1939 World War II

In September 1939, immediately on the announcement that Britain was going to war, the Dockyard was reopened. It wasn’t going to build ships this time, it was to be used as a repair and refitting yard. Additional activity at Carr Jetty saw Boom-defence vessels working to protect Milford Haven from submarine attacks. As a Flying Boat base Pembroke Dock was naturally of key interest to the German Luftwaffe and the town suffered a significant amount of damage as a result of bombing raids. Notably, a raid on 19 August 1940 caused a huge explosion and fire at the oil tank store in Pennar. The fire was to continue to burn for 18 days until the combined efforts of 500 firemen from twenty-two brigades managed to bring it under control. A further very heavy raid was the one which took place on 12 May 1941. This raid’s main target, the Dockyard RAF station, got off very lightly, but close on 2,000 homes were damaged as well as the town’s gas works and an ordnance factory. The Flying Boats based at RAF Pembroke Dock were mostly engaged in convoy protection duties, making long-range sorties over the Atlantic to seek out enemy U-Boats. Canadian, Australian and American air crews were stationed at Pembroke Dock, as well as members of the RAF.

World War II

A War Memorial in the grounds of the Dockyard (Garrison) Chapel.