England

D-Day landing craft raised from dock

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionIt took two days to raise the D-Day landing craft which was once used as a floating nightclub

A sunken D-Day landing craft, once used as a floating nightclub, has been raised in a two-day operation.

The vessel will now be transported from the East Float Dock, Birkenhead, to Portsmouth Naval Base.

It became a glittering clubhouse and venue after the war but sank at its mooring after becoming corroded.

A £916,149 grant from the National Memorial Heritage Fund (NHMF) enabled the salvage of the craft which will now undergo restoration.

The two-day operation to raise it was completed on Thursday.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, called it the "last of these vital workhorses known to have participated in D-Day".

He added: "This humble but vital ship played a significant role for the Royal Navy.

"Also importantly her sheer size... an ocean going vessel capable of carrying ten armoured vehicles, challenges the common perception that landing craft were small assault craft."

It is hoped LCT 7074, as it was known, will eventually go on display at Portsmouth's D-Day museum after its restoration to coincide with the museum's redesign, and the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

National Museum of the Royal Navy said "initial discussions" had taken place.

Carole Souter, chief executive of NHMF, said it was "fitting" that it was able to save "one of the last remaining of 7,000 ships that took part in D-Day, the largest ever seaborne invasion and a significant moment in UK and world history".

The craft will be stored at Portsmouth Naval Base while plans are developed and further funding is sought to conserve and restore it.

Image copyright Royal navy
Image caption More than 800 landing craft took part in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites