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Pelotasloide seen as former Italian Auctoritas.

Built: 1918

Tonnage: 5,228 / 7,840 Dwt

Cargo. 6000 tons of coal, 400 tons of military supplies including aircraft engines and spare parts.

Route: Trinidad - Recife Pernambuco

Sunk 4 JUL 43 by U-590 on pos. 00º24"S 47º36"W

5 Dead

37 Survivors

The submarine onslaught on Brazilian waters, was closing to the end in mid 1943, however Brazilian merchant Navy still had to mourn for some more losses.In July, two more merchants were attacked and sunk being this time Pelotasloide on the 4th, and Bage on the 27th. Merchant Pelotasloide was ex Italian Auctoritas, with 5228 tons and were one of 11 ships incorporated to Brazilian Merchant Navy for occasion of the declaration of war on the Axis, by force of presidential decree of Aug 24th 1942. Pelotasloide was moored at Port of Spain and had been withheld once she was temporarily placed under American Navy on request for the US government.

The authorities at Port of Spain, with responsibilities for the convoy operations and for providing special escorts for ships sailing independently, were facing a difficult situation regarding the Pelotasloide, once the merchant could not keep  a minimum required convoy speed but a mere 5 knots. Consequently she had been prevented to join any convoy whose minimum prescribed speed was superior to that she could afford. Besides that, at Port of Spain, there were no any available escort vessel to sail with an independent ship.
For that reason was Pelotasloide waiting for a solution once the zone where she had to cross was a dangerous one with intense submarine activity. With the arrival of  3 newly acquired Sub chasers by the Brazilian Navy, things became easier. These 3 patrol crafts, since their departure from American ports, had been in close cooperation with US Navy units when were requested for escort duties in a convoy which departed American base of Guantanamo in Cuba, outbound for Port of Spain.
American authorities trying to solve the problem of the merchant, made a contact with the commander of FNN (Northeast Naval Force), at Recife when it was established that the Submarine chasers Jacui and Jundiai, would escort the slow ship to Recife. However one more complicating issue came in the order of the day and seemed to impose one more delay.

The submarine Chasers of that class, were not ocean going vessels and with short endurance, could not make the entire Journey without refueling. So the Commander of the convoy operations at Port of Spain, took a decision that the Pelotasloide would be escorted by submarine chasers initially to the Port of Belem at Amazon estuary, and in case of need, the two patrol boats would make a short hop at Georgetown exclusively for refueling.
Things worked out and the 3 ships sailed from Port of Spain at 08:00AM on June 27th 1943 and set course for the port of Salinas, natural port of call for any ship destined to Belem the capital of the state of Para distant 110 miles  from  Amazon estuary. After seven days of uneventful journey, despite some sonar contacts, the 3 ships arrived at Salinas in the morning of July the 4th  1943. At 11:00AM, on that same day, merchant Pelotasloide was being towed to the pier on the small Seagull island, where she would lay at anchor waiting for the submarine chasers which proceeded to Belem for refueling.

Two hours later when final arrangements were done to tow the merchant, one strong impact hit the ship which raised a large column of water several hundreds feet in the air, filling water with oil, debris and metal fragments. It occurred that the sub chasers miscalculated the danger a wolf can be at any place any moment and for the fact that the merchant was at friendly hands, this would minimize the risk of an attack. The merchant was left stranded while the assailant must have shadowed the ships and waited for the right moment to set the decisive blow at ship's starboard side.
The third mate, later reported he had seen what could be a wake of a torpedo when he was at the foredeck, performing his duties as quarter’s officer. The impact blew up the radio compartment; however the able radioman could send an S.O.S. by blinking to one escort which still was not too far from the scene.

The ship soon listed starboard side and began to sink. The master ordered to abandon ship having survivors been rescued by SC Jundiai which returned at flank speed in assistance. 5 out of the complement of 42 were lost and 5 were wounded. The attacking u-boat was presumably U-590 which at that time was prowling those waters. Pelotasloide was loaded with a vital cargo of aircraft engines and all sort of war supply.



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