The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

County Londonderry Airfields

Royal Air Force (Aghanloo) Limavady

The Royal Air Force Coastal Command Gremlin can be found at Aghanloo Airfield, Limavady.

Limavady Control Tower

A very interesting airfield with an impressive Control Tower (which for those technically minded of you is a Type 518/40)

The tower is accessible it has been extensively damaged by fire.

The three photographs above show the inside of the Control Tower.


There is a small room which has been filled with electrical equipment and Fuse Boards.

The next is a view up through the stairwell towards the upper floors. The stairs appear to have been deliberately removed rather than being destroyed by fire as a wooden door remains.

The final picture shows a large Ground Floor Room along with what may have been an upper floor Room designed to look over what was happening below.


"Christmas Day 1941 Limavady"

This is the Christmas Day Dinner Menu from 1941.

(Many thanks to Steve Kerr)

Limavady Anti-Aircraft Gunner Dome Trainer

How Did the Anti-Aircraft Gunner Dome Trainer Work?


The picture on the left is from the Imperial War Museum and shows the inside operation of such a Trainer.

Film of an approaching Aircraft is projected onto the roof of the Dome and the Gunner is trained to "Aim-Off" to ensure that he hits the aircraft.

Limavady Guard Room

This is a Wall of the Guard Room which faced towards the Entrance Gate.

The wording on the wall says "Guard Room Enquiries"

Limavady Electricity Generation

This is inside the Airfield Electricity Generating Building which has all the machinery looking as if all it needs is a little maintenance to have everything working again.

Limavady Paint Store

Inside the Paint Store and the wall has some paint colours which were used on the Aircraft including white, blue, Sea Grey and the yellow which, as written, would have been used for the individual identification of each aircraft.

The "Sea Grey" camouflage paint below "405" may have been a Squadron Number as 405 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force were attached to Coastal Command for a time.

Limavady Radio Equipment

This appears to have been a radio workshops. Signs are painted on walls saying "Headsets", "Valve Testing" which I guess is for radio equipment and the next one says "Equipment In" presumably where equipment which requires repair was first received.

Limavady Hangars and Buildings

The picture above shows the Green hangar as seen from the nearby road.

There are a number of small buildings which remain around this Hangar and it is pleasing to see that some of the old Instructional Markings remain on the walls.

To the right is a view of the inside of this Hangar.

When walking around the site I saw this large weight consisting of concrete inside a metal frame with a ring in the top. The wing of an aircraft would have been secured to this in adverse weather conditions.

Not all of the paintings appear to be official!

German Luftwaffe Aircraft Identification Poster Still pasted to wall at Limavady

Amazing but true! - This is an Identification Poster showing a Luftwaffe Aircraft. It is still posted to the wall of an Office at Limavady Airfield.

Where you can see the Grey Paint was also a squadron Marking however I can only distinguish "Sqn" unfortunately.

Here you can see where there were two such Posters beside each other.

Limavady Battle Headquarters and Air Raid Shelter

The three photographs above show the Airfield Battle Headquarters building with the two below showing a nearby Air Raid Shelter. 

Pleasing to see that the bench seating in this Air raid Shelter remains along both sides as well as in the centre as it would have been during the war.

Limavady Operations Block

The photograph above shows inside the Operations Block prior to it being demolished.

To the left is the Board which showed "Enemy Forces" and was on display in the Operations Block at Limavady Airfield.

The titles along the top show Force, Composition, Position, Course / Speed, Origin and Remarks.

The Next row appears to refer to 224 and 502 Squadrons.

Above is the remains of what had been a Royal Air force Refuelling Bowser.

Sadly both the entire Operations Block, complete with it's Operations Board and the vehicle shown above have now gone.

(Thanks very much to Peter Graham for these photographs)

Limavady Sick Quarters, Ambulance Garage and Mortuary

What is now a busy Business was used during WW2 as the Limavady Airfield Sick Quarters.

Immediately behind the long building is a Decontamination Block and further back is a building, shown here, which in which an Ambulance was kept at the front while the rear served as a Mortuary. 

On the right is one of the racks from the Mortuary complete with rollers which would be used to hold 3 bodies!!

