Royal Navy Museum Brings D-Day Ship Back to Life

One of the last surviving D-Day ships has been given £1m from bank fines to help turn her into a centrepiece of 75th anniversary of the landings.

UK Chancellor George Osborne said money from fines imposed on the City for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate – LIBOR – would be given to the National Museum of the Royal Navy to work on LCT 7074.

The Landing Craft (Tank) was one of around 800 which disgorged up to ten armoured vehicles at a time on to the beaches in the summer of 1944.

She’s the only one left in the UK – and thought to be one of only about a dozen vessels left from the 7,000 which took part in Operation Overlord.

The National Museum received nearly £1m from the National Memorial Heritage Fund last month to help with her overhaul.

After a two-day operation to raise her – she was subsequently turned into a floating clubhouse and nightclub before finally falling into disrepair – LCT 7074 was brought to Portsmouth from Merseyside last year to await the long process of restoration.

Plans are being discussed to incorporate the ship as part of a revamp of Southsea’s D-Day Museum, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion in 2019 – where National Museum director Dominic Tweddle hopes she would act as “a magnet for visitors, eager to discover more about this essential part of our naval history”.

He continued:

This grant will enable us to continue the really important project to conserve the vessel and ultimately put her on display.

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Image: Royal Navy