Padre W.E. Mulligan from Augher.
Serving with 46th Royal Tank Regiment he has become known as "The Fighting Padre" and served with the Regiment since North Africa and landing at Anzio.
Men in the picture are:-
Corporal R. Perryman, Kingsbury, London
Lance Corporal Ronald Parr, St. Helens, Lancashire
Trooper Bob Winter, Barrow-in-Furness
Sergeant Norman Hilton from Wigan is in the turret.
Picture taken on 2nd February 1944. (IWM Picture)
Tank of the North Irish Horse called 'Cookstown'
(Thanks very much to Bracken Anderson)
Knock-Na-Moe Castle, Omagh
Shown here is Knock-Na-Moe Castle, Omagh when it was 34th Infantry Division Headquarters photographed.
The photograph was taken on 5th November 1942 ("After The Battle" Magazine picture)
Knock-na-moe Castle was the home of the Campbell family before being requisitioned by the Army during WW2.
General Eisenhower visited on a number of occasions from 1942 until prior to the D-Day landings in June 1944.
Men of the 34th Infantry Division, United States Army were based here.
The small building which I have photographed is known as the "American Laundry" and is all that remains of what was later to become the Knock-Na-Moe Hotel.
Military Training in Omagh
Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment in Omagh on 5th February 1942. (Imperial War Museum Photograph)
Soldiers of 1st Battalion Princess Alexandra of Wales own Yorkshire Regiment, The Green Howards, queue at a Church Army Mobile Canteen, Omagh.
Issueing out the Food on the right. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
Photographs taken on 11th july 1941. An informal gathering of Sergeants on the right.
A gathering of Officers on the left with Vehicle maintenance taking place on the right.
Repailing Range targets on the left. 4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment being instructed in the use of the Bren Gun on the right. Photograph taken 4th February 1942.
Learning about a 2 inch Trench Mortar and a 3 Inch Mortar.
Bayonet Exercise above and below with vehicle maintenance to the right.
Motorcycle combination on the left with a busy Cookhouse to the right
Fifes and Drums of 4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment in Omagh on 4th February 1942.
Jim Carmichael, Special Boat Squadron, From Omagh
The Green Howards Training at Omagh
This selection of photographs show Soldiers of 1st Battalion Princess Alexandra of Wales own Yorkshire Regiment "The Green Howards" training at Omagh. (IWM Picture)
Lots of Posing taking place for the cameraman.
The Green Howards in Omagh
Officers of 1st Battalion, The Green Howards photographed in Omagh on 8th September 1941 (IWM Picture)
Erganagh Rectory, Omagh
This building was used as a Headquarters by 34th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in 1942.
Shown here is part of a Trench which was constructed around the site.
From 31st January until 10th December of that year it was used by both a Military Police Platoon (34th Infantry Division) and 34th Signal Company (34th Infantry Division)
There is a concrete path which circles the old Camp while below is what remains of some of the facilities used by the Soldiers based here.
This is the old Fuel Store enclosed with a raised earth bank for protection from any Air Attack along with one of the camp Buildings.
(Thanks very much to the Owner for spending the time to show me around)
Cornelius Mullin from Iowa who was based at Ernagh Rectory
Cornelius Edward Mullin was born on 7th December 1919 in Dubuque, Iowa USA.
The Son of Cornelius Mullin and Julia Isabelle Healey, his Grandfather was James Mullin who emigrated to America in May 1845.
James was the son of Henry Mullin and Ann Diamond who had 5 children.
James went to America with his brother Cornelius and Sister Grace.
They embarked from Londonderry and arrive in Philadelphia PA in May 1845 making their way to Dubuque, Iowa in 1847.
Cornelius Mullin served with 34th Infantry Red Bull Division, United States Army and arrived in Belfast at 1215hrs on 26th January 1942 stepping off the ship as one of those first 4,508 American troops at Dufferin Dock, Belfast.
Their Headquarters were at Erganagh Rectory near Omagh before moving to Ballymena.
Cornelius spent approximately six months training in Northern Ireland before going to North Africa to take part in Operation Torch being the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942.
The 34th, under command of Major General Ryder, saw its first combat in French Algeria on 8 November 1942.
They landed at Algiers and seized the port and outlying airfields.
Cornelius saw action during the Battle of Tunisia and then fought on the Italian mainland arriving in Salerno on 9th September 1943 as part of Operation Avalanche.
