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COMMANDER SOUTH ATLANTIC FORCE AT RECIFE - COMMANDER SOUTH ATLANTIC

36)CHRONOLOGY OF 1943


03 JAN TB-1, first convoy of South Atlantic system, sails from Trinidad for Bahia.


06 JAN BT-1, first northbound convoy, sails from Bahia.


07 JAN Catalinas of VP-94 arrive at Natal; work at various stations on Brazilian coast until turned over to Brazilian Air Force 12 December 1944.


28 JAN President Roosevelt, returning from Casablanca conference, meets President Vargas and Admiral Ingram at Natal.


31 JAN Admiral King visits Brazil.


31 JAN Expansion of Headquarters personnel well underway; Headquarters Building on Santo Antonio Island, Recife, partially occupied in December 1942 when unfinished, nearing completion in all respects.


05 FEB USS Melville, destroyer repair ship, arrives Recife; brings first Sangamo attack teacher for ASW training


16 FEB Fleet Air Wing Sixteen commissioned at Norfolk.


23 FEB Survey board appointed to select sites for blimp bases in Brazil; board reports 9 April.


05 MAR Admiral Ingram visits Montevideo.


10 MAR Blockade runner Kota Nopan sighted by planes of USS Santee; intercepted by Savannah and Eberle.


15 MAR South Atlantic Force becomes Fourth Fleet.


13 APR Fleet Air Wing 16 headquarters established at Natal.


14 APR Construction begun at Fortaleza; completed in 14 months.


15 APR VP-83 Planes sink Italian sub in 03° 23' S, 30° 28' W.


19 APR Construction begun on air facilities at Fernando de Noronha. Completed in nine months.


26 APR USS Patoka sails from Recife to resume duties as tanker after long stay in port.


02 MAY Tanker Livingston Roe catches fire in Recife harbor, threatening warehouses and warships.


07 MAY VCNO authorizes establishment of SPEC at Recife.


08 MAY Rear Admiral Beauregard relieved as Chief of Naval Mission by Captain McCauley and as Commandant of NOB Rio by Captain Dodd.


10 MAY VP-83 leaves area to return to States and exchange PBY's for B-24's; reports back 15 June with twelve Liberators as VB-107; finally detached to United Kingdom in late 1944 after sinking nine submarines and aiding intercepting blockade runners.


14 MAY VB-127 (PV-1 Venturas) establishes headquarters at Natal; operates in North Brazil until detached to Moroccan Sea Frontier 1 September 1943.


17 MAY VP-74 planes, with destroyers Moffett and Jouett, sink U-boat in 11° 08' S, 35° 38' W; 47 survivors taken as prisoners of war.


18 MAY U. S. Naval Observers in Brazil placed under operational control of ComSoLant.


26 MAY Convoy BT-14 attacked in 03° 56' S, 35° 43' W; three ships torpedoed.


01 JUN Naval bases in Brazil, with the exception of NOB Rio, re designated as Naval Operating Facilities and Naval Air Facilities.


01 JUN VB-129 (Venturas) arrives Natal; operates on east coast of Brazil until detached 2 February 1944.


10 JUN Arrival of machinery and personnel for DesRep 12 in Recife permits rapid completion of the small-ship repair base.


15 JUN Blimp Squadron 52 (later re-designated ZP-41 and assigned to Airship Wing Four in South Atlantic) commissioned at Lakehurst.


22 JUN Construction begun at NAF Amapa; completed in six months.


29 JUN Construction begun at Sao Luis; completed five and a half months later.


01 JUL Modification work begun on hospital building at Tejipio to make it into a receiving station; construction completed in six weeks.


03 JULY Sinking of two warships south of Rio begins submarine blitz of July.


3/4 JULY PBM of VP-74 lost in sea off Rio during night A/S sweep.


04 JUL Mership Pelotasloide, loaded with airplane engines for FAW16, sunk off Salinas by torpedo or mine.


07 JUL Early-morning sub attack on BT-18 convoy off Fortaleza; three ships sunk, three damaged.


08 JUL TJ-1, the first convoy routed all the way from Trinidad to Rio de Janeiro, attacked off Cayenne by submarines; two ships sunk, others damaged.


