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Photo. City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447 - 2484


Built: 1920

Tonnage: 8,261 / 10,360 tons

Cargo: Ballast

Route: Taranto - Gibraltar - Buenos Aires 

Sunk 8 APR 44 by U-843 on pos. 11º55”S 19º52”W

2 Dead

66 Survivors

On 8 Apr, 1944, the unescorted Nebraska (Master Bernard Cyril Dodds), dispersed on 4 April from the convoy OS-71, was torpedoed and sunk by U-843 southwest of Ascension Island. Two crew members were lost. The boat of the Master and 19 survivors landed at Recife on 22 April. 25 survivors were adrift for 16 days when were found and rescued by the Brazilian Submarine Chaser Juruena at Barra Nova inlet State of Sergipe. The SC Juruena also fished out other survivors in the vicinities. The remaining survivors were picked up by the British merchant Kindat and landed at Freetown.

By Nebraska (British Steam merchant) - Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII -

Enclosed below the report obtained from Recife Inspectorate of Maritime and Air Police with a detailed report made by Commander of Nebraska following his arrival along with 19 survivors in a whaleboat. 

No. 76 RESERVED. Recife April 22, 1944 - Captain Armando Pinto de Lima, Captain of the Port Authority of Pernambuco. I inform Your Excellency that today at 7 o'clock in the morning, driven by a motorboat of the Port Pilotage Association, which brought it by towing from the entrance to the bar, a whaleboat with twenty survivors docked at the ramp of that Province, which were immediately disembarked and introduced in this division, according to the criteria then adopted by your predecessor, in order to be photographed and identified. In this Inspectorate, it was found that the survivors belonged to the British freighter NEBRASKA, from Royal Mail Lines Ltd. Among the survivors is the captain of the ship, who summarizes the accident as follows:

“That in the first days of this month, in command of the steamer NEBRASKA, had left the port of Gibraltar for Buenos Aires, in direct voyage and in ballast; that on the 8th of the month, When sailing at 950 miles off the Brazilian coast, about 4:50 am (London time) his ship was torpedoed twice, sinking within twenty minutes; that, of its crew composed by 66 (sixty six) men, 2 (two) died in the act of torpedoing, while the others occupied three (3) whaleboats, taking these different directions; that, in one of the boats, he and another 19 (nineteen) crew decided to head for the Brazilian coast, looking for the port of Recife, where they had made a stop in December of last year, on the same ship;

That, from the 8th of the current month until today, at 7 o'clock in the morning, when he arrived in Recife, he sailed under sail, with the help of his nineteen companions; that during the crossing from the 8th to the 22nd of the current, their boat was twice overflown by two planes, once yesterday, during the day, seeming not to have observed its whaleboat by the planes; that, upon reaching the entrance to the bar this morning, a motorboat from the Port Pilotage Association went to meet them and were brought towed to the Maritime and Air Police Inspectorate; that he wishes to thank the way he was welcomed, with his 19 (nineteen) companions, not only by the police personnel, but also by the captain of the Brazilian tender ship BELMONTE, when they were served a meal, shortly after arrival;

Who ignores the direction taken by the two other NEBRASKA whaleboats, believing that they would have gone to other places. NEBRASKA Commander Bernard Dodds, is the second time he has been torpedoed. In 1943, aboard the NARIVA, from the same company, he had the misfortune of losing that ship in European seas, managing to save himself. The 20 (twenty) survivors who arrived today, after being heard in this Province by the Officer of this Captaincy, were identified and then handed over to the English Consulate, in order to accommodate them in the city hotels. The whaleboat in which they came and the belongings were delivered to the officer of that Captaincy, according to the criteria previously adopted.”

Alongside I provide Your Excellency with a list of the twenty (20) survivors who arrived in Recife today. With respect. MAURICIO MEDEIROS, INSPECTOR OF MARITIME AND AIR POLICE.


Above the copy of the report made by Captain Dodds detailing the sinking of merchant Nebraska and the arrival of his boat with 20 survivors at Recife harbor on 22 April 1944.



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