W.A.A.F. Dispersed Living Quarters, Limavady

This was Dispersed Living Quarters for Women's Auxiliary Air Force personnel and is situated on Windyhill Road. 

Limavady Airfield - Accommodation

This is the Aghanloo Orange Hall building which was used as accommodation for Air Force personnel from the nearby Airfield.

Limavady Aircraft

Wellington GR Mark VIII, W5674 ‘DF-D’, of No. 221 Squadron RAF. based at Limavady. Shown following its conversion from a Mark IC aircraft by fitting ASV Mark II anti-submarine radar, (the censor has removed the aerial-array on the top of the fuselage, but left the wing mounted aerials uncensored). (IWM Picture)

This aircraft subsequently flew with No. 7 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit from Limavady. (I.W.M. Photograph)

Limavady Airfield from Above

Royal Air Force Ballykelly

Ballykelly was one of 7 sites chosen by the Airfields Board between June and December 1940 for the construction of airfields and Ballykelly was opened in June 1941 as a base for Coastal Command.

In August 1941 it became home to 120 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command flying Liberators however they then moved to R.A.F. Aldergrove in February 1943. Other Squadrons which operated from here were numbers 59 and 86.

This was a very important airfield in the efforts to close the "Atlantic Gap" and provide long range convoy protection.

As with a number of other airfields it was necessary to have the airfield operating even before the building contract was complete. In the case of Ballykelly the main completion date was September 1942 with supplementary completion in October 43 however it became operational in June 1942 with 220 Squadron, Coastal Command flying Fortresses.

Ballykelly Buildings

With the redevelopment of the Ballykelly Site I expect that many if not all of these buildings will be lost.

Ballykelly Fire Station and Hangar

The Airfield Fire Station.

A large Hangar

Shown on the left is the Royal Air Force Station Ballykelly crest and on the right is another view of the Control Tower (Thanks very much to Peter Clare for the final photograph)

Ballykelly Bomb Store

Here we have some pictures of the Bomb Store for Ballykelly Airfield. It is a short distance from the airfield at Spallan Road and has been protected by a large embankment.

The remaining building shown here may have been a Pyrotechnic Store. The old safety warning code can clearly be seen on both sides of the building.

R.A.F. Ballykelly Operations Room Map

Ballykelly was a very important airfield in the efforts to close the "Atlantic Gap" and provide long range convoy protection.

As with a number of other airfields it was necessary to have the airfield operating even before the building contract was complete. In the case of Ballykelly the main completion date was September 1942 with supplementary completion in October 43 however it became operational in June 1942 with 220 Squadron, Coastal Command flying Fortresses.

The large map shown here is part of the Map Board which was on display in the Operations Room at R.A.F. Ballykelly. Operational information, known as the "Plot" was displayed on the map and continually updated with the positions of all ships, submarines and aircraft, both friendly and hostile, which were in the area. This map is now held by the Ulster Aviation Society.

The lower picture shows a section of the map which illustrates German Airfields in occupied France.

Aircraft from Ballykelly were responsible for the sinking of a number of U-Boats and although not visible in the photograph it is interesting to note that the main runway is crossed by the Londonderry to Belfast railway line!!


Ballykelly Aircraft

Liberator GR Mark V, BZ877 ‘2-Q’, of No. 86 Squadron RAF Ballykelly. (I.W.M. Picture)

In August 1941 it became home to 120 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command flying Liberators however they then moved to R.A.F. Aldergrove in February 1943. Other Squadrons which operated from here were numbers 59 and 86.

B-17 Flying Fortress Mark I, AN537 ‘NR-L’, of No. 220 Squadron RAF based at Ballykelly on patrol over a convoy. The aircraft radar aerials, serial number and unit code letters have been obliterated by the wartime censor.

120 Squadron Liberator photographed at Ballykelly in September 1944.MK 2 Radar Antenna can be seen on the nose of the aircraft.

