Pembroke Dock's past, present and future coincided at the launch of an exciting project in the town.

Sixty-six years after Sunderland Flying Boat T9044 sank off its mooring in the Haven, at the country's largest flying boat base in Pembroke Dock, a group of volunteers is planning to develop a unique historical visitor attraction.

The plane's second pilot, 87-year-old Wing Commander Derek Martin was the special guest at the project's launch in the apt surrounding of Sunderland House in the Royal Dockyard on Monday.

The newly formed Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust is aiming to recover and restore as much of the wreck as possible, and plans to secure a permanent venue for an exhibition on the battle of the Atlantic, with the Sunderland, the only one of its kind in the world, as the initial exhibit.

With the help of divers Nick Hammond, Nigel Evans and Steve Thompson, of Celtic Diving, who first located the remains of T9044, several pieces of the Sunderland, including a Pegasus engine, have already been recovered and displayed at Pembroke Dock's Guntower Museum.

The artefacts were lovingly restored by Alan Ross and Mike Hurley, of the Pembroke Dock Museum Trust, assisted by the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service.

Trust chairman William McNamara launched the project and paid tribute to the many partners and supporters which are all contributing to the scheme.

John Evans has been appointed project manager, thanks to cash donated by Chevron to fund the role.

Wing Commander Martin spoke of the importance of the Sunderland in the battle of the Atlantic, which saw 11,000 airforce crew and pilots lose their lives defending convoys against German U-boats.

He said Pembroke Dock was the perfect place to tell that story, and the story of the iconic aircraft which has such close links with the town.