The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

County Antrim Part 4.

S.A.S. Soldier from Randalstown Murdered by the Gestapo.

At 23.34 on the night of 4th July 1944 Captain Garstin and eleven other S.A.S. Soldiers took off from Keevil Airfield in a Short Stirling aircraft to be dropped by parachute behind enemy lines at near La Ferte-Alais to the south of Paris as part of “Operation Gain”

The Unit had been divided into two groups with all of the Northern Ireland soldiers being with Captain Garstin and Lance Corporal Vaculik who was Free French.

French Resistance Fighters had been informed of the parachute drop however two of them believed that a third, who used to take used parachutes and sell them in Paris, was missing for some time and may have been captured by the Gestapo.

On the previous night of 3rd / 4th July a coded  BBC radio message had been received by the Resistance Fighters telling them of a Parachute Drop however on that occasion the flight was cancelled with insufficient time to inform the French.

Ominously while they waited at the Drop-Zone some automatic gunfire was heard in the area.

The following night the Resistance again went to the same location having received another coded message via BBC Radio however on this occasion the first two Frenchmen to arrive were fired on and killed by Germans and all of the others, except one, returned home not knowing that the Germans knew the recognition letter for the drop which was “B for Bertie”

At 01.53 the S.A.S. parachuted from the aircraft with most landing on the Drop Zone, which was a field of wheat, whilst the final five to jump had landed in a Wood. At the edge of the D.Z. was a group of men wearing civilian clothes who greeted Captain Garstin with the words “Vive la France” immediately after which the soldiers came under fire from automatic weapons.

There was a brief exchange of fire however it soon became obvious that the S.A.S. were surrounded and subsequently Vaculik was captured at 06.00 and Corporal Jones an hour later. - They soon learned that Captain Garstin, Lieutenant Wiehe, Trooper Thomas James “Tot” Barker (Previously of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and from Cookstown, County Tyrone) and Lance Corporal Howard Lutton (Who had been Army Air Corps and from County Armagh) had also been captured after being wounded.

Lance Corporal Lutton subsequently died of his wounds and is buried in Clichy Northern Cemetery.

Captain Garstin and Trooper Barker received hospital treatment for their wounds whilst the other men were initially taken to a converted Hotel near Champ de Mars in central Paris and then a Gestapo Headquarters where they were kept and interrogated for three days before being returned to the converted hotel.

A day or two later Captain Garstin and Trooper Barker were reunited with the other soldiers however Captain Garstin was very weak.

On 8th August all of the soldiers were given civilian clothing and told that they were to be exchanged for German Agents who were held by the British in London and that they were required to wear civilian clothing to ensure that they could pass through civilian areas.

At 01.00 the following morning all of the men were told to board a lorry and were driven north of Paris.

About five hours later they reached a Wood which was East of Noailles and here they were ordered out of the lorry and told to walk along a narrow path to a clearing in the Wood.

Corporal Vaculik asked if they were to be shot and received a reply to that effect.

The S.A.S. men were lined up from left to right Jones, Captain Garstin, Corporal Vaculik, Varey, “Tot” Barker, Joseph Walker (From Moira, County Down) and William Pearson “Billy” Young (Previously Royal Ulster Rifles and from Randalstown, County Antrim), although it is not certain if the order was Barker, Walker or Walker, Barker.

Facing the men were a number of Gestapo.  Two Officers who were armed with Sten guns at the ready whilst another read out the Sentence. A Sergeant of the Gestapo who translated and a Gestapo Agent in civilian clothes.

The Sentence was as follows :- “For having wished to work in collaboration with the French Terrorists and thus to endanger the German Army, you are condemned to the Penalty of Death and will be Shot”

On hearing the word “Shot” all of the men tried to escape into the woods.

Corporal Vaculik managed to get away while Corporal Jones tripped and fell. The Gestapo men ran past him thinking he was dead and when he got up again he saw four bodies lying where they had been shot but could not identify them before he tried to escape.

