WWII history on the water: Aboard Muskegon’s LST 393

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — As the nation marks 75 years since D-Day, a rare piece of World War II history is floating on Muskegon Lake.

When the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, Muskegon’s USS LST 393 waited a couple hundred yards offshore. The ship’s work didn’t begin until two days later, when the LST 393’s crew loaded up the wounded and prisoners and made more than 32 trips between France and England.

The LST 393 now sits at the Mart Dock on Muskegon Lake. Out of 1,051 LSTs built in the early 1940s, it’s one of only three left in the world.

Not built to fight, LSTs were built to transport equipment and people.

“It was a workhorse. It’s got three battle stars,” said Ronald Morzfeld, who’s spent the last 12 years of his retirement volunteering aboard the LST 393.

The LST 393 is a floating museum, holding lessons for both young and old.

“The stories you hear on here, it’s worth being down here just to hear the stories,” said Morzfeld.

He understands and treasures the rare piece of WWII history West Michigan has in this ship, and what it means for future generations.

“They don’t teach it (WWII) anymore in school and they should, because they say that’s the greatest generation and we’re losing them every day. Four-hundred a day die. It’s history and we can’t forget our history or it will repeat itself if you do,” said Morzfeld.

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LST 393

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