A Pembrokeshire soldier and a Sunderland flying boat pilot have been especially remembered in Normandy by members of the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust team.
During a D-Day Battlefields Tour, several of the team who help run the Trust’s Heritage Centres made special visits to two cemeteries to pay their respects to servicemen who died in 1944.
At Tilly-sur-Seulles Cemetery a poppy cross was placed on the grave of 19-year-old Ronnie Powell of Pembroke Dock who was killed in action in August 1944.
Ronnie, who served in the Dorset Regiment, is one of several local servicemen who died in the battles following the D-Day Invasion in June 1944.
The flying boat connection is through Wing Commander Ernest Reginald Baker, DSO, DFC and Bar, who was killed flying a Typhoon fighter bomber on 16th June – ten days after D-Day.
Earlier in his wartime duties, Reg Baker had twice flown Sunderland T9044 of 210 Squadron, RAF. He captained T9044 on its last flight before it sank in a gale off Pembroke Dock in November 1940.
Many parts of T9044 are the centrepiece of displays at Pembroke Dock’s newly opened Heritage Centre in the Royal Dockyard Chapel.
Wing Commander Baker, who was aged 30, is buried at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Cemetery, Reviers.
The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust team members were Sue and Graham Clarkson, Derek and Anne Church, Martin Blow and John Evans.