A memorial to US service personnel stationed in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War was unveiled this week at the former RAF Carew Cheriton.

The event was attended by serving members of the British and American Armed Forces, veterans, local dignitaries and the public.

A group of children from Sageston Community Primary School gave a musical performance in wartime costume.

The commemorative plaque is mounted on a piece of Welsh granite and was unveiled by Lord Lieutenant Sara Edwards.

Western Telegraph:

Servicemen and women then laid wreaths at the foot of the memorial in remembrance of the American troops that were stationed in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War.

The unveiling ceremony took place on the former RAF Carew Cheriton site which is now home to a museum based around its preserved control tower.

Over the past 20 years it has been restored to its 1940’s condition by a team of dedicated volunteers based on first-hand experiences from the personnel that served on the site during the war.

Western Telegraph:

Keith Hamer, one event’s organisers said: “We have always thought there should be a permanent memorial erected to the memory of the young men, some of whom were still teenagers, who gave their lives for us.

“It is never too late to honour their sacrifice especially as we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy.

“To honour those troops, we are proud to have a monument here at Carew Cheriton Control Tower from the people of Pembrokeshire and the whole of Wales.

“I think it’s very special. We have been planning this for the last couple of years and now, thanks to the support and funding from Valero, we have made it happen.”

Western Telegraph:

The event was supported by a group of RAF Reservists from 614 Squadron in Cardiff. Squadron Leader Jill Pritchard said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to attend the unveiling of the memorial plaque that honours the valiant contributions the American made during World War II.”

RAF Police veteran Ken Humphreys from Haverfordwest served for 22 years from 1975-1997 and attended the event as a representative from The Royal British Legion. He said: “It’s a real achievement to be here as a standard bearer. I wanted to come and pay respect to the people that gave their lives and remember what they did. It’s something I’ve continued to do since leaving the RAF.”

Service personnel from the US took part in the ceremony raising an American flag behind the memorial.

Western Telegraph:

Airman First Class Chance Diamond of the US Air Force is a logistics planner stationed at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, he said: “It’s great to be out here because you get to see the history and just live it through all the memorabilia that’s inside the museum; everything is original from that time period and it’s great to see that. It’s amazing.”

Western Telegraph:

Stephen Thornton, refinery public affairs manager, said: “The American soldiers who spent time in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War became a part of the community, and more than 75 years later that welcoming community spirit is still alive and well.

“Carew Cheriton Control Tower Trust’s team of volunteers have done themselves and the county proud by commissioning this permanent memorial, and it was a privilege to be able to support today’s historic event.

“We would encourage anyone who wants to find out more about this fascinating chapter in county history to visit the museum, and make the most of this valuable resource.”

The ceremony was closed by the South Wales Male Voice Choir who sang the national anthems of America, Wales and Great Britain.