British and Canadian World War II heroes honored in Outer Banks ceremonies

In ceremonies this week, communities on the Outer Banks will pay honor to World War II British and Canadian sailors who gave their lives to defend the coast of the United States.

The British War Grave ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 6, at the World War II British Cemetery in Buxton, and again at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7, at the World War II British Cemetery in Ocracoke. Receptions follow both events at 1 p.m. The ceremonies honor the 63 foreign sailors who lost their lives just off the coast of the Outer Banks during World War II, when German U-Boats hugged the coast of Hatteras Island.

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy take part in the ceremony, along with Commodore Eric Fraser CBE, Royal Navy and Commander S. Thomson, Assistant Canadian Forces Naval Attache, Canadian Defence Liason Staff.

Additionally, students from Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies, Ocracoke School and Cape Hatteras Middle School will assist by reading the Roll of Honor and the history of the events, and by playing “Taps.”

Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate (BMCS) R. Steven Cochran, USCGR (ret.) Pipe Sergeant, District 5 Regional Coordinator U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band will play the bagpipes. The ceremonies will also include a 21-gun salute.

The ceremonies and receptions are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum at 252-986-2995.

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