The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

County Fermanagh Part 3

Kiltierney Ammunition Dump

This Ammunition Dump / Magazine sits in a hollow at Kiltierney near Kesh. It was constructed by the United States Navy and was part of a considerable plan to provide all the necessary facilities for 4 Flying Boat Squadrons including Maintenance and of course the all important storage of ammunition.

Part of this major construction plan included the Military Hospital at Necarne Castle which is referred to in Co Fermanagh Part 1.

This is an impressive site with a number of the large Bunkers still remaining and in great condition.

When you consider the deadly U-Boat threat to shipping when crossing the Atlantic it is always surprising to find that so much material was transported from the United States.

This stamp can be found throughout the various sheets of metal in the various structures and it shows that the "Armco" Ingot Iron was manufactured by The American Rolling Mill Company in Middletown, Ohio.

On visiting sites such as this I always make an effort to try and find some evidence of the Service Personel who worked there.

On the right is some writing which can be seen in one of the Bunkers. It is difficult to read however I believe the Surname is "Walbeck"

The Building above is very similar to a Norden Bomb Site Building.

This Aerial Photograph (Bing Maps) shows the entire Kilterney Ammunition Dump site.

There were a considerable number of Bunkers throughout the site and it is pleasing that I am able to show photographs of a number of these.

The Bunkers are very similar to those a Fincairn Glen in County Londonderry which can be seen at

(My Sincere thanks to the Owner for permitting me to spend some time looking around this Site. Much Appreciated!)

Soldiers Training at Crossing A Lake

Not the safest looking vessel however an excellent example of ingenuity.

Taken on 19th March 1943 this photograph shows a small truck and soldiers being hauled across a lake. (Thanks to Selwyn Johnston) ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY****

In this case a Light Artillery Piece is being moved on two small boats then some soldiers make a crossing (Getty picture)

The photograph below shows some soldiers after a Swim!  (Thanks to Selwyn Johnston) ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY****

U.S. Army Air Force Bomber Crew Bail-Out over Brookeborough.

On 23rd January 1944 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 42-31507 took off from Goose Bay, Newfoundland to follow the North Atlantic Ferry Route to Nutts Corner Airfield in County Antrim.

The crew consisted of:-

Second Lieutenant Charles G. Smith Jr - Pilot and Flight Officer John M. Haning - Co-Pilot along with Second Lieutenant Ralph H. Stanley, Second Lieutenant Garven F. Williams Jr, Sergeant Kenmore E. Rowe, Sergeant Robert F. Wise, Sergeant George Aviles Jr, Sergeant Raymond Niday, Sergeant Vernon D. Gardner and Sergeant Stanley C. Burton.

Due to the ground being obscured by cloud the Pilot soon found himself flying by his instruments from shortly after take-off.

When approximately 200 miles west of Ireland the Pilot climbed to 23,000 feet in the hope of getting above the cloud however as they approached the coastline Number 1 Engine began to splutter followed by Number 4 Engine doing the same. Propellers were feathered to ensure they did not create drag and as the aircraft reached County Fermanagh the situation became even more serious as Engine Number 3 also began to splutter.

It seemed obvious that the aircraft was about to loose all power and crash so the Order was given for the crew to Bale-Out.

The duty of the Pilot was to ensure that the aircraft, with it’s secret radio Navigation System as well as the famous Norden Bomb Sight and thirteen .50 calibre Machine-guns, did not fall into the hands of the enemy. He was also aware of the danger of such a large aircraft crashing onto a populated area so 2nd Lieutenant Charles Smith set the Autopilot for a heading which would ensure it would crash into the Atlantic Ocean before he also baled-out.

All of the Crew floated to earth in the Brookeborough area as a storm raged and a strong wind blew from the Northwest.

Strange as it may seem the Bomber headed southwards over the neutral Republic of Ireland with its engines still misfiring until it came down to earth and glided to a halt in a field north of the village of Johnstown in County Kilkenny. 

Amazingly it had travelled approximately 143 miles with no-one on board and the fact that the aircraft was empty came as a considerable surprise to the Emergency Services who had raced to the scene expecting to find an injured Crew.

The Secret Equipment as well as Guns were subsequently recovered and returned to Northern Ireland.

(Thanks very much to Joe O'loughlin for his assistance with information)

Dispersed Living Quarters, Lisnarick

These photographs show a few of four concrete Nissen Hut Bases which I believe were used as Dispersed Living Quarters in the Lisnarick area. (Thanks to Al Geddis re this)


Ashbrooke is near Brookeborough and during 1942 was used as Billits by 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry of the 34th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

On 15th December they were joined by 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, 8th Infantry Division who stayed there until June 1944.

The nineteen photographs here are stamped on the rear "Passed for Personal Use Only. Not for Publication. Theatre Censor. ETOUSA" (European Theatre of Operations, United States Army) They are dated 26th and 27th September 1944.  ***Charlie Anderson Collection, by kind permission of his family Do Not Copy***

Time for a Break - The soldier on the left is named as "Bob Jones"

The photograph on the right has the name Kline handwritten on the back.

The final photograph above shows that County Fermanagh is known more for its rainfall rather than sunshine.

On the back of this photograph is written "The Flood Outside Our Door. August 1942"

***Charlie Anderson Collection, by kind permission of his family Do Not Copy***

Medal Presentations at Ashbrooke

There pictures show Private Julius Biel (Seated due to Injury) and Private G. Jones being awarded the Soldiers Medal by Major General William Claude McMahon at Ashbrooke on 13th May 1944.

U.S. Army Soldiers training in the Ashbrooke Area

In front of the Soldier on the left you can see some camouflage netting.

Some of the "G.I.'s speaking with Turf Cutters.

Perfecting Shooting Skills.

Weapons being cleaned on the left with a tent being prepared on the right.

Looking down into the Camp you can see that some of the Nissen Huts have been painted in a camouflage pattern.

Another group photograph of U.S. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division at Ashbrooke.

******These photographs are from a Private Collection. Do Not Copy******

Belle Isle, Lisbellaw

In January 1944 this became home to 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion, XV Corps United States Army.

Trory Church Graveyard

On looking around the graveyard at Trory Church overlooking St Angelo Airfield I was surprised to find the grave of Major General Thomas Patrick David Scott.

Scott had been Officer Commanding 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers between 1942 and 1944 and subsequently from 1944 until 1947 he had commanded 38th Irish Brigade.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during the war.