Following the wartime trail of the father she never knew brought Australian visitor Maureen Kutner to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre recently.

Maureen was only a few weeks old in 1942 when her father, Sergeant Syd Leech, left Australia for the UK, joining No 10 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, operating Sunderland flying boats from Plymouth. He was killed in September 1943 when his aircraft was shot down over the Bay of Biscay and has no known grave.

The connection was made through the 10 Squadron Royal Air Force Association – both countries still have an active No 10 Squadron.

Former V-bomber pilot John Rattenbury, of Ambleston, arranged the visit to Pembroke Dock, where 10 Squadron RAAF was first stationed in wartime before transferring to Plymouth.

Earlier Maureen had visited Plymouth and the Runnymede Memorial in Berkshire where her father’s name is among many thousands remembered.

During her visit to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre Maureen Kutner was presented with a framed copy of the Crests of both No 10 Squadrons, RAF and Royal Australian Air Force, by John Rattenbury of the 10 Squadron RAF Association.

Said Maureen: “ The Centre was of special interest with so many Sunderland related displays, including some on my father’s squadron. It was a very emotional day for me and I was made so welcome.”

Maureen also had an opportunity to see other parts of Pembrokeshire courtesy of John Rattenbury and Heritage Centre Trustee Jane Phillips.