The United States Army in Coleraine
Three U.S. Servicemen in Newmarket Street, Coleraine. *****From a Private Collection. Please DO NOT COPY*****
American Serviceman with dog on bicycle in Coleraine. *****From a Private Collection. Please DO NOT COPY*****
U.S. Army soldiers marching through The Diamond, Coleraine. *****From a Private Collection. Please DO NOT COPY*****
A continuation of the Parade outside Coleraine Town Hall. *****From a Private Collection. Please DO NOT COPY*****
(This selection is from the Personal Photographic Collection of Mr James White. Many thanks to Mr Ronnie Gamble)
The photograph above may show the same Parade. The date of this photograph is 18th April 1942. (Thanks to Ed Luke)
The photograph on the left of Coleraine Town Hall was taken in 1944 by Lieutenant Henry E. "Hank" Lefebvre of 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army.
Note the Air Raid siren on the roof.
White Hall Chambers, Coleraine
The White Hall Chambers building is in Coleraine Town Centre and during the Second World War it was used for a time as 168th Infantry U.S. Army Headquarters. (Old picture from "After The Battle" Magazine)
Although nothing remains of the old Coleraine Distillery it is pleasing to be able to include these photographs of the Spirit Safe which was used in Coleraine and is now on display in Bushmills Distillery!
The American Artillery Casing and Bottle of Coleraine Whiskey
The 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division was the first American Army Division to arrive in Europe when their 151st Field Artillery Battalion set foot in Belfast on 26th January 1942 after leaving New York at 00.30 on 15th January on the converted British Steamer H.M.T.S. Straithaird.
(The picture here shows First Section of B Battery, 151st Field Artillery training with their British 25 Pdr in June 1942.
Front Row from Left - Donald Reynolds, Frank Ruebl, Glenn Wishert, Louis Dobbleman and James O'Neill.
Back Row from Left - William Brisley, Lawrence Swanson, Alfred Wilson and John Anderson.)
The 151st were accompanied by elements of 133rd Infantry Regiment, Company A of the 109th Medical Battalion and a Detachment of 34th Military Police.
They were initially based at Bellarena with Enlisted Men and Junior Officers living in Nissen Huts.
On 21st February the first practice was carried out in the Sperrin Mountains with the British 25 Pdr Field Guns that the Unit had been issued and a Shell Casing from this firing was retained as a souvenir by B Battery.
The 151st remained at Bellarena until late May when they moved to Tynan Abbey in County Armagh to take part in Tactical Field Training however within a few months the B Battery Commander, Captain Eugene E. Surdyk brought the shell casing mentioned above to Dan Hall Christie who owned a Jewellery Shop in Coleraine and asked for the casing to be inscribed with the names of the 116 Officers and Men of B Battery saying he would collect it when he was able to get back to Coleraine.
As time passed the 151st arrived at Castle Coole in Enniskillen during the Autumn of 1942 and training intensified. Until 12th December when they left Northern Ireland for Liverpool before sailing for North Africa on Christmas Day!
It was not until 1961 when the then Colonel Surdyk finally returned to Coleraine to retrieve his shell case and Mr Christie gave it to him along with a bottle of Aged Malt Whiskey from the Coleraine Distillery.
The whiskey was then sealed inside the shell casing and the men of B Battery agreed at a Reunion that the whiskey should remain in the casing until only three members remain when “those three worthies will share the contents”
The Final Reunion was held in Minneapolis in 2005 and in 2007 one of the last survivors, Bob Martin, donated the shell casing, whiskey and B Battery’s Gideon Flag to the Minnesota Military Museum. – A cross had been engraved next to the names of those who had passed away.
(Thanks very much to the Minnesota Military Museum and the Members and Friends of the Military Historical Society of Minnesota)
U.S. Army Rangers at "Mary Craig's Bar" Coleraine
Shown here is Mary Craig's Bar at 26 New Market Street, Coleraine.
When the United States Rangers who were training in the Area had some free time they usually made their way to Mary's Bar and the picture on the left shows some of the U.S. Rangers Veterans returning some years ago.
Although the bar had changed ownership since the days of WW2 the name has been retained.
Some of the U.S. Ranger Veterans shown enjoying themselves in 1992.
During WW2 some American Troops were Billeted at the Back of the Bar in the building shown above right which, at that time, was made up of 3 storeys.
Well Worth A Visit.
U.S. Army Rangers in Coleraine
This imposing building was "The Coleraine Shirt and Collar Factory" and is now known as Beresford House however during the Second World War it was used as a Billet for Soldiers.
Men of the United States Rangers were based there for a time and the picture above shows one of the U.S. Rangers on a visit some years ago. He is explaining that the Rangers lived on the 2nd Floor of the Building and the Kitchens and Mess Hall were on the Ground Floor.
Laurel Hill House, Coleraine
Hiding behind trees and fencing is Laurel Hill House.
Laurel Hill was used by both British and American Troops.
The Officers of the Royal Berkshire Regiment stayed in the House whilst the Ordinary Ranks were based in Gribbons Factory which stood beside the River Bann but is now demolished. The Sergeants stayed in a Motorcycle Factory.
Royal Berkshire Regiment Training in Coleraine
6th Battalion, The Berkshire Regiment training in Coleraine.
It is possible that some of this training took place in the grounds of Laurel Hill House which is shown above.
(Imperial War Museum Photographs)
These are the Headstones of Flying Officer Irwin and Fusilier Oliver.
Flying Officer Joseph Alexander Irwin was a Pilot with 174 Squadron, Royal Air Force who, at the time of his death, were flying Hawker Typhoon Aircraft from R.A.F. Westhampnett.
Fusilier Robert Alexander Oliver was serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Robert Browne was Killed In Action on 31st October 1944 while serving with 8th Battalion, The Royal Scots.
He is buried in the Nederweert War Cemetery Southeast of Eindhoven in Holland.
Guardsman John James Rorrison was serving with the Irish Guards when he died on 21st November 1944.
Private Fredrick Liddiard was with 6th Battalion The Royal Berkshire Regiment when he lost his life on 7th April 1941.
Second Lieutenant Geoff Deverill was serving with 6th Battalion The Berkshire Regiment when he died on 25th May 1941.
Killowen Church, Coleraine
Private Robert Baxter from Coleraine was serving with 7th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment when he was killed by the detonation of a Mark 5 Anti-Tank Mine during training at Yarmouth on 3rd February 1944.
Army Reserve Centre, Coleraine
These two old Field Guns are being used as Gate Guardians at the Army Reserve Centre on Artillery Road, Coleraine.
These two photographs show training with a Bofors Gun and the Drill Hall at the old Calf Lane Camp in Coleraine. (Thanks very much to Ronnie Gamble)
Magilligan Gun Positions
It is pleasing to be able to show that the Gun Positions which are shown here can still be found.
The huge bolts to which the guns were secured still remain and only the doors are missing from where the shells were stored.
The photographs above show a 6 Inch Coastal Gun of 380th Battery, Royal Artillery at Magilligan on 8th November 1940.
Two Gun Positions remain along with one Shelter type building.
My foot is in the picture below right to show the scale of the large bolts.
(Pictures from Imperial war Museum)
Here are some views of the Heavy Anti-Aircraft Gun Battery at Magilligan which was known as "LO7". This can be seen on the opposite side of the road from the Prison.
The picture immediately above shows the Radar Platform which was an integral part of the HAA Battery and below is an Aerial Photograph of the Site.
In this aerial photograph you can see the four Gun Positions along with the Control Building and Hardened Nissen Hut.
