Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Museum presents a picture of life during wartime

Irish American Hollywood Starlet Peggy Diggins, serving in the US International News Service photographing a US Marine Private James Lines of Orange County, New York at Beech Hill Camp in August 1943

A series of evocative historical photographs commemorating the contribution of the US Marines based in Londonderry during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War is on show at the Base One Europe Beech Hill Camp Museum.

The museum is located at the Beech Hill Country Hotel on the outskirts of the city, as the grounds of the hotel was where the Marines were camped during the campaign.

As well as the museum there are woodland trails through the forest where the remains of more than 400 Quonset huts that made up the accommodation at the camp can be seen.

The Marines were based in the city to guard the massive naval base which played an absolutely crucial role against the German U-Boat onslaught on the convoys in the Atlantic.

The Royal Navy, US Navy and Canadian Navy were all based in Derry during the battle and the city eventually saw the surrender of the U-Boat fleet at the end of the war.

The Marines were widely welcomed and many remembered their service in Derry with fondness, some returning after the war to visit.

The city this weekend will remember them in turn as it remembers the servicemen and women who gave their lives during the great sea campaign.

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