U.S. ships sunk in English Channel in D-Day rehearsal protected as historic relics

Two U.S. military landing ships that sank during an ill-fated dress rehearsal for the famous D-Day Allied invasion of Normandy were Friday granted official heritage protection by the British government.

The two craft, LST-507 and LST-531, sank in 1944 during “Exercise Tiger” off the coast of Devon after they were torpedoed by German boats. At least 749 American servicemen died.

Rehearsals for D-Day by British and U.S. troops were carried out along the English coastline, contributing to the success of D-Day on June 6 of 1944.

The two amphibian Landing Ships were involved in the ill-fated rehearsals off Slapton Sands in Devon, just weeks before D-Day.

Now, 76 years later, the two craft have been protected by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Britain’s official cultural agency Historic England.

The cultural status for the two ships has been announced to coincide with events to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 in Europe, VE Day.

Celebrations have been scaled down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.