Unfortunately the land is marked as being unaccessable as it is used as a Firing Range although the Anti-Aircraft threat is not as bad as it was between 1939 and 1945!!
Magilligan Point Pillbox
Visitors to and from County Donegal may use the Ferry between Greencastle in Donegal and Magilligan in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
At the Magilligan you will see the pillbox shown here.
As you travel the short distance towards the Prison you can see, on your right, what remains of the positions of 2 six inch naval guns as well as searchlight and Heavy Anti-Aircraft guns.
Magilligan Martello Tower
During the Second World War the Martello Tower at Magilligan had an Observation Post constructed on top.
Magilligan Shooting Ranges
A British Sergeant taking some of the U.S. troops in Northern Ireland through a course of Instruction on the use of a light Anti-Aircraft gun.
No specific Range has been identified for this Training however it would have been either Ballykinlar in County Down or Magilligan in County Londonderry.
(This photograph is from http://www.loc.gov/item/oem2002006776/PP/ which is the Library of Congress and is available to EVERYONE).
Agivey House Bridging Camp
There was a Bridging Camp at Agivey House where training took place in connection with Bridge Construction as well as the use of Block and tackle.
This was used by both American Troops and soldiers from the Royal Engineers.
A concrete path can be seen running through the trees on the Bann Road side of the House however there are no other remains.
Shown here is a still from a 1990's television documentary where veterans of the United States Army Rangers are discussing Agivey Bridging Camp with a lady who lived opposite the Camp and they confirm to her that the U.S. Rangers took part in Training there.
When researching the Agivey House Bridging Camp I found the letters above which were sent to Dr. Bolton at Agivey House.
Fatal Accident at Agivey
On 30th April 1943 Sapper William Jones, 21 years old, lost his like through drowning whilst taking part in Bridging Training at Agivey Bridging Camp.
He is buried in Hereford.
Royal Inniskilling Fusilier, Aghadowey
This is the Headstone of Fusilier Daniel Boyle who was serving with 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fuliliers when he died on 26th July 1941.
He is buried in the Graveyard of Our Lady and St Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Aghadowey.
This is a very sturdy pillbox to which I would recommend a visit! - As can be seen by the picture here this pillbox is positioned to guard the canal at Portna outside Kilrea on the River Bann.
It is well constructed with some of the original wooden ports and shelves remaining as well as the metal door into the pillbox and a little added character of a quaint little gate!
When inside you will see a notice painted directly above the port shown in the photograph here.
I believe the New English Version translation of this is "Be Sober, Be Watchful, Your Adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion walks about seeking whom he may devour"
This was a rather unexpected find however i cannot argue with the logic!
Shown here is a pillbox which is located in a wooded area on the County Londonderry side of the River Bann in Portglenone.
It sits on high ground commanding the immediate area and the picture of the inside shows that the design is the same as those which are found in County Armagh with the exception of the access tunnel which can be seen in the right of the pillbox in the picture above.
A well preserved example with good anti-ricochet feature around the ports.
Shown above is a pillbox which commands the approach to the town of Kilrea along the Moneygran Road.
Please be aware that it is difficult to see due to the effective camouflage of years of natural overgrowth however it is sighted on the left side of the road as you enter the town beside the cemetery.
A common design of pillbox which can be seen along the length of the River Bann defence line.
The photograph to the left shows some Soldiers who were billeted in Kilrea in 1940.
(Thanks very much to Steve Austin From Kilrea and Proud of it)
U.S. Army Medics in Kilrea
The Headquarters of the 109th Medical Battalion, U.S. Army in Maghera Street, Kilrea and the same scene as it looks today. (Picture from "Home Away From Home" Book.)
Manor House, Kilrea
At the start of the Second World War the Manor House in Kilrea was a Convent.
In September 1940 it was taken over by Military Personnel and later Detachment A of 9th Field Hospital United States Army were here.
These pictures show an old Quonset Hut which remains at the site which was known as "Number 19 casualty Clearing Station"
The picture below shows the Operating Theatre on 20th August 1941. (I.W.M. picture.)
Portstewart Bombing Range Target Indicator
I had some fun finding this Bombing Range Target Indicator which is on the coastal path at Portstewart Golf Club.
I had walked along the concrete path and was looking around on the beach without success.
After thinking I was not able to find anything I turned around and saw that there was a huge arrow on the ground pointing directly at me!
The top photograph shows the arrow at ground level and you can see it in the centre of the aerial picture (Google) above left.
To the right is one of the Bombing Range Quadrant Towers for this bombing range which has now been demolished. (Thanks very much to George Busby)
Bright Cottage, Portstewart
Bright Cottage was used as a Headquarters by one of the 168th Anti Tank Companies of the United States Army. - All that remains now of the original building is the chimney.
I would have liked very much to be able to show this building as it looks today however it had been demolished. (From "After The Battle" Magazine)
"Bright Cottage" stood at the junction of High Road, Old Coach Road and The Hill.
In the first picture is a Willys Jeep which is towing a 37mm Anti-Tank Gun.
Two American Soldiers making friends with local Children in Portstewart in the same immediate area as the pictures above and Bright Cottage. (Picture from Tower Museum, Londonderry)
Plaque on Portstewart War Mamorial
This plaque can be seen on the Portstewart War Memorial.
"Camp Cromore" Portstewart
This was"Camp Cromore" which is situated on the Cromore Road at Portstewart.
Various Units of the American Military were based here including219th Replacement Company (67th Replacement Battalion) who were here until 19th March 1944. 220th Replacement Company (67th Replacement Battalion) were at Cromore from 19th March until 29th March 1944 and 221st Replacement Company (68th Replacement Battalion) where here from 19th March until 22nd April 1944.
This Memorial to the men of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division, United States Army is in the grounds of Cromore House and states that this Unit was at Camp Cromore from 9th January until 11th March 1944.
A concrete path can still be seen and the blocks above would have been used to support a Tank containing perhaps Fuel.
Camp Cromore - Henry E. "Hank" LeFebvre Photograph Collection
Henry E. "Hank" LeFebvre was a Sergeant in the National Guard before attending Officer Cadet School at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1942.
He volunteered to become a Parachutist and on completing jump school was assigned to the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment where he took on the role of a platoon leader.
Lieutenant LeFebvre jumped into Normandy on D-Day, 6th June 1944 and subsequently jumped into Holland.
He served throughout the Second World War with the 82nd Airborne Division and saw action in the Ardennes and Central Europe.
He retired as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Training Centre at Fort Leonard Wood as a Colonel having served more than 28 years.
This album section is commemorated to him.
(All material, unless cited otherwise, was made avail through the graciousness of his wife Mary Alice and their son Jim.)
Includes above picture of Cromore House as photographed by Hank Lefebvre in 1944.
Above is Sergeant Myers doing Bayonet Drill and on the right a Nissen Hut marked "Officers Only"
On the left is Lieutenant LeFebvre having his boots polished by a Shoeshine Boy and to the right is a Lieutenant in one of the towns close to Camp Cromore.
Sergeant Robert G. Banks at Camp Cromore
This is Robert G. Banks who served with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the United States Army.
He had joined the Army on 29th October 1942 and won his Airborne Wings on 7th March 1943. - Transportation to the European Theatre appears to have been swift as the photograph above was taken in Belfast on 15th March 1943.
Sergeant Banks parachuted into action in France on D-Day however he was later captured by Germans and spent the rest of the war in P.O.W. Camps. before being liberated by the Russian Army.
The Telegram which is shown above was sent to his Mother to inform her that Sergeant Banks had been Liberated and would soon be on his way home!
(My sincere thanks to Penny Banks-Lane for her assistance and permission to use these photographs.)
