LOCATING A FORGOTTEN LANDING CRAFT
A WWII amphibious assault craft has been discovered off a Welsh island 77 years after it disappeared on active duty
LCT 326 was a Mk III ‘Landing Craft Tank’ that was designed to land armoured vehicles during amphibious operations. Launched in April 1942, the vessel disappeared while transiting from Scotland to Devon in February 1943. Fourteen crew members were lost and the Admiralty listed the cause of loss as bad weather or a collision with a mine.
A collaboration of teams of marine experts from Bangor and Bournemouth Universities has now found LCT 326. Using sonar from Bangor University’s survey vessel, the wreck was discovered off Bardsey Island, Wales. Its final resting place is located at a position 25 miles south from when it was last seen and it is in two halves that lie 130 metres apart on the seabed.
The cause of the vessel’s loss remains unknown although it could have foundered in heavy seas. The location of this naval grave will now be reported to the Admiralty so that records can be corrected and the resting place of the crew be accurately recorded.
A Crusader I tank emerges from an LCT, 26 April 1942
LCT 326 was discovered by Prince Madog, the commissioned research vessel of Bangor University