Bangor, Co. Down

Bangor is a large town in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. The seaside resort on the south side of Belfast Lough was a hive of activity in the run up to D-Day.

Bangor

Co. Down

United Kingdom

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.

Wartime Bangor

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 DateEnd DateUnit
25/12/194311/05/1944Field Force Replacement System Depot No. 8
02/01/194430/04/194413th Postal Regulating Section
06/01/194401/05/1944277th Army Band
09/01/194407/1944153rd Army Postal Unit
12/01/194403/02/19446817th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Replacement Battalion (Provisional)
12/01/194403/02/19446843rd Replacement Company(Provisional)
12/01/194403/02/19446844th Replacement Company (Provisional)
12/01/194403/02/19446845th Replacement Company (Provisional)
12/01/194403/02/19446846th Replacement Company (Provisional)
12/01/194403/02/19446847th Replacement Company (Provisional)
03/02/194429/04/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 90th Replacement Battalion
03/02/194419/04/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 92nd Replacement Battalion
03/02/194429/04/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 93rd Replacement Battalion
03/02/194429/04/1944476th Replacement Company
03/02/194429/04/1944477th Replacement Company
03/02/194429/04/1944478th Replacement Company
03/02/194429/04/1944479th Replacement Company
03/02/194429/04/1944480th Replacement Company
03/02/194419/04/1944481st Replacement Company
03/02/194419/04/1944482nd Replacement Company
03/02/194429/04/1944483rd Replacement Company
11/03/194429/04/1944222nd Replacement Company (68th Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944223rd Replacement Company (68th Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944224th Replacement Company (69th Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944225th Replacement Company (69th Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944233rd Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944234th Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)
11/03/194429/04/1944235th Replacement Company (72nd Replacement Battalion)
30/03/194404/04/1944340th Replacement Company
31/03/194408/04/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 68th Replacement Battalion
06/04/194429/04/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 69th Replacement Battalion
06/04/194429/04/1944351st Replacement Company
06/04/194429/04/1944352nd Replacement Company
12/04/1944229th 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

54.6643292, -5.635571900000059

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

Ballyholme Bay, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6679494, -5.6533885000000055

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, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6572739, -5.664537800000062

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, Bangor, Co. Down

54.64315149999999, -5.648319700000002

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, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6508875, -5.6755097000000205

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

Eisenhower Pier, Bangor, Co. Down

54.66719399999999, -5.671999300000039

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

Hotel Pickie, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6619517, -5.673757499999965

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

Royal Hotel, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6645803, -5.667506300000014

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, Bangor, Co. Down

54.6579093, -5.680855999999949

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, Bangor, Co. Down

54.656013, -5.65920200000005

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.

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