D-day meteorology

Metman

Midshipman
In the lead-up to D-day the Admiralty positioned two ships to the west of the UK to provide regular weather reports. Their approximate positions were:

53N22W
45N22W

The ships wre on position for a week or so before 6 June. I appreciate this is all very vague, but is there any way of identifying the ships involved?
 

JonnoJonno

Banned
No guarantees but you could get hold of a copy of Staggs 'Forecast for Overlord' (isbn 0711002517). It could be mentioned in there.
 

Metman

Midshipman
Thanks for the suggestion but that's no use I'm afraid; he simply refers to:

"one ship south of Iceland and the other north of the Azores."

I have copies of the Met Office maps for the period, which is how I'm able to identify the the approximate positions. I've also acces to his orginal diary, but that doesn't help as that doersn't include such details.
 

Mayo's D-Day heroine to receive special US honour​

Updated / Saturday, 19 Jun 2021 17:18

Maureen Sweeney's weather forecast played a pivotal role in World War II

Maureen Sweeney's weather forecast played a pivotal role in World War II
By Teresa Mannion
Regional Reporter

A 98-year-old woman living in Co Mayo, is to be given a special US House of Representatives honour in Belmullet this evening, for the role she played in changing the course of world history with her weather reports.

Maureen Sweeney, who is originally from Co Kerry, forecast an impending storm from Blacksod station in 1944 which changed the timing of the D-Day landings and ultimately secured victory for the Allies.

The remote Blacksod lighthouse and coastguard station played a key role during World War II supplying Britain with weather reports.

Ted and Maureen Sweeney were amongst those taking readings on an hourly basis, which were being secretly phoned into London.

At 1pm on 3 June 1944, 21-year-old Maureen was first to forecast a severe Atlantic storm, which led to a change of plan in one of the world's biggest military operations.

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D-Day was postponed to 6 June and the rest is history.

Maureen's readings unwittingly gave the Allies two day advance warning of stormy conditions in western Europe, forcing General Dwight D Eisenhower to delay his meticulously planned invasion of Normandy.

Maureen's son, Vincent, is the lighthouse keeper at Blacksod Point and he recalled how she used rudimentary instruments and equipment to record weather data.

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This was one of her duties in the little post office in Blacksod, which he described as "being a world away from the bloodshed and tragedy of the war".

Vincent said people in the area had no idea of the significance of the weather report and rather the part it was to play in the war.



Maureen Sweeney will be honoured at Tí Aire nursing home in Belmullet.

A letter will be read out from the World War II museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as a personal note from US Congressman and retired 3-Star Admiral Jack Bergman (Michigan First District), who is the highest ranking veteran to ever serve in Congress.

The special recognition, which has been awarded since 1789, entitles Maureen to receive a proclamation noting her accomplishments, and will be placed in the US Library of Congress for perpetuity.

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A special medal in recognition of Maureen's 'Laudable Actions' will be placed on her lapel and there will be music and poetry performed for Mayo's D-Day heroine.

Speaking in a recorded interview with her grandson Fergus Sweeney in 2014, Maureen said: "Eisenhower was making up his mind about whether to enter France or not. He was very divided but when he saw the report from Blacksod Point it confirmed he made the right decision.

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Fergus Sweeney
"That report was sent from here on the 3rd June and the following morning there was a query at around 11 o'clock. And then was a second query. A lady with a distinct English accent requested me to 'Please Check. Please Repeat!' We began to look at the figures again. We checked and rechecked and the figures were the same both times so we were happy enough then".

Maureen added with pride, "they relied on our weather forecast. It’s something you’ll remember for a lifetime."

It was well over a decade before Maureen Sweeney and her family learned how that weather report helped turned the tide of World War II.

In a Nationwide interview recorded 15 years ago, Maureen chuckled at the role Blacksod played.

"They could arrange everything but they couldn’t pre-arrange the weather! They had it all worked out to the nearest detail but our weather report put the first spoke in the wheel.

"They would have gone ahead and the invasion would have been a complete disaster. There they were with thousands of aircraft and they couldn't tolerate low cloud. We're delighted we put them on the right road. We eventually had the final say!"

John J Kelly is a first generation Irish-American and was fascinated by Maureen’s story and set about getting official recognition for the Sweeney family.

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He said he is extremely honoured to have been given the task of presenting the award to Ms Sweeney
 

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