Left to Right are:- Warrant Officer Ken Brickly, R.A.A.F. (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner), Flight Sergeant Dick Watkins (Wireless operator / Mechanic), Warrant Officer Alwyn Jay, (Navigator / Bombardier), Flight Lieutenant Arthur Steel, (Co-Pilot), Squadron Leader Leonard Taylor, (Captain), Pilot Officer Allan Petersen, (Co-Navigator) R.A.A.F.,Sergeant Bob George (Flight Engineer), Warrant Officer Geoff Oliver, (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner) R.A.A.F. Pilot Officer Arch Liddell Witeless (Operator / Air Gunner)

(For more information please visit  https://www.awm.gov.au/)

Ballykelly Airfield Decoy Site

A Decoy Site for Ballykelly was situated in the nearby townland of Faughanvale however I have been unable to locate the precise location.

59 Squadron and their Insignia

This is a Crew from 59 Squadron R.A.F. who were based at Ballykelly. 

The picture was taken in November 1943 and the 59 Squadron Broken Wheel symbol is clearly visible.

This symbol was awarded to 59 Squadron during WW1 when British Infantry were pinned down and taking heavy casualties from German Artillery however Captain D.H.M. Carbery M.C. D.F.C. of 59 Squadron attacked and silenced the German Gun ensuring it's capture by the British.

As a sign of appreciation the soldiers took the broken wheel from the gun and presented it to the Squadron!

On 26th June 1944 some of the men shown above were flying Liberator FL977 H/59 and attempting to make a night landing when the aircraft crashed on Binevenagh Mountain killing all on board.

(For more information visit http://number59squadron.com/liberator.html)

Ballykelly Runway and Lighting

The photograph above shows one of the runways which remain at Ballykelly and from this view if you turn 180 degrees you will see the light shown on the left which is a Second World War vintage "Soup Dish" A3 used for Runway Approach Lighting and dating from 1942. 

This picture above shows Ballykelly as it looked before the 1943 Runway Extension and below on 11th September 1958.

Eglinton Airfield / City of Derry Airport

The airfield at Eglinton has had a number of titles. It was initially surveyed by the Air Ministry Airfields Board in July 1940 and subsequiently constructed by the Royal Engineers to become R.A.F. Eglinton opening in April 1941. 

It later became H.M.S. Gannet as control was passed to the Royal Navy in 1943 and those of you who have used it recently will know it as City of Derry Airport!

Shown below is a strengthened aircraft building which is near the runway and I believe is known as a Fromson Hangar. There are also some of the accommodation huts which remain along with some hangars at the nearby small industry.

My thanks goes to those at City of Derry Airport, Eglinton for providing me with these pictures.

They show a display cabinet which can be found within the Airport Building and includes the Tail Wheel of a Spitfire which was flown by a Royal Air Force Eagle Squadron American Pilot as stated above.

This article from "The War Illustrated" dated November 1940 explains the Royal Air Force "Eagle Squadron" (The War Illustrated)

Eglinton Dispersed Living Accommodation Ballygudden Road

I hope you can see the old painting on the wall beside this Notice. Winston Churchill is shown as a Bulldog complete with cigar! On looking at the signage I suspect that this room may have contained snooker tables at one time.

The "Catering Office" and "Mess-Trap Store" are in close proximity and "Smoking Allowed Only During Tea & (something). Opening Times displayed on the wall of the Cookhouse. "Mess-Trap" is Royal Navy terminology for china, glass, cutlery, tablewear, cooking and kitchen utensils for the messing of Officers and Men.


"Fort Quartermaster N.Y. - P.of E. (New York Port of Entry) Brooklyn New York" is on a wooden plank but how did this find its way to Eglinton? and more interestingly I wonder what was sent by the Fort Quartermaster? - This would refer to the Brooklyn Naval Yard.


It is always great when something unexpected is located and this Leg Calliper would certainly 'fall' into that category. This is in what appears to have been a small storeroom for a Bar.

I wonder what happened to the owner - Did he become legless and decide his calliper was surplus to requirements?


Another quirkey item which remains is a Coal Bunker which has been built inside the building.

I never looked upon the Armed Forces as being concerned as to the welfare of their lower ranks if it was too cold to fetch some coal for the fire so I suspect this may have been Officer's Quarters!


