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oaing Revolution 

x -\* ' " \^ .? 

By fFarren. Rogers, /r. 

At half past one, on the morning of 
Sunday, January 22, 1961, the Portuguese 
luxury liner Santa Maria throbbed 
through the calm waters of the Carib- 
bean. Among the 612 passengers aboard 
was a small group of secretly armed 
Portuguese rebels, poised ready to launch 
one of the most fantastic and extravagant 
hijacking operations in the annals of the 
high seas. * 

Carrying an array of small arms, the 
rebels entered the bridge and engine 
room. Suddenly the quiet Caribbean 
night was shattered by the bark of a 
submachine gun. Within a matter of 
minutes, the sleek, $1,600,000 cruise ship 
was completely in the hands of twenty- 
four hijackers, led by Henrique Carlos 
Malta Galvao the almost legendary 
soldier, bureaucrat, big-game hunter, 
playwright, novelist, rebel, fugitive, and 
implacable foe of Premier Antonio cle 
Salazar of Portugal. 

From his vantage point as a leading 
New York Herald Tribune reporter, 
author Warren Rogers, Jr., tells the whole 
story of the political realities and ideals 
that led to the Santa Maria's seizure, and 
(continued on back flap) 



<*3 1148011458452 

946*9 173 f 62-18163 


The floating revolution 

N9 59801- 


OCT. """ " 1962" 



The Floating 

McGraw-HiU. Book Company, Inc. 


For Patricia and Sean 


Copyright 1962 by Warren Rogers, Jr. 
Printed in the United States of America. 
All rights reserved. This book or parts 
thereof may not be reproduced in any form 
without written permission of the publishers. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 62-10846 
First Edition 53305 


Flying back from Rio de Janeiro on Monday, February 5, 
1961, after covering the Santa Maria story, a group of us 
got to rehashing it from beginning to end. As usual, we 
found that there was an awful lot we did not know and 
much more that we did not understand, even though we 
had been reporting it, in that omniscient way of modern 
journalism, for something like two weeks. 

"Somebody ought to write a book about it," Saul Pett of 
the Associated Press said. Andrew Tully, then of Scripps- 
Howard, who has written three or four books, promptly 
agreed. So did I, without really thinking. But then I got to 
thinking about it, and by the time the big jet liner had set 
us down in snow-clogged New York, so utterly different 
from the steaming heat of Equatorial Recife, I had decided 
to give it a try. 

This is not the kind of scholarly book that somebody 
ought to write about the Santa Maria and Captain Hen- 
rique Galvao some day. But a great deal of reading and 
research has gone into it. It is as accurate and as honest as 
twenty-three years of training can make it. 

Captain Galvao has written a book himself about his 

'l*'ft .".V* ?-'')') V 

2 6218163 


grand coup. Unfortunately, as often happens, the persons 
deeply involved in a great adventure see only part of the 
picture and therefore do not place in full perspective 
everything that is going on. Galvao's book does not always 
jibe with the memory of others nor with what he said and 
wrote when the floating revolution was fresher in his mind. 
Consequently, my reportage differs in some instances from 
his. In resolving conflicts, I gave priority to what the 
courts call "immediate past recollection." 

Many persons contributed information and guidance. 
I regret that almost all of them must remain anonymous, 
for they hold positions whose sensitivity requires anonym- 
ity and it would be a disservice and a violation of our 
understanding to say who they are, They know, however, 
that I am deeply grateful. 

I am indebted to the American passengers aboard the 
Santa Maria with whom I talked at length, particularly 
Mrs. Edna P. Chubb, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Douglas Patton, 
and Professor and Mrs. Floyd W. Preston, all of whom 
kindly permitted the use of their vivid diaries as source 
material. I am indebted also to Dale L. Brown, for his 
broad knowledge of the Iberian Peninsula and his discov- 
ery of several useful volumes; to Charles Wingenbach, for 
a detailed chronology; to my wife, Hilda Kenny Rogers, 
and my good neighbor, Mrs. William M. ( Muriel) Stafford, 
both of whom helped type the manuscript, and to Robert J. 
Donovan, chief of the Washington Bureau of the New 
York Herald Tribune, for his active encouragement and 

Warren Rogers, Jr. 











NINE: WHERE is IT? 94 














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B R A Z I L 


/0-'25 P.M.BST 
JAN. 27 




When was ever a finer cruise 

Than the one on the Santa Maria, 
The gallant ship that stole the news 

From Rio to Korea? 

From now on, never a day on board 

A boat on a tropic ocean, 
But folks will yearn for an overlord 

To set their lives in motion. 

What end the games and the souvenirs, 

The daily caviar ration, 
When never a rebel chief appears 

To switch their destination? 

With never a navy on their tail 

Or 'copters on their yardarm, 
What use romancing by the rail 

Or bending the bar-and-card arm? 

So, travel agents, hearken ye: 

Each cruise ye sell from now on 
Must guarantee a mutiny 

Or someone like Galvao on! 


* Marya Mannes, The Reporter Magazine, February 16, 1961, 



There are nights at sea of exquisite quiet, the time all 
mariners love. The sea is smooth and the ship runs proud. 
The wind is gentle and friendly, and evokes a delicious 
melancholy, a peace that stirs memories and hopes that 
lie buried in the bustle of day. So it was at half past one 
on the morning of Sunday, January 22, 1961, as the Santa 
Maria throbbed through the calm Caribbean, thirteen days 
out of Lisbon and bound for Port Everglades, Florida. The 
moon was bright, though badgered by fleeting clouds, 
and balmy breezes caressed the Portuguese luxury liner's 
sleek lines. 

She was the undoubted queen of the line. Built for 
the government-controlled Companhia Colonial de Nave- 
gacao of Lisbon at a cost of $1,600,000, she had graced 
the mid-Atlantic and the Caribbean for seven years, 
averaging ten round trips a year between Lisbon and Port 
Everglades. Now on her seventy-first run, a pleasantly 
uneventful one thus far, she had already cleared five 
ports since leaving Lisbon January 9 Vigo, Spain; 
Funchal, Madeira; Tenerife, Canaries; La Guaira, Vene- 
zuela, and Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. She was due 


at Port Everglades, which is the port for Miami, at eight 
on the morning of January 24. She would sail at dusk of 
the next day for Lisbon, with calls on the way back at 
Tenerif e, Funchal and Vigo. 

And wherever she went, people would come out to ad- 
mire her streamlined profile, marvel at the statistics of 
her dimensions and performance, and envy those fortunate 
enough to be aboard what her owners called "Your Portu- 
guese Palace Afloat." She was 609 feet, 5 inches in length, 
with a beam of 75 feet, 5)2 inches. Her draft was 28 feet 
and her tonnage 20,906.5. Her trial speed had been 22.08 
knots, and she could maintain a sustained speed of 20 
knots. Her total maximum complement was listed at 1,561, 
including room for 1,242 passengers ( 148 First Class, 250 
Cabin Class and 844 Third Class) and 319 crew. 

On this trip, however, there were many empty cabins. 
Her crew numbered 356 but there were only 612 passen- 
gers, two-thirds of them Portuguese and Spanish peasants 
on their way back home after years of working and saving 
in Latin America. These made up the bulk of the Third 
Class passengers, quartered deep below deck and denied 
the swimming pools, nightly dances and daily deck strolls 
available to the First and Cabin Class passengers, mostly 
well-to-do, retired Americans and Dutch. 

The Santa Marias Captain Mario Simoes Maia, in the 
prime of a vigorous middle age, was very proud of his 
job. As a Portuguese, he loved the sea, and, since Fate 
had also made him a handsome and personable man, he 
enjoyed his other role as genial host to the First and Cabin 
Class passengers. He welcomed the looks he drew as, 
resplendent in white uniform with black and gold shoulder 
boards, he presided over the merry shipboard parties. With 
his crew, he was a strict disciplinarian. To Third Class, he 


was a courteous if distant master of the vessel. But to the 
doting First and Cabin Class passengers, he was the able 
and affable friend who tried unceasingly to provide what 
the Santa Maria's brochure had promised: 

You'll find every shining moment packed with the 
carefree enjoyment of life at sea. In the lounges there 
is gayety and laughter as you dance to the rhythmic 
melodies of the ship's orchestra . . . converse with 
friends and make new ones. And when the moon rises 
over an indigo sea, your luxury liner becomes a fairy 
ship, aglow with a myriad of lights that cast their daz- 
zling prisms into the darkling waters beneath. 

