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Fourth Fleet grew rapidly and with the addition of Brazilian units during 1943, nearly 200 vessels of all kinds were under command of the brave Adm. Jonas Ingram, a jack of all trades. Until the end of 1944, Brazilian Navy took delivery and incorporated to FNN, (subordinated to the Fourth Fleet) 38 units. Two old Dreadnoughts, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, outclassed ships to battle a modern ASW, were useful for increasing the defensive means of the harbors of Recife and Salvador (Bahia), headquarters of Northeast and East Naval commands.


Moored, serving as floating fortress, they were in constant readiness to put to sea if necessary in view of an impending danger. Despite their apparent inactivity, their garrisons were submitted to constant and tough ASW drills with alternation of their duties, serving in other ships in convoy escorts and patrol sweeps.   In May 1943 an operational directive was issued from Adm Ingram in his flagship, cruiser Memphis. It gave the following attributions to Brazilian Task Force 46:1)


1) To provide routinely escort to convoys TB Trinidad- Bahia and BT Bahia - Trinidad.


2) The force would join the train when sailing off Recife and would leave the same when the convoy proceeded back to Bahia.


3) Brazilian Air Force units which were under command of Adm.  Ingram, were designated as Task Force 49 and their assigned mission was to patrol the coastal waters as determined.


4) Air units would provide cover for the convoys as well ships sailing independently as determined in close cooperation with Brazilian and US air and surface units.


5) To engage in extensive A/S operations in conjunction with US/Brazilian units or independently when ordered.


6) To perform an exhaustive program of combat exercises aiming to achieve maximum preparedness and efficiency of crewmembers and equipment, and intensify anti submarine practices. The Northeast Naval Force (FNN), performed a truly remarkable job during the war in support to the Fourth Fleet. Its vessels participated of 575 convoys with a total of 3164 ships of all allied nations.



The high degree of preparedness was evidenced by the continuous Joint exercises program undertaken by the US and Brazilian Navy. The picture shows one US Destroyer Escort in ASW drill with one Brazilian sub and a Sub Chaser. In the detail a torpedo track can be seen passing underneath the Destroyer. Picture kindly sent by Francisco Freire, son of Commander Jose Freire who served aboard Brazilian Corvette Cananeia during the War.


 

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