Derrygally House stands on the River Blackwater near Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. It is on the opposite side of the river to The Argory, another grand house used by the military during World War Two. The Blackwater marks the border between Co. Armagh and Co. Tyrone.
During the Second World War, the house at Derrygally was home to 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The US Army battalion split between Derrygally and The Argory on the other side of the river. Both properties belonged to the well-known Bonds family.
Starting on 20th October 1943, the United States military established a command post in the servants quarters. These were in the courtyard area of Derrygally. The enlisted men stayed in Nissen huts around the property while the officers’ quarters were in the main house.
Before arriving at the Co. Tyrone stately home, 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion had spent several days at Gosford Castle, Markethill, Co. Armagh. From there, they travelled by rail to the Trew-and-Moy station in Co. Tyrone.
US Army at Derrygally House
Preparation of the camp in severely adverse conditions at The Argory and Derrygally House was the responsibility of a detachment of Lieutenant Huie’s 10th Infantry, 5th Infantry Division. These men from the US 5th Army remained in Co. Tyrone to make the site ready for the Tank Destroyer Battalion while 5th Army departed for Italy.
On 3rd April 1944, Derrygally House received a visit from General George S Patton. While there, he complimented Colonel Martz on the appearance of the camp and the battle readiness of the men.
Some signs of the US Army’s occupancy remain at Derrygally House including old storage boxes in the entrance area. Other remaining items include a water tank near the river where a bridge once connected the properties and garages built by the army. The Americans hid the tanks and other vehicles beneath trees on nearby hills. Traces of a vehicle inspection pit and Nissen hut bases may also survive from the time.