At half past one on the morning of Sunday, January 22, 
1961, Captain Maia slept soundly in his cabin. He was 
tired after two busy days. On Friday, the Santa Maria had 
entered and departed La Guaira, and on Saturday she had 
repeated the maneuver at Curacao. The business of un- 
loading and taking on passengers and cargo at two ports 
in as many days was always taxing. 

On the navigation bridge, all was well. Third Officer 
Joao Jose do Nacimento Costa, whom Captain Mario 
Simoes Maia considered a young officer of promise, was 
in charge. Two crewmen were with him, one at the 
wheel and the other standing by, respectfully awaiting 
orders. In the adjoining chartroom, Apprentice Pilot Joao 
Antonio Lopes de Souza, sat bent over his charts. He 
plotted the course which, in less than two and a half days, 
would take the Santa Maria, with bright flags flying from 
stem to stern, into snug harbor near Miami. 

Third Pilot Costa studied the horizon. He was a lucky 
man. At twenty-seven, he had a job he liked and a wife 


he loved and their brand-new baby daughter to care for. 
Soon he would be in Miami, and then would begin the 
long, pleasant voyage back home to Lisbon. He fetched 
a cigarette and fumbled for a light. Life was good. 

Suddenly, a door opened and five men in khaki burst 
onto the bridge. All were armed. A husky, handsome man 
in a black beret barked commands. Costa moved toward 
the telephone. Two shots rang out and the slugs tore into 
Costal left arm and lower abdomen. But he kept going, 
He reached the chartroom door, and a fusillade of bullets 
slammed into the bulkhead all about him. One struck 
him in the right collarbone, broke it, grazed his right lung 
and went out through the ribs. Costa staggered through 
the door and, hand outstretched toward young de Souza, 
he gasped, "Call the captain!" He fell unconscious at the 
feet of the navigator. 

Joao de Souza was out of his chair in a flash and run- 
ning. He dashed to the radio room, about forty-five feet 
aft of the bridge, and flung open the door. Operator Carlos 
Garcia was there, but a man in khaki was standing be- 
side him. The stranger raised a submachine gun and fired 
point-blank. A bullet caught de Souza in the right arm. 
He spun around and raced for the ladder leading to the 
captain's cabin below. He heard more shots behind him 
and then felt a crushing blow in the middle of his back. 
He tumbled down the twenty steps and sprawled sense- 
less a few feet from the captain's side door. Blood poured 
from three wounds, near the spine and in the right chest 
and left arm. 

In the navigation room, the helmsman was beaten about 
the ears with a pistol and roughly shoved aside. The other 
crewman pressed flat against a bulkhead, hands clasped 
behind his neck, horrified and confused by the pistols 


and submacMae guns aimed at him. The two youngest 
intruders, a boy o seventeen and a boy of nineteen, 
looked at their smoking guns and at each other. 

In his cabin, Dr. Cicero Campos Leite of the Portuguese 
Immigration Service heard a commotion in the passage- 
way outside his door. He sleepily pulled open the door, 
and then came wide awake. There stood two men, with 
a machine gun and a pistol pointed his way. The doctor 
ducked back into his room in a hail of bullets. He dropped 
to the deck and started crawling for cover. Another burst, 
a long one this time, sprayed bullets all around him. One 
struck him in the back just below the base of his neck. 

Men in khaki, armed with pistols, submachine guns, 
rifles, hand grenades, knives, machetes and blackjacks, 
moved about the ship with a precision born of practice 
and determination. In the officers' quarters, one of them 
knocked at a door. The officer opened it and quickly 
jumped back. Machine gun bullets thudded about him 
as he kicked the door shut. More slugs tore through the 
door but he was unharmed. In the engine room and the 
radio shack and other duty stations, officers and crew 
found themselves suddenly taken prisoner by the grim 
and businesslike gunmen. 

Carlos de Carvalho, an attendant in the ship's hospital, 
stirred in his bunk. He had been asleep for only about an 
hour and a half, having played cards with his shipmates 
until midnight. He heard a sound like the muffled report 
of a firearm and struggled to rouse himself from the deep 
well of a sleep just begun. Crew members raced through 
the passageway, babbling in voices of near-hysteria, and 
he caught snatches of words amid the shouts, "guns . . . 
shooting . . ." 

Carlos stopped a man and asked what was going on. 


The story came out in a rush. Armed men had taken 
over the bridge. Third Officer Costa was shot. The men 
were all over the ship, firing machine guns and pistols. 
Some had hand grenades. 

Carlos was incredulous, but he knew this was no joke. 
The look of shock and terror in the man's eyes was too con- 
vincing to be play-acting. He pulled on his clothes and 
walked the few steps to the hospital. There would be 
work to do tonight. He was forty-four and he loved the 
sea, but after this night he was to say, "I want a job on 
land, for I don't feel secure any more on the sea." 

Captain Maia awoke to the rude sound of someone 
pounding on his door. He called out to enter, and a sea- 
man leaped in. Some passengers had attacked the bridge, 
he said, and two officers were wounded, one of them seri- 

"Madmen," the captain thought. "Or drunks." 

Still in his pajamas, Captain Maia brushed past the 
frightened seaman and started up the ladder to the bridge. 
As his eyes came level with the deck of the bridge, he saw 
a man on the other side of the bridge, aiming a subma- 
chine gun at him. He dropped down the ladder and bolted 
back into his cabin. He locked the door and cut off the 
lights. Then he called the engine room and ordered the 
engines halted. 

He went to the side door of his cabin. Perhaps he could 
round up some of the men in his crew, arm them with 
pipes and bars and wrenches, and lead a counter-assault 
against the bridge. Opening the door, he looked through 
the glass pane and saw an officer stretched out on the 
deck and covered with blood. It was the young navigator, 
de Souza, He seemed to be dead, but then a leg twitched. 


The captain decided to drag the officer into his cabin. He 
stepped into the passageway, and froze. A man was there, 
aiming a rifle at him. 

Captain Maia jumped back into his cabin, locking the 
door behind him. In the dark, he felt his way to the tele- 
phone. Counting the holes, he dialed the crew rooms. 
There was no answer. Though he did not know it, the 
crewmen were all spread-eagled face down on the deck, 
with guns aimed at the base of their skulls. 

He dialed all the numbers he knew so well, counting 
the holes as each number spun into place. The frustra- 
tion was overwhelming. He could get no answer. Then 
he heard a voice on the ship's intercommunication system, 
and he yelled in vexation, "Who is talking there?" 

"Who is calling?" came the reply. 

"This is the commander of the vessel," he snapped. 

"Ah, Senhor Commander," the voice said. "This is the 
doctor of the Portuguese Immigration Service speaking. I 
am badly wounded. Galvao and his followers have taken 
over the boat." 

"Galvao!" Well did Captain Maia know that name. Cap- 
tain Henrique Carlos Malta Galvao, soldier, bureaucrat, 
big-game hunter, playwright, novelist, rebel, fugitive, and 
implacable foe of Premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar of 
Portugal. He was the most feared of Salazar's enemies, for 
he towered above them all in intelligence, force of per- 
sonality, physical endurance and undying hatred of the 
bookkeeper-dictator of Portugal. 

No Portuguese, not even the pompous and arrogant 
General Humberto da Silva Delgado, was as dangerous 
as Galvao, who at sixty-five combined the cunning of 
experience with the fatalism of age. And there were re- 


ports that he had been consulting with Delgado, who him- 
self had fled to South America after his defeat in Portugal's 
1958 presidential election. 

Captain Maia turned back to the telephone and 
laboriously dialed the bridge. An authoritative voice, un- 
known to him, said hello. Captain Maia took a deep breath 
and in a voice still hoarsened with sleep declared, "This 
is Captain Maia. What's going on up there?" 

"Oh, nothing much, Captain," the man replied. "Except 
that I have just taken over your ship. Allow me to present 
myself. I am Captain Henrique Galvao. In the name of 
General Humberto Delgado, I have just taken your ship 
by assault. You must not try any kind of resistance be- 
cause it will be violently repressed. Surrender will bring 
you benefits." 

Captain Maia was silent a moment. Then he said, 
"Captain Galvao, it is impossible for me to surrender 
until I have met with my officers and the principal mem- 
bers of my crew." 

"Very well," Galvao said. "That can be arranged." 

