SS Arabutan

SS Arabutan[1] was the fifth Brazilian merchant ship to be sunk during World War II. At 21.10 hours on 7 March 1942, the German submarine U-155 fired a stern torpedo that hit the Arabutan (Master Aníbal Alfredo do Prado) after 102 seconds and caused her to sink in 13 minutes about 81 miles off Cape Hatteras, at 35.15N/73.55W.

  • SS War Sword (1917-1919)
  • SS Caprera (1919-1933)
  • SS Arabutan (1933-1942)
Builder: Union Iron Works, San Francisco
Yard number: 142
Launched: 1917
Fate: Sunk on 7 March 1942
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,956 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 125 m (410 ft)
Beam: 17.1 m (56 ft)
Depth: 11.58 m (38.0 ft)
Installed power: 609 nhp
Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine

The ship had been spotted one hour earlier but no neutrality markings were noticed. One crew member, the nurse Manoel Florêncio Coimbra was lost, he probably was killed by the explosion while sleeping in his cabin. The master, 50 crew members, three sailors from the Brazilian tanker Itamarati and a survivor from Buarque abandoned ship in four lifeboats which were sighted about six hours later by aircraft. On 8 March, the US Coast Guard cutter Calypso[2] picked up the survivors and landed them at Little Creek, Virginia after sinking their boats as a hazard to navigation.


  1. "Arbutan". Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  2. "U.S. Coast Guard Cutter History". Retrieved 7 March 2014.


  • Sander, Roberto. O Brasil na mira de Hitler: a história do afundamento de navios brasileiros pelos nazistas. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2007.
  • Wynn, Kenneth G. U-Boat Operations of the Second World War Volume 2: Career Histories. United States Naval Inst Press, 1998

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