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SHIPS SUNK BRAZIL - SHIPS

3)ALEGRETE





Photo. Edson Lucas Collection


Built 1906 


Tonnage 5,970 / 7,600 tons


Cargo: Coffee, Cacao, 5000 cases of nuts, hides and vegetal oil. As deck cargo she was loaded with cotton and castor oil.


Sunk by U-156 on pos. 13º.40'N, 61º.30'W


0 Dead


36 Survivors


Despite so many setbacks, delays and inevitable losses, caused by the German onslaught, the Brazilian flag gallantly kept draping in the waters of the North Atlantic, obstinately calling on several American ports. National life could not suffer in its organic structure, because the safety of a handful of Brazilians or the fear of losing any merchant was at stake.
In the North Atlantic, in its patriotic duty to stimulate foreign trade, the Brazilian Merchant Navy was hit by several blows, increasing its losses between June and July 1942, five more unhappy ships: Alegrete, Pedrinhas, Tamandaré, Barbacena and Piave. The ship Alegrete, owned by the Brazilian Lloyd, was a former German Salamanca with 5970 tons of record, seized when anchored at Cabedelo during World War I. She had left Belem, northern Brazil, to New York, under the master Eurico Gomes, overloaded with coffee, cocoa, nuts and edible oils.
At 17:45 on the first day of June 1942, in the semi darkness of twilight, she was struck by a torpedo at hold # 5. SOS. It occurred in the Antilles Sea off St. Lucia at the coordinates 13º 45'N 061º 30W. The  crew that was unable to locate the attacker soon lowered the four lifeboats and neatly abandoned the doomed ship. Minutes later, when the survivors were getting away from the scene only 1/5 mile, the sub emerged and shelled the merchant 18 times and fired 2 torpedoes. The ship slowly began to list to port with the engines still running.

The last torpedo was fired at 8:15. Part of the crew on the # 1 lifeboat was located by an U S Army plane at 5:00 p.m. the next day 12 hours later, U.S. Navy patrol craft, PY-18, took the survivors and landed them in Port of Spain Trinidad. Another group was fished out  by DD 142 Tarbell the same morning and set them down on the same base. A lifeboat landed in La Guaira, Venezuela. The ship Alegrete sailed independently and unarmed.

 

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