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Harbour defence motor launch built at Newman's Yard in Poole in 1943
A D-Day veteran, launched in Poole 70-years-ago, is returning to the port this weekend.
Medusa, a harbour defence motor launch was built at Newman’s Yard in Poole in October 1943, and will be welcomed back to Poole by Mayor, Cllr Phil Eades, on Saturday.
The historic vessel will be berthed on the town quay, opposite the slipway where she was built, and will be open to the public after her arrival on Friday and Saturday afternoon.
Now restored and owned by the Medusa Trust, Alan Watson, chairman of the trustees and her skipper said: “It’s a tribute to the shipwrights of Poole that a vessel intended for a five-year life is still seaworthy 70 years on.
“It’s a privilege being at sea on her and we are all very aware of those that went before us and the vital role she played.
“It’s wonderful bringing her back to where she was born and we are looking forward to taking her back to the D-Day beaches next year.”
A navigational leader for the assault on Omaha Beach during the Normandy landings on June 6 1944, she went on to take the surrender of Ijmuiden, Holland and was the first Allied vessel to Amsterdam.
After the war Medusa continued her naval service as a training vessel for the University of Cardiff, and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, finally transferring to the RN Hydrographic Department as a survey launch.
Retired from the navy in 1968, she was bought by a group of enthusiasts in Weymouth and operated in local water for many years, returning to the D-Day beaches in 1994, on the 50th anniversary.
She made her first return to Poole since the war in 1993, on the 50th anniversary of her launch, with her wartime captain, Maurice Liddiard on board.
A star of the small screen she has featured in several TV programme, underwent major restoration from 2006 to 2010 and is now berthed at Gosport.
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