On this day 75 years ago, the complement of the US Naval Operating Base Londonderry was 65 officers, 950 enlisted men and 382 Marines. The HMCS ST CROIX was inspected while at anchor at Moville; repairs were made to Radio Direction Finding (RDF) equipment on USS KEARNEY, USS BENSON and USS NIBLACK; a Fathometer on USS CLEAVES also needed attention. Other US ships present at Lisahally were the USS LIVERMORE and USS MAYO.
The previous couple of days had also been eventful in the US Navy’s Base One Europe. On June 10th 1942 the USS ALBATROSS departed from the base; the ALBATROSS had been the first US Naval vessel to put into Derry during WWII when it arrived in the port in mid-January 1942 after been blown off course by two violent hurricanes while en route to Iceland. Also on June 10th 1942, Admiral Stark, Commander, US Naval Forces in Europe, inspected the US Naval base. Next day on June 11th 1942 the Marine rear echelon of 82 enlisted men arrived in Derry from Quantico, Virginia, led by First Lieutenant John S Hudson. They had crossed the Atlantic on SS Siboney.
Images courtesy of the Base One Europe Museum, US National Archives and John M Hudson.
Saw the side bar about the US Navy in Derry before the war..
My father is a retired USMARINE but was on the Pacific during the war. And was based in Londonderry as a civilian electronics engineer for the US government.
My mother was born and raised at Government House, out the Letterkenny Rd. Her name was Iris Crone. Her father was the steward of the estate. She told.me that Americans were in Derry during 1940. Some of them based at Government House. She was a a girl of 11 when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor,Dec 7th. She said everyone was so surprised the next day when all the Americans appears in their military uniforms for the first time. As they had all been dressed as civilians until that day. That’s when the Irish knew the Americans ( Yanks ) were in the war for real.
My Mother Marie McCallion from Newtown Cunningham, Co Donagal worked in the Northen Counties Hotel, Derry as a Waitress. She told me the same. All the Americans previously in civies suddenly turned up in uniform in the hotel where they were staying after Pearl Harbour bombing Dec 1941.
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