Sunday, October 13, 2013

'Operation Torch' commemorative tablet, Gibraltar

1. The American War Memorial & Arch, Gibraltar
[Line Wall Road, Gibraltar]
2. American War Memorial & 'Operation Torch' tablet
[From Reclamation Road, Gibraltar]
3. 'Operation Torch' tablet, Gibraltar
[Unveiled on 7 November 1998]
4. First U.S. Mediterranean Squadron tablet
[Richard Dale's Squadron from the 1st Barbary War]
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information


The American War Memorial, Gibraltar is located along Line Wall Road and there is a large archway built into the main town wall [Photograph No 1]. It was designed by a French-born architect based at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr Paul Philippe Cret (1876 - 1945). The memorial was commissioned by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Although the memorial was built in the years 1932 - 33, its formal dedication took place only in 1937.

The steps that lead from the American War Memorial Arch go down to Reclamation Road [Photograph No 2]. There are two commemorative tablets with American links on the outside of the line wall in this vicinity.

The first is a commemorative tablet for 'Operation Torch', the Allied invasion of North Africa in November, for which the headquarters were in Gibraltar [Photograph No 3]. The second commemorative tablet is from a much earlier war, commemorating the First U.S. Mediterranean Squadron based at Gibraltar in 1801 under Commodore Richard Dale [Photograph No 4].

Sunday, 13 October, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The 'Operation Torch' tablet

On 7 November 1998 on the eve of the 56th anniversary of 'Operation Torch', a commemorative tablet was unveiled by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the Hon. Peter Caruana (now the Hon. Sir Peter Caruana, KCMG, QC) at the American War Memorial [Photograph No 3]. It was commissioned by the Gibraltar-American Council and H.M. Government of Gibraltar.

The wording on the tablet is as follows:


In memory of the British and American soldiers, sailors, and airmen who risked their lives in the liberation of North Africa in World War II.

From their headquarters in Fortress Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Dwight David Eisenhower, United States Army, and Admiral Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, Royal Navy, directed Operation TORCH, the first major combined combat operation during World War II involving American and British forces.

On 8 November 1942, elements of the Allied expeditionary force landed simultaneously along the coastline of Morocco and Algeria. The lessons learned and the relationships forged between British and American forces and their leaders during this campaign would ultimately lead to the liberation of Europe.

The Gibraltar-American Council November 1998"

Sunday, 13 October, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The First U.S. Squadron commemorative tablet

The link between Gibraltar and the United States Navy goes back over 200 years. The First U.S. Naval Mediterranean Squadron at Gibraltar under Commodore Richard Dale arrived in 1801 to defend American interests in the First Barbary War.

The wording on the commemorative tablet [Photograph No 4] reads as follows:

"In commemoration of the arrival of the First U.S. Naval Mediterranean Squadron at Gibraltar on 1 July 1801. Dispatched by President Thomas Jefferson to protect American interests in the Mediterranean, the Squadron was commanded by Commander Richard Dale, U.S. Navy, hero of the American Revolution. The Squadron's first Mediterranean port of call was Gibraltar and the first documented gun salute fired by the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean was to Lieutenant-General O'Hara, Governor of Gibraltar.

Ships in the original squadron

U.S.S. President, 44 (flagship), Captain James Barron
U.S.S. Philadelphia, 36, Captain Samuel Barron
U.S.S. Essex, 32, Captain William Bainbridge
U.S.S. Enterprize, 12, Lieutenant Andrew Sterret

Presented by Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Further reading

'Operation Torch', the invasion of Vichy French North Africa was one of the first major combined assaults of the Allies during WW2. It led to the Allied forces dominating French North Africa and hemmed in the Axis Forces under Rommel in Tunisia. Ultimately it led to the defeat of all the Axis Forces in North Africa

To read the timeline summary of 'Operation Torch' on the BBC "People's War" website, click on the following link:

BBC 'People's War': 'Operation Torch'

Sunday, 13 October, 2013  

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