Captain Maia sent for his officers and chief crewmen. 
Some of them arrived at his cabin still in their pajamas 
and bathrobes. Briefly, hopelessly, they surveyed their 
situation. They came to the sad realization that, without 
arms, they were forced to submit to Galvao and his men, 
who had proved how far they would go to gain their end. 
Captain Maia telephoned the bridge. 

"Captain Galvao, would you come to my cabin? I must 
ask you to come unarmed because, as you know very well, 
we don't have any guns." 

"Certainly," Galvao replied. 

But he came with a pistol tucked into a half -holster on 
his hip. Four of his men accompanied him, their pistols 


and submachine guns at the ready. Two of them stayed 
close to his side. They were Jose Velo Mosquera, forty- 
five, a fiery Spaniard from GaHcia on the Portuguese bor- 
der, known also as "The Professor/' and Jorge Sotomayor 
Portela, fifty-two, another tough Galician, whose code 
name in numerous undergrounds had invariably been 
"Hernandez." Velo, orator and organizer of repute, was 
Galvao's political adviser, Sotomayor his naval-military 
chief of staff. Behind them, in strategic positions at one 
end of the cabin, were the icy-eyed son of Velo, seventeen- 
year-old Victor Jose Velo Perez, and nineteen-year-old 
Jose da Cunha Ramos. 

Captain Maia opened the talks bluntly. With all the 
dignity he could muster, considering his position, he took 
the offensive. 

"You promised me you would come unarmed," he said. 
"You have a gun and the men with you are armed. You are 
common pirates and you will be punished for it." 

Galvao smiled and held up a hand. Slowly, contemptu- 
ously, he withdrew his pistol from its holster and tossed it 
carelessly on the desk in front of him. 

"Pirates? Pirates? Nonsense!" he said. "We are political 
insurgents. This ship is Portuguese property and we are 
taking it in the name of General Delgado, the duly elected 
president of Portugal, and in the name of the Portuguese 

"You are pirates," Maia persisted. 

"No, Captain," Galvao said, with a trace of anger. "The 
pirate is Salazar, who robbed General Delgado of the 
presidency. You are witnessing a political insurrection. It 
is only the first ripple of a mighty wave of liberation which 
will sweep Portugal and her provinces and crush Salazar 
and his detestable dictatorship." 


"You have committed an act of piracy/ 7 Maia grumbled, 
and he was about to go on when the elder Velo inter- 

"We are not here to bicker/' Velo said. "Get on with 
the business at hand." 

"Yes/' Galvao said. "Captain Maia, I did not come here 
to argue with you. Your ship is completely in our hands. 
You may choose freely between three situations: you may 
join our movement and become our comrade. You may 
recognize the hopelessness of your situation and, on your 
honor, pledge to abide by our orders and offer no re- 
sistance. Or, you may refuse both of these and become 
our prisoners/' 

Tears of fear and humiliation filled their eyes and a 
few lost their struggle with their Latin emotions. Galvao 
looked away from the sight of grown men weeping. 

Captain Maia turned to his men and consulted with 
them in whispers. In a very few minutes, it was all over. 

"We are cut off and we submit to you only because of 
the force of arms/' Captain Maia said. "We are surrender- 
ing because the crew is unarmed and you have already 
captured vital points of the ship. We think that this is the 
best way to defend the lives of the passengers and of the 
ship itself. We will continue to work only under the force 
of guns/' 

Galvao nodded agreement. At Velo's prompting, he di- 
rected that the ship get underway again. The engines 
were restarted, this time with an armed rebel overseeing 
the work of the engine room crew. Sotomayor gave orders 
for a ninety-degree turn, pointing the Santa Maria at the 
channel which separates St. Lucia and Martinique. It 
was the route to Portuguese Angola on the African west 
coast. Galvao told Captain Maia he was confined to 


quarters and then returned to his post of command on the 

Almost without an order being given, the rebels began 
to dig in. They set up watches. They were too few to 
guard all parts of the ship, so, while some slept, others 
waited post in key sections, keeping an eye on aU activity. 
When a crew member walked past a guard in one section, 
the guard would call out to the guard in the next section, 
telling him where the crewman was going and why. They 
maintained this team surveillance from the start, like 
stations tracking a nose cone on a missile range. In less 
than forty-five minutes, they were in full control. 

In the ship's hospital, Attendant Carlos de Carvalho 
did not have long to wait. Crewmen carried in Third Of- 
ficer Costa and laid him on the examining table. He was 
half -conscious and kept muttering, "They killed me, they 
killed me." Carlos looked at the wounds in the chest, 
abdomen and side. Blood coursed from them unstanched. 
He did his best, but he knew the third officer was beyond 

Doctor Leite was brought in by other crewmen. Carlos 
saw that the wound high up on the back was slight, de- 
spite the doctor's panicky self-diagnosis to Captain Maia. 
He listened sympathetically as the doctor told of how all 
he did was open the door and a young man sprayed him 
with machine gun bullets. If he had not dropped to the 
floor, he said, he might not be alive. 

Apprentice Pilot de Souza came next. He was uncon- 
scious and his wounds seemed almost as serious as those 
of the dying third officer. There were holes in his back, 
chest and left arm, and Carlos thought it possible that 
one slug had lodged in de Souza's liver. His right lung 


appeared to have been punctured. He had lost much blood 
and, like Costa, already was in a state of shock. 

Theodomiro Borges, the ship's doctor, came in and 
patched up the three men. He had no trouble removing 
the bullet from his fellow physician. But he was worried 
about the other two men. The ship's chaplain, Father 
Xavler Yrigoyen, was awakened. Sleepy-eyed, he admin- 
istered the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church to 
Costa and de Souza. 

Carlos de Carvalho worked through the night in the 
ship's hospital. He made his three patients as comfortable 
as he could, fought to dam the flow of blood and treated 
them for shock. Sometime before dawn, he had a visitor. 
One of the rebels came in, with drawn pistol, to inquire 
after the wounded. Guilty conscience, maybe? The rebel 
did not indicate. Carlos stole a look at the man and his 
pistol and wondered if more shootings were to come. 
Possibly he himself would be killed. The man left and 
Carlos, plagued with anxieties, busied himself with the 

At twenty minutes past seven, Third Officer Joao Jose 
do Nacimento Costa, aged twenty-seven and with much 
to live for, died. 



Taken in the context of Portuguese history, there was 
nothing truly remarkable in Galvao's plot, however vision- 
ary it might appear to the world at large. From the revo- 
lutionary founding of the republic in 1910 until the 
Salazar crowd took over in 1926, no less than forty cabinets 
had arisen and been overthrown. There had been, during 
that period, twenty-two coups d'etat; and only one presi- 
dent, Dr. Antonio Almeida, ever served out his full four- 
year term. 

Galvao had watched his country stand still while virtu- 
ally all the world progressed. He was convinced that the 
downtrodden people of Portugal had had their fill and 
were ready for a bold move. The bitter irony was that he 
had welcomed the overthrow of the old regime with high 
hopes. As a thirty-year-old career Army officer, he had 
joined with typical gusto in the May 28, 1926, military 
coup provoked by a parade of corrupt and inefficient gov- 
ernments. On that date, the Portuguese Army, under the 
leadership of Commander Mendes Cabecadas and General 
Gomes da Costa, tried once more to seize powerand suc- 
ceeded. By June i, 1926, Cabecadas and da Costa were in 


control of all Portugal. They sent for prim Professor 
Salazar, drafting him for the most onerous duty in the 
"Estado Novo," Minister of Finance. 

At the age of thirty-seven, the man Galvao was to rise 
against lived in an untroubled world of his own, admirably 
keeping his head while all about him were losing theirs, 
in more ways than one. He was a bachelor and a solid 
Roman Catholic, puritanical to the point of asceticism. He 
was a social scientist without doubts, a respected professor 
of economics at the University of Coimbra. His economic 
theory, indeed his philosophy for the figures and statistics 
with which he worked were also the code by which he 
lived was simple. In American terms, it might be ex- 
pressed this way: If you have $1,000,000, spend $900,000 
and save $100,000; if you have a dollar, spend ninety 
cents and save a dime; but whatever you have, above all 
else, live within it, and always start by putting ten per 
cent aside in savings. 

