Landing Craft Tank(Armoured) specification details

Discussion in 'General' started by GRW, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member


    Seen a fair few D7s, but as far as I recall not one Armoured one - just too useful a vehicle not to have been de-armoured and worked to death post-war.
    Have there been any mentions of recovering the vehicles? Real centaurs not exactly being common either.

    The have been some people musing about recovery of the vehicles - but nothing serious. It could be done, they are not deep in diving terms (20m or so), but the big issue is consering them one they get to the surface and for years to come. There is also the issue of all the rounds of HE ammunition which no doubt are still packed into the tanks. We counted over 50 rounds lying on the seabed in the immediate vacinity of the tanks and there are probably many more just below the shingle.

    It would be nice to have them displayed, either outside the RM museum, D Day museum or Tank museum but I just don't think they would have the cash to conserve/restore them. All the lottery cash is going to help the Olympics and the museums are broke. It's a shame that it's only divers like me who can get the opportunity to see them in real life. I even approached Caterpillar Inc (US) but they weren't interested in them which was disappointing. Maybe when they are covered on the Coast programme there might be some interest.

    I keep buying a lottery ticket just in case - though my drive way is not big enough for a tank!

    Best wishes

  2. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have been asking around the local diving community about the dive site I think may be LCT(A) 2428. It is known as the 'patch landing craft' but no one seems to know where the 'patch' came from (any ideas?). I have not dived the site personally but from a few different souces it seems that the wreck is broken into 3 pieces. This could explain why the measurements of the site do not line up with the length of a Mk 5 which I understand was also constructed in 3 sections. Sadly it seems that the wreck has deteriorated significantly and only some of the skeletal construction remains though there is talk of engines too. I am told there is not much to see and a significant part of the wreck is buried. I think we will really have our work cut out here trying to piece together the wreck site. It's going to be a complicated job (and only my 2nd project).

    Thankfully the WW2lct web site has some detailed schematics which may help me - but it's very different looking at a rusty/concreted piece in the dark and gloomy waters of the English Channel and trying to establish where it fitted on a 112' landing craft! If the engine(s) are visable, I am hoping to find 3 of them, we may be able to get some information from them. (Yet more 'Googling').

    Just thought I'd mention that if any of you live in the Gosport area, I am giving a talk at the Thorgate Hall on Thursday 29th (2pm) about the tanks and bulldozers including some underwater footage. It's my first formal talk - I hope some people turn up!

    Best wishes

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I think Patch was a (Nick) name of a General or some other senior officer involved in D-Day......or am I am I having random thoughts?
  4. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Hi Chaps,

    Just wanted to share some good news. The son of one of the crew members of LCT(A) 2428 has made contact with me. His father Able Seaman Charles Ralph Hunt RN was the person who provided the 'survivor report' that told the story of how 2428 capsized. I have given Bruce Hunt a copy of the Tanks and Bulldozers report which has copies of some of the relevant war diary reports about 2428. Bruce confirmed that when the LCT was taking in water and listing heaviliy they wanted to open the bow door and drive the tanks off the LCT to correct the list and raise the level of the craft. The tank commander refused as it meant sacrificing his tank drivers.. and so 2428 capsized. Thankfully all were rescured safely. Bruce did not know whether the incident happened in France or en route so I was able to provide details for him. I also was pleased to tell him about our project to find 2428 this year. He has sent me some photos of his father and other documents - It's brought everything to life!

    I'm more determined than ever to find 2428 now!

    Still gobsmacked!

  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great stuff !

    Thank goodness that Officer took the decision he did. The concept of being ordered to drive an armoured vehicle off the ship into that depth of water doesn't bear thinking about
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Can only echo rich's comments Ali.
    There are limits to duty, and I suspect driving a Centaur into the sea from a boat just might be stretching them. :mellow:
  7. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    I hope this works

    Attached Files:

    von Poop, Drew5233 and Bodston like this.
  8. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Excellent pictures Ali.

    Here is the armoured D7 on land

    and the Centaur
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    What a Excellent thread this is turning into :D

  10. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Thanks guys, I have seen both of those images which were provided to me by David Fletcher at the Tank Museum Bovington. There are very few D7 armoured Bulldozer images around and even Caterpillar in the US didn't have any information about what modifications were made in terms of adding the armour. I have not been able to find out how many were made but here's a few more images that David at the Tank museum sent me.

