National Museum of the Royal Navy team 'thrilled' as Churchill Crocodile tank lowered on to last remaining World War Two landing craft LCT 7074 outside The D-Day Story in Southsea

‘THE final pieces of the puzzle are now in place.’

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 7:04 pm
Updated Friday, 28th August 2020, 11:25 am
A Churchill Crocodile tank is craned onto the restored World War Two landing craft LCT 7074 outside The D-Day Story in Southsea, Hampshire. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Those were the words of Nick Hewitt, head of collections and research at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, as a Churchill Crocodile tank was lowered onto the last remaining Second World War landing craft LCT 7074 outside The D-Day Story in Southsea today.

It will be joined by a Sherman Grizzly tank in the next few days when the wind speed drops and crews can safely use the crane.

Nick said: ‘The tanks on the LCT 7074 is the last bit in a very long journey.

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A Churchill Crocodile tank is craned onto the restored World War Two landing craft LCT 7074 outside The D-Day Story in Southsea, Hampshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 27, 2020. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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18 photos showing the historic LCT 7074 being moved to her new Portsmouth home

The final pieces of the puzzle are now in place and we are thrilled.’

The craft took its place in the city in the early hours of Monday morning after it was brought up to Clarence Esplanade on a barge, before a bridge was built to transport her onto the main road.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy acquired the landing craft in 2014 after it sank in Merseyside and it is the last surviving of its kind from the 800 used on D-Day.

Restored World War Two landing craft LCT 7074 is transported from from the Naval Base in Portsmouth to its final resting place at the D-Day Story at Southsea. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2020. Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Nick said: ‘The crafts can carry between six to 10 tanks and there were 800 tanks on D-Day so I think being able to see the tanks on the craft will give our visitors a better understanding of the scale of the effort on D-Day.

‘The tanks are well-loved and popular in the city so it great to have them back and in place.’

The craft was due to be brought in on Saturday night but the attempt to bring the vessel onto the seafront was abandoned due to strong winds.

Deputy council leader, Councillor Steve Pitt, said that exploring the vessel will give people a more personal and intimate representation of the D-Day landings.

He added: ‘The move was a great success and we are so pleased that LCT is now in her final position outside the D-Day Story in Southsea.

‘The ship is a great addition to our current offering and is a fitting tribute to all those who served at D-Day.’

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