Engaging the enemy at the Calore River, 28th September, the 34th, as part of the VI Corps under Major General John Lucas, relentlessly drove north to take Benevento, crossed the River Volturno three times in October and November, assaulted Monte Patano, and took one of its four peaks before being relieved on 9th December.
In January 1944, the Division was back on the front line battering the Bernhardt Line defenses, fighting along the Mignano Gap using goat herds to clear the minefields.
The Red Bull Division jumped off as part of the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy on 15th April 1945, and captured Bologna on 21st April
Cornelius Mullin has 3 Service Bars on his uniform which I believe refers to three years Active Service.
He served in Tunisia as well as Salerno, Monte Cassino, Anzio and Rome.
Awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat he was injured twice but was not out of the fight for any length of time.
When he was in Northern Ireland he met members of both the Mullin and Healey sides of his family. (Thanks very much to Pam Mullin for information and picture)
Sister Patrick from Newtownstewart.
When Monty was inspecting 2nd Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles near Portsmouth on 19th May 1944 he spoke with Sister I. Patrick of the Camp Reception Station who was from Newtownstewart. (IWM Picture)
Private Andrew Adams of served with RASC and then REME. He was captured on the way to Dunkirk and spent the entire war as a POW.
Andrew was one of the six soldiers sons of William Adams, the blacksmith for the Baronscourt Estate, County Tyrone.
Bob, Fred and Willie served in WW1 and Johnny, Andy and Joe in WW2. On his release Newtownstewart was bedecked with flags and bunting to welcome him home.
He is standing on the right of the group photograph above. - The camp is identified as Oflag IX A which was in Schloss Spangenberg meaning Spangenberg Castle. It is south of Kassel in central Germany. The photographs below show unidentified P.O.W's within the Castle. (Thanks very much to Angela Kane)
English Cricketers in Omagh
These two Soldiers are the Yorkshire and England Cricketers Second Lieutenant Norman Yardley on the left with Captain Hedley Verity on the right in Top photograph.
They were both serving with 1st Battalion Green Howards and are shown here during an Exercise at Omagh. (Imperial War Museum photograph)
Clanabogan Church of Ireland, Omagh
The history of the Royal Berkshire Regiment in Northern Ireland during the Second World War has an interesting reference to the Church of Ireland at Clanabogan, Omagh.
The 6th Battalion of "The Berkshires" had been in the Kilwaughter and Larne areas from June until October 1941 and then arrived in Coleraine where they carried out intensive training throughout the Winter months into the Spring of 1942 and it is recorded that "Their marching ability was unsurpassed, and Companies covering over 100 miles in two and a half days reported back Not unduly tired"
During an Exercise in August a group of soldiers found themselves in the churchyard of Clanabogan Church around which "hosts of the (Simulated) enemy poured and passed on." and as some soldiers became isolated their Commander drew their attention to the similarity with the Battle of Maiwand (Afghanistan) during the Anglo-Afghan War in 1880.
After a time a Signaller reported that he had entered the Church and had discovered a marble carving referring to the Berkshire Regiment.
When the other soldiers went into the Church they saw the artwork which shows the last men standing their ground at the Battle with a dedication to the memory of Colonel Galbraith of the Regiment who had lived nearby.
(For more details visit http://maiwandday.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/conversions-v-colonel-galbraith-of-66th.html)
Lisnamallard House, Omagh
This building was a Headquarters for the 8th Infantry Division, United States Army during WW2.
It is now a Government Building used by Civil Servants and I was unable to gain access. (Google)
Catalina Flying Boat Aircraft Crash Site Memorial, Omagh
This Memorial marks the crash site of Catalina Flying Boat FP239 from 131 Operational Training Unit of the Royal Air Force based at Killadeas, County Fermanagh.
The crash happened at approximately 17.15 on 30th December 1942 resulting in the deaths of all on board and the memorial can be found on Reaghan Road between Omagh and Newtownstewart.
Sergeant Pilot John Samuel Orr, Sergeant Pilot Frederick Herbert Hilling, Flying Officer Robert Mercer Adams (R.C.A.F.), Sergeant George Wilson Lowther (R.A.A.F.), Sergeant William Nichol, Sergeant Arthur Horton Perkins, Sergeant Charles Bernark Ridge, Sergeant John Edward Slade, Flying Officer Matthew James Hall Newman, Sergeant Daniel Ward Yates and Leading Aircraftsman Leslie Greenhalgh.
