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Memorial Flotilla small ships set to go on public display in Guernsey

Small ships of the Memorial Flotilla are due to be in Guernsey next week.

The four boats of the flotilla, which escorted D-Day veterans from Portsmouth to Caen for the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations recently, will be stopping in St Peter Port on their way back to Portsmouth. They will be open for public visits during their stay.

The boats belong to the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and the Medusa Trust and have been restored to the condition they would have been in when they were used on operational duty.

Three of the small ships are due to be sailing to St Peter Port and will be open to the public at some point during their visit. The vessels will be moored in the swan pool moorings which is accessible from the end of the Crown Pier.

However plans may change due weather and sea conditions.

A fourth small ship - Medusa - is due to arrive from Cherbourg on Tuesday and stay for two days before then visiting Alderney and Sark and then returning to Portsmouth.

The small ships of the flotilla are:

MGB 81 - Motor Gun Boat 81 took part in the D-Day landings acting as one of the lead boats for the British and Canadian troops on the approaches to Sword Beach. She has recently had a major rebuild and had new engines installed.

HSL 102 - High Speed Launch 102 was an air sea rescue launch attached to the Royal Air Force and its purpose was to rescue downed airmen. She did not attend D-Day although many of her sister craft did.

MASB 27 - Motor Anti-Submarine Boat 27 was part of the Coastal Forces Squadron supporting the US 1st Division in its assault on Omaha Beach. It was also used to direct construction of the artificial harbour off Omaha Beach once the beachhead had been secured.

HDML 1387 HMS Medusa - Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1387 took position on the edge of the minefield off Omaha Beach to act as a marker for the invasion force to find a narrow swept channel leading to the beach. HMS Medusa is owned and operated by the Medusa Trust.