston Wednesday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 17. Children under 5 are free. Family passes are $20.
The money goes toward the ship's upkeep and operational costs.
For more information on the LST-325 visit www.lstmemorial.org.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.