Of those who were killed Orr, Adams, Lowther and Newman are all buried in Irvinestown. (Google) ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOGRAPHS***
******PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOGRAPHS******
Hurricane Aircraft Crash Site Memorial, Omagh
This Memorial is on Tattynagole Road, Omagh.
It is to Sergeant Pilot William Des Brisay Gilmour who was the Son of George Van Barneveld Gilmour and Sarah Johnston Gilmour from Rathmines, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
Sergeant Gilmour was serving with 504 Squadron, Royal Air Force and was flying Hurricane Z5204 when it crashed.
He is buried in St Eugenius Church of Ireland Church, Cappagh. ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY MY PHOTOGRAPHS***
There was a Ground Control Intercept Radar at the end of Ballydonaghy Road in the townland of Ballydonaghy.
Only some concrete remains to be see.
4th Tyrone Battalion, Ulster Home Guard Pipe Band
This photograph dates from 1940. (Images of Old Northern Ireland)
Aircraft Crash Site, Plumbridge
On the night of 5/6th March 1945 Avro Anson LV153 took off from RAF Wigtown, Wigtownshire, Scotland, at 2130 hours, to carry out a non operational night navigation exercise.
The aircraft crashed into Legnagappoge Glen, Mullaghclogha Mountain, in the Sperrin Mountains near Plumbridge, County Tyrone, at 00:30 hours.
Four of the crew were killed and Sgt Shaxson was seriously injured and lay at the scene until the following day when he was discovered by local men Andy Duffy and Andy Griffin who carried him down the mountainside to the home of Patrick Donaghey in the townland of Carrickayne. (Thanks to Cyril Downey for the information)
RCAF PO McFadyen I L (Pilot)
RAAF 37399 Flt Sgt R H Gilllian, (Navigator)
RAF Sgt T M D Shaxson, (Air Bomber)
RAF WOI J Pennack, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAF Sgt R A Button, (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Macfadyen's Headstone is shown here.
On March 6 2011, the 66th anniversary of the accident, a memorial was erected at the crash site by Glenelly Historical Society and the unveiling ceremony was attended by Sgt Shaxton's widow, and his descendants.
The pictures above are from the Glenelly Historical Society. (For more info visit http://www.fuls.org.uk/glenellyhistorical/legnagappoge.html)
Andrew Wilson from Strabane served in Two World Wars
Andrew Thomas Wilson was living in Strabane when he left his mum a note and jumped on the train to Belfast to join the Military during the First World War. (Even though he was underage)
Having returned safely he married Jean Bates from Ballyronan and was living in Omagh when the Second World War began.
He signed up again in the Royal Air Force being involved in Airfield Defence.
He's the only person to have his name on both war plaques in the Post Office in Supervalue, Omagh.
(Thanks very much to Andy T Wilson)
Artigarvan Ulster Home Guard in 1944
(Thanks very much to Graham Galt for this photograph)
There are 6 Servicemen buried in Strabane Cemetery who lost their lives during the Second World War.
Sergeant William Alexander McKinley was with Number 5 Operational Training Unit, Royal Air Force.
On 29th March 1943 he was flying Beaufort AW277 in a Navigation Exercise when at 4AM the aircraft flew into electric cables on Colin Top Mountain killing all four Crew.
Two of the Crew are buried in England while Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Sergeant E.F.H. Stephens is buried in Belfast City Cemetery.
Flight Sergeant Daniel Breslin D.F.M. was killed on 18th July 1943.
He was serving with Number 1485 Flight based at R.A.F. Fulbeck and was in Wellington BK235 which was involved in a Gunnery Demonstration.
The aircraft was engaged in a Corkscrew Fighter Affiliation Exercise when the starboard wing broke off at the outside of the engine causing an immediate dive into the ground killing all 6 persons on board.
Trooper John Alfred Wasson was serving with the North Irish Horse within the Royal Armoured Corps - His headstone is above left.
Gunner Patrick Joseph Gallagher was with 332 Battery, 106 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. - His Headstone can be seen above.
From 18th September 1988 the Regiment had fought through Eindhoven and Nijmegen to Groesbeek in Holland before entering Germany on 11th February 1945.
Lt. Richards and the McGonigle Family from Strabane.
