The P22 gunboat will be moored in Ramsgate today (May 31).
The stop off is taken place as the 1950s craft makes its way to France to be part of the biggest British and European commemorations of the 75th D-Day invasion.
The USN P22 American Patrol boat, which is now permanently based at Sandwich Quay after mooring fee costs forced it out of Ramsgate, has been invited by the Mayor of Ouistreham, France to attend their D-Day event’s from June 1-6. At the event British and American war veterans will be present to relive the invasion which was the first step in bringing World War II to an end.
There will be live televised events from the BBC at Portsmouth on June 6 and in France it is expected that 4.5 million people will visit the landing beaches and events that are planned there.
Owner Barry Field said participation of the P22 is thanks to a 1,000.00 euro gift from the Mayor of Ouistreham to help with the fuel costs.
He added: “We are privileged to play our small part in honouring the war veterans and all the people who gave their lives for the freedom we now enjoy.
“For those who can’t make the commemorations, we are happy to take a flower, cross or message over with us from anyone wishing to pay his or her own respects.”
The P22 left Sandwich Quay at 10.am and will be in Ramsgate today from 11am before heading off on the 18-hour voyage to the D-Day landing beaches where the Mayor will greet her ready for the start of the events taking place in France.
Very interesting article. It’s a great shame that the harbour fees are so high they drive boat owners away.
The harbour wanted to charge the regular fee. P22 wanted a discount. No deal, went to Sandwich.
The P22 has nothing to do with Ramsgate, Sandwich, Kent, the UK or WWII. She was built in the 50’s by the Americans (who were noticeably absent during our darkest hours) to patrol the Rhine in Germany. She would be better off in Cologne or Strasburg.
Such a shame that Ramsgate was so short sighted in not doing a deal with the owners of the P22. This would have generated much interest to the harbour especially having the Sundowner that went to Dunkirk. Ramsgate loss is Sandwich gain.
Last time I was in Sandwich I wasn’t aware of the huge queues of tourists flocking from around the known civilized world to look at a 1950′ American gunboat.