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The 14 survivors spent 56 hours in the rubber boat before being picked up by the U.S.S. OMAHA.  As the boat was far too small to accommodate 14 men, all sat with their legs in the water.  Leutnant Brodt, as the senior officer, took command, and ordered sail set for the Brazilian coast.  During the first night, a freighter of some 5000 tons passed within 800 meters of the survivors, but all efforts to attract the ship's attention failed. 

Cruiser Omaha seen above Photo

A number of patrol planes were sighted as well as several destroyers and planes which were believed to be the elements of an anti-submarine task group. Brodt was stated to have been unable to control his fury at Roch, who was considered responsible, as the lookout from whose sector the bomber had attacked, for the loss of the U-boat. 

Had the group remained intact much longer, survivors maintained that Brodt would have provoked a mutiny by his conduct and been killed by the men.  With the assumption of command, Brodt became an insufferable martinet. The rations dropped by the relief plane were more than adequate, and there was no particular discomfort except that occasioned by overcrowding of the boat.  Late on the second day after the sinking, a corvette approached but turned away.

On 8 February, the cruiser Omaha picked up fourteen survivors in the rubber raft dropped by the aircraft-two officers, two petty officersand ten seamen. The men had been adrift for fifty four hours. All were suffering from sunburn, and immersion foot (the latter ailment caused by prolonged exposure to damp, insanity, and cold conditions) and several men from slight bruises and cuts, as well. Most of the prisoners had no clothing , except for short drawers or bathing trunks, indicating that they may have been sun bathing or swimming when the attack on the submarine occurred. the cruiser landed the survivors at Recife. Following a preliminary interrogation, thirteen were transferred to an interrogation center in the United States.

By Cap. Jerry Mason USN Ret. 


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