    Attached Files:

  11. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    ..and for those Centaur fans... these are from the Tank Museum and RM Museum. Did I mention that we also found 2 porpoise ammunition sleds at the dive site? The tow bars were still attached to the tanks.

    I have just posted a note on the Canadian forum MLU so perhaps I will get some responses / information about the Canadian troops on board LCT(A) 2428.

    Fingers crossed.

    Attached Files:

  12. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Alison, have you had a look at the 'Maple Leaf Up' site ?

    MLU FORUM - Powered by vBulletin

    No better source for Canadian establishments that I know of.

    I'm getting warmer with the Canadian connection - I found this on the MLU forum -
    18th Field Company - RCE - MLU FORUM

    As I mentioned the loading tables for LCT(A) 2428 had a number of Canadian personnel and equipment listed (see photo attached). LCT(A) 2428 had the loading number (LITN 1008) and in addition to the 2 Centaurs and 15 RM personnel there was;
    4 members from "HQ RCE 3 Cdn Div (Special Bulldozer Inc)" - "2 D7 Bulldozers Armd"
    14 members from "18 Cdn Fd Coy" - "Car 5Cwt 4x4"
    6 members from the "8 Kings A Coy"

    On the MLU thread there is reference to LCT 1008 not arriving - not sure whether that means LCT 1008 (there was one in the Juno force) or LCT(A) 2428 being the one I am interested in. There is also another reference to ---
    "g) Special task with 2nd Armoured Brigade.
    Beach Clearance: No. 1 Platoon landed on Mike sector at varying times on D-Day. a) L/Sgt. Semple and party landed at 0800 hrs. b) Sgt. Romain and party landed at 0815 hrs. c) Lt. Eddy and party failed to arrive, the craft having dropped out of the convoy on D-1."
    which could equally be a reference to LCT(A) 2428.

    In which case I may have a name (Lt Eddy) which I can also look into.

    (Great picture of a D7 in action on the MLU thread).


    Attached Files:

  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Ali slightly off topic but thought you maybe interested in this :D

    B-17 Wreck
  14. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    Excellent video - good choice!

    We are off to Malta over Easter and hope to dive the Blenheim Bomber. It's a bit deeper (42m) but looks just as good.

    I'm looking for WW2 film/images of LCT(A)s - loading at Gosport (Stokes Bay) would be great. Does anyone know some good places to look?

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    You Tube possibly :unsure:
  16. Panther Ausf G 122

    Panther Ausf G 122 Junior Member

    Hi all
    The following is a post I placed on another forum. Which gave me a link to this site?
    To-day I joined.

    Any information please! It‘s the Landing craft info I want..
    Back in 1997 I scratch built 1/35th scale Lct’s. I wanted do the RMASG Lct.

    The Royal Marine’s who landed with some of their Centaur C.S. Mk.IV,
    1st Armoured Support Rgt. 2nd Battery, "H" Troop, Juno Beach Normandy, 1944
    I think they landed something like thirty six Centaurs’ max; but most were lost before they got near the beach. One is outside the Pegasus Bridge, D-Day, museum.

    The Centaurs’ were fitted with 95mm howitzers and used to shell the beach as they approached.
    Once on the beach they were to take out any pill boxes or other heavily fortified emplacements.
    Disregarding orders to remain on the beaches the RMASG moved inland.
    Eventually meet up with Lord Lovett’s commando group at Pegasus Bridge, on the way they had a go at 12th panzer.
    On reaching the bridge were slapped on the wrist for not doing as they were ordered. Several weeks later with beaches secured the Centaurs were withdrawn to England.
    After that no information.

    I was chairman and senior Trustee of our local ex services club for 25 years; in that time, I met many Army, RN, and RMs. Who had taken part in the Normandy invasion? And asked them but no new info.
    I had been told the landing craft carried four Centaurs’ in the Tank bay. The two front ones were trained to fire just either side of the ramp. The second pair fired just to clear the front pair one firing to port, one to starboard.
    I was told the Lct’s were fitted with a blast plate between the front and rear Tanks for protection. (95mm big blast).
    Unfortunately the ex Marine who gave me this information in 1997 couldn’t remember anymore than that. He did add that sometimes the exploits of several groups get woven in to one good story.

