37,000 American troops – V Corps – disembarked at Belfast and Londonderry on 26th January 1942. Corps HQ was at Brownlow House, Lurgan, with 34 Division in Tyrone and Fermanagh and 1 Armoured Division in South Down. The troops left at the end of the year to take part in the Allied landings in North Africa.
XV Corps arrived in the autumn of 1943 to prepare for the Normandy landings in May 1944. The 120,000 troops made up the 2nd, 5th and 8th Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division.
The airfield at Langford Lodge was the centre of the air activity, with 6,000 personnel engaged in assembly, servicing and repair work.
Contact with the local population led to many enduring friendships and some 1,800 local girls sailed to the States to marry their GIs.
Part of the orginal War Memorial Building on Waring Street was named the Hall of Friendship in honour of the close bonds formed between the US soldiers and people of Northern Ireland in World War Two. When the War Memorial moved to the new building on Talbot Street the main exhibition area was also named the Hall of Friendship in order to continue to honour the link.
Visit the museum to see objects relating to the American Presence in Northern Ireland during WW2.
Tell us your story
Throughout 2017 the War Memorial Museum will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of US Forces and we’d like to hear your memories of their time here.
Your story is very important to our expanding oral history collection. This is your chance to have your story added to the museum’s collection for future generations to hear.
If you or someone you know would be happy to share their story with our History Researcher Dr Susan Kelly, please get in touch at email@example.com