HERITAGE bosses have launched a final push to raise £25,000 to save the sole-surviving landing craft from the D-Day invasion.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has launched the campaign to raise cash to complete the restoration of the 200ft LCT 7074.
She will be displayed outside the D-Day Museum in Southsea to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.
So far, the scheme has received a £4.7m grant from the National Lottery. A further £1.1m is needed in match funding to unlock the cash.
The latest crowdfunding effort is the final push for public donations, with cash to fund the rest of the project coming from elsewhere.
Nick Hewitt, head of exhibitions and collections at the NMRN, said: ‘At dawn on the morning of D-Day, June 6, 1944, 800 landing craft approached the Normandy landing beaches.
‘What ensued was the largest seaborne invasion in history and it was landing craft, including LCT 7074, that delivered tanks, troops and essential equipment to the beaches.
‘LCT 7074 is the last of these vital workhorses known to have actually participated in the D-Day landings.
‘This makes her totally unique and a key piece in history.’
After a chequered post-war career involving conversion into a floating clubhouse and nightclub, the craft was in private hands, semi-derelict and sunk at her moorings at East Float Dock, Birkenhead.
But in 2014 she was successfully salvaged and moved to Portsmouth by the NMRN.
Previous successful crowdfunding campaigns run by the charity include raising more than £9,000 to help preserve First World War ship HMS M.33, the only remaining Royal Navy survivor of the Gallipoli Campaign; £10,000 for Falkland veteran Landing Craft F7 and more than £6,000 to save CMB 331, the last surviving Second World War coastal motor boat.
To support the latest bid, see justgiving.com/fundraising/lct-7074