A WARTIME airman from Mauritius, who flew in Sunderland flying boats from Pembroke Dock, is now remembered at both the town’s Heritage Centre and the RAF Museum in London.

Both Wassoudewa and Harrydewa Goriah joined the RAF in their home country and travelled to the UK, and both volunteered for aircrew.

Uniquely, the RAF Museum features both brothers who flew in the RAF.

Harrydewa became an air gunner on Lancasters in Bomber Command while Wassoudewa went to Coastal Command and Sunderlands after training as a wireless operator/air gunner.

The brothers survived the war. Wassoudewa was a flight sergeant and later was commissioned. Between December 1943 and the end of the war he flew many patrols in Sunderlands of 228 Squadron at Pembroke Dock and was Mentioned in Despatches. His RAF colleagues called him ‘Johnny’ rather than getting the hang of his proper name.

After being demobbed he trained as a dental surgeon in London before returning to Mauritius but then came back to the UK and obtained a dental practice in Water Street, Pembroke Dock. He and his family were well known in the community but sadly Wassoudewa died in 1969.

Recently one of the Goriah family’s three daughters, now Shobha Edgell, visited the RAF Museum at Hendon and was delighted to see the life-size figure of her father alongside Sunderland ML824 which for 10 years was displayed at ‘PD’ before being transferred to London. Brother Harrydewa’s figure stands alongside the museum’s Lancaster.

After visiting the RAF Museum, Shobha said: “I feel pride and honour when seeing my father, more than half my age, by the Sunderland. It will help preserve memories of all who served during World War II.”

For the RAF’s 100 anniversary in 2018 the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre included Wassoudewa Goriah’s story in its ‘Many Nations’ exhibition. Now that same story is also seen by the thousands of visitors to the RAF’s London museum.