On this Memorial Day weekend, we wanted to share a new acquisition to the archives.
As a young girl, Sister Lois Johnston was chosen to be the sponsor of the WWII tank landing ship LST-280. Sister Lois’ family had a connection to the American Bridge Company in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which produced thousands of troop landing barges and over 100 tank transport ships for the war.
On September 26, 1943, Miss Lois Johnston christened the USS LST-280. The ship was assigned to the European theater and participated in the invasion of Normandy in June of 1944. On its way back from Normandy to the English Channel, LST-280 was struck by a German torpedo. The ship was later decommissioned and sold to the Philippines in 1947.
Navy ship sponsors served an important symbolic role and they were considered honorary crew members. Sister Lois received photographs of the ship, as well as a scale model, which she donated to Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. in 2001.
This weekend we honor all of those who have served. Rest in Peace, Sister Lois, and thank you for sharing this little bit of military history with us.