DCSIMG

Thirty years cooking for the ‘Yanks’

Jim Smith outside a WWII Quonset Hut still in use at the US Naval Communications Base in the 1950s.

Jim Smith outside a WWII Quonset Hut still in use at the US Naval Communications Base in the 1950s. "Images courtesy of the US National Archives and Records and the Beech Hill Association"

Dolores McGuinness , former shop assistant, is proud that her father, Jim Smith, was one the longest serving Derry workers for the Americans.

A press cutting from the “Modulator” features Jim as one of six “old timers” who had started as civilian workers in the WWII US Naval Operating Base and had stayed on after the war when the base became the US Naval Communications Base.

The other “old timers” were John Fegan, James Patton, Charles Marley, Alex Kearney, and Alex Stewart.

Jim Smith had worked with the Amercans since 1941 but was first employed as a cook on June 20, 1943, a role he continued until 1972.

Working for the US Navy became a family enterprise as Jim’s two sons, Eamon and Liam, also worked at the Communications Base.

Dolores herself was involved in the life of the Base, baby-sitting for American families and is still in contact with one of the now 50 year-old babies!

 

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