Eglinton Dispersed Living Accommodation, Faughanvale

This is another of the detacted living accommodation sites which can be found around the airfield at Eglinton.

This one is next to Faughanvale Presbyterian Church Hall.

The first picture is a Toilet Block and the next shows concrete hut bases between which are small concrete pathways.

At the side of this field is an Air Raid shelter and I have photographed both the entrance and inside.

Some of the original seating remains inside this shelter and it is interesting to note the central concrete roof support. - This was an improvement on early Air Raid Shelters that did not have this support and many people were killed during raids when the roof of a shelter would collapse on those inside.

Eglinton Dispersed Living Site

This is the sturdy barrier at one of the dispersed living sites for Eglinton Airfield.

The first picture is looking out onto the roadway while my second photograph is looking into the camp and towards the old Security Guard Post.

Eglinton Dispersed Site - Muff

The buildings shown above are at another Detached Living area a short distance away.

Eglinton Domestic Site

Here is a picture of one of the Eglinton Domestic sites which was photographed in 1949 by Ray Hayward. (Thanks very much to Ray Haward)

Eglinton Parachute Store

Eglinton Airfield Defences and Buildings

The top photograph shows one of a number of Airfield Defensive structures which can still be found around the Airfield. 

The two Air Raid Shelters are all that remains of a Detached Living Area at Clooney Road with the Ablution Block, shown below, on the opposite side of the road with another Air Raid shelter nearby. The large Sheds and Nissen Hut are close to the Airfield.

Airfield Defensive Structure

This formidable Defensive structure is near the railway Line at Eglinton Airfield.

As can be seen the walls ave very thick and the building includes 2 Shelters on one side as shown below.

Here are views inside the Pillbox section of the structure which has 2 Loopholes with another through which can be seen into a separate shelter.

The metal supports of bench seats still remain on either side of the Pillbox.

Eglinton Aircraft

Grumman Hellcats of No.1840 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton photographed on 23 June 1944.

A Fleet Air Arm ground crew raising the tail onto trestles for gun harmonising.

One of the Fleet Air Arm's Grumman Hellcats under wintry conditions.

The Squadron Commanding Officer explaining the layout of the cockpit of the Hellcat to his co-pilots. 

Dummy deck landing at Eglinton by pilots of Fleet Air Arm Hellcat.

Sub-Lieutenant J.R. Thompson, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, from Christchurch, New Zealand shows he is pleased with his first flight in a Grumman Hellcat at Eglinton.

Lieutenant Commander D.M. Jeram with a Grumman Hellcat at Eglinton.

A Fleet Air Arm Grumman Wildcat of No 846 Squadron Fleet Air Arm based at Eglinton.

An echelon formation of Grumman Wildcats of No 846 Squadron Fleet Air Arm, based at Eglinton. 

This Wildcat of 846 Squadron, Eglinton was photographed on 26th June 1944 with its D-Day Invasion Stripe livery.

(Please note that all of the above photographs are from the Imperial war Museum)

Grumman Wildcats from Number 846 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm at Eglinton. (Imperial War Museum Photographs)

Flying Dutchmen at Eglinton

This photograph was taken at Eglinton on 23rd June 1944 and shows 1840 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, many of whom were from Holland. 

Netherlands Navy Pilots attached to the Fleet Air Arm being briefed by their Commander, Lt Commander Richardson from New Zealand on 23rd June 1944 at Eglinton.

Sub-Lieutenant CH A M Poublon of the Royal Netherlands Navy climbing into the cockpit of his Hellcat at Eglinton on 23rd June 1944.

(All of the photographs above are from the Imperial War Museum)

King George VI visits Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton

King George VI arrives at Eglinton aboard Douglas DC3 Dakota.

HM King George VI's inspection of RN Officers on arrival at Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton.

Left to Right - Captain C A R Shillington, Rear Admiral A R M Bridge CBE, Air Commodore Churchman DFC, AOC, Northern Ireland; HM The King; Captain R C Harry, Commander Whitworth DSC, Commander G D Wyatt, RNVR, Commander (S) G F Kyrke, RNVR; and Flag Lieutenant Edmunds.

