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Gareth recalls GIs’ ‘friendly invasion’

Invasion: Gareth Mills with copies of ‘The Friendly Invasion’, pictured at the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre • Photo: Martin Cavaney Photography

RESEARCH by Sunderland Trust Volunteer Gareth Mills for the recent D-Day 70th Anniversary events in Pembroke Dock has led to a fascinating addition to the written record of wartime Pembrokeshire. 

Such was the excellent response to appeals for recollections and information on the American forces which ‘invaded’ the county before D-Day in June 1944 that Gareth was able to draw all the material together for a book. Entitled ‘The Friendly Invasion’, this recalls the US Army GIs from the 110th Infantry Regiment and the American Navy personnel who were stationed locally in the run up to D-Day. Gareth, a retired history teacher, includes stories of GIs and their memories of Pembrokeshire, of General Eisenhower’s visit to troops at Pembroke Dock, and of GIs brides and a GI baby. Many local people contributed to the book. ‘The Friendly Invasion’ is a 40 page, A5 sized book and is published by the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust, which recently opened the new Heritage Centre in the Royal Dockyard Chapel, Pembroke Dock. It is priced at £5 and all proceeds go to the Sunderland Trust. The book is available from the Heritage Centre at the Dockyard Chapel and bookshops. For postal enquiries telephone the Trust office on 01646 684220.