Allied Warships

BZ Bahia (C 12)

Light cruiser of the Bahia class

NavyThe Brazilian Navy
TypeLight cruiser
PennantC 12 
Built byArmstrong Whitworth (Elswick, U.K.) 
Laid down7 Aug 1907 
Launched20 Apr 1909 
Commissioned 1910 
Lost4 Jul 1945 

On 4 July 1945, Bahia was stationed in the central Atlantic, halfway between Brazil and Africa, for potential lifesaving duties for US planes in trans-Atlantic transfer to locations in Europe & the Pacific.
While conducting AA firings with her 20-mm guns against a kite streamed astern, a gunner shot the kite down and, following it on the way down, unintentionally hit a rack of depth charges on the fantail, which exploded, causing Bahia to sink within 3 minutes. The guns were not fitted with training stops to prevent them from shooting at angles where they endangered other weapon positions.
The distater was not discovered until 8 July, when sistership Rio Grande do Sul arrived at the station to relieve Bahia, by which time less than half the crew was still alive, 294 had perished.


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Notable events involving Bahia include:

The rescue The cruiser Rio Grande do Sul reached the point to change service with the cruiser Bahia at station number 13 but does not found it, The capitain does not know about the sinking because the cruiser Bahia took 5 minutes to sink and nobody was able to send a S.O.S. The Captain Garcia D`?vila right armless asked to be abandoned with the ship. 271 officials and sailors were scattered at sea the majority wounded and burned. Four days later a British merchant SS Balfe commanded by captain Thomas Joseph Sweeney was alerted by cook boy aged 17, Raymond Charles Rhimms who heard a strange sound looks like a "Cukoo" of a seabird but in true was the word "Socorro" (help in Portuguese)Raymond saw a man and after 4 in a raft . SS Balfe rescued 36 men five perished thereafter and the lone officer survivor the only Brazilian who speak English. So the alert was given. Cruiser Rio Grande do Sul rescued 6 and others boats 5 men. At final only 36 men survived 339 perished - 335 Brazilians and 4 Americans. The major part drowned or succumbing to wounds and sharks. (1)

Comandants of Cruiser Bahia CF Altino de Miranda Correia CF Tancredo de Gomensoro CF Francisco Bonfim de Andrade CF Lucas Alexandre Boiteux CF Saladino Coelho CF Garcia D'?vila Pires de Albuquerque 04/07/1945 -sink (1)


  1. Personal communication

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