There are two concrete slipways at Beacon Quay,Torquay Harbour which were constructed for the embarkation of American troops for Operation Overlord from Torbay. At the same time, the outer harbour slipway at Brixham also undertook the role.

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during the Second World War by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 12,000-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving almost 7,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, more than three million allied troops were in France by the end of August.