Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in two years time the landing craft ‘LCT 7074’ that took part in Operation Neptune, the naval element of the Allied invasion of northern France in 1944 will be restored thanks to a £4.7m lottery grant.
Landing craft LCT 7074 landed on Gold beach with one Cromwell tank, two Sherman tanks and seven Stuart tanks and their crews on board. It is the only landing craft to survive from D-Day and just one of ten remaining vessels from the wider fleet. It was one of 800 that had the capacity to carry ten tanks or armoured vehicles plus their crew. After its refurbishment, it will go on display as the focal point of Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum, an affiliate of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, after a major overhaul.
The landing craft tank was decommissioned in 1948 and later converted to a floating clubhouse and nightclub in Birkenhead, before falling into a semi-submerged and deteriorating state and eventually being salvaged in 2014. As part of the restoration, LCT 7074 will be taken apart and reassembled so it can be properly catalogued, and conservation work will be undertaken on its hull, superstructure and interior spaces.