Tandragee, Co. Armagh during the Second World War

World War Two in Tandragee, Co. Armagh brought tanks and Jeeps of the United States Army to the rural town while an RAF Spitfire crashed in the countryside.

Tandragee

Co. Armagh

Northern Ireland

Tandragee, Co. Armagh is a small town near Portadown, Co. Armagh. It's connections to the main Belfast-Dublin railway and proximity to the River Cusher and Newry Canal made it an ideal staging post for the United States Army in 1943.

On 25th May 1942, the tranquility of the rural fields on the outskirts of Tandragee, Co. Armagh shattered when Supermarine Spitfire BL325 came down near Cordrain Orange Hall. A little over a year later, life in the town would change dramatically with the arrival of American GIs as part of 6th Cavalry.

One historic moment for 6th Cavalry took place in the town. The unit held its last parade on 31st December 1943 in Tandragee, Co. Armagh. The regiment then became 6th Mechanized Cavalry Group. This unit formed of 6th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and 28th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron.

US 6th Cavalry in Tandragee

US National Archives Photo. (Part of the US Army Signal Corps Photograph Collection). Over 1,500 men of the US 6th Cavalry were based at Tandragee Castle, Bannvale House and Gilford Castle. On 11th November 1943, they observed Armistice Day at the Tandragee War Memorial.

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 Madden Bridge Railway Station, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Madden Bridge Railway Station, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

120 Madden Road, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Madden Bridge Railway Station between Tandragee, Co. Armagh and Gilford, Co. Down saw the arrival of thousands of troops into the area during World War Two.

Map showing St. Mark’s Church of Ireland, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

St. Mark’s Church of Ireland, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

2a Armagh Road, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

St. Mark's Church of Ireland stands on the hilltop looking over the town of Tandragee, Co. Armagh. The adjoining graveyard contains one Commonwealth War Grave from World War Two.

Map showing Tandragee Castle, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Tandragee Castle, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

The Square, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

The site of Tandragee Castle has been a stronghold overlooking the town since the days of the O'Hanlon clan of Ulster who fought in the 1641 rebellion. In 1943, the US Army set up camp there.

Map showing Tandragee Golf Club, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Tandragee Golf Club, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Markethill Road, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Tandragee Golf Club dates back to 1911 when a private course was designed for the 9th Duke of Manchester. Play continued on the course throughout World War Two.

Map showing Tandragee War Memorial, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Tandragee War Memorial, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Castle Square, Tandragee, Co. Armagh

The Tandragee War Memorial, made of Newry granite, stands in the main square of the Co. Armagh town, and marks the entrance to the famous Tandragee Castle.

Spitfire BL325 crash near Tandragee, Co. Armagh

Spitfire BL325 crash near Tandragee, Co. Armagh

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25th May 2018

On 25th May 1942, Spitfire BL325 crash landed near Cordrain Orange Hall, Tandragee, Co. Armagh. The Mark VB plane was based at RAF Kirkistown, Co. Down.