Sharp himself cut the steel cable holding LCT 1418 onto the larger ship's deck, allowing the smaller vessel to slide down a greased track and into the water with a thunderous splash.
LCT 1418 took part in the Okinawa invasion, but not quite the way Sharp would have thought. Instead of ferrying troops and vehicles to the beach, the LCT was assigned to a diversionary force designed to fool the Japanese.
"The invasion started on April 1, which is April Fool's Day," Sharp said. "We were part of the April Fool's Day Invasion.
"Every day, we'd sail toward Japan," he said, "Then at night, we'd head back."
Eventually, Sharp figured out that the decoy force was supposed to make the Japanese think an Allied invasion force was on its way to Japan. It was hoped the Japanese would take the bait and decide not to send reinforcements to Okinawa.
"It worked pretty good," Sharp said.
Sharp's son and daughter decided to take the Navy veteran to see LST 325 when they found out the museum ship would be in Charleston. The vessel will be moored at Haddad Park through Tuesday and is open for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children between the ages of 6 and 17 and $20 for families. For more information, visit www.lstmemorial.org.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.