A Sunderland flying boat crewman’s bravery nearly 70 years ago has again been remembered through the donation of a rare George Medal to the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

The medal was awarded to Flight Sergeant Ernest Evans (known as ‘Darkie’) for the heroic rescue of two of the crew of a Sunderland which crashed while carrying out take offs and landing in Milford Haven in March 1954.

Seven of the crew died and four survived in what was RAF Pembroke Dock’s worst post-war accident.

Flight Sergeant Evans, flight engineer in the crew, twice dived back into the shattered and sinking Sunderland, pulling two airmen to safety.

The medal, along with campaign medals, photographs and flying logbooks, have been donated by Flight Sergeant Evans’ daughter, Patzi Harradine, and husband John. Patzi was only two when the accident happened.

The George Medal and Flight Sergeant Evans’ photograph.
The George Medal and Flight Sergeant Evans’ photograph. (Pic Martin Cavaney)

After touring the centre, Patzi and John were taken to Stranraer Road to see the RAF quarters the family lived in, also to local viewpoints and to Llanion cemetery where the two pilots of the Sunderland lie.

Said Patzi: “It was a very emotional visit for me and I am so thankful that my father’s medal and items from his collection are now in the care of the Heritage Centre team and will be displayed there.”

She added: “I also wish that in the coming months and years the Pembroke Dock Heritage Museum is supported by footfall of visitors and financial support. It is a very special place and run by a wonderfully dedicated team of Volunteers.”