Portstewart to D-Day with Lt. Jack Quaid, 82nd Airborne Division.
John A. "Jack" Quaid was a 1st Lieutenant in Company H, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, United States Army.
The 508th arrived in Belfast on 8th January 1944 on board the ship U.S.A.T. (United States Army Transport) James Parker which is shown below and on leaving Belfast it was a short train journey to Camp Cromore at Portstewart.
Training continued for the next few months at Cromore before they returned to Belfast on 10th March and on by ship and rail to camp at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, England where they arrived three days later.
Lt. Quaid parachuted into action at Sainte-Mere Eglise on D-Day, 6th June 1944 in “Operation Overlord” and was later listed as “Missing in Action” on the same day.
The remains of Lt. Quaid were later recovered and his official date of death was determined to be June 23, 1944.
According to the personal diary of Lt Ralph DeWeese, also of the 508th PIR, he had been watching Lt Quaid's plane from his aircraft as they approached the Normandy drop zone. "[Quaid's plane] was in a hot-spot due to the fact the tabs had blown off the [equipment] bundle lights [slung under the aircraft belly] and [the bundle lights] had come on. That left the plane a target in the sky and everything was zeroed in on him. I thought for sure that they were going to get it. We circled over Etiennville three times and I knew the planes were lost. You can imagine how anxious we were to jump because I knew we couldn't fly around much longer without getting hit. The flak and machine gun fire was worse and it is hard to realise how those planes can fly through it. I was watching Quaid's plane and saw some men jump".
Later Deweese apparently learned that "Lt. Quaid had raided a pill box and the Germans had surrendered and were coming out with their hands up. The fourth came out firing a Schmeisser [sub-machinegun] and killed him."
The loss of Lt Quaid was the second to affect this family in quick succession as his Step Brother Franklin, who was a Naval Aviator operating in the Pacific Ocean was lost during a flight from the converted Carrier U.S.S. Chenango. - His body has never been recovered.
This photograph shows Lieutenant Jack Quaid training in Northern Ireland - I believe this may be the Sand dunes of the range at Articlave which is examined in detail below in the County Londonderry Part 3 Section.
The photographs here show the famous Church in the centre of Sainte-Mere Eglise as it looks now and with U.S. Soldiers fighting in June 1944. The suspended Paratrooper is a Memorial to the U.S. Airborne soldier who found himself suspended by his parachute from the Tower.
(The old photographs are in displays for tourists around the Town Square).
Lt Quaid was initially buried in the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer which is shown in my photograph here with the waves crashing on Omaha Beach in the background however he was later repatriated to Reno.
(My sincere thanks to Melissa Jordan and http://www.merujo.com/ with further information from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55889504 )
Belgian Soldiers at Camp Cromore
Training at Camp Cromore included learning to operate a Bren Gun Carrier. Belgian Soldiers are shown below in one of these vehicles.
Following the departure of the American troops Belgian Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Brigade "Merckem" Company C Heavy Weapons were based at Cromore from 22nd May 1945 until 25th September 1945.
North Irish Horse on Coastal Patrol around Portstewart / Portrush
This photograph shows First World War era Rolls Royce Armoured Cars of the North Irish Horse carrying out a Coastal Patrol in the Portstewart / Portrush Area. (Thanks very much to Bracken Anderson) *****PLEASE DO NOT COPY THIS ITEM*****
Portstewart Strand Pillboxes.
The Pillbox shown above left is the same one as shown below.
It covered both Portstewart Strand and the Bann Estuary whilst the one shown in the other two pictures is on the East side of the Strand and is now within a National Trust Car Park.
Gun Drill on Portstewart Strand
31st March 1942 and U.S. Army Jeep towing Field Gun is driven into position. (Fox Photograph by George W.Hales which is taken from on top of a sand Dune)
Pushing through the sand. (From Jeep Vintage picture saved by Antoni Ramos, Fox Photograph by George W. Hales)
Crew Dismount and take up positions. (Fox Photograph by George W. Hales from Shaun Clayton saved to Willys Jeep)
This appears to be a Drill with a 37mm Anti-Tank Gun by the U.S. Army 168th Anti-Tank Company. Taken on Portstewart Strand in 1942 with my photograph showing the same location as it looks today. (From http://www.army.mil/article/33484/which is available to EVERYONE)
One of the photographs from the above can be seen in "The War Illustrated" article "With Uncle Sam's Men on the Emerald Isle"
Bann Estuary Pillboxes
This Pillbox is in great condition and is positioned overlooking a long sandy beach.
A second pillbox had been positioned on the western shore of the estuary however this has now been destroyed.
The Strand Pillbox appears to be a Type 23 however this larger one within the estuary is well protected and camouflaged and has wide ports which makes me think it may by a Type 25 pillbox being used as a Machine Gun Post. As with all the other Pillboxes I have visited in Northern Ireland there is no internal Anti Ricochet Wall but similar wall fixtures.
This Pillbox can be found off Barmouth Road.
Downhill Radar Station
This is a Radar Station which is positioned on a hilltop above the village of Downhill. It can be found on Bishops Road and is well worth a visit for the extensive view over the Atlantic Ocean.
There are concrete bases for tall masts as well as one building beside a concrete lane at the road as an entrance to the facility which includes 2 of the large structures - one of which is seen in the background here. I believe these may have been for large masts. There is also an Air Raid Shelter.
Gortmore Chain Home Radar Station
Only a short drive up Bishops Road from Downhill Station was another near the Viewpoint at Gortmore.
As can be seen here very little remains of this Chain Home Station other than the concrete base of where a building had stood along with some of the concrete cable tethers which are deceptively large -You can see some of these at Ballywalter in http://www.ww2ni.com/countydownpart4.htm
The well camouflaged pillbox shown above can be found at Downhill.
It has been given the added camouflage of a covering of black basalt stones to blend in with its immediate surroundings.
In this final picture you can see on the left side where the Machine Gun would have been mounted.
This is what remains of Downhill Demesne which was used as a Billet for Servicemen and Women from the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
Shown here is the Mussenden Temple which can be seen on the cliff face directly to the north of the Demesne Building and the picture on the right shows a Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun beside the Temple. (Gun picture from Colerainebc.gov.uk)
Another view of the Bofors Gun beside the Mussenden Temple. (Thanks very much to Ed Luke)
Dispersed Living Accommodation for Aghanloo Airfield, Limavady
This is a compact little site with much to see.
It is on Bishops Road between Windyhill Road and the Chain Home Radar Station on high ground above the appropriately named Downhill.
There are a number of concrete bases for huts which have now gone, 2 Air Raid Shelters and other buildings which appear to have been washrooms.
Dispersed Living Accommodation on Windyhill Road, Limavady
I was told that this was Officers accommodation.
The building to the right of the photograph below is actually a Squash Court!
Killylane Radio Station
This is Killylane Radio station at Craigbrack Road on the hill above the village of Greysteel.
It was used to communicate with ships and aircraft in the Northern Approaches.
The development includes a number of buildings.
There are some markings which can be seen including what appears to be "Danger" and a yellow triangular warning sign on a sturdy metal door under a stairway which may have been an armoury. There are also some markings where fire extinguishers had been retained and large "L" Shaped blue and cream coloured room has numerous monitoring points.
This is the Building which had the numerous telephone type connections on the walls which can be seen in my interior photographs above.
You can see the aerial array as well as lots of cables and the royal navy White Ensign flying in the wind. (Thanks to FCDB at the Airfield Research Group)
Much remains to be seen at Killylane including the Sangar guarding the entrance and inside the Armoury is this old Rifle rack!