Salazar was aghast at the state of his country's economy. 
Unpaid bills, corrupt raids on the Treasury, millions in 
counterfeit money, uncollected taxes and few sources of 
revenue all these he had expected. But he was totally 
dismayed by the attitude of the new military regime. He 
had wisely not quit his job, having instead negotiated a 
leave of absence. After less than a week, he packed and 
went back to Coimbra, leaving the military squabbling 
among themselves over plans and programs each more 
grandiose than the other. 

However, his ten-cents-on-a-dollar philosophy was not 
to languish untested. Within two years, the Cabecadas-da 
Costa team had been bounced, General Carmona was in 
the saddle and, despite one more abortive and bloody 
revolt in 1927, riding high. Carmona, elected and pro- 


claimed president on April 15, 1928, remembered the 
pinch-penny professor and, again, Salazar was called to 

This time, however, Salazar attached conditions to his 
acceptance of the Finance portfolio before he applied for 
another leave of absence. The conditions were strenuous: 
absolute powers for dealing with the economic chaos. But 
the times were strenuous, too, and he had his way. 

Thus, on April 27, 1928, one day short of his thirty-ninth 
birthday, Salazar took over a country without firing a shot. 
He was an unprepossessing figure, a small, bespectacled 
man in a neat but inexpensive business suit among all the 
strutting, bemedaled generals and admirals around him. 
But in a year he had balanced the budget. In two years, he 
had cut the government payroll by more than fifty per 
cent. In three, he had raised taxes and paid off almost all 
of the public debt. In four, the tail was wagging the dog; 
he had become premier and, instead of depending upon 
the president for appointment, it was he who in fact chose 
the president and, for that matter, anybody in any job 
anywhere in Portugal and its colonies. 

Whatever his misgivings, Galvao was as discreet as 
the three wise monkeys during the early Salazar years. He 
profited by it. Out of the Army, he became head of the 
infant radio broadcasting industry. It was customary in 
those days for performers to present gifts of money to 
officials for the privilege of appearing on the government- 
owned network. 

Galvao lived well off this socially acceptable payola and, 
although married, acquired a reputation as quite a ro- 
mantic-about-town. He also became Portugal's impresario 
of fairs, running two of them in 1934, at Oporto and Lis- 
bon, and climaxing this career brilliantly with the 1940 


Lisbon Exposition celebrating eight hundred years as a 
nation and the three hundredth anniversary of liberation 
from Spain. In the meantime, he managed to become one 
of Portugal's leading novelists and playwrights. 

In 1931, Galvao's novel The Sun of the Tropics won the 
Prize for Colonial Literature. His avant-garde approach 
to drama, including adaptations in Portuguese of plays 
by Eugene O'Neill and others uiJknown in Portugal, was 
hailed as one of the most important changes in the theater 
of his country. 

Premier Salazar rewarded him with the governorship 
of Huila Province in Angola, then in 1936 made him In- 
spector Superior of Colonial Administration as well as an 
Angola delegate to the National Assembly. In all three 
posts, the way things go in Portugal, he was set up to live 
better than ever, while able to stow away his entire gov- 
ernment salary in a good little Swiss bank as insurance 
against an indigent old age. All he had to do was to play 
the game of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. 

He did very well for a time. He traveled through Africa, 
learned many African dialects, turned out a number of 
highly successful adventure stories, and became a well- 
known big-game hunter. During his African decade, he 
killed more than a hundred elephants and three hundred 
lions. He does not boast of this any more. Now old and 
infirm, living always with the prospect of his own death, 
he regrets having shot down so many animals whose 
only fault was in remaining untamed in a world run by 

As events proved in 1947, he shared this fault. The 
government asked him, as Inspector Superior of Colonial 
Administration, to prepare a report on conditions in An- 


gola. The report he filed, in his well-disciplined and vivid 
rhetoric, was too hot to handle. It wound up in a pigeon- 
hole and, despite his persistent demands to make it public, 
it stayed there. 

Galvao took matters into his own hands. He read the 
report at a public session of the National Assembly. The 
other members of the Assembly were as astonished as the 
passengers and crew of the Santa Maria would be when, 
fourteen years later, he again took matters into his own 
hands. It was not that the Assembly was unaware of the 
bloody Angola situation. What confounded them was that 
anybody, even the outspoken and unpredictable Galvao, 
would have the temerity to drag it out in the open. 

He described Portugal's three African colonies as suffer- 
ing from critical "demographic anemia." Not enough work- 
ers were available because native manpower flowed out 
of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea in quest of a better 
life a million from Angola alone during 1936-1947. He 
denounced the system of compulsory labor as "more grave 
than that created by pure slavery." 

"Under slavery, the bought man, acquired as a head of 
cattle, was regarded as an asset by his master/' he said. 
"He was interested in keeping him healthy and strong and 
agile in the same way as he would look after his horse 
or his bull. Today, the native is not bought. He is simply 
rented from the Government, though he may have the sta- 
tus of a free man. . . . When he becomes unable to work 
or when he dies, the master can always ask to be supplied 
with other laborers." 

While some natives were volunteer workers, all were 
required by law to put in at least six months of labor 
each year. Those whose work cards did not show they had 


done this or were doing it were subject to being rounded 
up by chefes de posto, the government's regional straw 
bosses, and put to work, sometimes in chains. 

"Only the dead are really exempt from compulsory la- 
bor/* Galvao said. 

He painted a picture of pitifully inadequate medical 
care. "About thirty-four per cent of the 1,023,717 males 
of working age are rejected as unfit for work, primarily 
for physical incapacity . . . infant mortality goes up to 

sixty per cent Doctors try to escape going into the 

interior and are still concentrated in the most important 
urban centers. Hospitals still lack elementary sanitary 
arrangements, and many places which have a strategic 

need for a health service are still without hospitals 

One could say that pre- and post-natal care, infant welfare, 
the campaigns against malaria, sleeping sickness and other 
indigenous diseases are pure formalities." 

Galvao ended the report on a bitter and defiant note: 

"I take the full responsibility to prove that all I say is 
true. You can only criticize me for not saying the whole 
truth or rather that I do not describe all the aspects of the 
problem. But that would be a matter for many books and 
take many hours." 

The lightning struck, but from behind a cloud. First, 
to quiet the scandal, there was a shakeup in the colonial 
administration. Then, in due time, Galvao found himself 
minus both of his jobs, politically as dead as any of the 
hundred elephants and three hundred lions in his African 
bag. Now he was a full-fledged rebel, feeling a right and 
a duty to fight Salazar. 

In 1951, he campaigned for the opposition candidate for 
president, Vice Admiral Manuel Carlos Quintao Mcireles, 


against Salazar's hand-picked puppet, General Francisco 
Higino Craveiro Lopes. Three days before the election, 
Admiral Meireles withdrew, charging it was impossible 
to get his message across. It was another overwhelming 
victory for Salazar and his head-busting secret police, the 
P.I.D.E. (Policia Internacionale de Defensa do Estado). 

Galvao and his colleagues, bloody but unbowed, de- 
cided their problem was lack of organization. They formed 
the Organizacao Civica Nacional, hired a staff and set up 
shop in a Lisbon office building. But first they applied for 
necessary permits, since such groups were technically legal 
and they did not want to be arrested for clandestine 
political activity. They felt secure, operating above board, 
although they knew the P.I.D.E. was watching them. One 
day in January, 1952, the P.I.D.E. walked in, arrested 
everybody present and confiscated the files. 

Eight men were charged with plotting to overthrow the 
government. The others were set free, although some 
were called as witnesses at the trial. The P.I.D.E. inter- 
rogations, which somehow leaked out, and the public trial 
itself were a source of great embarrassment to the govern- 
ment. Galvao and his followers were unreconstructed 
rebels. He denied all, insisting that the chief evidence, a 
so-called blueprint for revolution, was actually a play 
that he was working on. Defiant, he shrewdly seized the 
opportunity to do what he had done in the campaign: 
pummel the Salazar regime and arouse the people. 

"I am not in any way concerned with revolutionary 
movements or projects to overthrow the government by 
force/' he said at one point. "Nevertheless, I confess with 
pride that I deeply wish, not only that the government be 
deposed, but for the liquidation of the police and the 


arbitrary system which supports them, a system which is 
against the letter of the Constitution and the aims inspir- 
ing the military movements of May 28, 1926. 

