Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Greman U-boat U-85 Sailors Buried on American Soil


From U-boat Archives.

Back on Dec. 23, 2013, I wrote about the 28 crew members of the U-95 being buried at the Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia. Here is a follow up on the story.

The U-85 was sunk by the destroyer USS Roper in a night surface action off the coast of North Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of the United States on April 14, 1942.

It had been attacked several months earlier by a VP-82 PBO-1 Hudson flown by AMM1c Donald L. Mason on 28 Jan 1942. At the time, Mason had reported back to his base at Argentia, Newfoundland, "Sighted sub, sank same."

Twenty-nine sailors of the U-85 were buried at Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia, with military honors, secretly on the evening of April 15, 1942. Fifty-two German prisoners from Fort Monroe prepared and later filled the graves. At 2000, the burial service was read by the Catholic Chaplain, followed by the Protestant Chaplain. Twenty-four U.S. seamen fired three volleys and Taps was sounded. This burial was kept secret for fear of enraging the American public that German sailors had been buried on American soil.

Doing Their Duty. --GreGen

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