Wing Commander Derek Martin, OBE 1920 – 2014
Wing Commander Derek Martin, OBE, who died in April 2014, was Patron of the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust and a great champion of our heritage.
Derek qualified as a pilot early in World War II and in September 1940 joined a crew which flew a new Sunderland, serial T9044, from Pembroke Dock to No 210 Squadron at Oban on Scotland’s west coast. His Sunderland crashed on landing at Oban and he was severely injured. Derek became a patient of renowned plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe at East Grinstead.
After many operations Derek returned to flying duties and in 1943 made aviation history by taxiing a Sunderland ashore at Pembroke Dock on its wheeled beaching gear. This experiment, in the hands of a skilled pilot, was successful but was not repeated.
A founder member of the Guinea Pig Club and No 210 Squadron Association, Derek was also a great supporter of the Sunderland Trust and our efforts to recover ‘his’ Sunderland, T9044. In September 2009 he officially opened the Pembroke Dock Flying Boat Centre which displays many parts of T9044. He was a regular visitor to ‘PD’ and contributed to many television programmes.
He is survived by his wife Betty and an extended family.