    I also tried the RM Eastney Barracks, Pompy, even the secret one’s at Hamworthy, Poole. No real leads.

    If the Lct’s were British M4 they would carry more than just four Tanks. This was explained to me as the extra room behind the four tanks would have been taken up with their own specialist equipment and munitions, possible but my own theory is they only had two or three Lct's; British ones were big wide things. considering they had to have blast plate protection fitted and thirty six Tanks at four per craft would needed at lest Eight Lct’s; that would have been noticed.

    The Lct number would be great a help to me then able to back track.

    The reason I stopped this model was little or no further info. I like to be accurate. (people ask questions, I try to give an accurate answer).

    Now I want to have another go! still have the Centaurs’ waiting in the shed, with a part built Lct.
    Now I am nearer to what I am looking for LCT(A) 2428 sounds good to me with prospects of more detailed information than I would get from another which may or may not be as accurate.

    Now confirmed that the Centaur’s were loaded on British crewed American Mk5 Lct’s.
    Not as I had been told the British made Mk4 & Mk5’s.

    Apology for the long explanation but I thought using my original post would give a little more background.


    Remember not the words of your Enemies, Only the silence of our Friends.
    Panther Ausf G 122
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  18. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    There's a little info on the Centaurs in LCT's on Juno Beach here.


    Hi Andy,

    Welcome to the forum, I'm pretty new around here too. I have done quite a bit of research on LCTMk 5 and LCT(A)s over the past few months in support of the diving project I have been running. There's a great drawing on the site US Navy Landing Craft Tanks,Mk5 1940-1945 including crew areas etc but I can't find any real deatils as to how these LCTs were modified to take the tanks on ramps etc and extra armour to turn them into LCT(A)s for the RMASG and others. I am keen to find any such info and have some details but it will be hard to identify the wreck as it is well broken up. I have heard that the extra was plastic - but also that it was concrete...? I am hoping there will be some on the sea bed which could help identify it as an LCT(A).

    Another great source of LCT information is Tony Chapman from the Landing Craft Association (RN), The LST and Landing Craft Association home page Tony and his friend Danny have been fantastic in providing me with info. To think this time last year I knew nothing about Centaurs, D7 armoured bulldozers, LCT(A)s, RMASG and Juno beach! I have been in touch with the RM Museum, the D Day Museum, The Tank Museum branch - the beauty of living and working in Pompey is that it's all on your door step! Finding images of LCT(A)s with loaded centaurs is almost impossible. Here's a great one from Tony... the US LCT(A) - with Shermans :mad: sank shortly after!

    The LCT(A) 2428 was carrying 2 Centaurs from Q troop (Right section) 2nd RMASG. It was also carring 2 armoured bulldozers and canadian troops. I am trying to find out the 'names' of the tanks that would have been on board.

    Happy to share info as and when I get it.


    Attached Files:

  19. Panther Ausf G 122

    Panther Ausf G 122 Junior Member

    Hi Andy
    Thanks for the lead, all helps. What I am after is two things.
    1st: - to prove or disprove the claim! That against orders RMASG Centaur's fought their way up to Pegasus Bridge to join up with Lord Lovett’s Commando’s.
    2nd: - Type of Lct and its number; one that landed the RMASG Centaur's.
    I now know part of the answer to this question; British manned American Mk5's with British and Canadian Troops.


    Remember not the words of your Enemies, Only the silence of our Friends.
    Panther Ausf G 122
  20. Ali Mayor

    Ali Mayor Member

    I have copies of the RMASG war diaries. I will need to read them again to see if I can find out the answer to Q1

    Hi Brian,

    I may also be able to help with the LCT type/number (almost certainly and LCT(A)) but the confusion come in the Loading (LTIN) number given on the loading tables and trying to match it to the landing craft pennant number. However Danny's great at this sort of thing so if I can't find it I know a man who probably can. Will have a look in the coming days.


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