"As a Portuguese citizen, a member of the Armed 
Forces, a public servant, and even as a European, I feel 
downgraded, betrayed and humiliated by the deviations 
to which the thought and intentions of the founders of the 
regime have been progressively submitted. These devia- 
tions have made the country a feudal domain under an 
oligarchy of university teachers, bureaucrats, men of af- 
fairs and other corrupt elements enjoying arbitrary powers 
and making eternal the transitional dictatorship estab- 
lished by the May twenty-eighth movement through an 
array of legal sophistries. 

"As an adamant anti-Communist, I feel betrayed, see- 
ing that, in the name of the country, the government 
has joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while 
acting like the Communist governments. It exhibits the 
same spirit of dictatorial violence over bodies and souls, 
finding its mainstay in the censorship of all the rights 
of the human spirit, and in a police modeled after the 
Cheka and Gestapo, and functioning with laws, without 
laws, and against laws, and in progaganda; in a word, in 
all the basic institutions of Communist countries long dis- 
honored and contradicting the spirit of Christian civiliza- 

"I do not want to revert to the situation which existed 
previous to the May twenty-eighth movement unless it is 
the only choice over the present regime. At least then, 
despite the street disorders, the financial crisis, the politi- 
cal divisions and the backwardness of material develop- 
ment, the moral and spiritual values of the country were 
preserved. The citizens never lost their political freedoms, 


corruption was never protected by imposed silence or the 
mystifications of propaganda, and men never prostituted 
their character for fear of responsibility or loss of bread, 
as happens now." 

Galvao had many supporters among the spectators, at 
that 1952 trial in his native Lisbon, including both his 
wife and mistress, who followed the testimony with 
equally extravagant emotions. But the cards were stacked 
against Galvao and his seven co-defendants. Two men ar- 
rested with them had given incriminating evidence to the 
P.I.D.E., but on the witness stand they behaved so 
strangely that the whole affair was turned into a circus. 

In the resultant uproar, six of the men were acquitted. 
Only Galvao and Colonel Tadeu were convicted. Galvao 
was sentenced to three years in solitary confinement. But 
the Portuguese Supreme Court, scandalized at the legal 
irregularities in the case, reversed the decision. Notwith- 
standing this, in March, 1953, he was tried again on the 
same evidence. Again he denied that the so-called blue- 
print for revolution was anything but a play he was writ- 

"I won't deny that I myself and thousands of other 
Portuguese patriots are dissatisfied with the present re- 
gime and eager for political freedom," he said. "But dream- 
ing is one thing and action is another/' 

He was convicted and began serving three years in 
solitary. It would have been easy to lay low for those three 
years. But not for Galvao. They caught him with a saw, 
trying to cut through the bars of his cell. Transferred to 
the Peniche military prison, he showed no submission. 
Instead, a series of pamphlets began appearing in Lisbon 
and throughout Portugal. They were witty and exceed- 
ingly defamatory and irritating to the Salazar regime. 


The Galvao style was unmistakable. With the connivance 
of prison officials, he had been writing them behind bars 
like an imprisoned Tom Paine cranking out Crisis tracts 
in the American Revolution. There was a shakeup at 
Peniche, and Galvao faced a third trial, on charges of 
"inciting to armed rebellion." 

He refused to leave his cell for the hearing, which he 
said was certain to be rigged. Nothing happened for years. 
Although his first sentence expired, the new charge hung 
over him and he languished in jail. There were rumors that 
he was not well, that his mind had snapped under P.I.D.E. 
abuse and torture, that he had contracted tuberculosis 
and other bodily ailments. 

A date for the trial was set. Again he scorned it. They 
held it without him and found him guilty, with a minimum 
of publicity. A Time magazine issue, which carried a full 
account of the trial, was banned in Portugal. On May 18, 
1958, he was sentenced to sixteen more years* imprison- 
ment. His citizenship was revoked for twenty years. 

Five months later, he suffered a heart attack. He seemed 
to be dying. Prison officials, not sure whether this was 
genuine or feigned, transferred him to the Santa Maria 
military hospital but posted a guard at his door. Soon, 
however, it appeared Galvao would never leave his hospi- 
tal bed alive, and the guards relaxed. 

What they did not know was that the weak old man, 
who seemed barely able to walk, was secretly doing deep 
knee bends and pushups in the privacy of his room. Nor 
did they know that he also had cached an overcoat, a hat, 
a false mustache, and a bag which resembled a doctor's 

Shortly after midnight of January 15, 1959, Galvao 
succeeded in distracting his guards' attention long enough 


to slip from Ms room to the bathroom down the hall. 
There, he donned his regalia, squeezed out o the window 
and, seven stories above the ground, made his way, win- 
dow by window, to an annex whose hallways were un- 
guarded. He went unseen to the ground floor, crossed the 
hospital gardens, and ambled nonchalantly out the main 

"Good night, doctor,'' the doorman said. 

"And a very good night to you, my friend," he replied. 

A month later, on February 17, 1959, a little old work- 
man with a huge box on his shoulders staggered to the 
front door of the Argentine Embassy in Lisbon. The guard 
who opened it said icily that deliveries were made at the 
rear. The workman dropped the heavy box, whipped off 
his sombrero, and declared, "I am Captain Henrique Gal- 
vao and I ask for political asylum." 



When Galvao walked into the Argentine Embassy de- 
manding asylum, he was in distinguished company. Al- 
ready holed up in the Brazilian Embassy was General 
Humberto da Silva Delgado, the man in whose name 
Galvao was to seize the Santa Maria. Little more than a 
month later another Army man, Major Luis Cesariny Gala- 
fate, was to dash to sanctuary in the Venezuelan Legation, 
where the P.I.D.E. sought him as the mastermind behind 
the aborted May 12, 1959, plot to kill Salazar. The schem- 
ing o all three of these wanted men was to give the 
passengers and crew of the Santa Maria an unforgettable 
twelve days. 

Like Galvao, Delgado had fought in the military coup 
which ultimately brought Salazar to power, and proudly 
bore the scars of wounds suffered in the street fighting. 
In recent years, Salazar and Delgado had become bitter 
enemies. Now the pincers which had held Galvao im- 
prisoned for seven years were closing on Delgado. When 
they took his medals away from him, Delgado knew it 
was the end of the line. With dignity, he checked in with 


his old friend, Brazilian Ambassador Alvaro Lins, and be- 
gan life as a political exile. 

He was a colorful guest and immediately made himself 
at home. Like The Man Who Came to Dinner, he was 
a take-charge type. The servants were given to understand 
that, as a soldier since the age of ten, he expected instant 
obedience. And as a national hero, the "father" of Portu- 
guese aviation and the people's choice, robbed of the 
presidency by the hateful Salazar, he was to be accorded 
unquestioning respect. They understood his commands, 
as only Portuguese can. But they must have wondered 
whether such a man would democratize their country or 
simply change the guard. 

This hero had a hero of his own. Someone once had 
commented that Delgado looked like the American gen- 
eral, Douglas MacArthur. He consulted the mirror and 
acknowledged to himself that there was a likeness. The 
same aquiline nose and strong jaw. The same keen eyes. 
The same military bearing. He had met MacArthur and 
studied his brilliant military operations. He admired him 
immensely, and he liked the comparison. Delgado began 
covering his bald head, by letting the fringe hair grow 
long, combing it forward and plastering it to the skull. Yes, 
the physical resemblance was strong. 

In his campaign for the presidency in 1958, Delgado 
borrowed a stunt from another American general, the 
late George Patton. Wherever he went, he carried a pair 
of pearl-handled revolvers. And he made it plain that 
they were always loaded. There were times when he could 
have used them, for the way he stirred up the voters in 
that campaign provoked the P.I.D.E. to many excessive 
measures against him. 

"I stand for justice and historical freedom!" he would 


bellow, and the P.I.D.E., taking offense at such subversive 
talk, would crack a few heads among his audience. 

Delgado was born in Torre Novas in 1906. At the age 
of ten he enrolled in the Colegio Militar, moving up to the 
Escola Militar, from which he was graduated in 1925 
at the head of his class. With the advent of Salazar's 
regime, Delgado's career flourished. 

He helped organize the Portuguese air arm and by 1941 
held the rank of major. He played a key role in acquir- 
ing the Azores as an air base for the United States and 
Great Britain. It took no small doing, for at that time 
Salazar was still wavering as to which side to support in 
World War II. For his efforts, Delgado was awarded the 
United States' Legion of Merit and Britain's C.B.E. His 
citation as an Honorary Commander, Military Division, 
of the Order of the British Empire, praised his eighteen 
months of work and declared: "He combined to an extraor- 
dinarily successful degree the qualities of staff officer 
and politician and staked his whole future on what, for 
political purposes, was on behalf of the Allies." 

