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Photo. Atacado por nazistas, navio mercante Tamandaré foi a pique no mar do Caribe | Acervo (  

Built: 1919

Tonnage: 4,942/7,650 tons

Cargo. 6600 tons of general cargo, including coffee, bales of fabric, medicines, leather, monazite sand, beryl and manganese.

Route. Recife, Pernambuco - Port of Spain, Trinidad - La Guaira, Venezuela - New Orleans 

Sunk 26 Jul 42 by U-66 on pos. 11º 34"N 60º 30"W   

4 Dead

44 Survivors

Laid down as Sheshequin, completed in August 1919 ascity of Fairbury for US Shipping Board (USSB), Philadelphia. 1938 renamed Mormacport for Moore-McCormack Lines Inc, New York. 1940 sold to Brazil and renamed Tamandaré.  

Merchant Tamandare ex Mormacport, 4942 gross tons, built 1919 was incorporated to Brazilian Lloyd fleet in 1940, under master Jose Martins. Tamandare sailed from Recife bound for New Orleans when at 02:10 am on 26 July 42 under full moon and starred night she was struck by one torpedo that hit portside amidships on machine room. Violently shaken by the explosion and aggravated by a second hit, at the bulkhead of engine room, the steamer came to a stop. Lights went out due to a collapse in electric generators. Water rushed inside flooding almost all compartments. The radioman acted swiftly and sent SOS ship’s estimated position 11º 34’ N 060º 29’ W.
An examination of the impact revealed a large gash from which the water rushed inside and would quickly send the vessel to the bottom. Viewing the dramatic situation the captain concluded for the impossibility of salvage and ordered the abandonment when the ship began listing to port. Master Jose Martins gathered the men in two available lifeboats once the others were thrown overboard with the impacts.  He was the last man to get inside # 1 lifeboat. When both were away by ¾ mile, the men stopped rowing and waited until the ship slipped beneath surface.

Throughout the investigation, Brazilian consulate authorities at Port of Spain presumed the submarine had enough time to send a boarding party to the steamer in derelict to collect all items of interest. At 06: 10 am, one navy airplane flew over and was attracted by one flare sent by survivors and remained over the area until 08:45 am,  when began flying in a broader circle.

Master Jose Martins from Tamandaré informed that U-66 skipper Friedrich Markworth, spoke Portuguese with fluency once before the war, he was a frequent customer of one famous Cafes in Rio, the Belas Artes, a well known meeting place of politicians and military as well. Markworth  was well informed on one precious item of the cargo carried at Tamandare; some amount of uranium ore, nevertheless Jose Martins reminded that some previous advice on a special cargo was passed to him at Vitoria harbor before he sailed. 
After 02:10 pm and until 06:10 pm, survivors remained under constant surveillance this time by 2 seaplanes, until they were finally picked up by sub chaser pc 492. They landed safely at Port of Spain 04: 00 at Pomon Bembow docks.  44 crewmembers out of 48 were saved including 4 gunners. Merchant Tamandare had sailed from Rio bound for New York via La Guaira, Venezuela on 19/Jul




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