During World War II England sent many ships to patrol the northeast coast of the United States, especially the area between Norfolk and Cape Hatteras. One such patrol ship, The H.M.S. BEDFORDSHIRE, was sunk by German submarines off Ocracoke Island and the bodies of four of its crewmen washed ashore on May 14, 1942. A local resident discovered the bodies and notified the Coast Guard who recovered the bodies, brought them into the village, and arranged for identification. Lt. Aycock Brown, USN, flew in from Norfolk to identify the bodies, one of which he recognized as Lt. Thomas Cunningham, a man with whom he had shared a meal in Norfolk only three days before the sinking of the Bedfordshire. Seaman Stanley Craig was wearing an identification tag and the other two bodies remain unidentified. The seamen were buried on land donated by Mrs. Alice Williams and given a memorial service organized by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Rondthaler. Yearly memorial services still take place, and the gravesite is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Ocracoke Boy Scouts.