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How radar operator Rose Davies supported the D-Day landings



D-Day news

As D-Day (Normandy landings), 6 June 1944 dawned, those who were to play a pivotal part in its success were landing on the beaches of Normandy. Back in the UK, hundreds of personnel were supporting Operation Overlord including radar operator, the late Rose Davies, who was just starting her shift.

Rose and her colleagues usually worked in six-hour shifts but on D-Day she worked for 10 hours without pause, unable to handover to the waiting relief shift because of the 'chaotic' work.

In an interview with the Fund in 2019, Rose said: "We had no idea what was going on but we could feel something in the atmosphere, something important was going to happen. But until we got into the ops room we had no idea. “It was awe inspiring, very exciting but sad too because you did not know how many of those boats and little ships were going to come back and that is a very sobering thought.

"It was exciting as well, to think we were part of something that was so important to the war effort."

Rose was stationed at RAF Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, having joined the RAF at the relatively older age of 25. Her fiancé Wilf was stationed overseas in the Middle East and she decided to join the war effort, in the hope of bringing him home sooner.

She added: "It never leaves you, you never forget. I forget the details but I remember the feelings of that day."

Like so many veterans of her generation, Rose downplays her role in history.

She said: "I always felt my role in D-Day was insignificant in comparison to those brave lads who risked their lives and in some cases lost them."

Rose sadly passed away in April 2024 aged 107.