Da Silva, Arcelino



Ship: Nagpore (GB)

Birth place – Margão (Portuguese India)
Birth date – 1926 (?)
Death date – 
Father –
Mother –

Francisco Sousa and Arselino Silva arriving in Lisbon

Francisco Sousa and Arselino Silva arriving in Lisbon
(Picture: Diário de Lisboa)

Arcelino da Silva, 16, was one of the survivors of the English freighter Nagpore, when it was sunk by U-509 on October 28, 1942, northwest of the Canary Islands.

In July 1942 Arcelino embarked aboard the freighter in Bombay, which among the 73 crew members had 13 from Portuguese India.

When the Nagpore was hit, by a torpedo fired by the U-509, Arselino took place in a lifeboat with 18 other crew members, including Francisco de Sousa, 36, a native of Mormugão, also in Portuguese India. They went through several difficulties until they arrived at Porto Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, on the 10th of November.

As Silva and Sousa stated being Portuguese, they were embarked on the Spanhish freighter “Vila de Madrid” that left to Cadiz, in south Spain. After passing through Seville, Huelva, Aiamonte and Vila Real de Santo António they arrived in Lisbon. I do not know its subsequent destination, the same happening with the other Portuguese who were on board of the Nagpore.

Nagpore had left Mombasa, Kenya, Africa, in early October. On the 16 it joined the SL-125 convoy, with a total of 37 ships, escorted by just four corvettes.

Between the 27th and 32nd of October, the convoy was under attack by a dozen u-boats that managed to sink twelve ships and damage seven others. The Germans declared victory, but the fact that they concentrated so many efforts in to left them a bitter taste. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, convoys carrying troops and supplies for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa by Allied troops, went completely unnoticed.

Carlos Guerreiro


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