United States Army in Northern Ireland

The first troops of the United States Army to enter the European Theatre of Operations landed at Dufferin Dock, Belfast on 26th January 1942.

Between 1942 and the end of the Second World War, around 300,000 American service personnel passed through Ulster. At its peak, U.S. military personnel made up around 1/10th of Northern Ireland's population in some areas.

American troops were scattered across the country as they prepared to enter battle in North Africa and across Europe. While training, they opened Irish eyes to American culture including sports such as American Football and Baseball. By the end of the Second World War, American GIs had made a huge impression on the people of Northern Ireland. In fact, almost 2,000 women from Ulster became GI brides and left Irish shores to start a new life in the U.S.A. during peacetime.

34th Infantry Division land in Ulster

On 26th January 1942, Lieutenant J.R. Bainbridge took a series of photos as the first elements of 34th Infantry Division, United States Army arrived at Dufferin Dock, Belfast.

Without Northern Ireland, I do not see how the American forces could have been concentrated to begin the invasion. The city of Belfast, its facilities, people, and influences made possible the beginning of that concentration.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Speech at Belfast City Hall, August 1945.

Unites States Army Divisions in Northern Ireland

34th Infantry Division

United States Army 34th Infantry Division was the first American division deployed to Europe in the Second World War, arriving in Northern Ireland in 1942.

5th Infantry Division

United States Army 5th Infantry Division arrived in Northern Ireland in October 1943, establishing a Headquarters and other bases throughout Co. Down.

Non-Divisional Units in Ulster

Featured image for 6th Cavalry

6th Cavalry

6th Cavalry, United States Army arrived in Gilford, Co. Down and Tandragee, Co. Armagh in October 1943 establishing bases in castles and surrounding areas.

Military Police Corps

With over 300,000 US Army troops passing through Ulster, the Military Police Corps enforced law and order on the bases and camps across Northern Ireland.

Quartermaster Corps

The US Army Quartermaster Corps is a logistics branch of the Army. Many units within the Corps trained in Northern Ireland before Operation Torch and D-Day.

Signal Corps

Elements of US Army Signal Corps began to arrive in Northern Ireland on 26th January 1942 on USAT Chateau Thierry. The operated communications for V Corps.

Transportation Corps

Established on 31st July 1942, the Transportation Corps is a combat service support branch of the US Army. Many units operated in Northern Ireland in 1944.

XV Corps

In late 1943, elements of the United States Army XV Corps arrived in Northern Ireland, later establishing a headquarters base at Kircassock House, Co. Down.

US Army segregation in Northern Ireland


7th March 2018

During World War Two, over one million black servicemen served in segregated US Army regiments. Many of those men were briefly based in Northern Ireland.

Relations and racial tensions in wartime Northern Ireland


7th February 2020

Throughout the Second World War, Northern Ireland welcomed United States Army soldiers regardless of race. There was no colour bar in Ulster.

Murder cases involving the United States Military in Northern Ireland


6th February 2020

Murder cases involving the US Army took place in Northern Ireland from 1942 - 1944. A total of 7 incidents resulted in the deaths of soldiers and civilians.