2 October 2018

LST 388: A World War II Journal

Robert von der Osten (1920-2016) served as a Radioman 1/C onboard Landing Ship Tank (LST) 388 during World War II. Through his journal entries, von der Osten details his experiences of the war, from his training days in the newly created amphibious force, to practice beachings on the Chesapeake Bay; from the ports of North Africa and the United Kingdom, to the hostile shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Normandy. 
During World War II, Robert von der Osten kept journals from his time in boot camp to the invasions of Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. In the years following the war, Robert continued to add to his collection of war-related materials to one day turn into a book. With every attendance at a US LST Association Annual Convention, at every new book that came out explaining events of WWII in a new way, and every newspaper or magazine article that related in any way to his experience aboard the USS LST-388 during WWII, the collection expanded. 
This collection of material has helped to build the book LST 388: A World War II Journal. Completed with the help of his youngest daughter Barbara von der Osten, the book is full of dated journal entries, over 50 photos - many taken by Robert von der Osten or by another Radioman aboard the ship (Bill Schellhorn), maps and extracts from the ships radio log.
An additional point of note is that von der Osten was a second generation German-American, and the introduction of the book details a brief encounter with the German-American Bund in the late 1930s - an unusual story seldom heard. 
Providing a unique insight into both the role of LSTs in the Allied landings in Europe, and the personal account of a young member of the crew, LST 388: A World War II Journal is a great addition to the literature of World War II. 
See more at: LST 388 
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