D Day Veteran Dennis ‘Roy’ Cooper 211020 CREDIT SSAFA
Veterans

D-Day Veteran Dennis 'Roy' Cooper Dies Aged 102

Former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West, said it was "a privilege and a pleasure" to have met Mr Cooper.

D Day Veteran Dennis ‘Roy’ Cooper 211020 CREDIT SSAFA

D-Day veteran Dennis 'Roy' Cooper has died aged 102.

Mr Cooper, who lived in Dorset, died last week, charity SSAFA announced.

Former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West, paid tribute to Mr Cooper, saying: "Roy was typical of the amazing generation that enabled us to win the war and defeat Hitler.

"He was a brave man who did his duty serving with distinction.

"It was a privilege and a pleasure to have met him."

Mr Cooper enlisted into the Royal Navy in 1940 from his hometown of Portsmouth.

During the Second World War, he spent three years on HMS King George V, before going on to serve on minesweepers. 

One of his many roles in 1944 was escorting two mulberry harbours across to Normandy where they were positioned on Sword and Omaha beaches.

But his D-Day mission began the day before the landings, on 5 June 1944, when he was involved in minesweeping from Sword beach to Cherbourg. 

"We did the impossible," he told Forces News in February after being awarded the Legion d'Honneur - France's highest honour.

WATCH: Mr Cooper reflects on being awarded France's highest honour earlier this year.

"We sailed right under their noses [the Germans] and laid a minefield that was to prepare for D-Day so that none of the E-boats could get out to destroy us and none of the convoys could get in to supply food and ammunition for the Germans.

"That was very effective because the Germans were so short of food, they just went along the beach and ate mussels and things like that.

"That was what I would call doing the impossible."

Mr Cooper retired from the Navy at the end of the war and began a career in the motor industry.

For the past 32 years, he has been living in Marnhull, Dorset, with his wife Mary.

Last year, he returned to Normandy for the D-Day 75 commemorations, where he said he felt "honoured and humbled" after receiving a "great reception". 

Cover image: Mr Cooper (SSAFA)