Valerie Irvine, of
Hillsborough, displays a photograph of her
uncle, Robert `Bertie' Millar, which is featured
in Pembroke Dock's Gun Tower Museum. With her
are husband Robert (left) and John Evans, of the
Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust. Picture: Martin Cavaney Photography.
THE niece of an RAF airman who was killed 67
years ago has made a poignant visit to the Welsh museum where
her uncle is remembered for his heroics during the Second World
Valerie Irvine, from Hillsborough, and her
husband Robert, made a special journey to Pembroke Dock in west
Wales to see the display featuring the 10-man crew of a
Sunderland flying boat.
Valerie's uncle, Robert `Bertie' Millar, who
was from Limavady and was 18, was based at RAF Pembroke Dock
with the RAF's 210 Squadron. Following the invasion of Norway by
German forces in April 1940, Sunderland flying boats were sent
on reconnaissance missions to discover what was happening on the
Robert's Sunderland, serial L2167, was sent
from Scotland to the Oslo area on April 9. The mission was
completed but the four-engined flying boat was attacked and shot
down by German fighters west of Oslo, crashing near Drammen.
Miraculously one member of the crew, Welshman Ogwyn George,
survived a 3,000 ft fall without a parachute, landing in trees
The remaining crew members were buried at
Sylling where their graves are beautifully tended by the
Valerie has been to Norway to visit her
uncle's grave but had not been to Pembroke Dock where the town
museum has a special display on Sunderland L2167 and its crew.
"A few years ago the museum got in contact
with my family and we were able to pass on a photo of Uncle
Bertie and other information. Since then I have wanted to visit
the museum and the town where my uncle was stationed," said
"The museum is in a Victorian gun tower, a
marvellous backdrop for the stories it tells."
The actual aircraft in which Robert Millar
Valerie met up with aviation historian John Evans who was
able to tell her of plans by the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust
to raise the remains of a Mark I Sunderland which sank nearby in
"The Mark I was the type of Sunderland my
uncle flew in and we do hope that they will be able to recover
the plane and place it on display where it will capture the
imagination," added Valerie.