It was like handing a honeycomb to a bear. He has been 
a staunch friend of America and Britain ever since. He 
helped see to it that by 1952 Portugal had a separate Air 
Force, like the United States and Britain. He enhanced 
this amity after the war with long tours of duty in Canada 
and the United States. In Washington, during 1952-1957, 
he was chief of the Portuguese Military Mission and Portu- 
gal's North Atlantic Treaty Organization representative. 

"He was very pro-American," one Washington official 
recalled. "But hie was a funny bird. A free-wheeling extro- 
vert, impetuous, always ready to speak his mind. He did 
not seem to be popular with his colleagues. His close 
friends were men in high places/' 


Indeed they were. They included Marshal Francisco 
Higino Craveiro Lopes, president o Portugal during 
1951-1958 despite Galvao's spirited campaigning against 
him, and General Julio Botelho Moniz, Portugal's Min- 
ister of National Defense. 

Delgado returned to Lisbon from Washington in 1957, 
picked up the third star which made him a full general, 
and accepted appointment as Director General of Civil 
Aviation. His contentment was short-lived. To the con- 
sternation of his friends in high places, he accepted the 
anti-Salazar coalition's nomination for the presidency in 
April, 1958. 

"I am not a politician," he said, and then proceeded to 
give Premier Salazar's man, Rear Admiral Americo Deus 
Rodrigues Thomaz, a run for his money. 

Delgado's campaign slogan was simple and direct: 
"Throw Salazar out/' In a vague way, he favored fewer 
government restrictions, such as ending censorship, and 
a general relaxation of the government's all-pervading 
control over the destinies of the Portuguese. But his 
main pitch, delivered in swashbuckling eloquence, was 
that it was time for a change. 

"Everywhere I go in Portugal, crowds come out to see 
me," he said. "It is not for me that they come. It is because 
they are opposed to this regime. They are weary after 
thirty years. They want a change. We all want a change." 

Delgado's confidence grew as the campaign gained mo- 
mentum. He predicted that, in a free election, he would 
win eighty per cent of the vote. But it was no more a free 
election than any other since 1926. Salazar's orators called 
Delgado a "tool of Washington" and a pawn of the Com- 
munists. They ridiculed his "give 'em hell" tactics, com- 
plaining he had damaged the dignified tone of Portuguese 


electioneering. The P.I.D.E. broke up crowds when Del- 
gado spoke, sometimes thereby provoking a riot. They 
harassed and arrested his campaign helpers. They de- 
stroyed ballots with his name printed on them, so that on 
Election Day voters who favored him had to write in his 
name. Finally, early in the morning of June 8, 1958, the 
day of the election, they arrested Viera de Almeida, his 
seventy-year-old campaign manager. The old philosopher 
was charged with subversion and "inciting rebellion." His 
offense? He had quoted an ancient Portuguese verse con- 
taining the words, "March on against the cannons." 

The returns were astonishing. Not only was Delgado 
the first anti-Salazar candidate ever to finish the presi- 
dential race, but, in spite of all the governmental brutality 
and chicanery, he had polled about twenty-three per cent 
of the vote in continental Portugal He did even better in 
the colonies, which are constitutionally provinces. He won 
thirty-one per cent of the ballots in Angola, thirty-four 
per cent in Mozambique. There were rumors that he 
actually had carried Angola and Mozambique, and with 
big enough margins to have won the election only to have 
it taken away in falsified returns and ballot box stuffing. 

Delgado reacted in the classic tradition. "I was robbed/' 
he said. 

His first thought, typically, was of himself. He had 
offered the people a change, with perhaps a little civil 
liberty. Now he could see a change ahead for himself 
and there was little liberty in the prospect. 

"They are sure to kick me out of my job as head of civil 
aviation," he said. "They will trump up some charge of 
subversion against me. I'm not afraid. In jail or out of 
jail, I am a kind of myth. I want to remain a myth, an 
anti-Salazar myth." 


Delgado submitted a detailed list of election irregulari- 
ties. The Interior Ministry, without reference to his list, 
acknowledged that there had been a hundred arrests dur- 
ing the campaign. Salazar contemplated the election re- 
turns, both those officially announced and those which 
truly reflected the will of the electorate. It was time for 
a change, all right. There would be no more of this election 
nonsense. Henceforth, the president would be picked by 
the National Assembly and Corporative Assembly, whose 
delegates and members were picked by, of course, Salazar. 
And Delgado had to go. 

But Delgado had grabbed Portugal by the neck and 
shaken it like a turgid, recalcitrant puppy. With no or- 
ganization, no program, no public support, he had scored 
a stunning moral victory. He had done it by sheer per- 
sonality, courage and resourcefulness. The country was 

The Bishop of Oporto, Doin Antonio Ferreira Gomes, 
wrote to Salazar in July, 1958, and accused the govern- 
ment of "despoiling the Portuguese worker/' who lives, he 
said, in "rags and tatters, hunger and misery." Salazar 
was incensed when he learned that copies of the letter 
had gone to 200,000 persons. The bishop was barred from 
returning to Portugal after a vacation in France. 

Delgado was dealt with obliquely. Salazar suggested 
that he go to Canada, enroll in McGill University and 
study economics. Delgado refused. He retaliated by firing 
off a string of "open letters," denouncing the McGill move 
as an attempt to shanghai him out of the country. One 
such letter was published October 4, 1958, in The New 
York Times. The next day in Lisbon, the P.I.D.E. used 
tear gas to break up a rally of three thousand, assembled 
to hear Delgado speak and celebrate the forty-eighth 


anniversary of the Portuguese Republic. On October 9, 
1958, Delgado was told he did not have to go to Canada. 
But he was forbidden to address any public gatherings. On 
November 25, 1958, four of Delgado's aides were arrested 
and charged with subversion. Their chief offense, it 
seemed, had been to criticize the cancellation of a Portu- 
guese lecture tour by Aneurin Bevan, the leader of the 
British Labor Party. The pincers were closing. 

On January 7, 1959, Delgado was cashiered from the 
service. They cut him to three-quarters pay and took away 
his uniform. Knowing the next step would be prison, he 
resolved to flee and to continue the fight in exile. 

On January 12, 1959, Delgado took refuge in the Bra- 
zilian Embassy. After much negotiation, on April 20, 1959, 
he was permitted to leave the Brazilian Embassy and fly 
to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Galvao had preceded him into 
exile by more than a month, flying to Buenos Aires, Argen- 
tina, on March 12, 1959. Soon they were in touch. 

Delgado, settling into his new role in South America, 
liked the way Galvao deferred to him. Nonetheless, he 
worried about the captain's passion for action. He believed 
in patient scheming, careful preparations and constant 
propaganda. He busied himself with the details of build- 
ing an empire. He set up shop in Sao Paulo, the biggest 
city in Brazil and its banking center. There he found 
enough sympathizers with the wherewithal to sponsor his 
activities, including a headquarters and a secretary who 
was both efficient and decorative. He had a title on the 
door, President of the Movimento Nacional Independente, 
and the Brazilian equivalent of a Bigelow on the floor. 
He helped publish a monthly newspaper, Portugal Demo- 
cratico, in Sao Paulo, and saw to it that Salazar was regu- 
larly lambasted in its columns for stealing that election 


from him. He got into serious trouble with tlie Brazilian 
authorities only once. That was when he roared into a 
banquet being given by loyal Portuguese in Sao Paulo 
in honor of the Portuguese Ambassador. His temper tan- 
trum, aimed at breaking up the dinner, almost got him 
thrown out of the country. He was dressed down by the 
Brazilian Foreign Ministry and he had to promise to be- 
have more circumspectly in the future. His political asy- 
lum depended upon his not engaging in any overt activi- 
ties flagrantly hostile to the mother country. 

Galvao had no taste for the slow, steady way. He did 
not openly dispute Delgado, for he recognized his claim 
to titular leadership and his importance as the man to 
back against Salazar. But he switched his base of opera- 
tions from Buenos Aires to the hotbed of Caracas, there 
to plot in his own way. 

