Wartime Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland hosted RAF and USAAF airfields, evacuee camps, and bases and training grounds for American GIs.

Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

The historic Co. Antrim takes its name from the old town name of Aontroim, the Irish word for a lone ridge. Covering an area of around 3,046 square kilometres, it shares borders with Co. Down to the south and Co. Londonderry to the west.

During the Second World War, troops made use of the spectacular landscape, including the wild and rugged coastline, and the Glens of Antrim. British, American, and Belgian troops all passed through Co. Antrim where many airfields also saw the arrival of Australian and New Zealander forces to Ulster.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Australian War Memorial Photo: P00687.831. Pilot Officer Cyril Hampden Isaacs sits in the Wishing Chair at the Giant's Causeway, one of Northern Ireland's most famous visitor attractions in August 1945. Copyright Cyril Hampden Isaac.

Places of Interest

The following places will be of interest to anyone wishing to explore more of the area's Second World War heritage.

Map showing Antrim, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Antrim, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, the town of Antrim, Co. Antrim was the scene of a racially motivated attack causing the death of an American GI.

Map showing Ballycarry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Ballycarry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Ballycarry, Co. Antrim was the birthplace of Sir James Steele, who signed the mobilisation order in 1939, and took part in Dunkirk and the D-Day Landings.

Map showing Ballycastle, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Ballycastle, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

On 18th October 1943, Avro Anson N5372 came down on the high ground of Knocklayd Mountain near the quiet north-coast town of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim.

Map showing Ballyclare, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Ballyclare, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Between 1942-1944, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim hosted American troops. The area was also used by the British Army's Royal Engineers during the Second World War.

Map showing Ballymena, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Ballymena, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

From the start of the Second World War, Ballymena was home to British troops. The town continued to host troops until 1945 when the Belgian Army arrived.

Map showing Ballymoney, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Ballymoney, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, the town of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim was the scene of the crash of the Chance Vought Corsair JT692 of Sub-Lieutenant Ross.

Map showing Broughshane, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Broughshane, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The Co. Antrim village of Broughshane hosted British and American troops during the Second World War. In 1944, evacuees from Gibraltar arrived in the area.

Map showing Bushmills, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Bushmills, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Elements of the British Army including 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment trained in the area around Bushmills, Co. Antrim in wartime.

Map showing Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim hosted British and Belgian troops and was the birthplace of the U.S. Rangers.

Map showing Cullybackey, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Cullybackey, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, factories such as the Maine Works in Cullybackey, Co. Antrim manufactured shell casings as part of the ongoing war effort.

Map showing Dunadry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Dunadry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, soldiers from 8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters trained along the Six Mile Water near Dunadry, Co. Antrim.

Map showing Dundrod, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Dundrod, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The village of Dundrod, Co. Antrim celebrated the end of the Second World War in the Pacific with a night of celebration on V.J. Day in 1945.

Map showing Dunmurry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Dunmurry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The period after the Second World War brought change to Dunmurry, Co. Antrim. In wartime, it provided a base for troops and a refuge for Blitz evacuees.

Map showing Finaghy, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Finaghy, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The Second World War in Finaghy, Co. Antrim saw the arrival of troops from Britain and the United States of America as well as German POWs at Taughmonagh.

Map showing Glenariff, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Glenariff, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

On 30th January 1940, during the Second World War, the R.A.F's Avro Anson N4943 came down on high ground in a heavy snowstorm near Glenariff, Co. Antrim.

Map showing Glenavy, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Glenavy, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The village of Glenavy, Co. Antrim marked the end of the Second World War in the Pacific with celebrations to mark V.J. Day in August 1945.

Map showing Kells, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Kells, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

During the Second World War, a Camp for Gibraltarian Evacuees occupied land off the Craigstown Road in the quiet, rural village of Kells, Co. Antrim.

Map showing Larne, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Larne, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

The town of Larne, Co. Antrim played an important role in the Second World War. It was the first point of arrival for many service personnel.

Map showing Lisburn, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Lisburn, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Lisburn lies partly in Co. Antrim and Co. Down. During the Second World War, it saw much activity with troops of many nations in the area.

Map showing Newferry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Newferry, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Newferry lies on the River Bann, the border between Co. Antrim and Co. Londonderry. During the Second World War, soldiers trained in the area.

Map showing Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Although Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim did not exist until 1958, the villages in the area to the north of Belfast welcomed service personnel during wartime.

Map showing Portballintrae, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Portballintrae, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

R.A.F. Vickers Wellington DV664 shattered the peace and quiet in Portballintrae, Co. Antrim as the Second World War bomber plunged into the sea in 1943.

Map showing Portrush, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Portrush, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Large concrete defensive structures dating from the Second World War remain lookinf out over the Atlantic Ocean in Portrush, Co. Antrim.

Map showing Whitehead, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Whitehead, Co. Antrim during the Second World War

Co. Antrim

Towards the end of the Second World War, Whitehead, Co. Antrim was home to soldiers of the newly-formed 3rd (Rumbeke) Infantry Brigade of the Belgian Army.

References

Wikipedia

Categories