The two week old daughter of Mr and Mrs McGonigle from Main Street, Strabane had been born with a large tumour on her neck.
Following a conversation with Lieutenant Richards he had an American Specialist examine the child.
A Jeep conveyed the baby to Omagh from where an Ambulance brought her to the Royal Belfast Hospital For Sick Children where surgery took place and was successful.
(Thanks very much to Will Lindsay)
Army Billets in Strabane
Soldiers from various Regiments were based in a number of Billets around Strabane.
One of these was the Porter and Company Abercorn Factory on Derry Road along with the old Technical College which is nearby and shown below.
Further along Derry Road is the site of the old Workhouse.
During the Second World War soldiers were also billeted there and although the site has now been totally redeveloped to become the local Council Office it is pleasing to note that parts of the original building have been retained at each end and can be seen in my photograph below.
This photograph shows RAF Personnel stationed during the war in Strabane.
The gentleman on the Left of the row is believed to be Ron Greenwood who played for and managed both West Ham Utd and England Football teams.
He was a frequent visitor to the Doherty family home at 17 Bowling Green, Strabane.
(Thanks very much to Cyril Downey and 'Old Strabane and Its memories' Facebook page)
Ulster Home Guard, Strabane
Ulster Home Guard seen outside the Royal Ulster Constabulary station at Bowling Green, Strabane.
Soldiers standing in the Bowling Green, Strabane during 1943. No other details known.
Home Guard, Strabane
The Home Guard held a Dance in the Pallidrome.
The Old-Tme Waltz Competition was won by Miss N. Andrews from Donegal and Mr. W. Barron from Sion Mills.
(Thanks very much to Gordon Porter for this article from the Derry Standard)
D. Caldwell from Glenagoorland, Donemana.
Lance Corporal D. Caldwell from Glenagoorland, Donemana is seen here with Private J.F. Purnell, Pioneer Corps, from Southwich, Sunderland.
The men are working with 573 Field Company, Royal Engineers in Italy on 8th January 1944.(IWM Photograph)
Currabrack Firing Range, Gortin
This Firing Range was used during the Second World War.
It can be found near the junction of Glenpark Road with Lenamore Road and is a short distance into the woods.
Due to heavy vegetation I was unable to locate the Firing Line and these pictures show the area behind which the targets would have been located.
As can be seen from the second picture it appears that the Range was also used some time after WW2.
Lislap House, Gortin
Lislap House was used by the U.S. Army during WW2.
34th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Troop was billeted there for a time in 1942.
208th Anti-Tank Battery, Royal Artillery based at Lislap and shown during an Exercise on 17th October 1941. Above left is Lieutenant General Franklyn shown second from left watching the exercise. (IWM Photos)
This Farmyard is being used as Battery Headquarters. The Battery Commander can be seen bottom right. (IWM Pictures)
The Battery is shown going smartly into action when the alarm is called.
As the Exercse continues this Lorry experiences difficulties when crossing a River. (IWM Pictures)
Beltrim Castle, Gortin
Between 22nd February and 16th May 1944 552nd Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company Tank were based at Beltrim Castle. - The Unit is shown below prior to their departure from the United States to Gortin.
Some Nissen Huts were constructed in the grounds and the building shown here was a Dining Area.
Soldiers of 552nd Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company Tank at Beltrim Castle.
On the left is Harper and on the right is a view of Beltrim Castle which was used as Officers Quarters whilst other ranks used Nissen Huts in the grounds. ***DO NOT COPY***
These photographs are from the Private Collection of Tom Dole ***PLEASE DO NOT COPY***
Shown on the left is Bill Ready who had been a First Sergeant before being Demoted following a motorcycle accident. He volunteered for Infantry and was killed in France.
Sergeant Larry Dole of the Tank Recovery Section is shown on the right. (Thanks very much to Tom Dole. From Private Collection ***DO NOT COPY***)
Here is Sergeant Henry Rouge (Known as Dixie Cup) who was a Frenchman and had served in the First World War! He is shown with Ready on the left and Casaile who is standing on the left whilst Henry is getting his haitcut. (Thanks very much to Tom Dole. Private Collection. ***DO NOT COPY***)
Carnival and george Nichols seen at Beltrim Castle, Gortin. Shown below is a Small Arms Section of the Unit in the United States prior to their departure to Northern Ireland.