This Incident was investigated by Captain Sadler and Major Poat of the S.A.S. who visited Noailles  around 20th September and on speaking with the local Resistance Leader he showed them where he believed the murders had taken place and also where the bodies of the S.A.S. soldiers were buried.

A grave had been dug in a wooded area about two miles from where the shooting had taken place and near a large chateau that is approximately one mile to the east of Noailles.

The Resistance fighter said that the Germans had a two day Curfew in place following the shooting and were searching for the bodies of Soldiers Jones and Vaculik.

The bodies of 5 murdered S.A.S. men lay at the scene for three days before finally being buried by a German Army Unit consisting of one Officer and approximately nine men who had been in the Chateau.

During the Investigation it was necessary to open the grave and on doing so a total of five bodies were found. All of them were dressed in civilian clothing and showed signs of having been handcuffed.

One of the bodies was identified as that of Captain Garstin.

All of the bodies were subsequently buried in  Marrissel Cemetery at Beauvais with Captain Garstin being grave number 325 and the others 326 - 329.

The Gestapo had tried to conceal their actions so the Investigation looked into the Germans who had occupied the Chateau who had buried the bodies.

A woman Collaborator, who had worked for the Germans in the Chateau and believed that they had been a Luftwaffe Signal Section,  identified a number of the soldiers including Captain Hans Garling, Officer Hans Zool and Oberfeldwebel Gall.

(My Sincere thanks to Janice Surgenor and Sheldon Murray for their assistance)

Aghalee Airman

Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner George Ernest McGeown died on 1st February 1943.

He had been a Crew Member  aboard Vickers Wellington X9755 of Number 26 Operational Training Unit which took off from from Little Horwood for an evening training exercise. 

During the flight the starboard engine caught fire and all efforts to extinguish the flames were unsuccessful. 

While attempting to force-land at 18.50 Hrs the aircraft hit some trees and crashed near Beachampton Rectory,Beachampton, 4 miles ENE of Buckingham. 

Three of the crew were killed with two sustaining injuries.

Sergeant McGeown is buried in Church of Ireland, Holy Trinity, Aghalee.

Shown below is the A.M. Form relating to the Wellington Aircraft.

(Thanks very much to  David Smith Bill Chorley's Bomber Command Losses Vol 7 OTUs)

Randalstown Pillbox

This Pillbox is situated in Randalstown Forest. 

I believe it is a Type 22 with 2 ports covering the entrance in the back while there are 5 ports covering the sides and front with one central brick pillar supporting the concrete roof.

Randalstown Market Yard

To the back of Randalstown Library in New Street is the old Market Yard.

The two Nissen Huts which remain to be seen were constructed during WW2 by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army and were later used by American Troops.

Randalstown Garden of Remembrance

The Royal British Legion Garden of Remembrance can be found on Portglenone Road.

Flight Sergeant James Smyth, 1504638 was serving with 166 Squadron and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.

Gunner Hugh Fullerton served with 20 Battery, 2 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Royal Artillery.

Sergeant Air Gunner Thomas Hughes, 1796514, was serving with 630 Squadron, Royal Air Force and is buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery north of Cologne.

630 Squadron were part of 5 Group flying Lancaster Bombers.

The Squadron Crest has the Motto "Death By Night"

Lancaster Mk III ND337, "LE-S", of which Sergeant Hughes was a Crew Member, was airborne from East Kirkby in Lincolnshire on 30th March at 22.09 to bomb a target at Nurnberg but whilst on the outbound flight they were attacked and shot down by a Night Fighter crashing at Bickenbach 4km Southwest of Emmelshausen.

Six of the crew died with Sergeant R.I Smith surviving and being confined in hospital due to his injuries.

Smith stated "The aircraft was on fire and the captain ordered "Abandon". I was first out from my end but lost conscious immediately when leaving and did not see anyone else bale out. When I regained consciousness I did not see the aircraft in the air but there were fires on the ground which may have been our aircraft. I landed in hilly country and out of sight of fires and unable to investigate."

ND337 was one of three 630 Squadron Lancasters lost on this operation.

