The gallantry medal awarded to a young Pembroke Dock airman in wartime has returned home for display at the town’s Heritage Centre.

William James John – known as Billy – was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1945 as the war was ending, after completing 45 operational flights in Bomber Command. He was 24 years old.

Billy’s DFC has been donated in a framed display - along with campaign medals and records - by his niece, Mrs Ann Masters, who lives in Surrey.

Ann, a ‘Friend’ and keen supporter of the Heritage Centre, is the daughter of Billy John’s sister, Linda. The John family lived in Imble Street, Bufferland.

“I remember Uncle Billy well," said Ann. “He was a teenager when he joined the RAF as a Halton apprentice and served through the early wartime campaigns in France and the Battle of Britain, servicing RAF fighters.

“He volunteered for aircrew and became a flight engineer, making many hazardous flights in Halifax and Lancaster bombers.”

Awarded the DFC when a Warrant Officer, Billy remained in the RAF post war with the lower rank of Corporal. Although then an NCO, he was entitled to wear the DFC ribbon on his uniform – a rarity.

During a recent visit to her home town, Ann visited the Heritage Centre and presented the medal display, which has since gone on view.