Brioso, Manuel Lopes



Ship – Jon (Panama)

Birth place – Lisbon
Birth date – 

Death date – 
Father – 
Mother – 


Manuel Brioso was a crew member on the Panamanian ship Jon, attacked in the Atlantic by an FW-200 plane at 6:45 pm on October 5, 1941. After being hit by bombs, it just took three minutes to sink.

In addition to Brioso, the Portuguese João da Cruz was also on board.

The survivors escaped in lifeboats that were found by U-204. The German submarine was escorting the Rio Grande blockade runner along the bay of Biscay into its way to Japan, where it arrived in December of the same year. Apparently the prisoners were transferred from the submersible to the larger vessel and may have made the round trip to Japan and back, landing in Bordeaux in April 1942.

It is certain that Brioso and Cruz were interned in the Marlag and Milag Nord prison camp, north of Bremen, designed to house crews of merchant ships and garrisons of warships. The first was assigned prisoner number 17 and the second number 18.

The Portuguese were imprisoned until February 1944. At that time, after intervention by the Portuguese government, they were released and sent by train to Lisbon. Brioso and three other companions - Venâncio de Almeida, João da Cruz and Florêncio da Silva - arrived in the Portuguese capital on the 20th of the month. Another Portuguese, also a prisoner, Manuel António Carlos, had arrived the day before.


Note: This article was corrected on February 4, 2022. I had mistakenly assigned the Greek ship Antonis to the seafarer. I thank our reader Paulo Lucas for drawing my attention to this error.


Carlos Guerreiro


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