New Display to Remember American G.I.s
Members at The Carew Cheriton Control Tower Group have unveiled their new display aimed at remembering the American G.I.s connection with South Pembrokeshire. Gerald Williams put the idea forward that the large number of American soldiers stationed locally in the build-up to D-Day should be remembered and not forgetting the American aircraft which used RAF Carew Cheriton as an emergency landing ground after returning from bombing raids on Europe.
The display case was made by the Saturday morning working party under the leadership of John Brock. The unveiling evening was attended by members of the Cresselly and District Branch of the Royal British Legion.
Many locals have fond memories of the time the American G.I.s were stationed near the local villages such as Lamphey, Milton and Cresselly. They organised dances and invited the people of the community, evening laying on transport for them. They were also remembered for giving out candy (sweets) to the children and renowned for their smart uniforms.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, America’s top soldier in Europe came to Pembrokeshire on 1st April 1944. He came to visit and inspect the men of the 110th infantry Regiment, which was part of the 28th Division. They were in Pembrokeshire training for the invasion of Europe. His visit was kept a secret. He travelled to Tenby by train then car to Llanion Barracks in Pembroke Dock where he addressed the soldiers. He then went to the other areas where troops were stationed. One place was Cresselly House near Carew, where the Regiments Cannon company was stationed and he addressed the men there.
These troops later suffered badly as they advanced through France and Belgium and especially during the Battle of the Bulge – Hitler’s last offensive. They lost 2,700 men in three days of fighting. Of 5,000 officers and men of the 110th infantry, only 532 men were fit for duty after the battle, so most of the men stationed in Cresselly and other places in Pembrokeshire were killed or injured during those battles.