Mayor Don Wesely today presented a key to the city to Richard Meyer, a World War II veteran from Lincoln who returned in January from historic two-month voyage across the Atlantic. Meyer was one of 29 veterans on board the LST-325 on its trip from Greece to Alabama, where it will be turned into a floating museum to commemorate the men who served on LSTs (landing ship tanks). Meyer served on LST-487 in the South Pacific.
"Richard Meyer’s energy and drive to undertake this recent voyage at age 74 reminds us of the courage and determination shown by all our veterans during World War II and our nation’s other conflicts to defend and protect America," Mayor Wesely said. "In awarding this key to the city to Mr. Meyer, we honor all veterans for their unselfish dedication our country." Representatives of veterans’ organizations were invited to the ceremony.
In World War II, LSTs ferried troops and supplies to beach heads. The LST-325, which had seen action during the invasion of Normandy and the battle for Sicily, was lent to the Greek Navy by the U.S. in 1964.
A crew of veterans, including Meyer, traveled to Greece last August to take possession of the LST-325 and begin getting the rusted ship ready for the dangerous voyage. The U.S. Coast Guard had warned them about crossing the Atlantic during the winter in an old ship, and the ship did need four days of repair work in Gibraltar. More than 4,000 people greeted the LST-325 when it arrived in Mobile, Alabama.