Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Navy Base

While spending time on Ocracoke you might hear someone mention the National Park Service docks on Silver Lake Harbor. However, if you are speaking with native islanders you will more likely hear the docks referred to as the Base Docks.

US Navy Base Docks
courtesy Ocracoke Preservation Society

A U.S. Navy Base on Ocracoke was commissioned on October 9, 1942. On January 16, 1944 it was converted to an Amphibious Training Base, and in 1945 it was converted to a Combat Information Center. At one time more than 500 Navy personnel were stationed at Ocracoke. The Base was closed in 1946.

In his book, "Ocracoke Island, It's People, the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Base During World War II" Earl O'Neal includes several photos of the Base taken in 1947 by LCDR Henning A. Rountree, Jr. USNR RET. The pictures were sent to Ocracoke residents, Wahab & Elizabeth Howard. Their daughter, Elizabeth Howard Chamberlin, submitted the photos for publication on-line. You can view them here: http://www.ocracokeisland.com/navel_base_photos.htm.

Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Aleta, Ocracoke's mailboat from 1944-1952, compliments of the Core Sound Museum. Click on the following link for photos, text, and audio recordings about this iconic vessel: http://www.coresound.com/saltwaterconnections/portlight/aleta/


  1. Julie S.7:47 AM

    Were docks there prior to the Navy?

    1. No docks there that I know of. I understand there were clam beds there in the early 20th century.

  2. Anonymous8:04 AM

    Philip, there doesn't seem to be much know about the 1883 lifeboat station at hatteras inlet, Hammock Station as it was called. I know it eroded in the 1950's but's that's all I could find. Also not much know about the first ocracoke village lifeboat station which was just behind the present day Coast Guard station or whatever it is now. Do you know anything about these 2 stations? Thank you....a daily reader.

    1. I have a fair amount of information about these two stations, especially the Hammock Hills (Hatteras Inlet) Station (my great-grandfather was keeper). I may have already published some of that information. I will do a bit of digging. Maybe I will make this a topic of a future Ocracoke Newsletter. Stay tuned!

  3. Anonymous5:03 AM

    I did read where your great grandfather was the keeper at one time. You're family has been involved a lot in helping shape the island. That's wonderful..Good blogs here. I too am a daily reader.