Dr. Sir John Martin Stagg

1900 - 1975

Meteorologist, who set the date for D-Day. Born in Dalkeith and educated at Dalkeith High School and the University of Edinburgh, Stagg joined the government Meteorological Office in 1924. In 1932-33, he took time out to lead the British Polar Year Expedition to the Canadian Arctic.

In 1939, he was appointed Superintendent of the Kew Gardens Observatory and, four years later, became the Chief Meteorological Advisor to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the planned Allied invasion of France. With the rank of Group Captain, Stagg headed a team of forecasters who determined that there would be a suitable window in the weather on the 6th June 1944. He recommended Eisenhower order the invasion for that day which, as history records, is indeed what happened. Stagg wrote about these events in his book Forecast for Overlord (1971). He served as Director of Services at the Meteorological Office until 1960.

Stagg was knighted in 1954 and was elected President of the Royal Meteorological Society in 1959. He died in England.

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