There are a couple of small plots of British soil on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
I hope to visit there someday.
Here’s a bit from cntraveler.com:
Because the U.S. had no anti-submarine patrol, the British Royal Navy sent 24 ships to safeguard shipping along the eastern seaboard. On May 12, 1942, the HMS Bedfordshire was struck by a German torpedo and went down with all hands. Citizens of Ocracoke, the tiny Outer Banks island where Blackbeard the pirate had died in 1718, buried four British sailors whose bodies had washed ashore. Over on neighboring Hatteras Island, locals had quietly buried a British sailor from the SS San Delfino near the Buxton Lighthouse the month before. A fifth Bedfordshire crewman was laid to rest by his side when his body was discovered a few days later.
The rest of the story (or the Paul Harvey of it for those of you old enough to remember) is here.
Not very far from me there was an incident in the late 50s that could have been disastrous for a large portion of the southeast.
I was talking to a friend last night about a the misplacement of some C-4 in a news article. I mentioned to him that he’d be surprised how often ammo and such things do get misplaced as I’ve had to help find grenades before on a range.
But what this piece is about is something much worse. Something, I’m fairly certain, you can’t put the pin back in.
On March 11, 1958, a U.S. Air Force Boeing B-47E-LM Stratojet from Hunter Air Force Base operated by the 375th Bombardment Squadron of the 308th Bombardment Wing near Savannah, Georgia, took off at approximately 4:34 PM and was scheduled to fly to the United Kingdom and then to North Africa as part of Operation Snow Flurry.
The aircraft was carrying nuclear weapons on board in the event of war with the Soviet Union breaking out. Air Force Captain Bruce Kulka, who was the navigator and bombardier, was summoned to the bomb bay area after the captain of the aircraft, Captain Earl Koehler, had encountered a fault light in the cockpit indicating that the bomb harness locking pin did not engage. As Kulka reached around the bomb to pull himself up, he mistakenly grabbed the emergency release pin. The Mark 6 nuclear bomb dropped to the bomb bay doors of the B-47 and the weight forced the doors open, sending the bomb 15,000 ft (4,600 m) down to the ground below.
Two sisters, six-year-old Helen and nine-year-old Frances Gregg, along with their nine-year-old cousin Ella Davies, were playing 200 yards (180 m) from a playhouse in the woods that had been built for them by their father Walter Gregg, who had served as a paratrooper during World War II. The playhouse was struck by the bomb. Its conventional high explosives detonated, destroying the playhouse, and leaving a crater about 70 feet (21 m) wide and 35 feet (11 m) deep. Fortunately, the fissile nuclear core was stored elsewhere on the aircraft.
All three girls were injured by the explosion, as were Walter, his wife Effie and son Walter, Jr. Seven nearby buildings were damaged. The United States Air Force (USAF) was sued by the family of the victims, who received US$54,000, equivalent to $478,526 in 2019.
The incident made domestic and international headlines.
And if this had actually detonated I would not have even been a thought in either of my parents minds. They were both approximately ten years old at the time.
That’s not the only Broken Arrow story from the southeast. Check them out.
So we’re at a stall in the story. Nothing going on at all out on site this week. I have reached out to the Kershaw County School District to try and find out if I should get a picture of what it’s going to look like, or a peek at the plans. So today I strung together some of the old footage and included a short flyby of where were at today. Enjoy.
A lot of wind today and I think I have a warped propeller on the drone so that needs looking into.
I went out this morning intending to get a lot more of the site but, with the winds being what they are and my drone being so light, it wasn’t a good idea to fly too high.
In fact, I started getting warnings shortly after 100’ in altitude. So this video is just a bit different. Lower to the ground, but at least this time I was able to get you inside parts of the building.
There isn’t a lot to look at right now. They’re finishing up the demolition on the cafeteria and office end of the school and then, I suppose, they’ll move on to the band/gymnasium section.
It’s rough to watch a place I called home for six years (yes, I was only there six year Jr. and Sr. High) being torn down. I’d like to hear from some more folks from my generation about how this is hitting them. I graduated in ‘86.
I can’t wait, however, to watch as this school rises from the ashes so to speak. I’m wondering if we’ll have a new layout. Will it be expanded to fit the needs of the students and faculty?
We visited Landsford Canal State Park today. We haven’t been in years and as we didn’t get to visit Maggie Valley, NC this year and hike around there we at least got to hike in something familiar.
The trails here remind us of Alum Cave in Tennessee, in some parts. Same smells and sounds walking through the forest.
The Canal Trail is a little over three miles round trip and a really easy hike. Depending on if you climb on everything like my son, of course. He probably adds an easy mile to everywhere we go.
The Landsford Canal is a navigation channel that opened in 1823 with the purpose of bypassing rapids along the Catawba River to allow efficient freight transport and rapid travel between nearby communities and settlements along the rural frontiers of the era. It had five locks operating over a stretch of two miles with an elevation change overall of 32–34 feet. It was part of the inland navigation system from the ‘Up Country’ to Charleston, built systematically from 1819, and the navigations are today the centerpiece of Canal State Park. (From Wikipedia)
It’s fairly impressive, even in ruins, and there are so many photography opportunities. Just bring whatever camera you have and your eye (or both) and find your image.
The nearest town is Fort Lawn and I’m posting directions from there. But a quick internet search will give you directions from most anywhere.
I won’t throw much more on this post as I think the experience should be saved for you.