This building looks very like a Chain Home Radar building.
Another of the large buildings at this location however this one as an Air raid Shelter beside it.
Kilnappy Royal Naval Armament Depot
The Kilnappy Royal Naval Armament Torpedo and Mine Depot covers an area of 47 Acres. It stored various armament types including Torpedoes and Depth Charges.
Above are some of the warning Signs which can be seen around the Site.
The two pictures immediately above show a building with a sturdy central rail which I guess may have been used for pulleys to move Ordnance.
Two Photographs above show a Blast Wall in front of Access to a partially concealed building which is constructed into the side of the Valley as well as the access road.
Below is a Building which may have been some kind of Control Room.
Its Entrances on both sides are protected by Blast Walls.
These two pictures show inside the building.
****On my last visit to this site the Nissen Huts shown above had been demolished and the site appeared to be getting cleared ready for redevelopment.****
Lisahally Port Naval Operations Base
This is the original Battle of the Atlantic Memorial at Lisahally port.
It took me some considerable time to locate it and to be honest I was disappointed with its appearance and location.
This rather drab piece of concrete can be found at Port Road off Port Road at Maydown.
It has been repositioned from the lough shore at Lisahally to the entrance of Lisahally Port. Lisahally was the subject of Lend Lease which was signed in Washington on 12th June 1941.
The Lisahally development had a deep water wharf with a tank farm in the surrounding area. The Jetty which was constructed was 2,300 Feet long and connected to the shore by three piers. The water at the jetty was 18 feet deep and a 2 foot guage railway was operated on the jetty to ease unloading of armaments and equipment.
The Jetty during construction. Pictures taken on 28th January 1942.
A 2000 feet long jetty made with Pine Wood imported from Oregon. (I.W.M. Photos)
These photographs above show the Eastern Wharf on 28th January 1942. (I.W.M. Photos)
The City of Londonderry became very important during The Battle of The Atlantic at the time was America's premier naval base in all of Europe.
Nearly 800 American technicians with over 2000 local workers built Lisahally Port within six months with all equipment down to the last nut and bolt, coming from the United States.
American and British sailors warmly fraternized during the building of the various sites within the Londonderry area which includes receiving and broadcasting stations, a 200 bed hospital at Creevagh and large camps at places such as Springtown.
Picture above was taken when the first American warships escorting a convoy across the Atlantic arrived at Londonderry. The white ensign and the Old Glory fly side by side.
The picture on the left shows Lisahally as it looked in October 1943. (From http://navcommsta-londonderry.freeservers.com/ )
The painting by Rowland Vivian Pitchforth is titled "The American Base, River Foyle near Londonderry" (Imperial War Museum picture)
These photographs show United States Navy ships at the Lisahally Jetty which features in the artwork directly above. (Photographs by David Arkwright)
United States Marines at Lisahally.
A sailor getting a propeller from the well-stocked hardware stores at the US Naval Operations Base.
Sailors working with the Bullard Vertical Turret Lathe, one of the largest pieces of machinery to be transported to the US Naval Operations Base.
Spare anchors and telephone cable lying in the corner of the repair yard of the US Naval Operations Base. (Life Magazine Photographs above)
U.S. Navy personnel operating lathes. (I.W.M. Photo)
Masses of Stores!
A dance band rehearsing on a state in a recreation hall on the US Naval Operations Base, American and British flags on the wall behind them. (Life Picture)
Relaxing at the "Soda Fountain"
Patients in one of the hospital wards at the US Naval Operations Base at tea time, having coffee.
An operation in one of the hospitals at the US Naval Operations Base.
A sailor undergoing an x-ray procedure, attended by medical personnel at the x-ray hut on the US Naval Operations Base.
A sailor taking a break in one of the powerhouses on the US Naval Operations Base.
The Laundry at Naval Operating Base, Londonderry
The Fuelling wharf with its pipe lines connected with the nearby tank farm.
The aerial picture shows is Maydown Airfield with Lisahally behind at the rivers edge. The Camp and Jetty are clearly visible.
The photograph above was taken from the opposite side of the Foyle. It is looking towards Haw Road and the various storage sheds, workshops and other buildings of the Naval Base can be clearly seen.
If you look at the old photograph you can see a road which appears to divide the camp into left and right.
Look at the right side and then the Aerial photograph I have included. - Here you can see where the buildings were positioned. (Google)
U.S. ships and an American Sailor on the Jetty and American Sailor Sammy Grasso from New York. - You can see Culmore Point in the background.
LST 157 (Landing Ship Tank) and an American Destroyer with Culmore Point in the background.
(Thanks very much to Ivor Browne for this information.)
LST 335 at Lisahally
Photographed from a Royal Navy Ship this is LST (Landing Ship Tank) 335.
It was Laid down on 17 July 1942 at Norfolk Navy Yard and launched on15 October 1942 being Commissioned USS LST-335 on 6th December 1942 with Lieutenant Gordon Raymond in Command.
During the War it was assigned to Europe,Africa and the Middle East and participated in the Sicilian Operation as well as the landings at Salerno and the Normandy Invasion.
(Information from Navsource.org with photograph above from the excellent Twisted Limbs and Broken Branches facebook site)
Captured / Surrendered U-Boats at Lisahally
This first photographs shows a collection of surrendered U-Boats off Northern Ireland. The photograph dates from 14th May 1945 and the aircraft in the picture is Vickers Wellington GR Mark 14, NB814, RW-Q which was based at Benbecula. (IWM Photographs)
It was to Lisahally that a large number of German U-Boats were brought to after they had stopped fighting for their official surrender to be accepted at the end of the war.(Pictures from Wikipedia and the excellent U-Historia.com website).
My photograph shows the Jetty at Lisahally as seen from Culmore Point. (The photograph above is from the Imperial War Museum)
Captured German U-Boat U802 passing Culmore. (Excellent photograph from Aaron Cairns)
U-1009 with Royal Navy Officers on board.
14th May 1945. Commander N. B. Weir, Royal Navy, boarding a surrendered German U-Boat.
The Aircraft painted on the Conning Tower is a "Kill" claimed by the Anti-Aircraft Gunners on the U-Boat.
(For more information see https://www.awm.gov.au/. The final picture is from Naval Communications Station Londonderry)
German Submariners have their washing hanging to dry along the U-Boat shown in the top photograph (IWM Picture)
Some of the twenty seven U-boats which arrived at Lisahally on 24 May are shown moored alongside a wharf in the photograph above -One has its schnorkel erected. (From Histomil.com)
Above left is the old wooden Jetty at Lisahally as it looks today (Thanks very much to Edward Blakely for this photograph) whilst the photograph on the left was taken from on board one of the saptured U-Boats in May 1945 (This particular photograph comes from James Stewart.)
The brief item on the left was printed in The Derry Journal on 16th May 1945. (Derry Journal)
The photograph above shows a British Soldier standing Armed Guard, complete with fixed bayonet, over some of the surrendered U-Boats. The photograph was taken in May 1945 and one of the U-Boats is causing bubbles whilst it recharges its batteries.
Note that the gangway says "H.M. Base Lisahally"
These photographs show some of the captured German U-Boats at Lisahally with Culmore Point on the left (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
The three photographs above show surrendered German U-Boats at Lisahally.
