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- BRAZILIAN SHIPS SUNK IN CARIBBEAN / OFF US COAST

1)ARABUTAN U-155




Photo. www.navioseportos.com.br



Built 1917


Tonnage 7,874/10,000 tons


Cargo : 9,680 tons of coal and coke.


Route. New York - Hampton Roads - Trinidad - Rio de Janeiro 


Sunk 7 Mar 42 by U-155 on pos. 35º15"N 73º55"W


1 Dead


54 Survivors

 


After the torpedoing of the Brazilian ships BUARQUE and OLINDA, which sailed illuminated and with flags painted on the sides and raised in the stern, as the vessels of neutral nations did, it was decided, then, that all ships of the national fleet should travel to dark, painted gray and without identification flag. Sailing under these new mandates, ARABUTAN had departed from the Port of Santos on January 23, bound for the United States with a load of cotton. In addition to long-haul captain Aníbal Alfredo do Prado, there were 50 crew on board. On the return to Brazil, she was carrying a shipment of coal and coke, valued at 4,000 contos de réis, destined for Central do Brasil, as well as a survivor of BUARQUE, attacked in February, and three sailors from the ITAMARATI tanker, hitchhiking.


At 3:10 pm Central European Time on Saturday, March 7, 1942, about 81 miles from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the ship was targeted at the bow by a U-155-fired torpedo commanded by Captain Lieutenant Adolf Cornelius Piening. On impact, the crew rushed to the four lifeboats on board. The ship sank very fast, according to the testimonies of two of its crew, transcribed below:


"The sinking proceeded very quickly. The torpedo struck the bow and the ship rose some six feet out of the water. It managed, however, to regain its normal position, but only to begin to submerge. Immediately the captain gave the order to occupy the lifeboats. By the time we pulled back, the ship was gone. " Testimony of officer Augusto Gomes.


"I was the fourth on the gangway at the moment the torpedo hit the bow from the port side. The crew soon rushed to the four dinghies aboard. The ship sank in just 20 minutes. The submarine surfaced and so it lasted for about 5 to 8 minutes. It seemed about 65 meters long. It circled the lifeboats, and passed about 200 meters from the one in which the commander was, and then submerged. Two minutes later US Navy planes appeared. They dropped buoys, but could not be reached. The sea was very rough. "Testimony of the third pilot, José Lobo Medeiros.
The survivors roamed the sea for 26 hours until relief arrived. One person died: the nurse Manuel Florencio Coimbra, who slept in his cabin at the time of the attack. The second pilot, Sebastião Rogério Andrade, and the apprentice Wilson Domingos Santos were seriously injured. The survivors were rescued by the US Coast Guard boat USCG CALYPSO and taken to Little Creek, Delaware. Just as it had done in the February sinks, with the involvement of German submarines in the attacks already being proven, the Brazilian government protested to Germany, demanding explanations and reparations for the damage caused. However, no answer was given.

 

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