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US Navy 'Seabees' that helped build Falmouth's waterfront remembered
1:00pm Friday 13th June 2014 in News
The US soldiers who built part of Falmouth’s waterfront during World War II have been recognised with a board recounting their deeds, just in time for the anniversary of D-Day.
The temporary information board gives details of the 97th Naval Construction Battalion, who built landing ramps at Grove Place in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, and were also responsible for laying many of the concrete roads in Falmouth.
It is sited above a concrete section of one of the original loading ramps, which were demolished during the construction of the new waterfront several years ago, which was inscribed by one of the American soldiers with the battalion’s nickname of the 97th Seabees.
The block was saved from the scrap heap by local man Peter Murray, who recognised its importance when he saw it in a pile of rubble, and has been set in place as a reminder of the site’s history.
Peter said: “This was all put in by the Americans in 1943.
“When they started to construct the new slipway, I saw [the concrete block] and asked if I could have it. It was put on a pallet and lost for a few years, until Roger Andrew found it.
“It’s good that it’s displayed for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the Americans left from Falmouth for Normandy.”
Councillor David Saunby said the hunt is now on for a sponsor so that the temporary board can be replaced with a permanent sign, as a mark of respect for all those Americans who left from Falmouth on D-Day. He can be contacted through Falmouth Town Council or on 01326 315285.
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