The Main Deck of any ship is best described as the uppermost complete deck. The main deck of the LST is different then that of most ships. It was constructed without a crown, or in other words completely flat. Although this design facilitates storage of cargo on the main deck, it creates a problem with water accumulation. The flat deck also saved time and money during construction.
Scattered over the main deck are clover leaves or cletes. These are used to lash vehicles and cargo down to the main deck. Also called cleats they are formed from 3/8” thick stock and measured 2-1/2” high with a 14-7/8” diameter. The center cloverleaf was a 6-1/2” diameter circle with a pattern of an “X” using a 7/8” radius at the base of the lobes.
The upper deck was designed for 10-ton gross vehicle weights, and many times this was exceeded, which then required weight-spreading chocks to be used.
Another prominent feature of the main deck are the four mushroom shaped hatches. Two of these hatches serve as escape trunks from the main engine room; while the other two serve the auxiliary engine room. Their distinctive shape does serve a specific purpose. These also serve to provide the fresh air necessary for the main and auxiliary engines. The mushroom shape forms an overhang. The overhang is open allowing air to pass under the overhang, over a half-wall and down the trunk into the engine room.
Elevator / Ramp
At the forward part of the ship you will observe either a ship’s cargo elevator, or on later LST's, the cargo ramp. This equipment was used to transfer cargo between the main deck and the tank deck. The pictures below show the LST 325's elevator in the down position and the controls for the elevator. The elevator was supplied by Warsaw Elevator Co, Warsaw, New York and was designed by Gibbs & Cox, New York, New York. The following pictures demonstrate the cargo elevator.
First and second pictures, the elevator in the up position, secured in place. Third, the elevator lowered to the tank deck. Fourth, view of the lowered elevator from the tank deck. Fourth, elevator controls and motor details. Fifth, another view of the elevator equipment.
These photos show the ramp in the lowered position.
the elevator you will be able to inspect the ship’s forward guns and the Fire
Control Director. From this central
location fire from all of the ship’s forward guns could be directed at a
single target. Also here you will
find the Capstan and Anchor Windlass. The superstructure is located
towards the last third of the main deck and consists of three levels. Aft
of this are more gun tubs and the stern anchor winch.