A MEMORIAL commemorating the contribution of American soldiers stationed in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War will be unveiled later this month.

More than 3,000 American servicemen lived in the county in 1943 as part of preparations for the D-Day landings.

Saundersfoot and Wiseman's Bridge were among the locations used to prepare the men for the assault on the beaches of Normandy.

Seventy-five years later, Carew Cheriton Control Tower Trust has now commissioned a dedicated memorial marking their contribution to the Allied war effort – and county life.

Keith Hamer, a volunteer with the trust, said the idea had been years in the making.

"It came to me about three years ago. There are memorials elsewhere, and I thought why can't we have one here for the people of Pembrokeshire?"

“A lot of these men were only boys really, just teenagers, and some of them never made it home.

“It's so important that we recognise the role they played."

Frank Harries was 13 when the Americans arrived, but still remembers it vividly.

“I only lived five minutes from the barracks and we saw all the jeeps and trucks coming in. A few of the Americans called us over, gave us some dollars and asked us to buy them cigarettes from the village.

“They gave us the shillings that were left over, so we were rich boys then.”

Marjorie Davies, 91, was 16 when she was invited to a dance held at Cresselly House by a visiting GI.

“They used to pick me up in their huge lorries and take us up to the dancing," she said.

“I used to just enjoy sitting and watching them doing their jive and their jitterbugs.

“They were so friendly, in the interval they would come over and say hello and ask us our names.

“But the most memorable part was they would also bring us hot chocolates and doughnuts, it was fantastic.”

She also recalls being given her first ever pair of nylons from a GI.

“I had them for years, I only wore them for best.”

Added Mrs Davies: “I think it's so important that we are doing something to remember them.”

Thanks to support from Pembrokeshire County Council and Valero Pembroke Refinery, an official unveiling will take place on October 22.

For more information, contact Mr Hamer on 01834 811172.