Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The US Navy established a sizable base on the island in 1942.

Some years ago I heard the following story.

When WWII ended, the base was decommissioned. Although the government hired a watchman to protect their abandoned property, it soon became apparent that there wasn't any effort to keep the buildings from quickly deteriorating, which distressed a people accustomed to reusing material and making do with what was available.

A few islanders discovered that the watchman had a craving for spirits. When he was sufficiently "under the weather" and asleep, those "lawless Outer Bankers" went to work with crow bars and hammers. One islander recalled it as the "midnight requisitions."

One particularly resourceful islander decided to remove an entire building!  He had purchased an Army surplus Power Wagon, and went to the base and loaded the small building onto a boat trailer. As he was hauling the building down what is now British Cemetery Road, the Power Wagon stalled and quit. He was unable to restart the vehicle, so he unhooked the trailer, leaving it and the building in the sandy lane. He and friends pushed the truck to his yard.

Of course, the next morning the watchman noticed the building gone, and soon located it in the lane. When confronted, the perpetrator claimed innocence, noting with insouciance, "Why there's no way it could have been me; that old truck over there, it won't even start!"

I never did hear what happened to the building. It is probably in someone's yard today, being used as a storage shed.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here:   

No comments:

Post a Comment