Monday, December 23, 2013

28 Crewmembers of U-85 Buried at Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia

From the Dce. 16, 2013, Hampton Roads (Vs.) Daily Press "A landmark graveyard filled with poignant stories of sacrifice and courage" by Mark St. John Erickson.

Mr. Erickson has also written quite a few interesting stories on the War of 1812 around Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia has more than two dozen World War II dead who were buried in secrecy in the dead of the night so as not to attract public attention. Not one of these men was over 30, and several were still in their teens and they died in the first months of what is called the Battle of the Atlantic off the U.S. east coast.

The secrecy was because they were on the wrong side. They were from a German U-boat.

Twenty-eight crew members of the U-85, a submarine caught on the surface by a searchlight on the old World War I four-stacker destroyer USS Roper. Gunfire and depth charges sank the German ship.

Nearly three decades later, the German-American Society began holding annual memorial services at the graves which are often attended by members of the Tidewater Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II. Said one member in 1994: "We all went through the same thing even though we were on different sides."

Brotehrs of War Now. --GreGen

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