Memory of BD-5 Convoy members honored on Bely Island
As part of the Kara Expeditions project, a ceremony was held on Bely Island to lay wreaths at the common grave of the participants of the BD (White Sea-Dikson) No. 5 (BD-5) Arctic Military Convoy, which operated during WWII, the Arctic-Info news agency reported.
During the ceremony, Acting Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area Dmitry Kobylkin thanked the participants of the 2015 Kara Expeditions scientific and memorial expedition for their work. "Your work and your love for the fatherland help to preserve the tragic and glorious pages of our history. Thanks to you, we know the names and fates of those who died in the Kara Sea, who gave their lives for our future," Mr Kobylkin said.
The BD (White Sea-Dikson) No. 5 (BD-5) Convoy left Severodvinsk on July 8, 1944. Sailing aboard the Marina Raskova large transport ship, in addition to its crew, were explorers traveling to their shift, the families of specialists working on Dikson, White Sea Flotilla service members, and civil employees of the Northern Sea Route's Main Department. The ship was carrying over 6,000 metric tons of food and technical cargo for the Kara Naval Base and the Nordvikstroy and Arctic stations. In all, there were 752 people in the convoy.
On August 12, 1944, the convoy was attacked by a German U-365 submarine. As a result, 378 Soviet service members and civilians were killed. Several dozen people managed to escape in a wooden kungas boat. Upon reaching the shore, the boat's passengers struggled for their lives for a few more days, but were unable to survive the harsh Arctic conditions. The dead were interred that same year, and in 1947, due to the efforts of the polar station employees, the remains were reburied. The burial site is located a few meters from the Kara Sea shore.