(Imperial War Museum Pictures)

Inspecting Guard of Honour at Eglinton.

Flight Sergeant Calvin Taylor with a Spitfire from 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron, Royal Air Force at Eglinton. (From Vintage Wings.ca)

Maydown Airfield, Londonderry

Maydown was opened as a satellite station to the nearby R.A.F. Eglinton in 1942 however it became the Royal Navy's H.M.S. Shrike providing aircraft and personel to the Merchant Aircraft Carriers which became operational in 1943 to provide air cover for the Atlantic Convoys.

Unfortunately there is very little remaining of this old airfield other than a short stretch of runway which can be found within the industrial development at Maydown and the odd concrete path which comes to an abrupt halt in the middle of a field which used to hold Accommodation.

This photograph shows Maydown as it used to look.

Maydown Road can be seen on the bottom left with the large Lisnahawley Port in the background with Culmore Point top right.

This Fairey Swordfish aircraft is being operated from the Royal Naval Air Station at Maydown. The upper picture shows a Rocket Assisted take-off.

(Photographs from Imperial War Museum)

United States Army Air Force, Mullaghmore Control Tower

Mulaghmore Operations Block Aircraft Operations Board

I was VERY pleased to find this Operations Board which was in the Operations Block of Mullaghmore Airfield.

Top left says Dawn / Dusk but I cannot read the rest of the top line.

The columns would have been made up from left to right as:-

Aircraft Registration, Captain & Navigator, "Form Green" (Don't know what this means),

Task, Estimated Time of Departure, Actual Time of Departure, On and Off (Don't know what this refers to), Estimated Time of Arrival, Actual Time of Arrival, Bomb Load, Callsign, Remarks.

(A sincere thank-you to the owner who has preserved this.)

Mullaghmore Bomb Trainer and Link Trainer Buildings.

The airfield at Mullaghmore was a U.S. 8th Air Force Composite Command establishment until being passed to the Royal Air Force in May 1944

It was used as a Training Establishment by the R.A.F. after the U.S. had operated a "Parachute Maintenance Company" there.

The picture above shows a row of buildings with the one nearest the camera being an AML Bombing Trainer. The second building is shown in more detail below and is a "Link Trainer".

Inside part of the Link Trainer Building is on the left.

I took this selection of photographs of a Link Trainer at an Air Museum in the Czech Republic

Shown below you can see how a "Link Trainer" worked. (From "The War Illustrated")

Mullaghmore Twin Turret Trainer, Fabric Store and Parachute Store

This is a Two Unit Turret Trainer for Airmen operating Machine Gun Turrets in Bomber Aircraft.

This was a Fabric Store.

The instantly recognisable Parachute Store.

This Ramp is nearby - You can see the Parachute Store in one of my photographs.

The Ramp is very similar to what I would expect to see at a Bomb Store however I have no reason to believe this was the purpose - Unless You Know Different! - Please contact me with any information.

Mullaghmore Crew Procedure Centre

The colour Cream always seems to play a major part in Airfield Colour schemes!

Mullaghmore Airfield Shooting Range

Shown above are the Shooting Range Butts as seen from both front and back.

The photographs below show the Soldiers Shelter where the Firing Line would have been.

It is clear that, although the Mullaghmore site is larger, this Building is very similar to the Range at Bishopscourt in County Down.

Looking across the Range as seen from a taxiway.

Mullaghmore Urinals

Nor the sort of thing you would expect to find in the middle of a field..... But then again.

Gun Turret Assemblies

This picture shows three Gun Turret assemblies which are used for training purposes in a Combat Crew Replacement centre.

Photographed in Northern Ireland on 8th October 1943 but no specific Airfield recorded.

(Photographs is from Fold 3 which is available to EVERYONE below:-https://www.fold3.com/s.php#query=Northern+Ireland&preview=1&t=495 )

Aircraft Recognition Training of U.S. Personnel in Northern Ireland

An aircraft recognition school in Northern Ireland U.S. personnel  who are receiving training by British Instructors from a light Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery. War correspondents from the "Belfast Telegraph" and Belfast Newsletter visited this training school. 

