Brownlow House in WW2
We’ve previously looked at the wider history of Brownlow House, Lurgan and mentioned its role as the Headquarters of American troops stationed in Northern Ireland during World War 2.
With the opening of the Brownlow HQ WW2 Exhibition in the basement of Brownlow House it is worthwhile visiting to learn more about the American soldiers sent to Northern Ireland.
WW2 American troops
More than 120,000 GIs were sent to Northern Ireland following the United States entry into the war in 1941. This included men from:
- V Army Corp – setting up its HQ at Brownlow House, Lurgan
- 34th Infantry deployed throughout counties Antrim and Tyrone
- 1st Armoured Division, ‘The Old Ironsides’, set up its HQ at Castlewellan, Co Down
This first wave of Americans trained throughout the summer of 1942 before deployment to the battlefront of North Africa in the Autumn.
The second wave began to arrive in mid October 1943 and included:
- the 2nd US Infantry Division
- the 5th Infantry Division
- the 82 Airborne Division
- the 8th Infantry Division
- XV Corp (which was based at Brownlow House)
Brownlow House WW2 Remembered
Brownlow House includes two separate WW2 exhibitions –
- an upstairs command room (once visited by Dwight D. Eisenhower). This was used to plan for the D-Day landings and the invasion of North Africa
- Brownlow HQ is a WW2 Exhibition in the basement of the building that tells the story of the American Soldiers stationed in Northern Ireland and particularly in Brownlow House using a range of displays and video guides
Brownlow HQ provides an excellent overview of the WW2 era and the ongoing plans for Operation Overlord. Together with the main house tour this is a gem of an exhibition that provides much of interest to all visitors.
The Brownlow HQ WW2 exhibition is open to the public from 10:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Saturday at no charge (though donations are welcome) with the Brownlow House tea room well open for lunches or a morning/ afternoon coffee.
Full tours of the building are available by appointment for small to large groups, with an experienced tour guide on hand to provide the full history of this magnificent building.
See More on Operation Overlord:
WW2 Normandy and Utah Beach may be an unusual setting for Belfast Entries but we thought it would be worthwhile following up on Operation Overlord and deployment of some of those American troops based in Northern Ireland during World War 2
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