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Built 1917

Tonnage 3,766 / 6,925 tons

Cargo: 3,500 tons of coffee, castor seeds and general cargo

Sunk 22 Nov 42 by U-163 on pos 13º28"N 54º42"W

5 Dead

25 Survivors

Merchant Apaloide ex Danish Nevada was attacked and sunk on November 22 1942. With 3766 tons of registry built 1917. She was one of 5 merchants traded with Denmark for occasion of World War II.

Apaloide began her last journey outbound to New York, and had departed Santos, southern Brazil. She was under Master Jose Santos and planned stops at Rio and Recife. When moored at Recife, master Santos received from naval authorities secret instructions on the proceedings to take and at  4th of November suspended to join a convoy  in which she would be incorporated. Due to the instructions master Santos received, the planned speed which would set the merchant at the screen of the convoy was set to 8,4 knots, once the convoy plied with 8 knots. Despite all efforts made by ship’s machinists, merchant Apaloide could not keep pace with the convoy and even so, kept the formation at sight, but slowly getting far from it.

At 10:00 AM on November 6th, Apaloide lost visual contact with the convoy and in consequence sailing isolated and defenseless in high seas.Under the circumstances, for unanimous deliberation of all crewmembers, master Santos decided to make port at Belem having moored at 9th. New determinations received she departed at 06:00 on 17th bound for Salinas a small port at the mouth of Amazon river, where the first envelope with instructions should be opened. As master Santos did not received any order modifying previous one, he decided to sail as planned.

At 06:20 PM on November 22nd 1942, at estimated position 13º 28’n 54º 42’w, a strong explosion was heard at portside at the machine room which blown up debris from the ship’s structure and also the lifeboats. Master Santos ordered to abandon ship. Soon after he went to the radio room to personally inspect the transmissions of SOS as well as the position of his doomed ship, that was listing portside.

Hopelessly , merchant Apaloide plummeted within 20 minutes after the impact. Two lifeboats were lowered to the sea: One under master Santos and the second under the first officer. The attacker came to surface and side by side with the first officer lifeboat crewmembers at the conning tower began to inquiry on the name of ship, destination, port of departure, nature of cargo, nationality, etc.

In the first moment there was some hesitation from the part of the merchant crew to answer the question which aroused the nervousness of the Germans, having the machine gunner volleyed a round over the lifeboats to browbeat the survivors. In this contingency, the greaser which spoke Spanish was taken aboard the U-boat where he was questioned. The men in the lifeboats waited sometime and could see a logo F-4 on the conning tower. The greaser returned to the lifeboats and without any other hostile attitude the U-boat got away and submerged.

The lifeboats remained adrift until the first lights of the morning. In this moment crewmembers noticed they had lost contact with the other lifeboat. That led to the conclusion one had taken the most convenient course once they were aware of the distance of the nearest land. Master’s lifeboat set course to Trinidad while the first officer’s took course of French Guyana. At 11:00 PM on the 28th , when at 20 miles off Trinidad, master Santos lifeboat was finally sighted, and landed  at Port of Spain Trinidad. They had been at sea for 6 days and sailed 400 miles.

The first officer’s lifeboat, which had set for Guyana, after seven days at sea, was rescued by the British Stair MacGillvray  which landed them at Port of Spain, where they arrived at November the 30th at 05: 30PM, thus rejoicing with the news of  their companions rescue. Before abandoning his ship, master Santos managed to throw overboard all important and ciphered documents on the convoy movement having been assisted by other crewmembers



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