Serjeant Stewart Houston was serving with 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards when he was killed in action at Outreau, Boulogne-Sur-Mer.

He was 21 years old when he died between 23rd May 1940 and 4th June 1940 and is buried in Outreau Cemetery.

St Joseph's Church, Glenavy

There are a number of War Graves in this Cemetery.

Sergeant Fretkiewick died on 30th November 1940 in his 245 Squadron Hurricane R4079 "DX-E"

He had been posted to the Polish 6th Air Force Regiment 161 Fighter Squadron and was credited with shooting down a heinkel He-45 as well as a Half share of an He-111.

During August 1940 night flying trials were taking place with Martin Maryland Bombers out of Aldergrove.

On the night of 28th / 29th August Sergeant Sanders was killed when his 22 Squadron aircraft hit trees on approach to the Airfield.

On 7th October 1940 Pilot Officer Beedham crashed Hurricane N2707 on the edge of the Airfield after engine failure and while trying to return to the field the aircraft stalled.

Hudson AM664/B of 206 Squadron crashed just outside the Airfield boundary on 24th September while leaving to escort the "Australia Star" however there was a problem with the ailerons and the crew were attempting to return to Aldergrove when they crashed and burned killing all 5 Crew.

Pilot Officer Appleyard died with the rest of his crew when Liberator KG896 crashed and Warrant Officer Lenz died when Halifax DT642 of 1674 Heavy Conversion Unit crashed at Shanes Castle with the deaths of all nine on board.

On 10th August Fortress FK207 left Nutts Corner to carry out a night Convoy Operational Patrol and on passing over the airfield at 2330 it turned left as if to return to the runway then dived into the ground caught fire and disintegrated with the bomb load exploding. - Sergeant Foster was killed in this crash.

On 1st June 1942 Sergeant Thomas O'Shea was a Crew Member on Liberator AL520 which was carrying out a Convoy Escort.

The aircraft was fired upon by the Convoy it was escorting and Sergeant O'Shea was killed - Tragic.

Dundrod Orange Hall

Dundrod Orange Hall was used as a Billet for W.A.A.F. Personnel. 

Knockmore, Lisburn

Knockmore at Lisburn was a considerable Military Site. 

American Soldiers arrived in September 1942 with both Company B and Company C 71st Ordnance Battalion (light Maintenance) being here until November 1942 and from the following month there were Maintenance Shops at the site.

71st Ordnance Medium Maintenance Battalion of 5 Corps were here from 12th September 1943 until 10th January 1943 and in November 1943 a number of other Units arrived.

883d Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company from 17th November until 11th June 1944, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 22d Ordnance Battalion and 518th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company from 20th November 1943 until 8th May 1944.

From 29th November 1943 - 10th August 1944 this location was designated Depot O-601.

158th Ordnance Tyre Repair Company were here from 22nd January 1944 and from 26th January 1944 until 1st March 1944 this was Headquarters 8th Infantry Division.

From March 1944 until 13th August 1944 994th Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company were here.

A special railway siding was constructed and the photographs above show the siding with the aerial picture below showing the large concrete area required for all this maintenance which remains.

You can see the concrete area on the right with the siding to the left of the road. (Google picture)

Lisburn Cemetery - Samuel Dougherty


This is the final resting place of Corporal Samuel Dougherty who served with Number 4 Bomb Disposal Company, Royal Engineers based at Bury St Edmunds.

Corporal Dougherty was the Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Dougherty and was married to Annie Dougherty.

You will see from this headstone that he died after "Victory in Europe" Day.

The bottom of the headstone says "He Died That We Might Live" which was particularly accurate in the case of Samuel Dougherty because he lost his life while involved in Mine Clearance Operations in the Horsey area of Norfolk which had been heavily mined at the start of the Second World War due to the threat of Invasion.


United States Army Air Force Radio Beacon - Antrim

This was part of the United States "Army Airways Communication System" - I have more information about how this worked in the County Fermanagh Part 2 section of this website relating to the Radio Station at Magheramenagh near Belleek.

