HISTORIC SHIPS ON A LEE SHORE

The Resurrection ofLCT 7074, a D-Day Survivor   

In the late 1930s, as Great Britain was being drawn into World War II.

the British were investigating how to convey tanks and materiel across the seas to conduct an attack on foreign soil,

and the task of designing the first tank landing craft fell to Rowland Baker,

a member of the British Royal Corps of Naval Constructors.

Baker came up with an austere shallow-draft tank ferry, and in 1940 construction began on the first of its rype, the LCT Mark I, at R & W Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., Ltd., on the Tyne;

it was launched in November of that same year.

Incorporated in its design were several novel features,

including a front-loading ramp hinged just above the waterline and a double floating dock form of hull,

Propulsion was provided by a Paxman diesel engine.

A total of235 LCT (Landing Craft, Tank)

Mark 3s, the most numerous British-built rype,

Among these was the LCT 7074;

With a crew of rwo officers and ten ratings, the vessel transited to the River Orwell in Suffolk under the command of Sub Lt.

John Baggot, RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve), a rwenry-year-old trainee solicitor from Swindon, Wiltshire.

7074 joined the 17th LCT Flotilla at Great Yarmouth before steamingon wards to Felix stowe to prepare for the build-up to D-Day.

The new purpose-built LCTs, which could carry up to eleven Sherman tanks, would make up the backbone of the invasion fleet.

 Manned primarily by British crews, the LCTs transported most of the tanks, heavy artillery, and armored vehicles that landed in Normandy.

The 17th LCT Flotilla was part of Assault Group L2,

LCT Squadron “H” of the Eastern Task Force, which supported the British landings (made up of rwo British divisions,

one Canadian division, plus rwo army units and one Royal Marine Commando unit).

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