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Built: 1899

Tonnage: 4,801 / 6,290 tons

Cargo: 332 passengers and troops

Sunk 16 AUG 42 by U-507 on pos 11º50"S 37º00"W

296 Dead

36 Survivors   

Brazilian merchant Baependy was the first victim of U- 507 under Korvettenkapitan Harro Schacht, off the state of Sergipe, on 16th Aug 1942. Under the cover of darkness, he laid havoc when sunk 6 Brazilian merchants including one barge, totaling 14.800 tons. The slaughter caused the loss of 607 lives killed and missing. 

Baependy, from Brazilian Lloyd, ex German Tijuca, she was seized by government during WW I. She had departed Salvador, Bahia at 07:00 on the 15th of august bound to the port of Maceio 250 mile far north. She was under Master Joao Silva. With 332 passengers and crewmembers, mostly Brazilian army personnel headquartered at several outposts throughout the region.

At 07:10 pm, that same day, merchant Baependy was attacked by submarine U 507. Hit by two torpedoes, she listed starboard side which prevented the radioman to send SOS. When the first torpedo struck the ship, passengers had been served the dinner that was celebrated with festivity due to ship’s steward birthday. At the moment the orchestra was playing and everyone was in high spirit. The second  torpedo struck the fuel storage and soon fire erupted in great flames licking almost the top mast. Upon the second explosion all lights went out.

Panic soon spread among the passengers, given the speed and surprise of the attack. In the darkness, the task of rescuing the passengers became a nightmare; the lifeboats did not loose from the davits, and in the ensuing chaos only one managed to loose. The machinist when cleared the area that was billowed  by flames, saw his master on the top of the staircase to reach the passageway and hold the alarm blare several times.

Above, an empty boatload from Baependy is inspected at Praia dos Naufragos (Castaway Beach) in the day following the sinking 

Some crewmen saw him still there, ecstatic while his ship plummeted beneath the waves. Stifling smoke mixing with awful stinking of explosions and burned spilled oil, filled the air. Badly listing starboard, merchant Baependy submerged and carried the majority of the passengers still trapped into their cabins. On the rough sea, all sort of flotsam was scattered over a large area. The first mate managed to reach the only available lifeboat and helped by other crewmen, rounded up a few survivors within reach and set off to land where they got ashore at 05:00 am in the first lights of the morning on 16th in the location of Moita Verde few miles southern of the mouth of real river at the state of Sergipe.

296 people aboard lost their lives, among them  her master. Also included in the death toll was the commander of 7th artillery regiment, Major Landerico Lima, headquarters Recife. The group was formed in Rio de Janeiro and among them 3 captains, 5 lieutenants, 8 sergeants, 125 corporals and conscripts went down with the ship. Many of them would certainly be joined the future FEB, (Brazilian Expeditionary Force) that battled Axis forces in Italy two years later. They died without firing a single shot.

Baependy seen docked at Rio circa 1940



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