100th Anniversary at Pembroke Dock

05 Apr

Pembroke Dock proudly remembered its Royal Air Force Heritage on Easter Sunday April 1st staging a major Welsh event to mark the service’s actual 100th anniversary.

During the day over 250 people visited the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre where a newly created RAF exhibition was admired and a programme of talks and walks arranged.

Several west Wales organisations with aviation connections supported the Heritage Centre team with displays of their own.

Apart from giving a presentation during the RAF100 event at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, Sergeant Rhoswyn Lewis and Cadet Will Letten of No 948 Squadron, ATC, also donned genuine wartime-era battledress and a flying helmet and joined the ranks in the exhibition area.

They were No 948 (Haverfordwest and St Davids) Squadron, Air Training Corps; No 592 (Haverfordwest) Branch of RAFA; The Pembrey Mountain Trust; The Welsh Spitfire; Coastlands History Group from Dale, Marloes and St Ishmaels, and the Templeton History Group.

The Penfro Model Club, which meets monthly at the Centre, had a fine display of model aircraft spanning the RAF’s century, and there were individual exhibitors – Andrew Watkin of Ammanford with his Supermarine Spitfire Mk II instrument panel, complete with original instruments and gunsight, and John Rattenbury of Ambleston, a former 10 Squadron RAF Victor V-bomber pilot.

Two cadets from 948 Squadron, Sergeant Rhoswyn Lewis and Cadet Will Letten, gave an excellent presentation on the World War I seaplane station at Fishguard while the squadron’s Flying Officer Keith Jones spoke on the Battle of Britain of 1940. The unique gunnery Dome Trainer project at Pembrey was highlighted by Doug and Patricia Neil while Ray Burgess brought the Welsh Spitfire project up to date. The Sunderland Trust’s Rik Sandanha gave a diver’s perspective and posed questions on the sinking in the Haven of Sunderland T9044.

Ted Goddard led a dockyard discovery walk and John Evans followed on along the town’s RAF trail.

The new RAF100 exhibition, entitled ‘Many Nations, Many Trades’, features uniforms from the Centre’s collection and the stories of individual service personnel connected to them. The exhibition runs until early September.

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