Readers recall US soldiers in wartime city
EVENING Post readers have been mobilising themselves in an effort to track down the exact location of an American Army Second World War post office in Swansea.
The operation was sparked by Pontarddulais-based Gareth Matthews, who was sent a photograph of the building after asking the US National Archive Service if they had any record of American troops in Swansea during the war.
Mr Matthews said: "I read in a copy of the Herald of Wales, dated April 15, 1944, of an Easter service for American troops taking place in Swansea's Brangwyn Hall. It said in the article that an American army photographer took pictures of the service that would be seen all over America.
"I wrote to ask the National Archive, based in Washington, if they had any of the photographs and all they could find were the pictures of the post office."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Following the appeal several readers got in touch to suggest locations and share their memories.
During the war Margaret Morris (now Mrs Bartoszewicz) worked as a welder in an ammunitions factory in Cwmfelin. She said she can remember clearly visiting the post office to change money.
"I took some dollars which the American sergeant used to change into pounds for you," she said.
"The building was opposite St Matthews Church, above High Street station. It's the tax offices now."
Mrs Bartoszewicz also recalls attending dances run by the American Red Cross in the Masonic Hall in St Helen's Road.
"They played jitterbug and swing," she recalled fondly.
Colin Jones, now 78, from Bishopston, remembers seeing the Americans camped on his grandfather's land, near Knapp Farm, overlooking Pwll Du, when he was seven.
He said: "When I was going to school they would be doing their marching and we would ask them if they had any sweets and they would give us gum and candy.
"They were camped next door to a searchlight, but I'm not sure if they manned it or the British. The concrete base of their hut was there for years afterwards.
"I also remember the lorries and amphibious ducks going up and down the lanes, they were training for D Day on Caswell and Oxwich beaches."