The group behind the Base One Europe Museum in Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland has issued an appeal at home and in the United States for help in tracking down a WWII artefact. The plaque commemorated the commissioning by the US Secretary of the Navy, 75 years ago this week, of the ‘US Naval Operating Base Londonderry’. Prior to this official designation, the American naval base, located in 13 sites and buildings across the Foyle valley, had been known by its code name, ‘Advance Destroyer Base One’.
The plaque was last seen on the parade ground of Springtown Camp in Derry in 1944 and was probably removed when the US Navy decommissioned its Naval Operating Base in Derry that year, after the Battle of the Atlantic had been won and when the fight moved to the beaches of France and the Pacific islands. The plaque bore the text: “United States Naval Operating Base, Londonderry Northern Ireland. Commissioned February 5 1942. Captain William J Larson USN Commandant” and was decorated with eagle and anchors.
The voluntary group would love to have the loan of the plaque for its display in the Base One Europe Museum before the end of this 75th anniversary year. Anyone who knows the location of the plaque should contact Mark Lusby researcher via the Beech Hill Country House Hotel email firstname.lastname@example.org