As with the Magheramenagh site only one building remains as shown here.

Churchill Tank at Carrickfergus

This Churchill Tank can be seen at Marine Highway in Carrickfergus. 

There is an Information Board beside the vehicle with more information available from the local Tourist Centre in a small booklet called "Carrickfergus, Harland and Wolff, The Churchill Tank and the North Irish Horse."

25Pdr Field Gun at Carrickfergus

This 25Pdr Field Gun, which dates from 1940, is in the same immediate area as the Churchill Tank beside the War Memorial at Marine Highway. 

The Memorials shown below are both beside the Field Gun and Churchill Tank.

Carrickfergus Military Detention Barracks

This is the old Sullatober Mill at Carrickfergus.

This building was a "Royal Naval Detention Centre" and was operated as such in 1942.

Indeed even the Royal Australian Navy "Admiralty Fleet Orders" of January 1943 state "Offenders sentenced to detention in Northern Ireland should be sent to the MILITARY DETENTION BARRACKS, CARRICKFERGUS" while Romie Lambkin speaks in her book "My Time in the War" of a visit during 1943 to "Carrickfergus Detention Camp"

In the latter years of the war I have been told that Italian Prisoners of War were put to work here however I have not found any written documentation to confirm this and neither Sullatober or indeed Carrickfergus appear on the list of Prisoner of War camps.

Brecart Lodge, Toome

Brecart Lodge was used by 509 Engineer Company (Light Pontoon) of the United States Army.

I am always looking for some evidence of those who served at the places I am visiting and were we have L/Cpl Stacey Biscuit Basher with the last word possibly being "Reading" which may be his home town in which case he is an Englishman from the Thames Valley.

The Actor Richard Todd spent much of his childhood at Brecart Lodge with his Stepfather S.R. Hunter and has written of his time at Brecart Lodge in his Autobiography.

At the beginning of the Second World War he enlisted into the Army and subsequently received a Commission in 1941. 

Having first served in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry he was in the Army Mountain Warfare Unit in Iceland then transferred to the 7th Parachute Battalion of the 6th Airborne Division and was on the first Assault of Operation Overlord on D-Day 

His Battalion parachuted in after the initial glider-borne forces had landed, attacked and subsequently secured what was to become known as Pegasus Bridge.

Todd met Major John Howard, who was in Command of the Attack, on the bridge and secured the defences of the Bridge and fought off a number of German counterattacks.

My upper photograph shows an original picture of the Bridge after it had been secured. - The Horsa Gliders which had carried the attacking Troops are clearly visible.

My second photograph shows the actual Pegasus Bridge as it looks now in the Museum immediately beside where it stood at the time of the Battle.

"Union Lodge Camp" and The Demesne, Toome

This location is between the Roguery Road and Ballymatoskerty Road, Toome.

American soldiers were based here and constructed a number of concrete lanes, as shown above while the picture below may show what was a Vehicle Inspection Pit.

Belgian soldiers were also based here after the Americans had left and this was known to the Belgians as "Union Lodge Camp" with Union Lodge being the name of a House on Ballymatoskerty Road.

The 4th Infantry Brigade, known as "Steenstraete" was raised on 15th March 1945 and it's 1st Battalion was based here at "Union Lodge Camp" before leaving in September of that year.

Royal Engineers in the Ballyclare Area.

These pictures show "82nd Chemical Warfare Company, 6th Chemical Warfare Group, Royal Engineers near Ballyclare.

The first photograph shows vehicles having arrived at the planned firing position and here you can see the racks being unloaded and prepared.

Rockets being loaded onto the firing racks - It is important to note that these are marked as "Drill" rockets.

Royal Engineers Lieutenant prepares Ripple Fire Box

This final photograph shows the Rockets being Fired.

(All photographs are from the Imperial War Museum. See http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections)

Do you know where this is or do you have any information about the Royal Engineers in the Ballyclare area? If so please E-Mail me.

"Monty's Lounge" Ballyclare.