(Thanks very much to Tom Dole. Private Collection. ***DO NOT COPY***)
Smith and Spitz are shown whilst on Guard Duty at Beltrim and on the right is a Secret "Company Morning Report" (Thanks very much to Tom Dole. Private Collection. ***DO NOT COPY***)
The SECRET Document on the left refers to the movement of this Unit from Gortin to Belfast prior to departure to Normandy.
Shown on the left is the Honorable Discharge Certificate of Thomas F Dole dated 8th December 1945. (Sincere thanks to Tom Dole for these photographs. ***DO NOT COPY***
Fecarry Firing Range, Mountfield
The Firing Range at Fecarry Glen near Mountfield was used by American soldiers up until they left for D-Day.
The Range is heavily overgrown and difficult underfoot for the visitor however due to its location only time has taken its toll and much remains to be seen.
The two photographs below show one of the raised firing positions (On the left) with the corrugated tin of the position clearly visible while the second is a view down the range to a concrete wall which (fortunately) protects those troops setting the targets and behind this the back stop where little now grows due to the amount of lead lying around! - Above you can see where nothing can grow, even after all the years, due to the amount of lead in the soil!
Here is the Target Shed where all the Targets were kept. On looking inside you can see a number of the wooden frames on which targets were attached before being hoisted above the banking for shooting to commence.
Written inside the Target Store to the left of the targets is "Join The Ulster Home Guard".
In the picture on the left you can see the Target Store in the background.
This picture is taken on top of the bank immediately in front of where the targets were positioned on the wooden sections.
The next picture shows the view as seen by those men who were setting up the targets.
The photograph above shows what has been a Target and has now been put to use to fill a gap in a fence.
Below are some of the bullets which can be found simply lying around. (Thanks very much to Peter Graham)
This is the trunk of a tree at Loughmacrory Lodge between Mountfield and Carrickmore.
It appears that 2 U.S. Army soldiers have taken the time to carve their details into the trunk.
The lower wording appears to be "H.P. Lowell, Mass" and on researching this it may be that H.P. was from the city of Lowell in Massachussettes.
The upper wording gives more information.
"Pvt J.H.(Possibly T) Kopec, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
This man may have been Joe H. Kopec, Serial number 20635751 who enlisted at Grand Rapids, Michigan on 15th October 1940 as a Private in the Infantry of the Army National Guard.
I am keen to hear of any information relating to U.S. Military personel having been based at Loughmacrory.
(Thanks to Peter O'Brien for providing this photograph).
Black Lane, Dungannon
Off Brook Street in Dungannon is Black Lane where you will see the two plaques shown here on display on an attractive little Archway.
The first picture tells that during the Second World War the Dicksons Linen Mill changed purpose to the production of munitions in support of the War Effort.
The two old photographs above show Dicksons Factory
Captured German Field Gun, Dungannon
This is a German Field Gun which was captured during the First World War. It can be seen at the site of the old Dicksons Mill in Dungannon where it was used as a War Memorial.
Fortunately this particular gun was spared when many others around Northern Ireland were cut up and smelted down as part of the War Effort during the Second World War!
Ballynorthland P.O.W. Camp, Dungannon
Shown above is the small row of buildings which remain of what was once the Ballynorthland Prisoner Of War Camp in Dungannon.
The 3d Field Artillery Observation Battalion of the United States Army were based at Ballynorthland for a short time.
This photograph shows a small Castle which stands about 4 Feet high and was built on a large rock near Dungannon Rugby Club Pavilion. During the Second World War the Pavilion housed German Officer Prisoners of War. Along with the Other Ranks there were approximately 1500 P.O.W's held in Ballynorthland Park, Dungannon.
Nine Prisoners with Gardening Experiences were chosen to keep the Grounds in order at the Officers Section of the Camp.
During 1944 they collected stones and gravel and combining these with cement they constructed the castle, complete with Moat and Drawbridge.
Each morning at 09.00 a simple Ceremony took place beside the tiny building with an Officer standing there bareheaded something an old Prussian something.
One of the POW's who constructed the little Castle visited many years later with his son. - Transcribed as best I can from the article above.
Major General, The Duke of Gloucester is seen with Captain A.W. Stansfeld and Lieutenant Colonel D.C. Tennant at Dungannon on 24th April 1941. On the right is Captain Aldwell, Major T.P.D. Scott and Lieutenant Colonel J. Cheyney (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
Near Verners Bridge, Tamnamore
Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on Exercise near Verners Bridge. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)
These photographs were taken on 24th September 1941.
