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
"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"
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.