Veteran Stories:
David Rose

Army

  • A pass for the London Underground issued during the war.

    David Rose
  • Royal Canadian Corps of Signals shoulder flash.

    David Rose
  • David Rose's pay book.

    David Rose
  • David Rose (middle), with his friends Dave Goldberg (left) and Ed Wayne (right).

    David Rose
  • David Rose, 1943.

    David Rose
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"I thought, my gosh, these planes are going to bomb people, people living now are going to die a few hours later. It, it was really very very unnerving, even though I knew it helped end the war"

Transcript

When I came, the actual Blitz [the wartime bombing of Britain by Germany between 1940 and 1941] was over. That had been probably the year before. But shortly after I came, the Germans started with the V bombs. First the V-1 [unmanned flying bomb], which was almost immediately after the invasion, and that was quite scary. But you could see the V-1 and you could hear the V-1. So you could evade it to some extent but not entirely. But that V-1 did a lot of damage and I saw the damage that it did.

Even the town of Epsom, which when I first went through it after arrival in England, had been undamaged by the war - beautiful, beautiful town, but the V-1 hit it right in the centre and made an awful awful mess. The destruction was horrible. One bomb. And these V bombs were coming over, day and night.

And then the V-2 started. Also arrived just after my arrival in England. And the V-2 of course was a [long-range ballistic] missile, something that you couldn’t see or couldn’t hear, just a loud explosion every once in a while. They were aimed to land anyplace in southern England, especially London.

My experience was, there wasn’t really any, any problem of any kind. I was in a Landing Ship Tank, that’s an LST and we just landed on the beach without any problems at all and just drove up. A couple of miles inland and set up our equipment and started our communication for whatever we had to do.

I think the most significant experience, beside my work as a wireless operator, was watching the planes come over. Almost every day, a thousand planes come over from England in these beautiful formations and they were just taking off and heading towards Germany. And the noise was something. But it was -in a way, I thought, my gosh, these planes are going to bomb people, people living now are going to die a few hours later. It, it was really very very unnerving, even though I knew it helped end the war, but to watch these planes go over, to kill people, and very often civilians like in Dresden… it wasn’t pleasant.

And then I watched the planes coming back a few hours later, broken formation, planes missing from the formation, see the odd plane even going down in France.

Follow us