#DDAY70: The boats from Wakefield that helped in the Normandy landings

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In 1943, the Wakefield waterfront played its own important role in preparing for the D-Day landings.

Charles Drake, of shopfitting firm Drake and Warters, was contracted to build 72 Landing Craft Assault Vessels, which were used to transport soldiers from large troop ships to the beaches of Normandy.

Charles Henry Drake - pictured with his two daughters Jeane and Shirley. Pic courtesy of Paul Dawson
Charles Henry Drake - pictured with his two daughters Jeane and Shirley. Pic courtesy of Paul Dawson

The simple flat-bottomed crafts with armour were 43 feet long and weighed 12.5 tonnes. Each had two half decks and plate armour capable of repelling a machine gun bullet.

 

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