WARTIME connections have brought two Canadian families to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre, following in the footsteps of airmen who were stationed in the town.

Allan Doern and his wife, Bev, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, made a long promised visit and were ‘reunited’ with the uniform worn by Allan’s father, Doug, a wartime member of No 422 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Doug Doern’s corporal’s battledress and forage cap, along with photographs and memorabilia, were donated to the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust some years ago and are on display at the centre.

“It has been very special to come to ‘PD’ where Dad was stationed and my mother, Jean, will be so pleased that we have made it,” said Allan. “They both returned to the town in the 1970s and 1980s on reunion tours of the UK.”

For Aileen Petri and her husband and friends it was equally memorable to visit Pembroke Dock. Aileen’s father, James Strathie Ladie, was a wireless operator/air gunner with 422 Squadron flying out of the Haven on wartime patrols.

James Ladie remembered the squadron’s cocker spaniel mascot, ‘Straddle’, and Aileen took home with her a book which charts Straddle’s wartime story, including his escapades at Pembroke Dock.

Aileen is to look up her father’s records and will send copies for the Heritage Centre Archive.

The Canadians are just a few of the many overseas visitors who have made tracks to ‘PD’ this year with many countries noted in the centre’s visitor books.