Ceremony marks lost D-Day Landing Craft

Relatives gather to honour men killed in wartime accident

Author: Pat
3rd February 2012
 

A memorial service has been held for the crew killed when their World War 2 landing craft sank in The Solent.

Southsea BSAC club identified the wreck of LCT 427 in the eastern Portsmouth approaches back in August.

The vessel, an LCT – Landing Craft (Tank) – had delivered a shipment of tanks to Gold Beach in Normandy.

On 7th June 1944 LCT 427 was en route back to Portsmouth when she was in collision with the battleship HMS Rodney.

The LCT was sliced in half and sank immediately, killing all 13 of her crew.Seaman Kenneth Sumner was found floating in the water, but died two days later.

No other crew were found alive, and for family members, mystery surrounded the ship’s fate thanks to wartime secrecy.

More than 60 years on, Southsea Sub-Aqua Club was given special permission to dive the site, which is situated in a busy shipping lane.

Following positive identification, members of the dive team organised a wreath laying at sea with relatives of the lost crewmen, followed by a memorial service in Portsmouth.

Divers report that the two main pieces of the wreck lie a hundred feet apart in around 30 metres of water.

 
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