In the final photograph the submarine is U-889 and it is about to be boarded by Sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy. (For more information see R.C.N. History.Org)
The following photographs are shown with kind permission of Neil Hewat. ****PLEASE DO NOT COPY****
Ober Lnt Heinrick Jacobs U293, Kt Lnt Helmut Schoenkle U802, Ober Lnt Klaus Kilgendork U1009, Ober Lnt Olaf Lubke U826 and Kt Lnt Leonhart Klingspor U293 after surrender at Lisahally (I.W.M. Photograph)
This picture shows a German U-Boat Crew member who has become a Prisoner of War at Lisahally. (Photograph from Michael Burns)
German U-Boat Crew Prisoners of War disembarking from a Royal Navy Ship. (Thanks very much to the folks at "Derry of the Past")
German Prisoners of War (Super photograph from Aaron Cairns)
Shown here are German U-Boat Crews who have become Prisoners of War.
They are under guard at what I believe used to be known as Culmore Railway Station at Port Road, Lisahally. (Thanks very much to the folks at "Derry of the Past")
Naval Headquarters, Londonderry
Royal Navy Commanding Officer at Naval Operating Base, Londonderry and The Commandant of the U.S. Naval Operations Base.
Chief Medical Officer and Chief Engineer in charge of Construction of the Naval Operating Base.
Buildings at Naval Operations Base. (Picture above from Ibiblio.org Hyperwar U.S. Navy)
The commanding officers of the forces at the Naval Operations Base walking to their joint offices in the administration building.
You can see the chimneys of Aberfoyle House in the background. The Tower in this photograph has also been demolished.
The next photograph is Showing Guests around the Naval Operations Centre.
(All of the photographs here are from Life Magazine and can be found at http://images.google.com/hosted/life where they are available to EVERYONE)
Commanding Officers of the 10th Escort Group in Londonderry. Left to Right Lt Commander L.P. Bourke R.N.Z.N.V.R. H.M.S. Bayntun, Lt Commander P.J. Stoner, R.N., H.M.S. Braithwaite, Commander P.W. Burnett D.S.O. D.S.C. R.N., Commander E. Wheeler RD, R.N.R. H.M.S. Loch Dunvegan. (Imperial War Museum Picture)
In June 1942 the Marine Barracks, Naval Operating Base, Londonderry was established with the arrival of U.S. Marines.
The Officers who arrived at that time are shown here. They are Major Louis Shoemaker, Major John Bathum, Captain Frank Martincheck and Lt. Colonel James J. Dugan.
The picture above (comes from https://www.flickr.com/photos/usmcarchives/albums/ )and shows United States Marines playing Baseball with Talbot House to the left.
Talbot House has been demolished and some building has taken place making a precise "Then and Now" photograph impossible however this is the building on the right as it looks today.
This is Talbot House as it looked some years prior to being demolished and P.O. 2c Herbert Paul Spencer standing outside Talbot House which was where Commodore McDonald was billeted. Spencer is shown beside a U.S. Navy car. (Many Thanks to the navcommsta-londonderry website.)
A group of United States Marine Corps Officers raising a toast to a mural of "Old Bill" who can be seen in a mural on the wall.
Second from the right is Lieutenant Colonel James Dugan.
This picture was taken in Aberfoyle House which, although not part of the Naval Headquarters, was within the HQ complex and and had been requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as Accommodation for United States Naval Officers. Throughout this time Lady McFarland and her daughter continued to live in Aberfoyle House. (Thanks to Righard Doherty for this Information). My photograph shows Aberfoyle House as it looks today.
Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist on the left with Lieutenant Colonel James Dugan, United States Marine Corps Executive Officer.
The watercolour shows "Old Bill" toasting the U.S. Marines and was presented to Colonel Shaler Ladd, Commanding Officer of the Marine barracks in Londonderry in December 1943.
(For more information please visit: http://www.derryjournal.com/news/features)
Naval Operating Base, Londonderry
H.M.S. Duncan in Londonderry on 7th November 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
This picture was taken on 7th November 1943 and shows H.M.S. Duncan of Convoy Escort Group B7 arriving in Londonderry at the end of their voyage during which they sunk two U-Boats in the North Atlantic.
The Crew are being waved at by the Crew of H.M.S. Sunflower (I.W.M. Photograph)
Crew member from H.M.S. Duncan with some wreckage which was recovered after they had sunk a U-Boat (I.W.M. Photograph)
Ratings carrying sacks of wooden wreckage recovered following the sinking of U-Boats. (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S. Sunflower in Londonderry
Crew of H.M.S. Sunflower showing some of the wreckage recovered after they had sunk two U-Boats. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The Crew of H.M.S. Sunflower showing wreckage they had recovered after sinking two U-Boats. (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S. Sunflower in Londonderry on 29th May 1943 (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant Commander C.R. Hart D.S.C. and Bar, R.N. of H.M.S. Vidette from Southampton, Commander P.W. Gretton O.B.E, D.S.O., D.S.C. R.N. of H.M.S. Duncan and Lieutenant Commander J. Plomer D.S.C. R.C.N.V.R. from Winnipeg (Also shown below) on H.M.S. Sunflower in Londonderry on 7th November 1943. (I.W.M. Pictures)
Leading Cook W. McNeil, who comes from Newcastle, beside the Depth Charge Thrower which he helped to Operate on H.M.S. Sunflower during a U-Boat Kill. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Ready to Protect the Convoys
Depth Charges at the Ready (I.W.M. Photograph)
Depth Charge Thrower Prepared. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Royal Navy Corvette escorting a Convoy. (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S. Scimitar is shown, both above and below, on Convoy Escort Duty in the North Atlantic. (I.W.M. Photographs)
Royal Navy Thanked by the Men whose U-Boat they had Sunk!
This is something rather special.
It has been drawn in pencil and is a "Thank-you" by the German Crew of a U-Boat which was sunk in the Atlantic on 17th October 1943 to the Commanding Officer, Officers and Men of the British Ship which had sunk it and subsequently picked up these survivors. (I.W.M. Picture)
H.M.S. Braithwaite in Londonderry
This photograph shows H.M.S. Braithwaite about to come alongside in Londonderry. (From Wikivisually)
Three Minesweepers in Londonderry
Some of the Royal Navy Minesweeping Sloops berthed in Londonderry.
They are from the 1st and 6th Minesweeping Flotillas and were photographed in Londonderry during 6th and 7th August 1943.
From left tom right are H.M.S. Gleaner, H.M.S. Halcyon and H.M.S. Salamander. (I.W.M. Picture)
A closer view of H.M.S. Halcyon and H.M.S. Salamander (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
Shown from the Stern. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
H.M.S. Gleaner in Londonderry
Lieutenant Commander F.J.T. Hewett, D.S.C., R.N. Captain of the Minesweeping Sloop H.M.S. Gleaner. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Preparing the Rum for "Up Spirits" - Coxswain Sidney Gordon Vingoe of H.M.S. Gleaner, 1st and 6th Minesweeping Flotillas, Londonderry, 6-7th August 1943. (I.W.M. Photo)
On the Chief Petty Officer's Mess Deck on board H.M.S. Gleaner in Londonderry (I.W.M. Photograph)
Adding a Dan Buoy to the stock on the After deck of H.M.S. Gleaner. Photographed 6th / 7th August 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S Halcyon in Londonderry
Lieutenant Commander H.L. Dudley Hoare, Royal Naval Reserve, the Commanding Officer of H.M. Minesweeper Halcyon in Londonderry on 28th / 29th June 1943.
The same Officer is shown below with his guitar. (I.W.M. Photographs)
Officers Servant George William Gillyon, from Beverly, Yorkshire on board Halcyon in Londonderry. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
Able Seaman Lawrence Hodgson, Aged 30, from Liverpool, on board Halcyon wearing his Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and being Congratulated by his Shipmates. (I.W.M. Picture)
A New Bride is Good Luck on board H.M. Minesweeper Halcyon in Londonderry
Lieutenant A.O. Allinson from Penrith with his new Bride, Miss Janet Somerset from Seven Kings, Essex who is a W.R.E.N. Telephonist.
