De Sousa, Francisco



Ship: Nagpore (GB)

Birth place – Mormugão (Portuguese India)
Birth date – 1906 (?)

Death date –  
Father –
Mother –

Francisco Sousa and Arselino Silva arriving in Lisbon

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

Francisco de Sousa, 36, was one of the survivors of the English ship Nagpore, sunk on October 27, 1942, by U-509, off the Canary Islands.

Embarked in Bombay in June 1942, Sousa was one of the 13 crew members from Portuguese India who were on board the ship.

When the Nagpore was hit, by a torpedo fired by the U-509, Francisco took place in a lifeboat with 18 other crew members, including Arselino da Silva, 16, 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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