At The Square in Ballyclare is a Licensed Premises which has the wording "Above all others" included in the printing on the side of the building.

The story behind this wording is that the Grange family, who were the owners of the premises during the Second World War, were travelling by car from their home to the pub when they saw some barrage balloons overhead with cables securing them to the ground.

One of these barrage balloons broke loose from its mooring and the trailing cable caught the Grange family car and lifted it off the ground causing it to become stuck in a tree. 

No injuries were sustained however all the passengers suffered from shock.

Following this experience the family created a label for their whiskey and wine bottles featuring the silver barrage balloon above the name JW GRANGE, FINE WINES AND SPIRITS, and the motto “Above all others,” underneath.

The motto is shown above as it looks today!

Ballyclare War Memorial

This is Ballyclare War Memorial.

The notice showing Aircraft Crash Sites in to the left of the Memorial.- Details are shown below.

Big Collin Mountain Aircraft Crash Sites

During the Second World War there were two aircraft crashed on Big Collin Mountain near Ballyclare.

On 31st October 1941Bristol Blenheim Z6273 was being flown from Number 5 Air Observers School at R.A.F. Jurby, Isle of Man on a cross country Navigation Exercise when it crashed at Tildarg on the southern slopes of Big Collin.

The following Crew were killed:-

Sergeant William Amos Scott Doig, Pilot

Leading Aircraftsman Peter Ernest Coles, Observer under Training

Leading Aircraftsman Robert Desmond Connell, Observer under Training

Leading Aircraftsman Ivor John Urwin, Observer under Training.

On 16th February 1945 Consolidated Liberator Bomber EV954 was being flown from R.A.F. Aldergrove by a Crew from Number 1674 Heavy Conversion Unit, Number 17 Group, Coastal Command.

They were training in the use of Night Time Radar Homing when, at 04.30, the aircraft crashed on the Eastern slope of Big Collin Mountain.

Seven of the Crew were killed whilst three survived.

Those who lost their lives were:-

Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Douglas Faulkner D.F.C. - Navigator

Flying Officer Ernest Reginald Matthews Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

Flying Officer Peter Gordon Sim M.I.D. Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

Flying Officer Allan Floyd Whitney R.C.A.F., Navigator

Sergeant Henry Edward Benwell, Air Gunner

Sergeant Albert Bladon, Air Gunner

Sergeant John Edward Morgan, Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

The Survivors were:-

Flying Officer Peter Cecil Eustace Cox, Pilot

Pilot Officer Garrett James Fenwick, R.A.A.F. Co-Pilot

Sergeant William Howden, Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

An Information Notice the same as the one shown above can be seen near the crash sites in a Lay-By on the B94 road between Ballyclare and The Battery.

Wellington Bomber Crash Site, Giants Causeway.

To find the location of this Memorial go to the Causeway Hotel (NOT The "Giant's Causeway" Car Park as this will cost you a small fortune!) at Causeway Road Bushmills.

From the Hotel take the signposted Cliff Path in the opposite direction from the Causeway towards Runkerry Head.

Two of the photographs above show a Commemoration at the Crash Site.

(Many thanks to Ronnie Gamble.)

***Please go to County Londonderry Part 2 to see the headstones of the two Airmen killed in this crash.***

Slaght Road, Ballymena

I went to Slaght Bridge to try and do a "Then and Now" type comparison picture however there is more of a story to this than I had expected.

The Home Guard in the Area had been dispatched to various important bridges with instruction to put Prepared Demolition Charges into place and one of these was Slaght Bridge.

The problem was that the Military were rather overenthusiastic and rather than simply placing the Explosive Charge they were Blowing Up the Bridges!

After a while the mistake was realised....and the bridges were rebuilt.

The pontoon bridge has a C8 Quad Artillery Tractor crossing while pulling a 25Pdr Field Gun on 26th June 1942.

You may be able to see the different brickwork in the bridge picture while in one of the supports is another of the holes which were made for a Prepared Demolition Charge.