Shown on board H.M. Minesweeper Halcyon in Londonderry in June 1943. (I.W.M. Photographs)
H.M.S. Salamander in Londonderry
Lieutenant W.R. Muttram D.S.C., Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of H.M. Minesweeper Salamander. Photographed on 30th June 1943 in Londonderry. (I.W.M. Picture)
Members of the Crew of H.M.S. Salamander in Londonderry 6th and 7th August 1943. (I.W.M. Picture)
H.M.S. Swale in Londonderry
From Left to Right E.R.A. E.A.J. Prior, Mr J.C. Tyler M.B.E. Warrant Mechanician, Lieutenant Commander J. Jackson D.S.C. R.D. Royal Naval Reserve, Commanding Officer, Lieutenant D. Welsh, Petty Officer A.A. Churcher ad Chief Stoker W.J. Miller B.E.M. on board the River Class frigate H.M.S. Swale in Londonderry on 13th April 1944. (I.W.M.)
Lieutenant Commander R. Hart, D.S.C. and Bar, Commanding Officer of H.M.S. Vidette greeting Lieutenant Commander J.Jackson D.S.C., R.D., Royal Naval Reserve, of Lambourne, Berkshire, Commanding Officer of H.M.S. Swale. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant L.A. Spicer, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, from Ash, Canterbury and Sub Lieutenant J.W. Lyde, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve from Droitwich on board H.M.S. Swale. (I.W.M. Picture)
Men of H.M.S. Swale in Londonderry on 13th April 1944. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
H.M.S. Sardonyx in Londonderry
Men of H.M.S. Sardonyx with Miss Stephenson, Correspondent from Womans Own. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
A Rating from H.M.S. Sardonyx using an Off Duty spell to good advantage while in Port in Londonderry. (I.W.M. Photograph)
A large decorated Jam Tart being brought to the Mess on H.M.S. Sardonyx. (I.W.M. Picture)
Convoy Escort Group B7 in Londonderry
This photograph shows some of the ships of Escort Group B.7. moored in Londonderry.
The building on the left of the picture is part of what was the Naval Headquarters and is now Magee campus.
Two of the ships in the background are H.M.S. Versatile and H.M.S. Godavari. (I.W.M. Picture)
Stoker J. Brownlie of Coatbridge, Glasgow with his model of one of the sunken U-Boats bade from wreckage from a Depth Charge Explosion. Londonderry 7th November 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Safe Return to Londonderry From North African Operations.
The Naval Officer in charge of the Port congratulates the Ships company of a Destroyer which had sunk a Submarine during the North Africa Operations (I.W.M. Picture)
Ratings on board a Corvette reading the first Newspaper they have seen in many weeks. Londonderry 22nd November 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Ratings reading Letters from Home which they received on their arrival in Londonderry on 22nd November 1942 (I.W.M. Photograph)
Royal Navy Ships Company in good spirits on their return to Londonderry following the North Africa Operation. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Landing Craft Crews who took part in the North Africa Operation on their return to Londonderry on 22nd November 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Three Members of the landing Craft Crews from H.M.S. Lulworth on their arrival in Londonderry on 22nd November 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Escort Ships return from the North African Operations. Londonderry 22nd November 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Going ashore from Escort Warship in Londonderry on 22nd November 1942 after being involved in North African Operations. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The signalman from a Royal Navy Corvette holding a large pile of signals following the North Africa Operation. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Above left is the cover of "The War Illustrated" dating from 24th July 1942.
It refers to "Magee's Field" in "Londonderry, second city of Northern Ireland" and says that ships are repaired and refitted. - No shortage of Mines or Depth Charges on this one!
British and United States sailors are shown greeting each other from their destroyers which are secured alongside when the first United States warships escorting a convoy across the Atlantic arrived at Londonderry.
With the numbers of U.S. Personnel in Londonderry there were Military Police and Shore Patrol seen around the City.
I believe this photograph was taken in Foyle Street near the Guildhall.
(Thanks very much to Ed Luke for the pictures)
Two corvettes of a convoy escort force docked on their return to base at Londonderry. On the left is HMS PINK, and on the right HMS LOOSESTRIFE, which attacked a U-boat with depth charges, forcing her to the surface. These and other escort ships over a period of eight days and nights had destroyed four German U-Boats whilst four others were very probably destroyed and a further two probably destroyed.
Shown below are two sailors, standing on precariously lowered platforms perform the necessary task of repainting when small ships return to base after a long spell U-boat hunting in the Atlantic. The ship being repainted at Londonderry is the Flower class corvette HMS PINK. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
Lieutenant Commander H.A. Stonehouse, Royal Naval Reserve, Commanding Officer of the Corvette H.M.S. Loosestrife. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
H.M.S. Black Swan at Londonderry on 26th February 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S. Campion, British Flower Class Corvette photographed on 26th February 1942 at Londonderry (I.W.M. Photograph)
H.M.S. La Malouine, Ex French Flower Class Corvette in Londonderry on 26th February 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Royal Navy Sailors watch an American Destroyer as it arrives in Londonderry between 29th January and 2nd February 1942. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Royal Navy Sailor making friends with newly arrived U.S. Sailors. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant G.D. Fowler, Commanding Officer H.M.S. Aubrietia in Londonderry on 15th June 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant A.J.H. Tilston D.S.C., R.N.R. Commanding Officer of H.M.S. Geranium in Londonderry on 30th June 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant Commander G.W. Gregorie, Royal Naval Reserve, Commanding Officer H.M.S. Winchelsea in Londonderry on 15th June 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant H.G. Chesterman, Royal Naval Reserve, on the Bridge of his Ship H.M.S. Snowflake which destroyed one U-Boat with Depth Charges.
Shown in Londonderry on 29th May 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Lieutenant L.P. Benny, Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Commanding Officer of H.M.C.S. Brumheller. Photographed in Londonderry on 30th June 1943. (I.W.M. Picture)
Able Seaman Sydney Blakeson from Yorkshire, on H.M.S. Tay, a River Class Corvette embroidering his name on a jersey he knitted while at sea,
Photographed in Londonderry in May 1943.
He is also shown below with two Shipmates. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The Officers of B.Y.M. 80, a 200 Ton wooden Minesweeper shown in Londonderry on 20th October 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
This is H.M.S. Drury which was a Captain Class frigate that had been commissioned by the United States Navy and subsequently transferred to the Royal Navy.
The U-Boat was sunk with all hands. (Photograph from Steve Walters)
This is a United States Navy 'Liberty Party' being inspected before going ashore to Londonderry Naval Base. The sailor on the right is the 'shore patrol'. (IWM Pictures)
U.S. Sailors cleaning and greasing one of the torpedoes on their Warship - All of the photographs in this section were taken at Londonderry Port. (I.W.M. Photograph)
A Signalman on board a U.S. Destroyer.
Note the knitted woolen cap which was the winter uniform rather than the more common small white cap. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Here are American Sailors Pappy Burns, the Ships Store with Lon Howser, Seaman 2nd Class. (IWM Picture)
This is Phil Alicki who was a Gunners Mate. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
Here are the four various Uniform types as worn by U.S. Navy personnel.
