Torbay's LCT Ramps

This page describes Torbay's LCT Ramps and what there is to see today.

US troops aboard landing craft in 1944

US troops on a landing craft. Picture was taken at the National Archives and are offered Royalty Free by Historylink101's World War II Picture Section. Pictures can be found at the D-Day Picture Page.


Torquay LST Ramps almost destroyed

Lying at the heart of Torquay marina, the LCT ramps at Torquay were nearly lost to history, due to them becoming eroded with time. Torbay Borough Council wanted to rip out this part of Torbay`s history, but happily their attempted vandalism was thwarted by local residents and veterans - and the ramps were saved.

Today the ramps are fenced off, and Torbay Council has built a memorial to the history of those who built and set sail to Normandy from these concrete pieces of history.

The LCT ramps at Torquay

Image of Torquay's LCT ramps today

Torquay's LST Ramps today

The memorial at Torquay

The memorial at Torquay

Two of the rare examples of WW2 D-Day landing craft loading ramps can be found at Brixham and Torquay, in S.Devon.

Sixty-eight ramps, or hards, were built along the south coast for loading the Landing Craft Tanks (LCTs) that were to be used for the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944.

The ramps at Torquay and Brixham were four-berth hards. Across these ramps troops embarked into Landing Craft for the pre D-Day excercises ( like Exercise Tiger) and over which the US 4th Infantry Division embarked on 5th June 1944 on their way to UTAH BEACH, as part of Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings.

Both these sets of ramps differ in design, with the Torquay ramps being unusual in that they are supported by a reinforced concrete framework.

This framework can be seen in the photo below.

Annoyingly; neither Brixham nor Torquay town museums have anything about the GIs in Torbay during WW2. The best place for information is at Brixham Battery.


Brixham's LST ramps

Image of Brixham's LCT ramps today

The LST Ramps at Brixham today

Image of LCTs loading at Brixham, 1944

The LST Ramps at Brixham 1944

The LCT ramps at Brixham have faired better, and now form part of the marina. The Torbay inshore lifeboat still launches from these ramps. There is a small plaque to the part the ramps played during WW2 at the entrance to the breakwater itself.

English Heritage have now listed the US Army built 1943 Brixham Outer Harbour LST Hard and Slipway, stating that " was one of the best examples of its kind left in the UK".

Torbay Council opposed the listing as it interferes with their 'regeneration' plans. As a historian who grew up in Brixham, I find the council's attitude to our hertiage shameless.

This shows that we must continue to be on our guard in order to preserve this historic building against future moves from developers. The Grade 2 listing gives some protection but developers can still over ride its status.

Used by the 4th Infantry Division for the D-Day assault on Utah Beach the Hard was in danger of partial demolition.