Limavady’s wartime history is Snow bother for daredevil Dan

Presenter Dan Snow at the former Coastal Command Base in Limavady. '0805Sj77
Presenter Dan Snow at the former Coastal Command Base in Limavady. '0805Sj77

Limavady’s role in World War 11 is to feature in a new three-part BBC television series.

The series is presented by military historian Dan Snow, and reveals the ”vital role Northern Ireland played in the Second World War - its strategic location protecting essential supply convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic to tanks built by Harland & Wolff that would breach enemoy lines and the bravery of its soldiers”.

Dan travels to key sites across Europe where Northern Ireland’s influence played a role in the outcome of the war.

“As a military historian World War II is a story I thought I knew but now I’ve come to Northern Ireland where I’m discovering all sorts of incredible stories - secrets, heroism, suffering and valour,” he said. “This is the untold story of how Northern Ireland played a pivotal role in the war and how its people helped shape the outcome.”

Dan visits some of the 350 wartime sites in Northern Ireland, many of which go unoticed or are buried now, but were central to the defence of the UK and Europe.

The first programme visits a former Coastal Command base at Limavady and hears the story of a Northern Ireland pilot who would become the most successful U-boat hunter of all time. Dan also visits a mysterious building in Limavady - an anti-aircraft training dome.

The series, starting on BBC One Northern Ireland next Monday, May 14 at 9pm gets expert insight from enthusiasts and historians and local men who fought and served in World War 11.

It also features the journey of Bud Wolfe who after bailing out of his stricken machine into a Donegal bog, ended up being interned in a prisoner of war camp in neutral Republic of Ireland at the Curragh. The series also features a dive on the Flying Fortress in Lough Foyle that never made it on a bombing raid and how the crew survived the crash, helped by a local woman and her sailboat.

“Northern Ireland played a pivotal role in the Allied victory in the Second World war,” says series producer, John Hayes Fister. “My hope is that this series gives Northern Ireland the recognition and place in history that it deserves.”