Bangor is a large town in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. The seaside resort on the southern side of Belfast Lough falls within the Belfast Metropolitan Area in the province of Ulster.
The town is a commuter base for the Belfast area. Only 13.6 miles or 22km east of the city, it has links with the Northern Irish capital via the A2 road and a direct railway line. Bangor also lies close to the George Best Belfast City Airport.
In the centre of Main Street, Bangor, Co. Down stood a pair of air raid shelters for use by the public. Many houses in the area had their own shelters and some still stand in back gardens around the town. American GIs would shop in Walker’s Irish Linen, keen to send home a piece of the “old country” and such was the popularity of Lightbody’s Fish and Chips, it became a military canteen. Military marching bands would often parade through the main street of the town as more troops arrived ahead of operations in Europe.
American Forces in Bangor
The following American forces were based in the town of Bangor, Co. Down between 1943 and 1944. If you have more information on exact bases, please get in touch.
|Start Date||End Date||Unit|
|25/12/1943||11/05/1944||Field Force Replacement System Depot No. 8|
|02/01/1944||30/04/1944||13th Postal Regulating Section|
|06/01/1944||01/05/1944||277th Army Band|
|09/01/1944||07/1944||153rd Army Postal Unit|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6817th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Replacement Battalion (Provisional)|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6843rd Replacement Company(Provisional)|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6844th Replacement Company (Provisional)|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6845th Replacement Company (Provisional)|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6846th Replacement Company (Provisional)|
|12/01/1944||03/02/1944||6847th Replacement Company (Provisional)|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 90th Replacement Battalion|
|03/02/1944||19/04/1944||Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 92nd Replacement Battalion|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 93rd Replacement Battalion|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||476th Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||477th Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||478th Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||479th Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||480th Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||19/04/1944||481st Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||19/04/1944||482nd Replacement Company|
|03/02/1944||29/04/1944||483rd Replacement Company|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||222nd Replacement Company (68th Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||223rd Replacement Company (68th Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||224th Replacement Company (69th Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||225th Replacement Company (69th Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||233rd Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||234th Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)|
|11/03/1944||29/04/1944||235th Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)|
|30/03/1944||04/04/1944||340th Replacement Company|
|31/03/1944||08/04/1944||Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 68th Replacement Battalion|
|06/04/1944||29/04/1944||Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 69th Replacement Battalion|
|06/04/1944||29/04/1944||351st Replacement Company|
|06/04/1944||29/04/1944||352nd Replacement Company|
|12/04/1944||229th Replacement Company|
Places of Interest
The following places will be of interest to anyone wishing to explore more of Bangor's World War Two heritage.
Ashley Gardens, Bangor, Co. Down
Ashley Gardens, Bangor, Co. Down took a direct hit from a Luftwaffe bomb as the Nazi air force launched the Belfast Blitz on Easter Monday and Tuesday 1941.
Ballyholme Bay, Bangor, Co. Down
In 1944, Ballyholme Bay in Bangor was a hive of activity. Shipyards carried out work for the Admiralty and US Navy landing ship craft beached off the shore.
Bangor Academy, Bangor, Co. Down
Bangor Academy merged Bangor Girls' High School and Gransha Boys' High School in 2001. During the 1940s, Kindertransport girls attended the Bangor school.
Bangor Grammar School, Bangor, Co. Down
bangor Grammar School is an all-boys school in the coastal town of Bangor, Co. Down. It dates back to 1856, founded by Colonel The Honourable Robert Ward.
Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down
Bangor New Cemetery on the Newtownards Road in Co. Down is the resting place of 40 servicemen who served in World War Two as well as victims of the Blitz.
Eisenhower Pier, Bangor, Co. Down
General Dwight D Eisenhower visited Bangor, Co. Down on the 18th-19th May 1944 adressing troops in the lead up to D-Day. The north pier now bears his name.
Hotel Pickie, Bangor, Co. Down
Between 1942 and 1944, the Hotel Pickie, Bangor, Co. Down became an American red Cross Club where many of the US troops could socialise while on leave.
Royal Hotel, Bangor, Co. Down
The Royal Hotel, Bangor, Co. Down stood proudly on the coastline for many years and throughout World War Two provided a base for the Royal Navy and US Navy.
St Comgall’s Catholic Church, Bangor, Co. Down
St Comgall's Catholic Church on Brunswick Street, Bangor, Co. Down held funeral services for three members of the Grattan family killed by enemy action.
Ward Park, Bangor, Co. Down
Ward Park is a beautiful people's park popular with locals and tourists alike. Visitors with a keen eye will notice a few reminders of wartime Bangor there.