09 JUL Convoy JT-1, first regular convoy from Rio to Trinidad sails.


12 JUL Headquarters of FAW16 moved from Natal to Fleet Headquarters in Recife.


15 JUL Blimphedron Four commissioned at Lakehurst.


19 JUL VP-74 Mariners operating from USS Barnegat off Florianopolis sing U-boat. All submarines attacked are staying surfaced and fighting back with AA fire, a new policy.


20 JUL VP-94 Catalina damages sub 50 miles ahead of TJ-2.


21 JUL Another VP-94 plane sinks same sub in 63° 56' S, 48° 46' W.


23 JUL VB-107 planes sink sub near Fernando after all-night search; Seneca picks up two survivors.


23 JUL VP-94 plane scores "probable" in 07° 10' N, 51° 36' W.


25 JUL Uruguay grants use of territory for A/S air bases if sub activity moves into La Plata area.


26 JUL Construction begun at Igarape Assu, completed in six months. (Iggy did not operate as an NAF, but simply as an advance base for blimps.)


30 JUL Two submarines attacked off Recife during convoy rendezvous; one sunk, one probable.


31 JUL VP-94 Mariner damages sub off Rio; Catalinas of Brazilian Air Force sinks it.


31 JUL Mership Bage, one of Brazil's biggest passenger-cargo vessels, sunk between Recife and Bahia shortly after being expelled from convoy by Brazilian escort commander because of excessive smoking.


01 AUG CominCh sends "Well done to the Fighting Fourth and Brazilian associates."


01 AUG Fleet Training Officer designated to coordinate all Fleet training activities and expand training program.


02 AUG Fleet Airship Wing Four commissioned at Recife on arrival of Captain Zimmerman, Wing Commander, and his administrative officers.


03 AUG VB-107 plane attacks U-boat in 09° 33' S, 30° 37' W; second plane damaged by AA fire from sub; Destroyer Moffett, proceeding to scene, mistaken for sub and straffed by plane; eight men wounded.


06 AUG First printed issue of South Atlantic News, Fourth Fleet newspaper.


10 AUG Submarines retiring from South Atlantic.


11 AUG Interventor of Pernambuco grants use of 125 acres of land for Fleet farm.


14 AUG VB-130 (Ventura) establishes headquarters at Fortaleza; operates there until detached 1 May 1944.


21 AUG VP-143 (Ventura) establishes headquarters at Ibura; operates at Ibura and Ipitanga until detached to Curacao 13 May 1944.


27 AUG Brazilian sub Tupi arrives Recife from Rio; submarine sanctuary "Zebra" established off Recife for ASW exercises.


01 SEP Construction begun on seaplane base at Galeao in Guanabara Bay, Rio; completed in sixty days.


01 SEP BlimpRon 42 commissioned at Lakehurst.


18 SEP VB-145 (Venturas) establishes administration at Sao Luis.


27 SEP K-84, first blimp to cross Equator, arrives at Fortaleza, one day after crossing zero latitude.


28 SEP VP-211 (Mariners) establishes headquarters at Galeao. 


04 OCT USBATU begins training Brazilians in PV flying at Natal.


04 OCT Secretary Knox visits Recife enroute home from Italy, where he watched Salerno landings.


13 OCT VP-203 (Mariners) establishes headquarters at Aratu. Wing 16 at maximum strength, with nine squadrons operating in Brazil.


25 OCT Naval Observers placed under administrative as well as operational control of Commander Fourth Fleet.


04 NOV Naval Air Facility Ipitanga commissioned.


05 NOV Navy B-24's and Army B-25's from Ascension sink U-boat in long battle, 10° 09' S, 18° W.


07 NOV Fourth Fleet Headquarters becomes reporting center for entire east coast of South America, for purposes of reporting merchant shipping movements


25 NOV Two VB-107 planes sink sub 550 miles east of Ascension.


01 DEC B-R Plan, a barrier of ships and planes between Natal and Ascension to stop blockade runners, in effect.


08 DEC Suspicious ship believed to be blockade runner Osorno slips through, although sighted


10 DEC Admiral King visits Recife second time.


14 DEC NAF Maceio commissioned.


25 DEC K-106, a blimp of the Fleet Airship Wing, rescues crew of ATC plane forced down in Jungle near Amapa.


Hyper War. Commander South Atlantic Force. U.S Naval Administration in WW II


 

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