January 8. Three brothers from Belmont. Roll of Honour

In 1916 Robert McDermott a recent law graduate of Queens was killed serving with the Royal Irish Rifles. He was one of three brothers from Belmont Manse to serve. On this day in 1916 the evacuation of the Royal Naval Division from Gallipoli commenced. In 1917 it was reported in the News Letter that Robert Quigg had left Bushmills to travel to Sandringham to receive the VC from the King. In 1945 William Wright from Londonderry died serving with Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st (Airborne) Btn. In Luxembourg. Today’s veteran was the son of a C of I clerical missionary to China. Educated at Campbell College, like the McDermotts, and at Cambridge, he served as a naval chaplain in WW2

1 Comment

  1. Two Lockheed YP-80 Shooting Stars (the pre-production version) were deployed to Italy by the USAAF in early 1945. Those aircraft were intended to counter the Luftwaffe’s Arado 234 Blitz bombers being used for aerial reconnaissance in the theatre. With a speed of 461mph and a service ceiling of 32,800 feet the Blitz, the world’s first jet reconnaissance aircraft, was immune from interception by Allied fighters and flew above the effective ceiling of the AA guns still deployed in Italy.
    The war diary of 12 AA Brigade notes that the first Blitz, misidentified as a Messerschmitt 262, was first observed over the Eighth Army area on 2 April 1945. Its speed was estimated at 430mph and its height as 35,000 feet and it ‘carried out an extensive recce of the Army area’.
    The pair of YP-80s deployed to Italy means that the Shooting Star did see active service in the SWW, although it seems that few accounts acknowledge this.

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