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Wartime Gower

by Gary Reading, Mar 2018

The people and places of Gower made significant contributions to the allied effort during World War Two.

US Troops

The seaside communities of Mumbles, Caswell Bay and Newton were home to American soldiers who trained on Gower’s sandy beaches-most notably Oxwich Beach in preparation for the D -Day landings (6th June 1944 ).

Gunnery Emplacements

Mumbles hill on the south-eastern tip of the Gower was the site of defensive emplacements, which were situated here to defend the skies and shoreline from German attacks.

Fairwood Airfield

RAF Station Fairwood Common was built on what was originally common ground during World War II.It was established as a base from which fighter planes would protect the south-west coast from German bombers, day and night.

It was re-opened in 1956 as Swansea Airport.

Unexploded Bombs

Whiteford Sands is a large expanse of dunes on the northern tip of Gower.

During World War II the Burry Estuary, which runs along this stretch of coast, was used by the army as a practice range for firing heavy weapons.Even to this day, unexploded bombs and shells occasionally surface on the beach.

Oxwhich Bay

Oxwhich Bay is the second largest beach on the Gower and has been described as “the most beautiful beach in Britain”.But it wasn’t always so………. During World War Two the beach and it’s sand dunes were used as a training ground by the RAF and American troops practicing for the D-Day Landings which inevitably had a heavy impact on the enviroment.