(Library of Congress Photograph. From http://www.loc.gov/resource/fsa.8b09791/ which is available to EVERYONE.)

Mullaghmore Airfield Dispersed Living Accommodation 

This selection of pictures are buildings which remain from the Accommodation at Drumeil Road southwest of Ballymoney which used by Air Force personnel at Mullaghmore Airfield.

The first picture shows 3 Airraid Shelters in one field while the one on the left shows the inside of one of these Shelters which is split into 2 sections. You can see the small brick supports on which would have been a wooden bench to sit on.

These pictures show one large building which has 5 Airraid shelters in close proximity. 

Two of these can be seen in the first of these pictures and I have included another showing one of the rooms inside.

From the number of Air Force buildings which I have visited it appears that the most common colour scheme I have seen is being continued here with the pale blue and cream walls!

Mullaghmore Gymnasium, Cinema and Church - All In One.

The building shown here appears to have had a number of uses.

My first picture shows the approach to the main double door access into the hall which is within the small annexe seen with a window on either side.

The next picture shows an end of the building to the right of which can be seen a water tower.

On going into the access on the left there is a metal ladder to an upper floor which appears to have been where a projector was housed when the building was being operated as a Cinema.

Here we are looking back towards the Projection Room and then in the opposite direction where there are large wooden sliding doors. Behind these was a Chancel Annexe which allowed this building, which was originally designed to be a Gymnasium, to be used as a Church.

The photograph here shows a Religious Service taking place in another Airfield.

The Building appears to be similar to the one at Mullaghmore. You can see the large wooden dividing doors in my photograph on the right.

Mullaghmore Bomb Store

The Bomb Store at Mullaghmore covered a considerable area. There were a row of stores which have embankments on 3 sides as shown in the 2 photographs above.

The first picture is taken from the road on which Bomb Trollies would be loaded with bombs for transportation to the aircraft. You can see the ramp on the far side of the storage area, which is shown closer in the next photograph.

This was where the bombs arrived and were rolled down this ramp into the Dump which was covered with camouflage netting.

The photograph on the left shows bombs being loaded into a Dump and the camouflage netting is clearly visible. (Picture from "Logistical support of the Armies")

A short distance away is the Incendiary Store which is shown above.

Mullaghmore Bomb Fusing Point Buildings

This photograph shows the two Fusing Point Buildings with one standing on either side of a river which is crossed by a bridge shown below.

These final two photographs show the bridge and building on the opposite side of the river from the Bomb Store.

An "Armadillo" at Mullaghmore

The Operations Record Book of R.A.F. Station Mullaghmore shows that on 29th October 1942 one Armadillo was collected from R.A.F. Ballyhalbert for use at Mullaghmore.

The RAF started looking for a vehicle to be used in the defence of Airfields during the Battle of Britain.

“In considering the most suitable type of vehicle it is necessary to visualise the form of attack to which an RAF Station is most likely to be subjected. Experience to date indicates that the first phase will probably be the dropping of large numbers of parachute troops outside the aerodrome boundaries under cover of an intensive low-flying attack on the station buildings and perimeter defence posts. In this way the enemy will hope to surround the aerodrome and the second phase, probably following almost immediately, would be a concerted attack by the parachutists with the object of finally overpowering the defence posts thus clearing the way for the immediate landing of large numbers of troop-carrying aircraft upon the aerodrome itself.”

The result was the “Armadillo” which, as can be seen here, was a flat-bed truck, on the back of which was mounted a box-like fighting compartment constructed of thick wooden boards measuring about 4 by 5 feet and standing 4 feet 6 inches tall.

Inside this was another, similar wooden box with the 6 inches space between the two filled with gravel to provide some protection.

The fighting compartment had an embrasure on each side fitted with sliding steel shutters for Small Army and two mounted Lewis Guns.

The drivers and the engine were protected by steel plates. - Please note that these pictures are purely to illustrate the vehicle and were not taken at Ballyhalbert or Mullaghmore.

