After a three-year hiatus, the two public ceremonies that honor foreign sailors killed off the North Carolina coast during World War II will take place the second week of May on the Outer Banks.
The first service is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 11 at the British Cemetery in Buxton. The second service will be held at 11 a.m. May 12 at the British Cemetery on Ocracoke Island.
The ceremony in Buxton is in remembrance of the 28 British sailors who died were killed when German U-boat 203 sank the British armed tanker San Delfino on April 10, 1942, off Pea Island. An unknown soldier and Fourth Engineer Officer Michael Cairns are buried at cemetery.
Participants in the May 11 service will include representatives from the National Park Service, the British Navy, the Canadian Embassy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies, the American Legion, Fredericksburg and the USCG Pipe Band, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, where musicians come from throughout the United States and attend the event at their own expense.
The May 12 ceremony in Ocracoke is held near the anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Bedfordshire destroyed May 12, 1942, by German submarine U-558 near Ocracoke Island. All aboard were lost. The bodies of Sub-Lt. Cunningham and Ordinary Telegraphist Second Class Craig are buried on Ocracoke. Two bodies were also found in the ocean north of Ocracoke. Though never identified, they were assumed to have come from the Bedfordshire and were interred in what is now the Ocracoke British Cemetery.
For more information on the Buxton ceremony, call 252-986-0721 or visit graveyardoftheatlantic.com.