Barry during WW2 Defences

"This section of the site tells the story of the S.Wales town of Barry and the surrounding area during WW2.

Barry Docks, west of Cardiff in south Wales, was a prominent Bristol Channel port during WW2, being used for importing the essential materials and food needed to support the island nation of Britain, while also serving as an embarkation point for American troops.

GIs of US 5th Corps 2nd Infantry Division embarked for the second wave of D-Day from ports across south Wales including Barry. US troops were billeted around the town, with several camps being set up, which had an affect on life in the town. One gentleman who worked on the docks at the time told me; "The US soldiers were very good to us.

Their officer was concerned that I had to walk a long way to work so he assigned me a Jeep and driver. Every morning the coloured GI would collect me and take me home in the evening. He was a lovely fellow." In their smart uniforms and with the accents of movie stars, the Americans were also popular with the women.

The oft said phrase by the less ena moured was that the G.Is were "Over paid; over sexed, and OVER HERE!!" Even so, from south Wales over 700 women became GI brides, with around 56 of women from Barry and the surrounding area marrying US servicemen. Read more in the Barry GI Brides section. The US camp near Sully Hospital, late 1943 A few miles to the west of Barry town lay the largest RAF repair base in Britain, at Llandow Airfield.

Further west at Bridgend was a large Prisoner of War (POW) camp at Island Farm, which was briefly home to the US 28th Infantry Division before they shipped to France.

Barry Docks late 1943. This are is now Barry Waterfront. In the middle of the picture can be seen the camoflauged oil storage tanks, protected by a barrage balloon.

The camp at Sully was a typically segregated camp. The white GIs were billeted in Nissen Huts, while the coloured GIs lived in the tents.

The US camp near Sully Hospital, late 1943

A few miles to the west of Barry town lay the largest RAF repair base in Britain, at Llandow Airfield. Further west at Bridgend was a large Prisoner of War (POW) camp at Island Farm, which was briefly home to the US 28th Infantry Division before they shipped to France.