Thanks very much to Ed Luke for all his help.(Old photographs from I.W.M.)

Belgian Army Soldiers on the North Coast.

These first two pictures show soldiers from the Belgian Army using the Narrow Gauge Electric Train from Portrush to the Giant's Causeway. 

There is then a picture of Belgian soldiers at the Giants Causeway and finally sitting on rocks at the Portrush coastline on 19th August 1945.

(Many thanks to Ronny Soetens for his assistance)

Some Belgian Soldiers at Portrush and Giants Causeway.

(For more information please visit http://www.maisondusouvenir.be)

Queen Mother visiting Ballymena Castle

This is the Queen Mother visiting a Camp in the grounds of Ballymena Castle.

She appears to be wearing the same clothes as in the visit to Larne shown below which dates this picture to 26th June 1942.

(Thanks very much to Ed Luke for the picture).


King and Queen Visit Larne

King George VI and Queen arriving in Larne aboard H.M.S. Bicester on 26th June 1942.

Royal Navy personnel and United States Marines being inspected by the King in Larne. (IWM Photos)

The King Inspects members of the United States marine Corps at Larne on 26th June 1942. (Life Magazine Picture)

This first comparison shows United States Marine Corps being inspected with the Harbour Master Office in the background and my photograph of how the same scene looks today.

The visitors make their way towards the Harbour. 

(The black and white photographs are from the Life David E Scherman collection available at http://images.google.com/hosted/life/e1576911f4631421.html )

Talking with Officials before boarding H.M.S. Bicester.

The King and Queen leaving Larne on H.M.S. Bicester on 26th June 1942. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)

Sandy Bay Playing Fields, Larne.

Those using these Playing Fields may be interested in the history of the 2 Buildings shown here.

The concrete base in the picture above may have been another building which was used in connection with the others as indicated by the heavy metal shutters on the main building in this picture.

I believe these buildings were both Electricity Generator Buildings for use with Searchlights which were positioned at the Playing Fields.

Below you can see inside the building and you can see in the centre of the floor where the concrete plinth was on which would have stood the electrical generator. 

This excellent photograph shows the Generator Buildings on the lower side of the pitch and Gun Battery on the Shoreline.

(Thank-you very much to Nat Magee for his Photographs) 

This photograph shows the Port side of the Gun Battery with Nissen Huts where Larne Port now stands.

Sadly I have been unable to find any evidence remaining of the various structures shown here.

Larne Cemetery

James Blair was serving with 2nd Battalion The London Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Rifles and was 21 years old when he was Killed in Action in Italy. He is buried in the Santerno Valley War Cemetery.

Cecil Frederick Bigley was serving on H.M.T. British Honduras which was a Trawler involved in Anti-Submarine Warfare.

David Craig was an Able Seaman in the Merchant Navy.

Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner William John Gowdy was serving in R.A.F. Bomber Command with 35 Squadron.

Bomber Command had a number of Operations on that night.

A total of 648 aircraft took part in a raid to Magdeburg - 421 Lancasters, 224 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos were involved and whilst being watched by German Controllers the bomber stream was infiltrated by Night Fighters.

57 aircraft - 35 Halifaxes, 22 Lancasters - were lost mostly due to night fighters.

22 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of 5 and 8 Groups carried out a diversionary raid to Berlin resulting on 1 Lancaster lost.

111 aircraft - 89 Stirlings, 12 Lancasters, 1O Mosquitos - carried out raids on 6 flying bomb sites in France without loss.

8 Mosquitos to Oberhausen and 5 to Rheinhausen, 8 RCM sorties, 5 Serrate patrols, 8 Wellingtons minelaying off St Nazaire, 16 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

Total effort for the night: 843 sorties with 58 aircraft were lost. The number of aircraft lost was the heaviest in any night of the war so far.

Private David Nelson Mills was serving with 2nd (Airborne) Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in Action and is buried in Normandy.

The two seamen above lost their lives in a tragic accident when the Motor Torpedo Boat they were serving on was cut in two in a collision with another ship.

