Eight survivors of the US freighter Quaker City safely landed on the north-east coast of Dominica, on the 26th May, 1942. The ship had torpedoed on the 18th by the German U-boat 156 (submarine) and sank in the Atlantic. Of the other 22 survivors, seven reached Trinidad and 15 reached Barbados.
In 1939 the German battleship, SMS Schleswig-Holstein, had docked in Roseau. Several weeks later it entered the Polish port of Danzig and fired the first shots that officially started the Second World War.
In St. Marie cemetery in Salybia, there are 16 graves for the unnamed victims of U-boat attack. The Nazi U-boat (submarine), mistaking it for British, torpedoed a Spanish ship. The victims had washed upon on our shores.
Well known psychiatrist and revolutionary author, Frantz Fanon fought in the Free French Forces in North Africa after having received training in Dominica. He was one of many who had sought refuge from Guadeloupe and Martinique, which at the time was under the Nazi-controlled Vichy government.
During the war 236 Caribbean volunteers were killed or reported missing in action and 265 were wounded. Five Dominicans were killed in action: two were buried military cemeteries in Malta, one in Algeria; one in England; and one in France.
Dominica is only country in the world to have two centotaphs commemorating the fallen from World War Two–one for the Dominican dead and the other for those in the French Resistance.