RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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The town of Pembroke Dock in the south of Wales was originally established as a Royal Navy (RN) shipyard in 1814. In 1930 the Royal Air Force (RAF) established a flying boat base here, using many of the facilities of the old dockyard that had been closed in 1926. During the Second World War ten separate Coastal Command squadrons including 10 and 461 Squadrons RAAF, operated from Pembroke Dock for varying periods. At the peak of operations, Pembroke Dock was the largest flying boat base in the world and was home to 100 aircraft and 1000 personnel. Aircraft operating from Pembroke Dock were predominately employed on patrols over the south-western Atlantic approaches to the United Kingdom. Both the town and dock facilities were subjected to numerous German bombing raids, particularly during 1940, and over 200 houses were destroyed. The RAF closed the flying boat base in 1959. (The Australian War Memorial)

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The mighty Sunderland.

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Sunderland cockpit.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock


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Short Sunderland T9044 and the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre Film.

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A lovely film of Sunderland´s, Pembroke Dock and the Heritage Centre.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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A.M.W.D. PD678 1944

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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Air Ministry plan for 1944.

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One of the slipways and dry docks.

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Catalina.

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One of the early seaplane types.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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Air 10/7393 Airfields & Flying Boat Bases

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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Flying Boat & Marine Craft Facilities.
RAF Coastal Command.
Hangars:
2 x 'B' type Flight sheds.
1 x T2 Hangar.
Aircraft Servicing: facilities for 1st & 2nd line.
Many stone buildings probably left over from the Navies occupation of the site.

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An RAF flying boat winch house.

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A large RAF slipway winch..

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A smaller slipway winch.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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Casgliad y Werin Cymru

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RAF Pembroke Dock
The Garrison Chapel in 1940. 

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In the background a Sunderland flying boat is parked on its beaching trolley. Note the blackouts on the car headlamps.
I had to add this picture of an almost bucolic atmosphere

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Plan.

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One or more of these gentlemen would have asked for your papers if you tried to enter here.

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RAF Regiment would have guarded the perimeter.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock
26. Sergeants Mess for 300 PD607. Extended by CCN/37&PD671.
27. Single Officers Quarters C.A.2/5.

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The original RN Dock entrance. on the left the Sergeants Mess and right Officers Quarters.


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RAF Main Gate.

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Plan.

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One or more of these gentlemen would have asked for your papers if you tried to enter here.

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RAF Regiment would have guarded the perimeter.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
26. Sergeants Mess for 300 PD607. Extended by CCN/37&PD671.
27. Single Officers Quarters C.A.2/5.

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The original RN Dock entrance inside with Single Officers Quarters on left and Sergeants Mess on right..

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Plan.

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26. Sergeants Mess for 300 PD607. Extended by CCN/37&PD671.
27. Single Officers Quarters C.A.2/5.

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A sergeants mess at Christmas.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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From the furthest to the nearest:
27. Single Officers Quarters.
28. Sick Quarters (RAF) & Admiralty Building.
29. Single Officers Quarters.
30. Commanding Officers House.

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Plan.

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Site Plan.

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Sunderland crew.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
28. Sick Quarters (RAF) & Admiralty Building.

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Plan.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock
2. Station HQ Office.
3. Post Office & Central Technical Office.

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They are lovely stone buildings.

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Plan.

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Site Plan.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
3. Post Office & Central Technical Office.

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In the Navy´s time this may have been an important building.

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Plan.

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Site Plan.

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Postage stamp.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
12. Sqn. Offices, Crew Pilots, W/T. Link Trainer. Rear view

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Sqn. Offices: each Squadron would have maintained an office to manage all its about 200 members.
Crew Pilots, this is where crew and pilots would keep their flying equipment and there would be a drying room to dry out damp flying clothing.
W/T: radio room would link the station to its immediate HQ and to all the planes within range.
Link Trainer: wonderful piece of kit. A model of a plane sat on a gimbal. pilot would sit inside and an instructing officer at a control table. The pilot would then fly the Link as if it was a real plane and he controller could input different scenarios.

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Plan.

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Site Plan.

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Squadron office.

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Squadron Pilots.

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R1132 radio.

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Link trainer.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
12. Sqn. Offices, Crew Pilots, W/T. Link Trainer. At the front.

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Lovely stone faced buildings.

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Squadron Office.

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Crew room.

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Crew.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
13. Main stores & Central heating plant. 2355/34, 7/1-3-4. Drawing number.

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This building I believe had a clock tower that burnt down.

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Plan.

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Site Plan.

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The clock tower, which was a prominent dockyard landmark, was destroyed in hours when it was the victim of a disastrous fire, 30 November, 1944. What started as a minor fire was quickly whipped up by a strong wind into a blaze which also threatened to destroy the dockyard stores building. The building survived, but the clock tower was never replaced. 1944.

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Main Store.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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Australian War Memorial 1939

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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A really good view along the water front.
Aerial view of part of the dock and hangars used by 10 Squadron RAAF while operating with RAF Coastal Command at Pembroke Dock, Wales. Three Short Sunderland flying boats can be seen anchored on the water. The Australians arrived in England just prior to the war to collect some Sunderlands to take home and to be used in Australian coastal waters. But the war changed everything and they were badly needed here. And continued to work the cold waters of the Atlantic.

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T2 hangar..

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A Sunderland being hauled up on a slipway.

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Sunderland engine repairs.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, Inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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This is a 1936 Type 'B' aeroplane shed.