Harry James Nichols and James Henry Atkinson were both aboard H.M.M.T.B. 707


Lieutenant George Patrick Lefroy Pardoe was based on H.M.S. Attacker with 879 Squadron Fleet Air Arm when on 29th January 1944 he was flying Supermarine Seafire LR 761 and crashed near Glenarm.

Harry Haveron was an 18 years old "Pantry Boy" on board the H.M. Transport Princess Maud. On the day he lost his life the Princess Maud was involved in "Operation Dynamo" and the rescue of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. She was in Dunkirk Harbour on 3rd June and was the last ship to leave the harbour at 01.50 on 4th June.

Ballysnod Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, Larne

This H.A.A. Battery is located on Ballysnod Road, Larne behind number 176. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency website provides the grid reference 3912 0064 for this location.

The photograph above right shows the site from above with access from a lane centre left of the picture. The first building is a protected Nissen Hut which would have been used for accommodation.

There are then the 4 Gun Positions with Fire Control in the centre.

It is worth looking at as it includes a radar platform in the adjoining field which was used to assist in the guidance of the guns. You can see this to the right of the aerial photograph with the 2 ramps up which the wheeled radar would be brought to sit on top of the platform.

The field with the Gun Positions also has another structure between the gun positions and radar Platform.

This site is easily found by looking for the building shown here. The Anti-Aircraft Battery is a short distance down the lane.

Mulberry Harbour, Larne

This strange shape can be seen off Ship Street, Larne during Low Tide and is more easily identifiable for what it is from above. 

This is the Bow Section of a "Mulberry" Harbour and I believe that sections of the "Mulberry" were used in the construction of foundations for the routes in and around Larne Harbour.

Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle.

Bonamargy Friary at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle dates from 1500 and is the final resting place for a number of Personnel who served in both the First and Second World Wars although I concentrate on the Second World War.

The picture above shows the headstones of 6 Sailors from both World Wars.

William Fiskin was the Radio Officer on S.S. Lochgarry which struck rocks of the Mull of Kintyre, was crippled and drifting in storm conditions.

The ship finally sank off Rathlin Island and sadly 22 men died when the lifeboat they were in was smashed against rocks off Doon Bay.

Captain John Robert Townshend of the Royal Canadian Artillery was a passenger on S.S. Nerissa which left Halifax, Nova Scotia on 21st April 1941.

Nine days later on 30th April 1941 the ship was sunk by U-Boat U-552 with extensive loss of life including Captain Townshend.

These are the Headstones of Captain Townshend, Private Edward Charles Jordan, 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and Aircraftsman James McDonald who was Drowned at Sea.

This photograph was taken of Bonamargy Friary by Lieutenant Henry E. "Hank" Lefebvre of 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army in 1944.

(Thanks to www.508.pir.org for the photograph)

Lissanoure Castle Prisoner Of War Camp

Lissanoure Castle was used as a Camp by the U.S. Army.

Between 18th January and 22nd April 1944 it was home to 129th Army Postal Unit U.S. Army and from 7th March 1944 until 22nd April 1944 217th Replacement Company (66th Replacement Battalion) U.S. Army were here.

The "WBS Troop Accommodations Northern Ireland District" list has Lisanoure Castle with a capacity of 961 Troops.

When the Allied Soldiers left the Camp became a Prisoner Of War Camp and held the large numbers of U-Boat Crews who had surrendered towards the end of the War.

Air Crash Memorial Between Loughguile and Cushendall 

East of Ballymoney and between Loughguile and Cushendall is Slieveanorra.

This is where a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 91st Heavy Bomb Group, United States Army Air Force, Number 124451 crashed on 3rd October 1942 with the loss of 8 lives.

Shown here is a Memorial near the Crash Site.

For more information visit http://g4isj.blogspot.co.uk/


U.S. Army Memorial, Curran Road, Larne

Drumalis Retreat, Larne

The Drumalis Complex had approx 40 - 50 tents occupied by Military Personel in the grounds.

There was also a section of the building used by the Military.