Wednesday, June 24, 2015

British Cemetery, Ocracoke Island

There is a British cemetery in the village of Ocracoke. It's off the main road, but it's easy enough to find.

Here are some photos:

Four members of the crew of HMS Bedfordshire are buried here. Bedfordshire was an armed trawler, operating out of Morehead City on antisubmarine duty.  Her captain was Lieutenant Russell Bransby Davis, RNR. On May 12, 1942, she was torpedoed by U -558, and lost with all 34 (some sources show 37) of her crew. The four crewmen buried here washed up from the sea on Ocracoke over the next few days. A fifth was found on Hatteras Island and is buried there next to a British sailor from the merchant ship San Delfino, torpedoed a year earlier.

The British cemetery here is maintained by the US Coast Guard; the one on Hatteras is maintained by the National Park Service.

U-558 was a Type VIIC boat, skippered by Kapitänleutnant Günther Krech. A little more than a year after U-558 and Krech sank Bedfordshire, U-558 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay on July 20, 1943. Krech and four of his crew survived the sinking - they were either on the bridge or part of the gun crew - and were captured. Krech died in 2000.