Is There Anywhere in the United States That Still Belongs to Britain?

During World War II, German U-boats prowled the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, wreaking havoc along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The US Navy couldn’t stop the attacks, so Britain sent 24 Royal Navy vessels to help. One of those ships, the HMS Bedfordshire, was lost to a German torpedo, and its entire 34-man crew died. Five bodies were later recovered, and were buried along with other British casualties at British cemeteries on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke. Both of these North Carolina cemeteries are leased in perpetuity to the War Graves Commission, which technically makes them British soil.

Fields that are forever England:

  • From 1942 to 1945, German U-boats sank more than 400 ships and killed 5,000 sailors in an offensive that German sailors referred to as "the Great American Turkey Shoot."
  • The US Coast Guard maintains the Ocracoke British Cemetery, while the Buxton British Cemetery is tended by the National Park Service.
  • Every 12 May, the sinking of the Bedfordshire is commemorated. Royal Navy sailors lay wreaths, and local villagers read out the names of the dead in the Gaelic-derived brogue of Ocracoke Island.
More Info: Conde Nast Traveler

Discussion Comments


There is also Oak Ridge Cemitary in Arcadia Florida where 23 British pilots are buried in a single plot.

When they soloed for the first time, they had a tradition of being thrown in the swimming pool, and one pilot who was only 18, did not come back up.


The cemetery in Back Bay, Virginia beach Va is at the corner of Pungo Ferry Road and Princess Anne Road.

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