Thumbs up for restoration of rare D-Day landing craft

Soldiers taking part in ‘Operation Overlord’, 6 June 1944 Credit: National Museum of the Royal Navy
For the first time ever an original Landing Craft Tank (LCT) will be on display at the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth thanks to nearly £5million from The National Lottery.

LCT 7074 is believed to be one of only 10 survivors from the Normandy landings and the only one in the UK.

Once restored, LCT 7074 will be housed in The D-Day Museum, an affiliate of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, which is due to reopen in 2018 following a complete refurbishment also funded by the National Lottery.  Offering a more in-depth narrative on the events that took place in ‘Operation Overlord’ on 6 June 1944, The D-Day Museum focuses on the Royal Navy.

History's largest amphibious operation

Over 800 LCTs with the capacity to carry 10 tanks or equivalent armoured vehicles were involved in ‘Operation Neptune’, the naval element of ‘Overlord’.  The largest amphibious operation in history, it involved 7,000 ships and craft landing 160,000 soldiers on the beaches of Normandy. 

“This puts 7074 in the city’s heart, engaging a potential 4.5 million annual users of Southsea Common with the story of the ship and her people.”Nick Hewitt, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, National Museum of the Royal Navy

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “It’s fitting that National Lottery money is enabling the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council to work in partnership with surviving veterans to record and share their memories of this genuinely historic operation in time for the 75th anniversary in 2019.”

Opportunities for volunteering and apprenticeships

LCT 7074 will be taken apart and re-assembled so it can be properly catalogued. The D-Day Museum’s two tanks will also go through a similar process and be displayed on the tank deck of the LCT.  Helping expert conservators with this work will be 40 volunteer and two apprentices. 

Nick Hewitt, Head of Exhibitions and Collections at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “This puts 7074 in the city’s heart, engaging a potential 4.5 million annual users of Southsea Common with the story of the ship and her people; it puts her D-Day story – which uniquely links sea and land – in context for museum visitors and ensures she survives for future generations.”

Back to top of page