AN AUSTRALIAN airman’s logbook, recording many operational flights in Sunderland flying boats, has been donated by his family to the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

Steve and Linda Hodge, who live in Melbourne, Victoria, travelled halfway around the world to visit the wartime haunts of Steve’s father, John Hodge, who served with 461 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force at Pembroke Dock.

“It has been marvellous to be in PD and to see where my father served,” said Steve. “He didn’t speak much of his wartime days so when his logbook was rediscovered it gave us a special insight into his time with the squadron.

“So much of his RAAF story was at PD and our family feels that this is the right place for the logbook and we are so pleased to bring it personally.”

Between December 1943 and April 1945 John Hodge made over 170 flights in Sunderlands, many of them operational tasks. On his last flight, just before the war ended, he and his crew witnessed the crash of a Sunderland from a sister squadron - the last wartime casualty among Pembroke Dock’s flying boats.

During their visit Steve and Linda met staff and volunteers at the Centre, which has several displays relating specifically to the town’s Australian connections. The volunteers included Margaret Black who is an honorary member of Australian Sunderlander groups.

As well as donating John Hodge’s logbook and his RAAF pay book the family have also provided copies of photographs and documents for the Heritage Centre archive making this a very significant collection.

Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, run by the Sunderland Trust, is a registered charity (No 1120476). Located in the restored Royal Dockyard Chapel, it is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, see