A WWII am­phibi­ous as­sault craft has been dis­cov­ered off a Welsh is­land 77 years af­ter it dis­ap­peared on ac­tive duty

History of War - - MUSEUMS & EVENTS -

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

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