During World War II, there were a multitude of German U-Boats along the eastern coast of the United States of America.
The British had broken the German cryptic codes, yet the United States military failed to act on initial discoveries of German plans to attack the eastern coast with U-Boats.
After the first attacks, on commercial boats in Virginia Beach and other locations, the United States began to defend its coasts more in anticipation of the U-boats. On April 14, 1942 a destroyer off of the Outer Banks downed a U-85 with depth charges and killed all the Germans that their commander Oberleutnant Eberhard Greger had ordered to escape. German prisoners of war from Fort Monroe were ordered to secretly bury the 28 deceased prisoners from U-85 at the Hampton National Cemetery at nighttime. A total of 55 Germans are buried at the Hampton National Cemetery.