D-Day veteran reunited with Army truck she drove during World War Two

  • ITV News Meridian's Derek Johnson captured the moment Joan was reunited

A veteran from Surrey has been reunited with an Army truck she drove 80 years ago during World War Two.

Joan Johnson, 99, helped take trucks and supplies to the south coast for months on end in 1944 in what was a top secret operation in the run up to D-Day.

The Bedford '3 Tonner' was one of many heavy vehicles Joan got behind the wheel of while in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).

Joan said: "It was hard work because you had no systems, especially the handbrake, which was on a ratchet, you had to pull it up.

Joan Johnson drove this Bedford truck while in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"So every morning you had to check everything in time to get on the road."

The ATS was the women's branch of the Army, and women did essential jobs as drivers and mechanics.

The owners of the care home she lives in collect military vehicles and they were the people who made the discovery.

Natasha Webster, Care UK, said: "She remembers number plates and things like that. They drove around to stores to get stuff out of factories before they took them down to the D-Day beaches.

Joan Johnson helped take trucks and supplies to the south coast for months on end in 1944. Credit: Joan Johnson

"There's only a few left, so it is really a coincidence."

Joan said: "Nobody knew where we were going. We had dispatch riders to take us so we didn't know where we were.

"We just knew we were near the coast.

"Oh, I was very pleased when it was all over and then I had to think about what I would do with my life."

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