Today's press release from the National Museum of the Royal Navy about the future of D-Day landing craft LCT 7074:
Agreement has been reached on the final resting place of LCT 7074, the last Second World War Landing Craft (Tank) (LCT) in the UK, one of the last in the world, and a campaign veteran of the D-Day landings.
It has been announced that The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is to work in partnership with Portsmouth City Council to locate the craft at the city’s D-Day Museum, an affiliate of The NMRN, in time for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019 when the transformed museum will be reopened.
The agreement is subject to funding but has been the long-held preferred option for the vessel. LCT 7074 was saved for the nation two years ago with the support of a £916,149 grant from the National Memorial Heritage 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.”
Cllr Linda Symes, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Portsmouth City Council, said; "I'm delighted that we've gained approval to work in partnership with The National Museum of the Royal Navy on the funding application, which would enable us to display the LCT 7074 opposite the D-Day Museum. This Landing Craft is a uniquely significant object and is understood to be the last Landing Craft known to have participated in D-Day. It seems only fitting that it should be displayed in the vicinity of the D-Day Museum and having this in place by 2019, in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, would tie in with the transformation of the museum which is planned to be completed in time to mark this occasion. Displaying LCT 7074 in Portsmouth would be another cultural coup for the city and would provide an additional reason for people to visit and to spend time exploring what the seafront has to offer."
More than 800 LCTs took part in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 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.
Photo: Normandy veterans, many of whom served on landing craft, infront of LCT 7074.