P22 American patrol boat mooring in Ramsgate before heading to D Day commemorations

The P22 is returning to Ramsgate - but just for a visit

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.

Photo Mike Poulter

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.

Volunteer Tiffany Routledge and Captain Barry Field on the P22 last year

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.

Ramsgate and Margate mayors Raushan Ara and Mick Tomlinson will be visiting the vessel at 2pm at her berth in the outer Harbour to deliver their respective wreaths and have a small tour from Captain Field.
The USN P22 retired gunboat, which was built in Germany for an American fleet that patrolled the River Rhine, is the only one of 23 built that is still afloat.
The vessel, which left Ramsgate in 2017, played the part of The Admiral’s Launch in the epic 2018 film Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring actors including Kenneth Branagh and singer Harry Styles.