Beech Hill Collection – Base One Europe
The Beech Hill US Navy and Marine Corps Association is pleased to be participating in the BT Portrait of a City Project. The Association comprised of volunteers dedicated to preserving the story of the US Naval Operating Base in Derry, 1942-44, and the story of the US Marines who guarded it. The Navy commenced constructing its facilities a full six months before Pearl Harbor and the 12 sites across the city and its rural hinterland that made up the US Naval Operating Base Londonderry were code-named Base One Europe. The Beech Hill Association has created a permanent museum and woodland trail at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel. The woodlands around the present-day hotel provided one of the main accommodation camps for the Naval Base and the “Londonderry Marines” were headquartered at the Beech Hill Camp.
The Beech Hill Association has identified and digitized several thousand documents related to Base One Europe, with the kind permission of the US National Archives and Records Administration, and is making the photographs available through the Museum at the Beech Hill and online through the BT Portrait of a City Project. These photographs give an invaluable insight into how Derry~Londonderry was transformed in WWII to play a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic and in particular the engagement between the United States and the people of Derry. As part of BT Portrait of a City and the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the Beech Hill Association is curating an exhibition of the work of US Navy War Artist Dwight Shepler. The exhibition will run from 10-13th May at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel.