Narrative and Chronology
From 1941 to 1945, the South Atlantic Forces of the United States Atlantic Fleet operated under four different designations -- Task Force THREE, Task Force TWENTY-THREE, FOURTH Fleet, and finally Task Force TWENTY-SEVEN. In September 1942, the Commander Task Force TWENTY-THREE was further designated Commander South Atlantic Force, a title and command which did not change thereafter.
The varying designations indicate the growth of the force to meet and defeat the U-boat menace, and the dispersal of the surface and air units after "The Battle of the South Atlantic" was won.
This is a documented history of the South Atlantic Force, consisting of a chronology of important events, a concise narrative of the administrative history of the Force, and numerous documented appendices including historical material fro the Naval Operating and Naval Air Facilities under the control of the Commander South Atlantic Force.
The South Atlantic Force was one of three United States Naval organizations in Brazil during World War II. Its mission was temporary and ended with the victory over Germany. The other two organizations, which functions in peacetime as well as in war, are the United States Naval Mission to Brazil and the Naval Attache's Office in the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro.
The activities of these offices are not mentioned except in connection with the wartime operations of the South Atlantic Force.
A previous work entitled "A History of the South Atlantic Campaign" was submitted to the Navy Department in 1944. It contains many details not repeated in this history. It was not fully documented, however, the appendices of this history are intended to supplement the original narrative. This is an extension of "A History of the South Atlantic Campaign."
Two other excellent historical works should also be read as parts of the history of the South Atlantic Force. Both already have been submitted to he Chief of Naval Operations, fully documented. They are (1) "History of Fleet Air Wing SIXTEEN," originally forwarded 27 March 1945, and completed by monthly supplements through June 1945, when the Wing was decommissioned; (2) "History of Fleet Airship Wing FOUR," prepared in September 1944 and supplemented through June 1945 when the Blimp Wing was decommissioned.
All appendix material pertaining to the South Atlantic Force, consisting in part of individual histories of naval activities and other documents, id filed in the Office of Naval History and may be referred to there.
The above mentioned "History of Fleet Air Wing SIXTEEN" is included in he volume of first draft narratives concerned with naval aviation.
CHRONOLOGY OF IMPORTANT DATES
11 Jan. 1941 Rear Admiral Jonas H. Ingram hoists Flag in Memphis as ComCruDiv 2 at Guantanamo Bay; also CTF 3. 26 Feb. 1941 Lieutenant Commander William A. Hodgman arrives Recife as Naval Observer, after reporting to Rio de Janeiro in February; first Alusnob [American Legation, United States Naval Observer - Hyperwar editor] in Brazil. 24 Mar. 1941 Admiral Ingram confers with Admiral King in Washington; CominCh orders CCD2 to conduct Neutrality Patrol in South Atlantic. 25 Mar. 1941 Construction begun on Seaplane base at Natal under Airport Development Program contract; all work completed 1944. 25 Apr. 1941 USS Memphis and Cincinnati, ComCruDiv 2 in Memphis, depart Norfolk for first South Atlantic patrol. 10 May 1941 Memphis and Cincinnati enter Recife for one day stay. 1 June 1941 Milwaukee, Somers and Jouett call at Recife for two day visit. 2 July 1941 Construction begun on seaplane base at Recife; completed in twenty-three months but never used operationally. 3 July 1941 Admiral Ingram visits Recife second time. 15 Aug. 1941 On third visit to Recife Admiral Ingram is entertained by Brazilian officials. 28 Aug. 1941 Alteration of Edificio Bancarion for ultimate occupancy by Naval Observer begun. 1 Oct. 1941 U. S. and Brazil conclude secret agreement on close defense of continent; modified by later agreement 23 May 1942. 14 Oct. 1941 On fourth visit to Recife, Admiral Ingram makes agreement with Federal Interventor of the State of Pernambuco, Sr. Agamenon Magalhaes, for use of Recife as a Naval base.
6 Nov. 1941 Omaha and Somers capture homebound blockade runner Odenwald in 00° 14' N, 27° 44' W; take it to San Juan via Trinidad. 1 Dec. 1941 Supply Department of Recife naval facility set up to service ships of TF 3. 8 Dec. 1941 United States declares war on Germany and Japan and becomes belligerent. 13 Dec. 1941 Construction begun on airfield for seaplanes at Aratu; fully completed in three years. 11-19 Dec. 1941 Task Force 3 patrolling Martinique. 19 Dec. 1941 First squadron of Navy planes arrives Natal for Neutrality Patrol operations; VP-52 (PBYs) under administrative control of FairWing 3 at Coco Solo. 19 Dec. 1941 Three companies of U. S. Marines arrive in Brazil by plane; stationed at Belem, Natal and Recife. 28 Jan. 1942 Construction begun at Ipitanga airfield; fully completed in two years. 10 Feb. 1942 Admiral Ingram promoted to Vice Admiral and designation of Task Force 3 changed to Task Force 23. 27 Mar. 1942 Units of TF 23 escorts USAT's Coamo and Luckenbach to Ascension with men and materials to set up Army air base. 7 Apr. 1942 Six PBY5A's of VP-83 arrive Natal; six more arrive 13 June; squadron relieves VP-52. 13 Apr. 1942 Admiral Ingram in Memphis visits Montevideo for conference with Uruguayan officials. 22 Apr. 1942 Admiral arrives Rio from Montevideo; has first conference with President Vargas, who gives him responsibility for guarding Brazilian shipping. 2 May 1942 First A/S attack by USN planes in SoLant by VP-83 off Fernando de Moronha. 7 May 1942 Winslow, escorting Patoka, attacks submarine in 02° 25' S, 45° 55' W; recorded as first U-boat kill by U. S. forces in the South Atlantic. 9 May 1942 Jouett claims kill of surfaced U-boat off Dutch Guiana. 18 May 1942 Lloyd Brasieiro's Commandante Lyra torpedoed but not sunk off Cape Sao Roque. Rescue and salvage by USN.
25 May 1942 Construction begun on land plane base at Natal. Fully completed 19 months later. 30 May 1942 Construction begun on Ibura Field, Recife; completed in 21 months. 19 June 1942 Navy medical and dental officers report to Recife for Naval Dispensary; 13 Quonset huts and hospital equipment also arrive. 1 July 1942 Area petroleum officers set up in Rio; assistant area petroleum officer established in Recife. 8 July 1942 Work begun on Naval Dispensary, Recife; completed in two months. 11 July 1942 Conference with British shipping authorities improves exchange of shipping information between U. S. and British reporting agencies. 21 July 1942 Convoy AS-4, carrying tanks and equipment that later helped Montgomery beat Rommel at El Alamein, begins voyage across South Atlantic with TF 23 escorts; escort group turns over convoy to British near Cape Town on 5 August. 25 July 1942 Fleet Post Office begins operation at Recife. 14 Aug. 1942 U-boats begin offensive against Brazilian shipping; six merchantmen sunk, 500 lives lost. 18 Aug. 1942 Popular demonstrations in Brazil against Axis representatives. 19 Aug. 1942 Admiral Ingram shifts Flag and administration from Memphis to Patoka in Recife Harbor. 21 Aug. 1942 Arrangements completed for unified operations of all forces in SoLant; U. S. Navy, U. S. Army, Brazilian Navy, Army and Air Force, and Royal Navy. 22 Aug. 1942 Brazil declares war on Germany and Italy. 12 Sept. 1942 Brazilian Navy placed under command of Admiral Ingram by order of President Vargas via Minister of Marine. 15 Sept. 1942 Admiral Ingram made Commander South Atlantic Force retaining rank of Vice Admiral.
16-17 Sept. 1942 Destroyers of DesRon9 claim two kills in A/S action off Trinidad, with assistance of other craft. 24 Sept. 1942 PC-544 and PC-547 transferred to Brazil. 26 Sept. 1942 Secretary Knox visits Brazil. Goes to Rio with Admiral Ingram. 30 Sept. 1942 Admiral confers with President Vargas, who offers him complete operational control of all branches of the defense of Brazil. 10 Oct. 1942 Rear Admiral O. M. Read reports as relief for Admiral Ingram as Commander Cruiser Division Two. 15 Oct. 1942 Naval Air Transport Service extended to Brazil. 7 Nov. 1942 Patrol Squadron 74 (PBM3C's) establishes headquarters at Natal; operates from Natal and Aratu until detached 20 October 1943. 10 Nov. 1942 Construction begun on Ordnance depot at Jiquim (near Recife, where MKM Radio transmitter also was built later); in use by February 1943. 21 Nov. 1942 TG 23.2 (Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Somers, Rear Admiral Read in Milwaukee) intercepts southbound Anneliese Esseberger in 01° N, 23° W; 62 prisoners are taken after runner is scuttled. 25 Nov. 1942 British troop convoy in South Atlantic; it includes Empress of Scotland, largest ship to ever enter Bahia. 26 Nov. 1942 Ten communications offices report to ComSoLant; Force Communications Center set up on Patoka. 1 Dec. 1942 Reorganization of Naval Observers' offices effective; Aluanobs under operational control of ComSoLant for purposes of routing and reporting merships. 1 Dec. 1942 Naval Operating Base, Rio de Janeiro commissioned. 4 Dec. 1942 Probable sub sinking in plane attack 06° 36' S, 33° 40' W. 15 Dec. 1942 Work getting underway on various Naval installations in Recife area; Camp Ingram, DesRep 12, storage warehouse, etc.; work continued two years.
15-20 Dec. 1942 Blackout ordered during submarine alert from Recife to Fortaleza; this was the only real blackout of the war. 19 Dec. 1942 First patient admitted to unfinished Knox Hospital. 3 Jan. 1943 TB-1, first convoy of South Atlantic system, sails from Trinidad for Bahia. 6 Jan. 1943 BT-1, first northbound convoy, sails from Bahia. 7 Jan. 1943 Catalinas of VP-94 arrive at Natal; work at various stations on Brazilian coast until turned over to Brazilian Air Force 12 December 1944. 28 Jan. 1943 President Roosevelt, returning from Casablanca conference, meets President Vargas and Admiral Ingram at Natal. 31 Jan. 1943 Admiral King visits Brazil. 31 Jan. 1943 Expansion of Headquarters personnel well underway; Headquarters Building on Santo Antonio Island, Recife, partially occupied in December 1942 when unfinished, nearing completion in all respects. 5 Feb. 1943 USS Melville, destroyer repair ship, arrives Recife; brings first Sangamo attack teacher for ASW training. 16 Feb. 1943 Fleet Air Wing Sixteen commissioned at Norfolk. 23 Feb. 1943 Survey board appointed to select sites for blimp bases in Brazil; board reports 9 April. 5 Mar. 1943 Admiral Ingram visits Montevideo. 10 Mar. 1943 Blockade runner Kota Nopan sighted by planes of USS Santee; intercepted by Savannah and Eberle. 15 Mar. 1943 South Atlantic Force becomes Fourth Fleet. 13 Apr. 1943 Fleet Air Wing 16 headquarters established at Natal. 14 Apr. 1943 Construction begun at Forteleza; completed in 14 months. 15 Apr. 1943 VP-83 Planes sink Italian sub in 03° 23' S, 30° 28' W.
19 Apr. 1943 Construction begun on air facilities at Fernando de Noronha. Completed in nine months. 26 Apr. 1943 USS Patoka sails from Recife to resume duties as tanker after long stay in port. 2 May 1943 Tanker Livingston Roe catches fire in Recife harbor, threatening warehouses and warships. 7 May 1943 VCNO authorizes establishment of SPEC at Recife. 8 May 1943 Rear Admiral Beauregard relieved as Chief of Naval Mission by Captain Macauley and as Commandant of NOB Rio by Captain Dodd. 10 May 1943 VP-83 leaves area to return to States and exchange PBY's for B-24's; reports back 15 June with twelve Liberators as VB-107; finally detached to United Kingdom in late 1944 after sinking nine submarines and aiding intercepting blockade runners. 14 May 1943 VB-127 (PV-1 Venturas) establishes headquarters at Natal; operates in North Brazil until detached to Moroccan Sea Frontier 1 September 1943. 17 May 1943 VP-74 planes, with destroyers Moffett and Jouett, sink U-boat in 11° 08' S, 35° 38' W; 47 survivors taken as prisoners of war. 18 May 1943 U. S. Naval Observers in Brazil placed under operational control of ComSoLant. 26 May 1943 Convoy BT-14 attacked in 03° 56' S, 35° 43' W; three ships torpedoed. 1 June 1943 Naval bases in Brazil, with the exception of NOB Rio, redesignated as Naval Operating Facilities and Naval Air Facilities. 1 June 1943 VB-129 (Venturas) arrives Natal; operates on east coast of Brazil until detached 2 February 1944. June 1943 Arrival of machinery and personnel for DesRep 12 in Recife permits rapid completion of the small-ship repair base. 15 June 1943 Blimp Squadron 52 (later re-designated ZP-41 and assigned to Airship Wing Four in South Atlantic) commissioned at Lakehurst. 22 June 1943 Construction begun at NAF Amapa; completed in six months.
29 June 1943 Construction begun at Sao Luis; completed five and a half months later. 1 July 1943 Modification work begun on hospital building at Tejipio to make it into a receiving station; construction completed in six weeks. 3 July 1943 Sinking of two warships south of Rio begins submarine blitz of July. 3-4 July 1943 PBM of VP-74 lost in sea off Rio during night A/S sweep. 4 July 1943 Mership Pelotasloide, loaded with airplane engines for FAW16, sunk off Salinas by torpedo or mine. 7 July 1943 Early-morning sub attack on BT-18 convoy off Fortaleza; three ships sunk, three damaged. 8 July 1943 TJ-1, the first convoy routed all the way from Trinidad to Rio de Janeiro, attacked off Cayenne by submarines; two ships sunk, others damaged. 9 July 1943 Convoy JT-1, first regular convoy from Rio to Trinidad sails. 12 July 1943 Headquarters of FAW16 moved from Natal to Fleet Headquarters in Recife. 15 July 1943 Blimphedron Four commissioned at Lakehurst. 19 July 1943 VP-74 Mariners operating from USS Barnegat off Florianopolis sing U-boat. All submarines attacked are staying surfaced and fighting back with AA fire, a new policy. 20 July 1943 VP-94 Catalina damages sub 50 miles ahead of TJ-2. 21 July 1943 Another VP-94 plane sinks same sub in 63° 56' S, 48° 46' W. 23 July 1943 VB-107 planes sink sub near Fernando after all-night search; Seneva picks up two survivors. 23 July 1943 VP-94 plane scores "probable" in 07° 10' N, 51° 36' W.
25 July 1943 Uruguay grants use of territory for A/S air bases if sub activity moves into La Plata area. 26 July 1943 Construction begun at Igerape Assu, completed in six months. (Iggy did not operate as an NAF, but simply as an advance base for blimps.) 30 July 1943 Two submarines attacked off Recife during convoy rendezvous; one sunk, one probable. 31 July 1943 VP-94 Mariner damages sub off Rio; Catalinas of Brazilian Air Force sinks it. 31 July 1943 Mership Bage, one of Brazil's biggest passenger-cargo vessels, sunk between Recife and Bahia shortly after being expelled from convoy by Brazilian escort commander because of excessive smoking. 1 Aug. 1943 CominCh sends "Well done to the Fighting Fourth and Brazilian associates." 1 Aug. 1943 Fleet Training Officer designated to coordinate all Fleet training activities and expand training program. 2 Aug. 1943 Fleet Airship Wing Four commissioned at Recife on arrival of Captain Zimmerman, Wing Commander, and his administrative officers. 3 Aug. 1943 VB-107 plane attacks U-boat in 09° 33' S, 30° 37' W; second plane damaged by AA fire from sub; Destroyer Moffett, proceeding to scene, mistaken for sub and straffed by plane; eight men wounded. 6 Aug. 1943 First printed issue of South Atlantic News, Fourth Fleet newspaper. 10 Aug. 1943 Submarines retiring from South Atlantic. Aug. 1943 Interventor of Pernambuco grants use of 125 acres of land for Fleet farm. 14 Aug. 1943 VB-130 (Ventura) establishes headquarters at Fortaleza; operates there until detached 1 May 1944. 21 Aug. 1943 VP-143 (Ventura) establishes headquarters at Ibura; operates at Ibura and Ipitanga until detached to Curacao 13 May 1944.
27 Aug. 1943 Brazilian sub Tupi arrives Recife from Rio; submarine sanctuary "Zebra" established off Recife for ASW exercises. 1 Sept. 1943 Construction begun on seaplane base at Galeao in Guanabara Bay, Rio; completed in sixty days. 1 Sept. 1943 BlimpRon 42 commissioned at Lakehurst. 18 Sept. 1943 VB-145 (Venturas) establishes administration at Sao Luis. 27 Sept. 1943 K-84, first blimp to cross Equator, arrives at Fortaleza, one day after crossing zero latitude. 28 Sept. 1943 VP-211 (Mariners) establishes headquarters at Galeno. 4 Oct. 1943 USBATU begins training Brazilians in PV flying at Natal. 4 Oct. 1943 Secretary Knox visits Recife enroute home from Italy, where he watched Salerno landings. 13 Oct. 1943 VP-203 (Mariners) establishes headquarters at Aratu. Wing 16 at maximum strength, with nine squadrons operating in Brazil. 25 Oct. 1943 Naval Observers placed under administrative as well as operational control of Commander Fourth Fleet. 4 Nov. 1943 Naval Air Facility Ipitanga commissioned. 5 Nov. 1943 Navy B-24's and Army B-25's from Ascension sink U-boat in long battle, 10° 09' S, 18° W. 7 Nov. 1943 Fourth Fleet Headquarters becomes reporting center for entire east coast of South America, for purposes of reporting merchant shipping movements. 25 Nov. 1943 Two VB-107 planes sink sub 550 miles east of Ascension. 1 Dec. 1943 B-R Plan, a barrier of ships and planes between Natal and Ascension to stop blockade runners, in effect. 8 Dec. 1943 Suspicious ship believed to be blockade runner Orsona slips through, although sighted. 10 Dec. 1943 Admiral King visits Recife second time. 14 Dec. 1943 NAF Maceio commissioned.
23 Dec. 1943 K-106, a blimp of the Fleet Airship Wing, rescues crew of ATC plane forced down in Jungle near Anapa. 1 Jan. 1944 Fourth Fleet's "Triple Play" begins with sighting of blockade runner Weserland by a VB-107 plane. 2 Jan. 1944 USS Somers chases runner and sinks her; a plane of 107, damaged by the German ship's AA fire, crashes before reaching base at Ascension. 4 Jan. 1944 USS Omaha and Jouett intercept and sink blockade runner Rio Grande, next day sink Burgenland. 10 Jan. 1944 Area of south of Maceio obtained from Brazilian Army for use as target area for shore bombardment exercises by ships. 15 Jan. 1944 Admiral Ingram visits Montevideo in Memphis. 21 Jan. 1944 CominCh increases complement of airships for the two squadrons of Wing 4 from six to eight. 24 Jan. 1944 VB-134 (Venturas, and the first rocket-equipped squadron in SoLant) establishes headquarters at Ibura. 26 Jan. 1944 YFD-27, badly needed floating drydock, arrives at Bahia. 4 Feb. 1944 K-114 and K-90, from Igarape Assu, rescue RAF officers of plane wrecked west of Igarape. 11 Feb. 1944 K-106 and K-114 from Amapa rescue men from two Army planes in jungle. 20 Feb. 1944 Gunnery area "Man" established off Bahia for training purposes. 26 Feb. 1944 Vice Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger and party visit Recife on tour of Naval Air Stations. 1 Mar. 1944 Rear Admiral Barthes visits Recife in French cruiser Suffren. 9-15 Mar. 1944 Blimps of airship wing begin to operate from Caravellas and Santa Cruz, farthest southern bases for airships. 12-16 Mar. 1944 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt visits Brazil; the First Lady makes stops at Belem, Natal, and Recife.
31 Mar. 1944 First Brazilian Air Group, Ibura, a Ventura squadron, established after Brazilians receive USBATU training and a squadron of American PV's. 1 Apr. 1944 Rear (later Vice) Admiral Teixeira receives Rear Admiral Jose Maria Neiva as Naval Commander of the Northeast; Admiral Neiva leaves Recife to take command of the central district, Rio. 2 Apr. 1944 Captain R. D. Workman, Chief of Navy Chaplains, visits Recife. 10 Apr. 1944 Brazilian School of Instruction for ASW Tactics formally opened by Admiral Soares Dutra in Recife. 20 Apr. 1944 Construction begun on blimp base at Vitoria; completed in 45 days. 29 Apr. 1944 VP-45 (PBY5A's) establishes headquarters at Belem. 1 May 1944 Rear Admiral Read detached from command of CruDiv 2, assigned duty as Commandant NOB Trinidad. 26 May 1944 Submarine sanctuary "Yoke" established off Rio for tame submarine exercises, and area "Roger" set up for bombing and strafing practice. 10 June 1944 Captain Dodd made Chief of Naval Mission with rank of Commodore. 17 June 1944 Permanent rocket range established near Maceio for practice by aircraft. 20 June 1944 Commander Gene Tunney visits area. 2 July 1944 First contingent of Brazilian Expeditionary Force sails from Rio on USS General W. H. Mann; conveyed by Brazilian destroyers and Fourth Fleet ships. 13 July 1944 Rear Admiral Rosendahl and Commodore Willis arrive in Brazil to inspect blimp stations. 1 Aug. 1944 Destroyer Escorts Pennewill and Herzog transferred to Brazil at Natal. Two more transferred 15th.
1 Aug. 1944 NOF Victoria closed. Brazilian Port Captain takes over mership reporting functions; the first of the long series of turnovers as the Fleet prepared to leave Brazil. 15 Aug. 1944 NOF's Fortaleza and Sao Luiz closed. 19 Aug. 1944 NOF Maceio closed. 21 Aug. 1944 Sao Luiz blimp lowers doctor to USS Lapwing to treat emergency case aboard. 23 Aug. 1944 NOF Florianopolis closed. 11 Sept. 1944 NOF Rio Grande do Sol closed. 15 Sept. 1944 Rear Admiral W. O. Spears, Chief of Pan-American Division of CNO, touring area. 22 Sept. 1944 Largest contingent of Brazilian troops embarks on two transports at Rio; conveyed to Gibraltar by Fourth Fleet. 29 Sept. 1944 Last sub sinking in SoLant by plane of VB-107. 29 Sept. 1944 Coastal navigation lights turned on in Brazil to increase safety of shipping. 15 Oct. 1944 Play begins in all-Fleet basketball tournament, first of a series of all-area sports contests. 11 Nov. 1944 CHANGE OF COMMAND. Vice Admiral Ingram relieved by Rear Admiral Munroe; goes to U. S. to become CinCLant with rank of Admiral; new Commander Fourth Fleet, former Commandant Third Naval District, promoted to Vice Admiral. 22 Nov. 1944 All escort vessels except four DE's ordered detached from Fourth Fleet to return to U. S. for further assignment to Pacific. 27 Nov. 1944 Twenty-two officers and men killed in crash of PBY 45 miles east of Sao Luiz; Fleet's worst air accident. 4 Dec. 1944 Admiral sails from Recife for inspection of Bahia and Rio bases.
11 Dec. 1944 JT-TJ convoy system placed on five-day cycle to speed shipping. 12 Dec. 1944 First Brazilian Catalina Air Group, Rio, becomes operational; planes of former VP-94. 19 Dec. 1944 Admiral Monroe presents two more DE's to Brazil at Natal; Cannon and Christopher, which are re-christened Baependi and Benevente. 25 Dec. 1944 After raising funds in drive for voluntary contributions, American servicemen give parties for local orphans to celebrate Christmas; second annual charity program. 31 Dec. 1944 Building at Tejipio returned to State of Permambuco; Captain [unreadable - ed.] CO of receiving station and recreation center, leaves area. 9 Jan. 1945 BRN-1239 set up for transfer of Naval units to Brazil under lend-lease during Fleet demobilization; BRN-1240 set up for transfer of air and radio units. 6 Feb. 1945 Captain (soon Commodore) E. B. Nixon relieves Commodore C. E. Braine as Chief of Staff. Same week, Captain J. G. Huntoon relieves Captain M. A. Hodgran as commanding officer, NOF Recife. 8 Mar. 1945 Admiral Monroe in Omaha sails from Recife for Montevideo for staff conferences; arrives 14 March; visits Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia during March and April. 9 Mar. 1945 JT-TJ convoys suspended; never sailed again. 10 Mar. 1945 Last sinking of a merchant ship by submarines in South Atlantic; Baron Jedburgh torpedoed and sunk by U-boat in 09° S, 24° W. 10 Mar. 1945 DE Alger transferred to Brazilian Navy. 21 Mar. 1945 Vice Admiral Enrique Aristides Guilhem, Brazilian Minister of Marine, receives last DE to be transferred; Commodore Nixon makes presentation of USS Marts at Natal. 27 Mar. 1945 Argentina declares war on Germany and Japan. 31 Mar. 1945 Blimp squadron 42 detached.
15 Apr. 1945 Fourth Fleet becomes Task Force 27 of the Atlantic Fleet; Admiral Munroe keeps title and command of ComSoLant. 15 Apr. 1945 Porte Allegre Navy radio facilities transferred to Brazilian Air Force. 15 Apr. 1945 Patoka (AO-9) detached SoLantFor, reports to ComServLant. 15 Apr. 1945 HTA squadron withdrawn from Belem (VP-45). 20 Apr. 1945 USS Seneca (ATF-91)detached after long service in SoLant in salvage and training. 24 Apr. 1945 VPB-125 (Ventura squadron) detached. 30 Apr. 1945 Igarape Assu airfield transferred to U. S. Army Forces South Atlantic. 1 May 1945 General H. H. Arnold Chief of AAF, visits Recife enroute to Rio. 7-8 May 1945 V-E Day Celebration. 8 May 1945 Navy radio secured at Fernando de Noronha; Army takes over. 13 May 1945 U. S. Army takes over Navy point-to-point and air-ground radio circuits at Amapa, Belem, Fortaleza, and Sao Luiz. 14 May 1945 CominCh and CNO orders Airship Wing Four decommissioned; four blimps of ZP-41 to be assigned ComAirLant for operations in Air-Sea Rescue and ultimate transfer to Brazil under lend-lease. 19 May 1945 Squadrons of HTA aircraft ordered decommissioned; VPB-211, VPB-203, VPB-125, VPB-126, VPB-48. 20 May 1945 Maintenance of NAF Fortaleza transferred to U. S. Army. 22 May 1945 Belem NATS radio circuits secured. 29 May 1945 South Atlantic officially designated a non-combat area. 30 May 1945 USS Cincinnati detached. 31 May 1945 NOF Santos closed; NOF Natal ceases to function as a reporting office.
1 June 1945 Last operational project of SoLantfor begins: Air-Sea Rescue in cooperation with U. S. Army Air Forces and Brazilian Navy; Brazilian warships guard for mid-ocean stations on air routes from Africa to aid returning Army transport planes. Later in month, Navy sets up liaison operations detachment in Natal at Army airfield. 6 June 1945 Brazil declares war on Japan. 7 June 1945 NOF Bahia ceases to function as routing office. 10 June 1945 Routing office at NOF Belem closed. 11 June 1945 YMS 44, 45, 60 and 76 detached, report to CTG 29. 15 June 1945 NAF Belem closed. 18 June 1945 USS Chain (ARS-20) detached, reports to ComServLant. 27 June 1945 Fleet Air Wing Sixteen decommissioned; Fleet Airship Wing Four decommissioned. 30 June 1945 Admiral Ingram arrives Recife by plane for first visit since becoming CinCLant; continues to Rio, departs 7 July aboard USS Bremerton. 30 June 1945 NAF's at Amapa and Fernando transferred to U. S. Army. 2 July 1945 YFD-38 and YR-45 at Bahia transferred to temporary custody of Brazilian Navy pending lend-lease transfer. 4 July 1945 Brazilian cruiser Baia, on Air-Sea Rescue duty, explodes and sinks in three minutes in Equator and 30° W. Less than half of crew of 367 saved; four U. S. Radiomen aboard. 7 July 1945 Navy Radio Station MKM at Recife transferred to Brazilian Navy; final transfer of Recife installations; Naval Dispensary, Camp Ingram and DesRep 12 already transferred to temporary custody of Brazil. 12 July 1945 ETD of Admiral Munros and Staff for Rio to close final business of South Atlantic Force.
SUBS SUNK BY FOURTH FLEET
Editors Note: Some of the U-Boats were not identified in the original source material, due to lack of access to the German records by the original authors. The missing U-Boat identifiers have been added where available (courtesy of uboat.net), and are flagged with an asterisk (*).
DAY MONTH YEAR POSITION U-BOAT BY 6 Jan. 1943 01° S 39° W U-164 VP-83 15 April 1943 03° 23' S 30° 28' W --- VP-83 17 May 1943 11° 08' S 35° 38' W U-128 VP-74 9 July 1943 03° 23' S 48° 28' W U-590* VP-94 19 July 1943 27° 13' S 47° 32' W U-513 VP-74-P5 21 July 1943 03° 56' N 48° 46' W U-662 VP-94 23 July 1943 04° 05' S 33° 23' W U-598 VB-107 30 July 1943 08° 28' S 34° 42' W U-591 VB-127 31 July 1943 23° 54' S 42° 54' W U-199 VP-74 and two Brazilian Aircraft (Hudson and Catalina) 3rd Air Zone 11 Aug 1943 04° 30' S 21° 21' W U-604 VB-107 and VB-129 (Moffett) 5 Nov 1943 10° 09' S 18° W U-848 VB-107 25 Nov 1943 06° 30' S 05° 40' W U-849* VB-107 6 Feb. 1944 10° 35' S 23° 15' W U-177 VB-107 15 June 1944 25° 02' S 04° 58' W U-860 VC9 - Solomons 29 Sept. 1944 10° 45' S 25° 30' W U-863* VB-107
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