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Plan.

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Engine repairs.

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Catalina and boats crew.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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A short building but quite tall, allowing a Sunderland to be accommodate completely inside.

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Sunderland inside a hangar.

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Dolly to manoeuvre a Sunderland on dry land. She had no wheels of her own and was not an amphibian.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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Not all engineering could be done in lovely hangars, so the engine covers opened up and became like scaffolding for the engine fitters. Everything has to be brought out by tender, a small motor boat.

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Bristol Pegasus engine.

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Bristol Pegasus engine.


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Bombing up with depth charges..

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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A nice side on view of a 1936 Type 'B' aeroplane shed.

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Inside the hangar (Plymouth) a painting by Colin Colahan 1942.

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Large repairs.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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Casgliad y Werin Cymru

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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March past on church parade 461Sqn RAAF.

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461Sqn RAAF crest.

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461Sqn crew

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Squadron Leader Russ Baird 461Sqn RAAF.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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Engineering offices.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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It would be nice to think all the doors open.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.

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More side offices.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
129. No.2 Hangar & Offices, inc. Squadron Offices. 5041/36.
This is a 1936 Type 'B' aeroplane shed.

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It looks as if the doors still work.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
80. Flight Shed (Flying Boats) 160' x 180'. 107-9/34.
Plus 80a Annexe Offices & Workshops, Flight Offices. 1456-8/34, 32/1.

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The annexe now removed was made of red brick.

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422 Squadron Parade with Mascot Straddle. 422 was a RCAF squadron.

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10Sqn RAF MkIII Sunderland.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
80. Flight Shed (Flying Boats) 160' x 180'. 107-9/34.

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Plus 80a Annexe Offices & Workshops, Flight Offices. 1456-8/34, 32/1.

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A Sunderland sat outside the flight shed 1938.

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Annexe.

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Annexe.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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Empire Air Day 20 May 1939 P D Heritage Centre

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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The last Empire Air Day before the start of WW2.

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Plan.

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Empire Day program.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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15 March 2009

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RAF Pembroke Dock
79. Church & Cinema (Unconsecrated) C.A.1/9,PD660.

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Now its Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

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Inside the museum.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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138. Officers Quarters CRV RAF.

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RAF families.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock
67. WAAF Sick Quarters for N.C.O. 1518/32.

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Before and after the war these would have been Warrant Officers married quarters. But in wartime they were used as sick quarters for WAAF's.

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WAAF's.

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Mens accommodation.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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1979 Sunderland Trust

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RAF Pembroke Dock
Something completely different

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Yes the Millennium Falcon, it was built here for the film The Empire Strikes Back. Better than this it shows what the hangar looks like inside.

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Millennium Falcon.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RCAHMW Digitised Records C632491

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RAF Pembroke Dock
Slip No's 13 & 12 and hangar no.129.

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With the downfall of the Dutch nation in 1940 eight Fokker T.VIIIW sea planes escaped and were stationed at Pembroke Dock. They did a very useful service in the early war years until the aircraft became unserviceable due to lack of spare parts..

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Plan.

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A Fokker T-VIIIW seaplane of No 320 (Dutch) Squadron RAF

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A Dutch Fokker on a slipway.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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1940 Luftwaffe air photo

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RAF Pembroke Dock
1940 Luftwaffe air photo

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Aerial view of part of the dock and hangars plus the oil storage either side of the port. In 1940 it was very badly bombed.

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Oil storage fires from Luftwaffe bombing.

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From an attack in 1940..

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Blitz damage 1940.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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16 February 1944

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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No. 461 Squadron RAAF Short Sunderland UK1024

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228Sqn were here in 1936 with Short Stranraers.

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210Sqn with Short Rangoon’s in 1935.

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1937 and 228Sqn had Supermarine Scapas.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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06 May 1945

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RAF Pembroke Dock
No. 461 Squadron RAAF UK0119

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A lovely view of how it was with about six in the water five on land and all look to be Sunderlands.

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Sunderland cockpit.

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Inside a Sunderland.

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Crew sitting down to eat.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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Wiki

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RAF Pembroke Dock
U-426 attack

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The role of a Sunderland (Specification R.2/33) was to be an ocean reconnaissance plane. And in the role it excelled. Crewed by seven men and then increased to eleven with more defensive armament, up to 16 guns and anti-submarine electronics. They could carry a Leigh light (search light) to light up a submarine for attack at night, ASV Mark II radar and later Mk III was introduced. Plus bombs, mines or depth charges. When a submarine was sighted, the pilot pressed a klaxon and all the crew came to battle stations. Bombs run out and the plane dived down to attack. The front gunner and fixed (up to four .303 m/g) would fire at the submarine crews to keep them off the deck and then drop bombs/depth charges. The picture is of an attack on U-426.

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock
RAAF Sunderland flying boat [461E Emu T9114] assisted in the rescue of the crews of two other aircraft in the Bay of Biscay,

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Just showing another role the Sunderland carried out and that is rescue. Many a seamen and aircrew were picked up out of the sea. On 21 September 1939, two Sunderlands rescued the entire 34-man crew of the torpedoed merchantman Kensington Court from the North Sea. One incident in the retreat from Crete, one carried as many as 82 passengers. (not sure if that was in one trip??)

RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock
Consolidated PBY Catalina

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The Catalina was another of the very successful planes that were based here.

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NZ Catalina crew.

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Catalina crew boarding.

RAF Pembroke Dock

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RAF Pembroke Dock

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