Navy sailors Ryan McManus and Arianna Drew, left, lay a wreath during the dedication of a new memorial at Fort Williams to honor the 49 officers and crew members killed when the U.S.S. Eagle 56 was sunk by a German U-Boat nine miles off the coast of Cape Elizabeth in 1945. Thirteen survived and are also listed on the memorial. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

It’s been 75 years since the USS Eagle PE-56, a Navy patrol vessel, was sunk by a German U-Boat off the coast of Cape Elizabeth. A total of 49 officers and crew were killed, while 13 were rescued.

On Friday, a small group of sailors, local police officers and others gathered near Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park to dedicate a new memorial to the sailors who died that day, April 23, 1945.

Park access is restricted because of the pandemic, and plans for a larger ceremony with relatives of the sailors had to be postponed. But, at the start of Memorial Day weekend, the monument  was formally dedicated and the names of each sailor was read aloud.

Members of the Cape Elizabeth Police Color Guard take part in the dedication ceremony for the memorial to the U.S.S. Eagle 56. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


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