Work to restore Britain's last surviving D-Day landing craft enters final phase

Seventy-five years ago, she left the banks of the Tyne to take part in a mission to liberate Europe from the Nazi regime.

Now, work to restore Britain's last surviving D-Day landing craft has entered its final phase. LCT 7074 survived when most others were scrapped.

She was built at the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard, at Hebburn on South Tyneside. And decades ago, carried 10 tanks and their crews across the Channel.

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The thing about these ships is they were never designed to last forever and these ones in particular were built very quickly to do a very simple job and that's why we only have one left. Most of them just fell apart after the war, they were scrapped or thrown away.

Nick Hewitt, National Museum of the Royal Navy

She became a nightclub in Liverpool but sank in the 1990s. However, she was raised during a two-day operation in Birkenhead in October 2014 and is now being restored to look like she did in 1944.

The operation to raise LCT 7074 took two days

Researchers have traced at least two of the tanks which sailed on her and went on to see action in France.

Historians are also trying to discover more about the landing craft's crew.

I can't say for certain but It seems likely that the people working on that ship might have known what it was to be used for and I'm sure if they did they would have felt a real sense of pride and contribution to that effort ...

Dr Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Newcastle University historian
Historians want to find out more about the landing craft's crew

Fundraising to pay for the restoration is still underway by the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

LCT 7074 will go on display outside the D-Day Story in Portsmouth and visitors will be able to go aboard.