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Ron and Doug Swanson (LCT 81) with the crew of the PBS show The History Detectives. The show will air a story on the Outer Island at 9 p.m. Eastern Time Monday July 5, 2004. check your local listing for Public TV in your city and pass the word.
Doug Swanson LCT 81 Standing at the stern of LCT 203 August 2001
Duluth news story Vessel resurrects veterans' past
Click here to Take a video tour of LCT 203 from 2001 visit and the LCT reunion in 2003
Click here for photos of Walt Slater's visit to the Outer Island in Aug. 2002
Stories on the Outer Island in our newsletter archives
Ron Fox Sc/1 (LCT 376) in the Galley of LCT 203 during the June 2003 LCT reunion
Rare interior photos from world war II
This photo of the crew quarters is from National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, MD
Galley of LCT 376 courtesy of Ron Fox Sc/1
Ron Fox and Joe Bell (LCT 376) courtesy of Joe Bell
The following is from an email from Ron Swanson, about their first visit to the 203 in 2001( at this time it was thought to be the 103).
Dad and I went up for our VIP tour of the Mk5 yesterday and we
were both very overwhelmed. It was somewhat of an emotional experience for
Dad-this particular boat looks remarkably like it did during the War yet
!!!!! Words cannot fully describe how it went.
Please share this e-mail with your Dad-the galley he would have loved to
have seen for himself. I took 45 minutes of video and over 2 dozen slides of
this "event". We will have a real treat for next reunion. And when we add in
original WWII Archival footage and personal interviews with the guys in New
Orleans, I have a professional friend who will help put together a VHS tape
Dad was overwhelmed when we first went onboard. The memories came back in a flood at first. I had been in touch with the current owners and the man who actually operates it on Lake Superior. We were given VIP treatment despite some insurance liability concerns. They were thrilled to have a WWII LCT vet visit-the first in a long time. I sort of doubt that they would appreciate a flood of our guys "dropping in" though. This is a working vessel that ferries vehicles, supplies and equipment to the Apostle Islands for the
Nat'l Park Service and also they install docks and do wharf repair
throughout the area.
In a nutshell-this was originally the LCT(5)-103 which was at Omaha Beach
and had its ramp blown apart by German mortar fire. I have not been able to
locate any reference to the LCT-103 in the materials submitted by Larry
Noel. The Normandy connection is documented in the local museum which we
The LCT itself has a very large modern crane that takes up most of the inner
deck surface. Other than that, most everything else is original but worn. We
looked all over including below decks in the engine room and took lots of