In Caracas, Galvao became the rallying point for a 
dozen and more Portuguese and Spanish exile groups, all 
bent on destroying Salazar in Portugal and Franco in 
Spain. They talked of propaganda and bombings and as- 
sassinations. They broadcast via clandestine "Radio 
Claridad" to the Iberian Peninsula, calling signals on ter- 
rorist activity. Later, when the navies of the United States, 
Great Britain, Portugal and Spain were out looking for 
the Santa Maria, this little outlaw station was to throw 
the searchers off the scent by sending confusing messages. 

In October, 1959, men of every political complexion 
assembled to solve the problem of too many exile groups 
and to coordinate them under a single organization. Gus- 
tave Machado, president of the Venezuelan Communist 
Party, sat down with Galvao, whose politics were only 
a step or two to the left of Salazar, and Delgado, who was 
even more conservative. Among the others were Julio Cict 


da Costa Motta, the secretary of the Junta Nacional In- 
dependente de Libertacao de Portugal; Fernando Quei- 
roga, a former officer in the Portuguese Army; Major Luis 
Cesariny Calafate, another former Portuguese Army of- 
ficer held responsible for the abortive May 12, 1959, 
attempt on Salazar's life; Rodrigo Abreu, an ex-officer of 
the Spanish Army; Julio Vayo, one-time foreign minister of 
Spain, and Spanish "General" Alberto Bayo Girod, who 
taught guerrilla warfare to Fidel Castro. They quarreled 
immediately over whether Communists should be admit- 
ted. The bickering annoyed Delgado, and he left Caracas 
in disgust. With his buxom young secretary, he flew back 
to the quiet comfort of his apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 
But Galvao stuck to it and, finally, with no direct link to 
the Communist Party, the Diretorio Revolucionario Iberico 
de Libertacao was born. 

Long before Galvao, in black beret and gilt-trimmed 
epaulettes, proudly painted "D.R XL." in red letters on the 
bridge of the Santa Maria, the Diretorio was making its 
presence felt in Lisbon and Madrid. Its program to pub- 
licize and terrorize the Iberian dictatorships was launched 
almost immediately after that autumn, 1959, meeting in 
Caracas. During 1960, an epidemic of bombings broke out 
in Spain. In Madrid, the targets included the City Hall, 
the Iberian Air Line Terminal and the Art Treasure House. 
A fellow named Perez blew himself up in the town square 
of Toledo, a victim apparently of a bomb which acci- 
dentally went off before he could get it to its destination. 
An explosion rocked the Bilbao-San Sebastian train. An- 
tonio Abad and several others were arrested in Spain and 
jailed for "D.R.I.L. activities/' A D.R.I.L. unit cropped up 
in Morocco, where Fernando Queiroga was reported to be 
running its headquarters at Tangiers. It was said, however, 


that he was later fired in a row over alleged misappropria- 
tion of D.R.I.L. funds. When last heard about, Queiroga 
was in Switzerland, offering his services to an Angola 
nationalist movement. At Liege, Belgium, miners from 
Spain formed a Spanish-Belgian friendship society, but 
somehow D.R.I.L. agents moved in and took it over. In 
France, D.R.I.L. groups were formed, but the head- 
quarters kept shifting between Paris and Toulouse, de- 
pending apparently upon when it could pay the rent. 

While this loosely coordinated pressure was being ap- 
plied around and inside the Iberian Peninsula, the fortunes 
of the D.R.I.L. in Caracas were placed in the hands of the 
tall, cadaverous, hollow-cheeked Spaniard, Jose "The Pro- 
fessor" Velo Mosquera, whose eyes were fixed intently 
on the goal of exterminating Salazar and Franco. He could 
talk for hours on end about why and how this had to be 
done. Galvao, with a Latin's love of eloquence, dignity 
and sincerity, respected Velo beyond the others. 

For more than a year before he seized the Santa Maria, 
Galvao pecked at the world's conscience. In widely pub- 
lished writings, he was particularly bitter about the seem- 
ing indifference of the Western world to his country's 
plight. In one article, printed in Nation magazine on 
January 9, 1960, Galvao declared from his Caracas asylum: 

Governments and leading parties in the great West- 
ern democracies look upon the human and universal 
aspects of democratic principles from vantage points 
much too dehumanized to allow for any interest in 
the sufferings of a people not American, English or 
French, and lacking in oil riches or international in- 
fluence. . . . 

Salazar's old and proven ability to lie has led to an 


easy and prolonged success. It has apparently trans- 
formed Mm into a dictator different from the rest 
the caretaker and shepherd of the Portuguese peo- 
ple. . . . 

Thus he built up the image of a humble., modest 
person, one who eschewed worldly glory and ambi- 
tiona mask which seemed to make his regime one 
of peace and order ( of the kind, one notes, that are 
found in cemeteries ) . . . . 

He appeared as a sort of medieval saint ... a tyrant 
in the service of God ... a rare, peculiar species of 
carnivorous lamb. . . . 

But behind the fagade built up for the world, there 
remained the effective reality of a dictator like the 
others, basically more dangerous because he was 
better disguised. . . . 

Of the Portuguese budget, thirty-two per cent is 
spent on the military and less than six per cent on 
health. The Portuguese diet is among the most meager 
in Europe; twenty per cent of the population suffers 
from malnutrition. Portugal has one physician for 
every 1,400 inhabitants. In contrast, no country in 
Europe has more drug stores in proportion to popula- 
tion. , . . 

The country's death rate from tuberculosis forty- 
five per thousand in 1958 is more than twice that of 
any country in Western Europe. 

How long could the old "carnivorous lamb" stand up 
under attacks like these from such an articulate and bold 
exile as Galvao? Or the discontent of the Roman Catholic 
hierarchy at home? Or the adverse votes of the United 
States on colonial questions in the United Nations? Or, 


potentially far more disastrous, tlie terror that grew with 
each "night of the long knives" in Portuguese Africa? 

All in all, things were not going well for the Portuguese 
Spartan who for three decades had successfully imposed 
his personal foibles on his nine million countrymen. 

It was against this background that President Dwight 
D. Eisenhower, on May 20, 1960, made a one-day visit to 
Lisbon. The American president, in a few words, helped 
immeasurably to pull some Salazar chestnuts out of the 
fire. Eisenhower congratulated Salazar for "the real prog- 
ress" achieved during his regime and urged closer coopera- 
tion between the United States and Portugal in the strug- 
gle against Communism. 

In his furnished room in Caracas, Galvao must have 
gnashed his teeth at the news. His efforts to wake up 
America and the other democracies to the Portuguese 
dictatorship had been unavailing. How much, he must 
have wondered, were the Azores bases worth to Washing- 
ton? What would it take to awaken the West? 

It would be another month before he found the answer 
in a little newspaper story about the sailing schedule of 
the Santa Maria. 



Galvao was getting restive. He was a man of action and 
there was no action for him. He agreed wholeheartedly 
with the general plan laid down by the D.R.I.L. high 
command, of which he was a part. But it was far too 
long-range for his tastes. He was already sixty-five and, 
weakened by the illnesses and beatings of his imprison- 
ment, he knew his days were numbered. Although he did 
not fear death, he wanted to live long enough to strike 
a mortal blow at the hated Salazar. He wracked his brain 
for a plan. On June 18, 1960, as he sipped coffee and 
read the morning newspaper in his furnished room, the 
idea jumped out at him from the printed pages. 

It was a routine little story. It reported simply that 
the Portuguese luxury liner Santa Maria made a round 
trip from Lisbon to Port Everglades, Florida, about once 
a month, touching at a number of other points, including 
La Guaira, the nearby port for Caracas, and Willemstad 
in neighboring Curacao. And it was due at La Guaira that 
very evening! 

If they could seize the Santa Maria, they would capture 
the attention of the whole world! They could sail to An- 


gola and organize an Army of Liberation! It was a good 
omen that Santa Maria was also the name o the hospi- 
tal in Lisbon from which he had escaped a few months 
before. And Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception 
was the patron saint of Portugal. 

He jammed his floppy straw hat on his head, set his 
extra-large sun glasses on his nose and set out to learn 
all he could about the Santa Maria. He went out, conscious 
that he was always under surveillance, hopeful that the 
disguise would throw off his furtive followers, as it always 
had before. Only his square jaw, thin-lipped mouth and 
tip of his nose showed, to give away his identity. 