From left to right - Shoregoing, Oilskin, another Shoregoing and Working Kit. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
U.S. Navy Sailors making a Rescue Net which can be thrown over the ships side to rescue persons in the water. (I.W.M. Picture)
This is U.S. Sailor Buck Frank Buckovic who was a Dance Band Musician before he joined the Navy. (I.W.M. Photograph)
American Sailors on board a U.S. Destroyer in Londonderry cleaning Projectiles at the Ammunition Locker to be ready once they are back at sea. (I.W.M. Picture)
A Depth Charge Party preparing their Depth Charges before leaving Londonderry (I.W.M. Picture)
A working party at the fo'c'sle of one of the American Destroyers in Londonderry in early 1942. (I.W.M. Picture)
American Sentry on U.S. Destroyer in Londonderry wearing his Cold Weather helmet and goggles. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Keeping an American Warship "Shipshape" (I.W.M. Photograph)
This American Sailor is dressed in the Cold Weather clothing provided by the U.S. Navy including the goggles. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The pictures above show black Stewards serving in the Ward Room of a U.S. Destroyer in Londonderry.
The first American warships escorting a Convoy arrived in the City between 29th January and 2nd February 1942. (Imperial War Museum Picture)
An Officers Conference on board a U.S. warship. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
On the Bridge of an American Destroyer in Londonderry. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Shown above is the 2 Page item from "The War Illustrated" reporting on the U.S. Naval Base in Londonderry (The War Illustrated)
This photograph was taken on the North Coast and shows 4 United States Navy personnel with two Local Girls.
The sign in the background refers to the "Giants Causeway Electric Tramway" and the location may be beside a Railway Bridge.
If you can identify this location then please Email Me. (From the Histomil Website)
Shown above is the first page of an Article about Londonderry Naval Base from Life Magazine in 1942.
Some of the extensive aerial array from the naval Operations Base in Londonderry in May 1943.
Note the Huts in the background which are surrounded by protective earth banking. (From http://www.history.navy.mil which is available to Everyone)
The once Secret Document shown above refers to the U.S. Naval Operations Base Transmitting and Receiving Stations. Some of the Radio Antenna Masts are shown in the photograph above. (Thanks very much to Martin Briscoe)
A Mk VII depth charge being loaded onto a Mk IV depth charge thrower on board Flower class corvette HMS Dianthus in Londonderry on 14th August 1942. (I.W.M. Picture)
H.M.S. Dianthus. (Belfast Telegraph Photograph)
Shown above is an item from "The War Illustrated" reporting the actions of H.M.S. Dianthus. (The War Illustrated)
H.M.S. Philante exercising with C4 Escort Group on 2nd and 3rd July 1943. (IWM Photo)
The Western Approaches Commander in Chief, Admiral Sir Max K. Horton KCB DSO boarding H.M.S. Philante in Londonderry. (IWM Picture)
Admiral Sir Max K. Horton on the Bridge of H.M.S. Philante with Captain A.J. Baker Cresswell D.S.O. during Anti U-Boat Exercises off Northern Ireland on 2nd - 3rd July 1943.
This photograph shows C4 Escort Group carrying out a manoeuver known as the Grid Iron. H.M.S. Philante is with H.M.C.S. Orillia K119 which can be seen in the middle distance. (I.W.M. Photograph)
As above. This exercise took place on 2nd and 3rd July 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
A number of Ships from the C4 Escort Group Exercising off Northern Ireland.
This picture shows an Exercise Boarding Party.
A boats Crew from the Canadian Destroyer H.M.C.S. Restigouch is coming alongside H.M.S. Philante.
The Officer in Charge of the Boarding Parts is seen with a Sten Gun at the top of the ladder.
H.M.I.S. Kristna in Londonderry
21st October 1943 in Londonderry - AbbasTajuddin, Chief Stoker and Yusuf Ali, Chief Mechanic. Both are from Ratnigari and have served in the Royal Indian Navy for 23 years. They are seen here serving on the Indian Sloop Kristna. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
Ammunition being brought on board H.M.I.S. Kristna in Londonderry on 21st October 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The Shipwright, Abdol Khalio who comes from Gujrat, Punjab with a wooden model of H.M.I.S. Kristna on which he is serving in Londonderry. (I.W.M. Picture)
Lieutenant Pritam Singh Mahindree who comes from Amristar, Punjab is the Navigating Officer on board H.M.I.S. Godavari. Photographed on 22nd October 1943 in Londonderry. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
This is the "Derry- (Naval Operations Base) News" dating from December 11th 1943.
It is interesting to see The Eglinton Hotel mentioned as having been taken over by the American Red Cross. The Orange Hall in Portrush is also mentioned as a Dance Hall.
This second page of the "Derry - NOB News" begins with a reference to Springtown, Creevagh, Lisahally and "Camp Holcomb" (Which is the Beech Hill Hotel site). I have visited all of these sites and they are referred to individually within this website.
King George meeting with William J Larson at Derry Naval Operations Base. (From http://www.history.navy.mil which is available to Everyone)
Admiral Harold R. Stark with Secretary Knox holding a Press conference at Londonderry in September 1943. (From http://www.history.navy.mil which is available to Everyone)
Dusk at the Naval Operations Base, Derry. (Life Magazine photograph)
H.M. Motor Minesweeper J512 moored off Londonderry.
Coastal Command Patrol Vessel off the Northern Ireland coast on 27th July 1940. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
U.S. Naval Ships in Londonderry in 1943. The Dock is at what was known as "Fort George" (From the excellent website http://navcommsta-londonderry.freeservers.com/)
Marines performing evening flag ceremony duty on the parade grounds in the residential area for the US Naval Operations Base. (Life Magazine picture)
(This photograph is from http://www.history.navy.mil which is available to Everyone)
The selection on photographs here show the U.S. Constructed Docks at Fort George, Londonderry.
You can see the concrete Launching Ramp.
The first two photographs were taken on 3rd February 1942. (Pictures from Imperial War Museum and BBC)
A couple more views of Fort George, Londonderry. (BBC)
On the left of my photograph is The Guildhall as seen in the centre of the upper picture. You can see the Jetty along which all the ships were docked.
Jack Johnston SK on board a U.S. Navy Destroyer in Londonderry in January 1942. (Picture from Ivor Brown and the navcommsta-londonderry website.)
Canadian Corvette Chambley in Londonderry on 19th October 1943.
Sub- Lieutenant D.T. Ingraham from St Johns, New Brunswich with Canadian Sailors. (IWM)
This is Leading Seaman H.S.D. J. Bayne from Toronto who is on board H.M.C.S Chambly and had identified one U-Boat.
The photograph was taken in Londonderry on 19th October 1943.
The picture below was taken on the same ship and on the same day. This photograph shows Chief Engine Room Artificer A. Lalonde from Kingston, Ontario with a model of a U-Boat. (I.W.M. Picture)
This impressive picture shows Commodore C.W.G. Simpson addressing a Ships Company after reading a Congratulatory Signal from the Commander in Chief, Western Approaches to the men of the 10th Escort Group on their return to Londonderry on 20th February 1945
The lower photograph shows Commodore Ross Stewart is speaking to Royal Navy personnel in Londonderry. (Imperial War Museum Pictures)
Commodore C.W.G. Simpson C.B.E. in his Office in Londonderry during September 1943. (I.W.M. Photograph)
Commodore George W.G. Simpson, Royal Navy, Commodore D, Western Approaches, Londonderry. Photographed in 1945. (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd)
U.S.S. Dallas arriving in Londonderry following Convoy Escort duties (IWM Photo above and Library of Congress picture below)
H.M.S. Bayntun returns to Londonderry after Successful Patrol
H.M.S. Bayntun was a Captain Class Frigate and part of the 10th Escort Group.
