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16 October 2014
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Northern Ireland in WWII

Practically the whole of Northern Ireland is littered with the remains of airfields and buildings

WWII Bombers

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Northern Ireland in WWII

Article by Bob Crookes

Second World War Air raid shelter (Kilkeel)

Practically the whole of Northern Ireland is littered with the remains of airfields and buildings which were used by the thousands of soldiers from many allied countries who were posted here between 1940 and 1945.

Many sites have vanished altogether having been completely demolished but much of the remaining war heritage has hung on because it's been too difficult or impractical to remove.

Probably the easiest remains to see are the many airfields that were built which include six built exclusively for the use of USAAF at Langford Lodge near Crumlin, Maghaberry, Toome, Greencastle (more commonly referred to as Cranfield), Cluntoe and Mullaghmore. The one at Cranfield, which is still very visible from the roadside, was the last to be evacuated in 1945.

The many other airfields were RAF including Ballyhalbert, Ballykelly and St. Angelo. Not forgetting, of course, the huge number of amphibious aircraft that used Lough Erne as a base.

Collecting the war memories

Army personnel were here in huge numbers and, as well as British troops, Northern Ireland hosted US and Belgian forces and probably men from many other nations and we hope that you will be able to contribute to this memoir of the war years here. Perhaps you might know someone who, whilst not having their own web access, might have a memory of the war activities here; and perhaps you would be prepared to help them log their invaluable memories on this site.

Image collection

We've been out and taken some pictures of some WWII leftovers around the countryside but, in most cases, we have no idea why they are situated where they are. Obviously there must have been a very good reason for placing them there at the time.but it's no longer obvious. This is where we need your help.. someone, somewhere has the answer. There must be hundreds of similar sites all over the country - tell us about them, where they are and we'll make sure they're included. As time goes along hopefully we can put together a picture of what was happening here in Northern Ireland over sixty years ago.

See the other sections in this article:

Wartime Architecture | Banbridge | Limavady

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