Aughintober Ulster Home Guard
Aughintober is situated about halfway between Dungannon and Ballygawley near Cabragh.
(Thanks very much to Raymond Cuddy whose father, uncle and great uncle are in the photo)
James Faulkner Johnston from Ballygawley.
James was a Flight Sergeant serving with 429 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force.
On the night of 22nd / 23rd October 1943 he was aboard Halifax JD332 which had taken off from R.A.F. Leeming on a mission to Kassel however the aircraft was attacked and shot down near Tietelsen to the north of Kassel.
Of the crew of seven there were three survivors including James Johnston who was captured and taken to Stalag 4B at Muhlberg.
A number of Airmen had planned a Mass Escape and intended to burn the hut which held all the P.O.W. Records and Photographs. This was so that the Germans would not have pictures of them when they escaped however James wanted to be sure and so the night previous he stole his own file!! - From which we can see his picture!
James was able to escape the Camp and after evading capture he eventually joined with a mounted unit, possibly Cossacks, and was finally able to return to the U.K.
(Thanks very much to Jimmy Johnston for this fantastic photograph and information)
Benburb Military Hospital
Shown above is a group photograph of British Military personnel at what was a Military Hospital on the site of the old Manor House at Main Street in Benburb.
The location was used by both British and United States personnel.
In May 1939 the owner of the Manor House, Mr. R.N. Boyd, offered it to the Government for use in the event of War and was subsequently taken over by the War department at the beginning of September 1939 with a fee of £1 being paid to Mr Boyd for each day!
The British Army established a 166 Bed Hospital in March 1942 with Soldiers of 7th Field Hospital, United States Army being at Benburb between 26th October 1943 and 1st April 1944. The photograph below shows Soldiers from 7th Field Hospital, U.S. Army. (Thanks very much to Marty McWilliams for the photograph)
Stuart Hall, Stewartstown
Situated on Mountjoy Road, Stewartstown.
In the Spring of 1941 Stuart Hall, the home and grounds of The Earl of Castlestewart were gifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs "For the duration of the War" and were subsequently used to house Mothers and Children who had been made homeless during the Belfast Blitz.
This Newspaper article gives some detail regarding the use of Stuart Hall with the first photograph showing the construction of Nissen Huts in the Grounds.
The next picture shows that a slide and roundabout were included for the children with the final picture showing the effort being taken to make the site as welcoming as possible.
(Thank-you very much to Claire Ruderman http://goorwitch.tumbler.com for permission to use these photographs).
These photographs show Nurses at Stuart Hall. (Thanks to Aidan Fee)
Trew and Moy Railway Station
This is the wonderful Trew and Moy Railway Station which the owners have put considerable effort into preserving.
It was this station that was used by the United States Military personnel travelling to and from their Bases at The Argory and Derrygally House.
(Thanks very much to the owner for spending some time showing me around)
Aughantaine Castle, Fivemiletown.
The grounds of this castle were used as a camp by 28th Field Artillery Battalion of the United States Army who were equipped with both 105mm and the larger 155mm guns. Their compliment included a Headquarters, Medical Detachment and Service Batteries as well as A,B and C Batteries.
The pictures here show a sturdy bridge and concrete area where equipment would have been stored.
These can be seen at Aghintaine Road, Fivemiletown.
Fivemiletown - Catalina Flying Boat Anchor
How about this for a fantastic item!
This is the anchor from Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boat Z of 209 Squadron, Royal Air Force piloted by Flying Officer Dennis Briggs at approx 10.30 on 26th May 1941 at position 49º 20´ north, 21º 50´ west in the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Ireland.
Please refer to the County Fermanagh Section of this website for more information regarding the Bismarck - And note the spelling mistake on the brass plate.
(Thanks very much to Beverley Weir for her assistance with this item).
Between 16th December 1943 and July 1944 Blessingbourne was Headquarters and Headquarters Battery of 8th Infantry Division Artillery who were joined between 21st December 1943 and 29th June 1943 by 45th Field Artillery Battalion of 8th Infantry Division equipped with 105mm Towed Howitzers.
56th Field Artillery Battalion of 8th Infantry Division were here with their 105mm Howitzers from 27th December 43 until 29th June 1944 and on the day of their arrival they were accompanied by 708th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company 8th Infantry Division.
