Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council agree site for rare D-Day craft

Just over a year ago, on 29th September 2015, we reported from a a ship hall at HM Naval Base in Portsmouth, where D-Day veterans (pictured above) had assembled to see LCT 7074, the last Second World War landing craft in the UK.

Now, an agreement has been reached on the craft’s final resting place. The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) are working on a partnership with Portsmouth City Council to locate the craft at the city’s D-Day museum, an NMRN affiliate.

It’s hoped the craft will be in place by the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019, when the transformed D-Day Museum will be reopened.

The agreement is subject to funding, but has been the long-preferred option for the vessel. LCT 7074 was saved two years ago with the support of a £916,149 grant from the National Memorial Hedge Fund.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the NMRN, said: “It is the perfect place to display LCT 7074 and put it in the context of the D-Day story.

“Not only will it strengthen the D-Day Museum’s collection but it will be a powerful reminder of the important role this humble, but vital workhorse played in the success of D-Day.

“Also, importantly, her sheer size will amaze visitors since she was a 300 ton ocean-going vessel capable of carrying ten 30 ton armoured vehicles.”

More than 800 landing crafts took part in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944, each capable of carrying ten tanks or other heavy armoured vehicles into battle.

Operation Neptune was the naval dimension of Overlord, the largest amphibious operation in history, in which more than 7,000 ships and craft of all sizes landed over 160,000 soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. Of this fleet, fewer than 20 are believed to survive, including LCT 7074.