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Posts Tagged ‘WW II’

In Memoriam- HMT Bedfordshire in WW II

April 29th, 2016 by Fred Westervelt

During the early days of World War II the shipping lanes along our East Coast became known, sorrowfully, as “Torpedo Alley”. Unescorted, many ships and crews carrying war materiel to Britain were the victims of German U-boats. Early on 12 May, 1942 HMT Bedfordshire, on anti-submarine patrol, was added to this list, torpedoed and sunk with all hands.

The bodies of four seamen from Bedfordshire washed up on Ocracoke shore, and were buried in what became known as British Cemetery, later ceded to the United Kingdom and tended by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

Each May there is a memorial service, attended by representatives of The U.S., Britain, Canada and Germany. This year the ceremony will be held on 13 May. Should you be among those fortunate enough to be here, do plan to attend. You’ll never forget it.

Lest we forget…

December 4th, 2015 by Fred Westervelt

Those of us old enough to recall it will never forget the stunning news of the Sunday, December 7th 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor which officially launched the U.S. into WW II. We had been following the Eropean war and that in North Africa, of course, and perhaps by whistling in the dark hoped that we could remain uninvolved.

As we now know, we had sub rosa long been playing a support role to Great Britain, but public sentiment was opposed to deeper engagement. Sound familiar?

“Those who cannot remember their history are condemned to repeat it”


Lest We Forget…

April 28th, 2013 by Fred Westervelt

On 11 May, 1942, the antisubmarine trawler HMT Bedfordshire was torpedoed and sunk with all hands off Ocracoke. Four bodies of the crew were subsequently found and interred on the Island. The site, the “British Cemetery” later ceded to the British government, is tended with care by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

Each May, this year the 9th at 1100 hrs, there is a memorial ceremony with representatives of the navies of the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Germany participating. The public is encouraged to attend and thoughtfully recall this tumultuous period in our history.