Brigadier General Gavin visits Mullaghmore

An interesting visitor to Mullaghmore Airfield was Brigadier General James Gavin who was known as "The Jumping General" because he took part in the combat drops with the Paratroopers of 82nd Airborne Division which he Commanded!

He arrived at Mullaghmore at the beginning of December 1943 with Lt Colonel Turner looking for a suitable building in which to dry 30,000 Parachutes which had been used in Italy!

Number 3 Hangar was provided and the Provisional Maintenance Company, 505th Infantry of 82nd Airborne Division arrived to perform the task.


Medal Presentations to 82nd Airborne at Mullaghmore

On 3rd February 1944 units of 82nd Airborne Division were reviewed at Mullaghmore by Major General M.B. Ridgeway of the Division.

Others present were Lieutenant Colonels W.F. McLaughlin and C.B. Tyler junior, Majors J.F.R. Foss, J.C. McGurnin and W.C Lankersley, Captains R.R. Pulapher, J.E. Kishas and W.B. Brock junior and First Lieutenant F.W. Dohrs.

The 82nd Airborne Units were 320th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Headquarters Company, 82nd Signal Company, 307th Medical Airborne Company and the 80th Anti-Aircraft Airborne Battery.

During the review the Silver Star was presented to Staff Sergeant H.E. Knode of E Company 320th Glider Infantry Regiment for action at Salerno and Maiori, Italy on 12th September 1943.

The Order of the Purple Heart was awarded to Private First Class A.D. Porter along with Privates J Paonessa, B.H. Spearman, J Henegar, J Hill and L.A. Holle, all of whom were from B Company 320th Glider Infantry Regiment.

One of the Runways at Mullaghmore as it looks now

Aircraft at Mullaghmore

On 14th September 1943 Boeing Flying Fortress B-17 42-6098 landed at Mullaghmore whilst on its was across the Atlantic Ocean to Prestwick after being unable to establish radio communication with Prestwick. When the matter was resolved the aircraft continued on its journey on the same day.


42-6098 became 'Superstitious Aloysius' serving with 335th Bomber Squadron, 95th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, USAAF.

It was damaged by Enemy Fire during a raid on Keil on 4th January 1944 and subsequently ditched in the North Sea off Bawdsey, Suffock however fortunately all the crew survived. (From http://www.americanairmuseum.com)


Another visitor in February 1944 was B-17 238204 which was making the trip from Goose Bay, Labrador to Nutts Corner when an electrical fault called for a landing at Mullaghmore before heading on to Nutts Corner on 19th February.

Aircraft 238204 is shown here having landed at Cointrin, Switzerland on 24th April after sustaining damage and loosing power during a Bombing raid on Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich.

Having dropped his bombs and with an engine on fire and gun turrets not working pilot Thomas R. McClure headed for Switzerland. The attacks by enemy aircraft continue and a waist gunner is wounded. He was taken to Hospital when the aircraft landed whilst the rest of the Crew were interned until the end of the war.

(Information and picture from http://www.pionnair-ge.com)

This Photograph shows how Mullaghmore Airfield looked on 6th May 1953.

Above the river in the top left is the Bomb Store and you can see the Bridge which joined this to the Airfield.

The Shooting Range is above the Runway on the extreme right side. (Thanks to Martyn Boyd for this picture)

Toome Airfield

This is the Headquarters Site of what the United States Army Air Force referred to as Station 236. - The location is the junction of Derrygarve Park and Aughrim Road. (This picture is from "After The Battle" Magazine)

The same location is shown below as seen from the junction of Aughrim Road with Airfield Road.

These photographs show Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force personnel during a Flag Lowering Ceremony at Toome Airfield which was being passed from the R.A.F. to the U.S.A.A.F.

(All photographs above are from Fold 3 which is available to EVERYONE below:-https://www.fold3.com/s.php#query=Northern+Ireland&preview=1&t=495)

Toome Airfield - Various Buildings

A selection of buildings still remain around the Airfield site.The one shown on the left may have been MT as there is a vehicle inspection ramp outside.

The red bricked structure was the Electricity Generating building.

I have included the photograph below because this particular building was beside the Bomb Store however this has now been demolished.

