Base One Europe

Story of the US Navy and Marines in Derry 1942-44

A base of inestimable value

Story to be added to.


  • Admin Building
  • Repair Base
  • Pennyburn Creek
  • Lisahally Supply Base
  • Beech Hill Areas
  • Creevagh US Naval Hospital
  • Fincairn Glen Magazine
  • Springtown Camp – Accommodation
  • Aberfoyle House officers quarters
  • Talbot House – US Telephone exchange
  • Magee College Junior officers
  • Springtown House Accommodation for Commandant and Senior Medical Officer
  • Clooney Park Radio Station
  • Rossdowney Radio Station


  • 12 June 1941 – contract signed in Washington by British Government with GA Fuller-Merritt Chapman Corporation for constructing bases in Northern Ireland and Scotland, including Londonderry (Base 1) for the refuelling and repair of destroyers and submarines..

  • 30 June 1941, 362 ‘civilian technicians’ arrived in Derry – numbers doubled by Christmas.

  • 1 August 1941 – construction work started by US Navy Civil Engineering Corps – officers and technicians.

  • 7 December 1941 -Pearl Harbour.

  • 26 Jan 1942- 4,508 soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment docked in Belfast , now the official anniversary for first US forces arriving in Europe!

  • 5 Feb 1942 – NOB formally commissioned serving all US Naval vessels in European Waters.

  • 17-18 April – 1942 MG James E Chaney (Special Observer Group, London) and BG Robert A McClure (Military Attaché, American Embassy, London) accompany W Averill Harriman, Gen. George C Marshall (Chief of Staff, US Army) and Harry Hopkins on an inspection tour of US forces in NI.

  • 6 May 1942 – First American Red Cross club in the British Isles opens in Derry in the former Northern Counties Hotel.

  • 12 May 1942 – First Provisional Marine Battalion disembarks at Belfast and board LMS trains to Derry. At the railway station, naval buses take them to Springtown Camp.

  • 13 May 1942 – 135th Infantry (34th Infantry Division) arrives in Derry, having disembarked from the Aquitania in Scotland and transhipped into lighters for movement to NI.

  • 11 June 1942 – Lt. Hudson and the Rear Echelon of the First Provisional Marine Battalion arrived in Derry.

  • 11 November 1942 – First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt arrives in Derry to inspect the US NOB.

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