Fusilier William James Gillespie from Fivemiletown.
Fusilier Gillespie, Service Number 6975630, was serving with 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.
He was the son of Thomas and Alice Gillespie from Fivemiletown and the husband of Margaret Gillespie from Belfast.
The Royal Irish Fusiliers were part of the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium following the invasion by Germany.
They were subsequently involved in fighting rear guard actions during the tactical withdrawl towards the beaches at Dunkirk.
During these actions Billy was initially believed to be Missing and it was hoped that he had become a Prisoner of War however he was subsequently confirmed as having been killed in action.
He is buried at the Heverlee Military Cemetery at Leuven to the East of Brussels.
(Thanks very much to Ian Gillespie for the pictures and information regarding his Uncle William)
British Soldiers in Fivemiletown
The top photograph shows Fivemiletown during the Second World War. There is a Soldier walking along the footpath on the left and no less than three Military vehicles in the background. The comparrison picture shows the same location today. (Google. Thanks very much to Selwyn Johnston for the old photograph)
Thomas Alexander Lynn from Fivemiletown.
Thomas Alexander Lynn was the eldest Son of Samuel and Isabella Lynn.
He was born in 1918 at Tattyknuckle, Fivemiletown and went to England in 1938 in search of work.
Having joined The Loyal Regiment at the outbreak of war Alex was serving with the British Expeditionary Force in France.
He was evacuated from the beaches in Dunkirk in 1940 and was then posted to North Africa and served at Tobruk.
Amazingly Alex met his uncle Samuel Gillespie, who was serving with the Royal Corps of Signals, by chance in Tripoli.
A total of seven of the Gillespie brothers served in the British Army!
Following the North Africa campaign Alex, who was now a Corporal, was fighting in the invasion of Normandy where he was killed in action on 23rd August 1944.
He was 25 years old.
Corporal Alex Lynn was buried in St Desir War Cemetery, France. (His Regiment is given as The Gordon Highlanders) ( Thanks very to Ian Gillespie for pictures and information)
Lance Corporal Victor Reid from Clogher
Lance Corporal Victor Reid, Service Number: 6984285, was serving with 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
He was from the Clogher Area of County Tyrone and had Sisters called Mabel Reid, Mary whose married name was Kyle and a Brother William.
Victor was about 21 years old when he died on 20th July 1943.
L/Cpl Victor Reid was almost certainly killed in the battle for Lemon Bridge on the Simeto river in which 2nd Inniskillings, The Lumps, sustained heavy losses.
The Battalion had secured the bridge, which hadn't been demolished, and then held it against determined German counter-attacks.
The CO, Lt Col O'Brien-Twohig and Lt Christie were each awarded the DSO (the citation for Christie's award is one of the longest I have ever seen; for a subaltern, this was as close to the VC as is possible) while Major Meade and Captain Bradley were each awarded the Military Cross. Fus T.G. Moore received the MM for his outstanding conduct over two days and nights of fighting. His brother, Fus W.A. Moore also distinguished himself in two incidents.
He is buried in Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily I.D.9
(Thanks very much to Philip Kyle and Richard Doherty)
(Thanks very much to Tara Ward for the four pictures shown above)
Captain / Reverend Alan Alexander Buchanan of 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment was from County Tyrone and served as Padre to the Regiment.
Buchanan saw service in Sicily before Operation Market Garden at Arnhem where he saw service and was taken prisoner to be sent to Stalag XIB in Fallingbostel.
He received a "Mentioned in Dispatches" for his actions at Arnhem and following the war he became Archbishop of Dublin.
A memorial window was unveiled to him at Clogher Cathedral in 2000.
Flying Officer J. Verschoyle-Campbell from Clogher
Flying Officer J. Verschoyle-Campbell from Fardross, Clogher, a Hurricaine Pilot, watches some of the Signals Section working on his aircraft at an Airstrip in Burma.
Anti-Tank Troops in Clogher
During 1942 an Anti-Tank Company of 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division, United states Army were based in Clogher.
I believe they were billeted off Main Street.
If you have any information regarding this then please contact me at the E-Mail address given below.
This photograph shows Clogher as it looked in 1938 (From Northern Ireland Historical Photographical Society)
Clogher Valley Railway
This is a genuine Second World War poster which came from Clogher or Fivemiletown Railway Station!
(Thanks very much to Robin Abbott for this photograph)