Co. Down

Every branch of the military saw action in Co. Down during the Second World War from US Forces and General Eisenhower in Bangor to the RAF at Ballyhalbert.

County Down

Co. Down

United Kingdom

County Down in the province of Ulster is one of the six counties that make up Northern Ireland. It covers an area of 2,448 square kilometres and has a population of 531,665.

It shares borders with Co. Antrim to the north and Co. Armagh to the west. On its eastern side is the Irish Sea while the south-west faces Carlingford Lough.

Eisenhower addresses the crew of USS Texas

US National Archives Photo: 80-G-352914. General Dwight D Eisenhower (US Army) addresses the crew of USS Texas (BB-35) in May 1944. Also on the platform is Rear Admiral Alan G Kirk, Commander Task Force 122.


Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula make up the east side of the county. The largest city is Newry while the largest town is Bangor on the north-east coastline. Both Belfast and Lisburn lie on the border between Co. Down and Co. Antrim.

The county contains Northern Ireland’s most southern point at Cranfield Point. Burr Point, also in the county, is the easternmost point of the country.


The county takes its name from dún, the Irish word for a fort. That fort was at the historic town of Downpatrick.

Towns and Cities

Map showing Ballyhalbert, Co. Down

Ballyhalbert, Co. Down

Co. Down

Ballyhalbert lies near Newtownards, Co. Down. During World War Two, it was the site of a large military airfield used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

Map showing Bangor, Co. Down

Bangor, Co. Down

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.

Map showing Donaghadee, Co. Down

Donaghadee, Co. Down

Co. Down

The small town of Donaghadee, Co. Down still contains remnants of its Second World War History as well as tragic memories of the sinking of "Miss Betty".

Map showing Downpatrick, Co. Down

Downpatrick, Co. Down

Co. Down

The town of Downpatrick, Co. Down and surrounding area provided bases and training grounds for both British and American forces during the Second World War.

Map showing Dundonald, Co. Down

Dundonald, Co. Down

Co. Down

Dundonald is a settlement built around a historic 12th century motte and bailey castle. It lies to the east of Belfast on the Co. Down edge of the city.

Map showing Gilford, Co. Down

Gilford, Co. Down

Gilford , Co. Down

Gilford is a village in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. The village lies on the banks of the River Bann in the Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon Borough Council area.




Co. Down