Monday, May 11, 2015

British Cemetery

In the spring of 1942, the British Navy sent 24 armed trawlers to the east coast of the United States to augment the fleet of the US Navy in WWII.

On May 11, 1942, the captain of the German U-boat, U-558, fired three torpedoes at the British armed trawler, Bedfordshire. The third torpedo struck the vessel amidships with devastating results. The ship sank within minutes, killing everyone on board.

The bodies of four British sailors washed ashore at Ocracoke, and were laid to rest near the Capt. David Williams cemetery. Every year since then, the US Coast Guard, British & Canadian military officials, and local Outer Banks organizations honor the crew of the Bedfordshire and other sailors who lost their lives protecting the United States from Nazi aggression.

Samantha Styron Reading History of the Bedfordshire's Sinking

This year the commemorative event was held on Friday, May 8, at 11:00 am.

US Coast Guard Pipe Band

You can read more about the British Cemetery ceremonies in the Ocracoke Current and the Ocracoke Observer.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here:

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