Author Topic: US Navy in Belfast 1960s  (Read 480 times)

CMcG

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Re: US Navy in Belfast 1960s
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2019, 11:23:27 PM »
Visits to Belfast (and Londonderry as well) by naval vessels from Britain and further afield were more frequent for that era, some were informal visits and vessels were open to the public, others were operational visits (eg. part of N.A.T.O. exercises) and vessels were not open to the public.

Fleets comprising British, US and other warships sometimes assembled in Bangor Bay as the base for calling into Belfast. For example, a large joint exercise comprising British vessels and a US aircraft carrier and 6 destroyers was anchored there in 1961.     

US submarines didn't necessarily just visit as part of  a wider fleet, for example, in February 1960, the U.S.S. Cavalla, U.S.S. Irex and U.S.S. Hardhead, each with a complement of 10 officers and 80 ratings, visited Belfast for 3 days, they were berthed beside each other at Dufferin Dock and were open to the public.  There is no mention of any accompanying US surface craft. The Cavalla was known for having sunk the Japanese aircraft carrier 'Shokaku' in 1944. In November of the same year (1960), the U.S.S. Archerfish visited for a week and was berthed at Herdman Channel North. The Archerfish was also known for having sunk a Japanese aircraft carrier in 1944, the 'Shinano'.   

As well as the Canadian 'Bonaventure' in 1965, that year saw a 'Meet the Navy' visit to Belfast by a British fleet comprising the aircraft carrier 'Centaur', the cruiser 'Tiger' and at least 10 other vessels (destroyer, frigates, minesweepers and a submarine), reported as 'the biggest naval force to visit Belfast since the war'.   

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Alber55

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Re: US Navy in Belfast 1960s
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2019, 11:48:37 PM »
I hadn't realised the visits were as often. I was hoping it would be a 1-off and I would be able to pin it down to one specific fleet and then work out who my parents friend was by way of elimination.

BLOOMFIELD

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Re: US Navy in Belfast 1960s
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2019, 10:01:34 AM »
There were quite a few tough French Canadian sailors on her crew. Mad Pierre as he was known, springs to mind. Even the Belfast hard men gave him and others a wide berth. Lol

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