- Associated Press - Sunday, July 5, 2015

GROVEPORT, Ohio (AP) - A $25,000 state grant is helping preserve a World War II landing craft that ferried soldiers to battles in the Pacific.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office announced last week the grant will go to Motts Military Museum in Groveport, The Columbus Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/1LYZoBg ).

The money will be used to build a steel-framed metal shelter for one of the last remaining “Higgins” landing craft from World War II, said museum founder and executive director Warren Motts.

The Motts landing craft is one of about 23,000 vehicles used to transport soldiers and equipment to beaches in Europe, Africa and the Pacific. Most of the box-shaped craft were destroyed in battle or scrapped after the war. They were made partially of wood.

Sam Belfiore, who won a Silver Star for his wartime activities with the Navy, originally piloted the craft, which was at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base for several years before it was donated to the Motts museum.



“We have a whole crew restoring the boat, and we want to get it under cover to keep it from deteriorating and to preserve it for future generations,” Motts said.

DeWine said in a statement the money will help “preserve an important part of our military history.”

“Higgins boats helped transport troops and equipment in World War II, and the Motts Military Museum’s display will help educate new generations of Ohioans about the World War II era,” he said.

The grant comes from fines and fees assessed by the attorney general’s charitable game section.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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