The first picture shows the Crew being thanked for their efforts by the Commander, Lieutenant-Commander L.P. Bourke RNZNVR
The ship's Crew show some items which were recovered after the sinking of a U-Boat.
U-Boat wreckage being removed from H.M.S. Bayntun be crewmembers in Londonderry. (I.W.M. Photographs)
H.M.S. Bayntun in Londonderry - Able Seaman D. Grist from Bermondsey, London is holding a German Cap and looking at U-Boat Hunt Souvenirs held by Able Seaman A. Ellam from Sheffield.
Leading Seaman G. Riggall D.S.M. of Grimsby and Able Seaman N. King of Pendlebury, Manchester after their arrival in Londonderry with H.M.S. Bayntun of 10th Escort Group. (IWM Pictures)
H.M.S. Loch Dunvegan in Londonderry after Successful Patrol
Men of the Loch Class Frigate H.M.S. Loch Dunvegan with U-Boat Hunt trophies including interior woodwork, a Lifebelt and Brass fitting which is believed to be part of the U-Boat Schnorkel breathing equipment. Photographed in February 1945.
On board Loch Dunvegan. Wireless Telegraphist F.A. Turner from Bristol holding a brass float for inspection by Able Seaman K.E. Williams from Bristol. (IWM Pictures)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Eaglesdale involved in Oiling at Sea Trials off Londonderry
Engineer Admiral H.W. Windish C.B.E. who conducted the trials with Mr R. Perin of Goodyear rubber Company manufacturers of the new rubber Hose being used in Oiling Trials. (I.W.M. Picture)
The Floating Hose on board R.F.A. Eaglesdale (I.W.M. Photograph)
Hose being unrolled from R.F.A. Eaglesdale. (I.W.M. Picture)
The inflated hose is shown before pumping of oil commences. (I.W.M. Photograph)
The Destroyer H.M.S. Keppel closing to pick up hose which has floating buoys at its end. (I.W.M. Photograph)
These two photographs show the Sea trials with H.M.S. Keppel and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship R.F.A. Eaglesdale off Londonderry. (I.W.M. Photographs)
Atlantic Convoys Memorial, Londonderry
This is a Memorial to the Atlantic Convoys which sailed to and from Londonderry.
The Sign which is shown here is nearby and they can be seen beside Derry City Hall on the banks of the River Foyle.
H.M.S. Foxglove was a coal burning Acacia Class Sloop which had been launched in 1915.
It served as a Fleet Minesweeper during the First World War however on 9th July 1940 the ship was attacked and bombed by the Luftwaffe off the Isle of White.
Following repair Foxglove became a Harbour Guardship and was stationed in the Foyle at Londonderry from 1941 until it was scrapped on 7th September 1946 at Troon in Scotland.
H.M.S. Foxglove can be seen front left of this photograph. (From Derry and Strabane Council Archive Collection)
Battle of The Atlantic Memorial, Ebrington Barracks.
The Battle of The Atlantic Memorial at Ebrington Barracks.
Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry
With the beginning of the Second World War it was soon realised that Londonderry, and Ebrington Barracks would be required to play an important roll in the times to come.
The neutrality of the Republic of Ireland caused Northern Ireland to be the most westerly landmass which the Allied Forces could use to protect convoys from attacks by U-Boats based in France.
Members of the Ulster Home Guard training at Ebrington Barracks. (From Twisted Limbs and Broken Branches Facebook page)
In 1941 Ebrington was partly handed over to the first contingent of American personnel who arrived in the guise of "Technicians" prior to the U.S. entering the war.
The first picture here shows U.S. Soldiers standing at attention on the Parade Square in front of the Clock Tower Building. - In this picture the River Foyle would be in the background.
Immediately above we see Major General Harte inspecting the troops followed by a march past with "Old Glory". (These pictures from "After The Battle" Mag)
On 9th March 1942 the U.S. 10th Station Hospital assumed operation of the Military Hospital in the barracks and expanded the capacity from 150 to 350 beds.
The Royal Navy later took charge and incorporated into HMS Ferret (the name for the Naval base in the City). At the peak of operations the base handled an average of 120 Escort vessels and had a personnel strength of 30,000 men as the base functioned as a depot for ships refuelling and taking on munitions.
The fort was renamed HMS Sea Eagle in 1947.
Canadian Sailors in Londonderry
Here are a few comparison photographs showing Canadian Sailors walking around the City and how the same locations look today.
The first location is Carlisle Road.
Here is outside St Columb's Cathedral at London Street and this final comparison is again in London Street.
(The original pictures are from the excellent Twisted Limbs and Broken Branches Facebook page)
Canadian Warships in Londonderry
Royal Canadian Navy Seaman on Sentry Duty in Londonderry (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
H.M.C.S. Capilano in Londonderry in December 1944 (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
Unidentified Local Girl aboard H.M.C.S. Caraquet in Londonderry. Photograph taken in 1944/1945.
(Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
Signalman Jack R. Starr on board H.M.C.S Chilliwack which took part in the sinking of German U-Boat U-744 on 6th March 1944.
Photograph taken in Londonderry on 27th March 1944. (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
Leading Wren Ruth Church, Womens Royal Canadian Naval Service (W.R.C.N.S.) delivering a supply of Library Books to Able Seaman Bill Swetman of H.M.C.S. Petrolia in Londonderry in November 1944. (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
H.M.C.S. Royalmount pictured in Londonderry in December 1944. (Many thanks to Lieutenant Commander Pat Jessup Rtd) ******PLEASE DO NOT COPY******
Londonderry War Memorial
This is the impressive War Memorial in the Diamond in the centre of the old City of Derry.
All visitors to the 'Maiden City' should spend a few minutes at this memorial.
U.S.S. Rich in Londonderry
Shown on the left are some of the ships Crew of U.S.S. Rich during a brief stay in Londonderry.
As can be seen from my photograph immediately above they are pictured at the War Memorial in The Diamond which is rather poignant.
On 8th June 1944 U.S.S. Rich was off Utah Beach during the Invasion of Normandy when she struck several mines.
The picture on the right shows the second mine explosion after the first had already blown the stern completely off the ship and on this occasion the explosion was amidships.
Of the ships Crew 27 were killed with 73 being wounded and 64 were reported missing however a total of 91 were killed outright or died of wounds following their rescue.
(Picture on left from http://www.informediate.com/USS Rich and on right from United States Navy)
Canadian Sailors from H.M.C.S. Sackville in Londonderry.
As with the American Crew Members of U.S.S. Rich the Canadian Crew of H.M.C.S. Sackville also made a point of visiting the Londonderry War Memorial.
Shown here is Joe Rolland shown on the left standing at the War Memorial.
Top right he is photographed aboard ship in Londonderry whilst on Quartermaster duty whilst below right is a photograph showing a convoy under escort.
The photographs both above and show H.M.C.S. Sackville in Londonderry.
(All of the photographs above are being shown with the kind permission of Doug Thomas and Pat Jessup from the excellent H.M.C.S. Sackville, Canada's Naval Memorial.
For lots more information please visit https://hmcssackville.ca/about-the-ship/ )
Moneymore Supply Depot
I am sure everyone in the Moneymore area is aware of the row of large black metal buildings just outside the town.
This was a Supply Depot built by men of the 107th Engineers, United States Army.
Units of 34th Infantry Division, 107th Engineer Battalion and 112th Engineeer Battalion arrived in Northern Ireland aboard ships in January and March 1942.
627 Engineering Company (Dump Truck) were at Moneymore.
A total of 16 large "Iris" supply huts were erected at Moneymore as well as the various roads, drainage etc which was required.
The huts were erected in 8 pairs with each hut being 35 feet wide.