Toome Airfield Instructional Site

The first three photographs above show the Gun Camera Workshop whilst on the bottom right is a Toilet Block.


Construction began in January 1942 and the first aircraft arrived on 5th July 1943.

The airfield complex consisted of 30 aircraft hard stands, a perimeter taxiway of over 3 miles in length, around 150 buildings of various types and sizes and 3720 yards of runway which measured 50 yards in width!

R.A.F. Toome opened in 1943 and was soon passed to the U.S.A.A.F. who referred to it as Station 36 and used it as H.Q.3  Combat Crew Replacement Command.


As with some other airfields the Control Tower has been converted into a private dwelling however I believe it has now been demolished.

Norden Bombsight Building

This is the Norden Bombsight Building which is within the old Headquarters complex.

This bombsight was invented my Carl Norden who was a Dutch born American citizen and the saying of the time regarding use of this bombsight was that you “Could drop a bomb into a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet”

Security of the bombsight was paramount and bombardiers were required to sign a document saying they would protect the bombsight with their lives and destroy it if it was necessary to leave their aircraft.

The building shown here is a fortified structure built specifically for the storage of Norden bombsights and there remains a strong smell of lubricant in the small secure store behind the green metal door.

Martin Marauder at Toome

This B-26 B Martin Marauder 41-17990 "Chickasaw Chief II" of Hq Squadron, 3rd Combat Crew Replacement Centre, 8th Air Force crashed during Take-Off at Toome on 28th March 1944. 

(For more details see http://www.wisdomwingsandwar.com/ )

Medal Presentation at Toome

Lt. Colonel R.W. Crisp presents the Air Medal to Staff Sergeant George B. Boyte, a gunner on a B-24  Liberator and from Lewiston, Idaho.

Ceremony took place at Toome Airfield on 2nd September 1943.

(The photograph above is from Fold 3 which is available to EVERYONE below:-https://www.fold3.com/s.php#query=Northern+Ireland&preview=1&t=495 )

Grope Trainer at Toome

Sergeant Arnold Bohleber at the control desk of the Grope Trainer at Toome on 21st September 1943.

A Grope Cubical for training Aerial Navigators and Radio Operators as a team at Toome.

On the left is First Lt Edmund Johnson with Technical Sergeant Michael Kruge on the right.

Both are Radio Operators. Photograph taken on 21st September 1943.

Control room of a Grope Cubical Ground Station of the 236 U.S. Army Air Force Station at Toome. Photograph taken 21 September 1944.

Crew Briefing Room, Toome

Technical Sergeant Michael Kruge, Technical Sergeant Pari Hooper, Sergeant Bohleber and First Lieutenant Bill Wright plotting a map in the Crew Briefing Room at Toome on 21st September 1943.

Medical Care at Toome

External view of U.S. Air Force Hospital at Toome

Surgical Room at U.S. Air Force Hospital, Toome 26th July 1943. 

Sick Quarters of U.S. Air Force Hospital at Toome on 26th July 1943. 

Drug Room of U.S. Air Force Hospital at Toome on 26th July 1943.

Improvised Dental Chair at U.S.A.A.F. Station

Staying with a Medical Type theme these photographs show an improvised Dental Chair which has been constructed from a Pilot's Seat!

Chair was formerly a pilot's seat and was put into use as a dental chair by Lt. Ivanhoe.

No specific Station has been identified as to where this Chair was in use.

(The photographs above are from Fold 3 which is available to EVERYONE below:-https://www.fold3.com/s.php#query=Northern+Ireland&preview=1&t=495)

Aerial Photograph Toome Airfield

This picture shows how Toome looked on 26th May 1959.

You can see the Control Tower centre left of picture.

The Bomb Store is on the right close to the Shoreline. (Thanks very much to Martyn Boyd for this picture)

Some American Airmen at Toome.

Top left is First Lieutenant Harry W. Davis who served as a Pilot. On the right is Lieutenant Bruce Harris who was his Co-Pilot and immediately above is Sergeant Marvin Robbin Kellman - Armourer and tail Gunner. (These photographs are from  Everette E. Swinford who served with 394 Bomb Group, 586 Bomb Squadron)