By nightfall, he had rounded up the most trusted of his 
fellow conspirators and they were at the docks in La 
Guaira, lost in the crowd of visitors going aboard the 
Santa Maria. For two hours, he and his colleagues roamed 
the eight decks of the ship. Each had his assignment. They 
already had obtained and studied the detailed plans of the 
ship, for H. L. Boulton & Co., agents in Caracas for the 
Santa Maria, had many copies and were only too happy to 
supply them to prospective passengers. The men checked 
all ladders and passageways, determining how to block 
any counterattack at the time of seizure. They tried to 
find out how much fuel, water and food the ship required, 
and how many passengers it normally carried. They espe- 
cially wanted to know whether it stored any small arms 
and whether it carried any P.I.D.E. police as guards. The 
answer to the last two questions, as far as they could tell, 
was negative. 

Galvao himself inspected the three top decks. He went 
to the bridge, passed by the steering wheel and even 
poked his head into the captain's cabin, where he saw 
Captain Mario Maia entertaining a few friends. Galvao 


came away convinced that whoever controlled the upper- 
most deck controlled the Santa Maria. And there were 
only six ladders to hold on that deck to beat off any 
attempt at counterattack. 

The preparations began. Galvao estimated he needed 
a hundred men to seize the ship. They would become his 
officer corps when he had raised the Army o Liberation 
at Angola. 

In his romantic's eye, Galvao was a twentieth-century 
Don Quixote and the Santa Maria his trusty Rozinante. He 
had not one Sancho Panza, but many to squire him to the 
lists against the foe, Premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. 
Together they would free the people of Portugal from 
the tyrant just as that other Don Quixote had fought for 
~fair Dulcinea." What did it matter that many of the 
people of Portugal, like those earlier unsympathetic Dul- 
cineas, were ignorant of their plight or indifferent? He 
smiled and, in his writer's mocking awareness of his own 
romanticism, he dubbed his fantastic plot "Operation 

Galvao rallied his followers with his vision: "When we 
overthrow Salazar, then Franco will fall in Spain. And 
then the people of Portugal and Spain, of Angola and Mo- 
zambique and all the rest will control their own destinies 
in a confederation of equal states The United States of 

They listened and they believed in him and their hearts 
almost broke as they saw their manpower dwindle when 
the money they had hoped for simply did not materialize. 
They kept their amazing scheme to themselves. Not even 
the ultra-dignified General Humberto da Silva Delgado, 
who came occasionally from Brazil to consult with them, 
knew the intricacies of the plot. 


Galvao, the man of action, needed Delgado, tihe symbol 
of the oppressed and persecuted people of Portugal. He 
admired Delgado's courage. But lie did not trust so con- 
summate an egotist with all the dangerous details. 

Galvao sent word to Delgado in September about "Op- 
eration Dulcinea." He needed money to finance his com- 
mando training and to pay the fares aboard the Santa 
Maria. Could Delgado raise funds among the rich Basques 
of Sao Paulo? Delgado did what he could, delighted to be 
back in the swim again. 

Delgado had suffered serious setbacks in power and 
prestige since the fall of 1959. At titat time > be went on 
a grand world tour to whip up enthusiasm for his cause 
in such a way that Salazar would find the pressure unbear- 
able. He set out with high hopes. Everything went well 
at the start. In London, the Laborites made much of him. 
But soon, wherever he went, the people stayed away. 
There simply was no interest in him. The controlled Por- 
tuguese press hooted at the fiasco, and he called off the 
journey ahead of time. He returned to Sao Paulo heart- 
broken but determined not to show it. 

"Five minutes . . . five minutes ... all I can give you is 
five minutes," he would say, with characteristic bustle, to 
reporters who requested an interview. They usually went 
along with this portrayal of a very busy man, although 
in truth two or three minutes was all it really took to get 
his story. He had become a rebel with a lost cause. For- 
eign diplomats, whom he importuned in Brazil, charac- 
terized him in their reports home as "a has-been." 

In May, 1960, the Portuguese Communists gave up on 
him, like rats deserting a sinking ship. Whereas they had 
pitched in to organize street demonstrations for him in the 
1958 election, now they denounced Delgado, Galvao and 


the D.R XL. as representing "an undesirable type of orien- 
tation." Their activities, in the view of the two to three 
thousand hard-core Communist Party members in Portu- 
gal, could only cause more Salazar-like oppression. 

Delgado hit bottom in June, 1960. Salazar dismissed him 
from the Portuguese Air Force for "making treasonable 
statements." His three-quarters pay was stopped. He had 
no money, no status at all at home, and no medals. 

Now, with Galvao's message, the tide began to turn 
for him. 

Other messages passed between them. One, intercepted 
by the Portuguese agents keeping an eye on Delgado, was 
dated September 23, 1960. It made reference to operations 
aimed at liberating a ship or airplane. The reference was 
not clear and, in any event, sounded awfully harebrained 
to the P.I.D.E. Orders went out to be especially alert on 
Portuguese ships and aircraft. For a while, the Santa Maria 
and her twin, the Vera Cruz, carried P.I.D.E. agents dis- 
guised as passengers. 

The rebels needed about $30,000. But they couldn't 
get it, not even from the rich Basques in Venezuela and 
Argentina who seemed always anxious to ante up for any- 
thing that would hurt Franco. The most they could raise 
was $10,000. Galvao reduced the number of men from 
a hundred to fifty, to forty, to thirty, and finally to twenty- 

With D.R.I.L. blessing, Galvao set up a commando 
camp about sixty-five miles from Caracas, in a wild, moun- 
tainous region. He and his men bought arms on the black 
market a battered old submachine gun for $300, a rea- 
sonably good Thompson submachine gun for $250, three 
pistols at $100 each, five Colt .45 automatics at $80 each, 
and four rifles at $200 each. Four hand grenades, donated 


by a Venezuelan poEticlan who had no idea what they 
would be used for, completed the arsenal For that matter, 
only ten of the twenty-four men who joined Galvao at 
his mountain hideaway were in on the secret. The four- 
teen others followed blindly. 

As his chief of staff, Galvao selected Jorge Sotomayor, 
a powerfully built, middle-aged Spaniard who had dis- 
tinguished himself as a naval officer on the Republican 
side during the Spanish Civil War. With three others, he 
had blown up the Nationalist cruiser Baleares. He was 
a man of great courage and, furthermore, the only one 
among Galvao's conspirators who knew how to run a ship. 
D-Day was set as October 14, 1960. 

Galvao wanted to book passage from Caracas to Port 
Everglades, Florida, because that would be far cheaper 
than paying for a trip all the way to Lisbon. But the Amer- 
ican Embassy in Caracas refused, without explanation, to 
issue his men entrance visas to the United States. He had 
no choice but to buy twenty-five Third Class fares to Lis- 
bon at about $200 each. There was not enough money. 
Frantically, the men set about trying to raise it. 

Galvao turned to the various organizations in Caracas 
which had dedicated themselves to opposition to the Sala- 
zar and Franco regimes. They had no money to spare, 
although Galvao noted bitterly that his whole expedition 
could have been financed by the money they spent at 
meetings, congresses, and commemorative outpourings on 
dates in history on which various liberties had been lost 
to their peoples. 

A Spanish millionaire who had written a book critical 
of Franco's regime looked like a good prospect. Galvao 
and his men called on him, seeking only the price of two 
Third Class fares. He treated them to a lunch, whose cost 


alone would have bought one such ticket, but he sent 
them away emptyhanded. 

Three days before D-Day, Galvao was short $600, the 
price of three fares, and he could not spare the manpower. 
Fund-raising efforts were redoubled, but October 14 ar- 
rived and they were no better off than before. With a 
heavy heart, Galvao rescheduled the coup to the Santa 
Marias next arrival in Caracas, November 16. 

The delay ate into his meager resources. While he 
searched for capital, what little he had trickled through 
his fingers in subsistence allowances for his little band of 
commandos. And then he struck it rich. He found an angel 
who promised to deliver $5,000 by November 13 enough 
to pay Third Class passage for everyone and with three 
days to spare. But his joy was short-lived. He was later 
told that the money could not be made available until 
November 20, four days too late. 

He accepted another month's delay, until the Santa 
Marias return on December 19. This D-Day> too, was not 
to be. 

On December 10, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, 
Galvao suffered a terrific pain in his chest. He was rushed 
to a clinic, where doctors diagnosed his trouble as a heart 
attack. They ordered him to rest for at least a month, if 
he wanted to live. 

"The only thing that really concerns me," he told them, 
"is that I am able to keep alive for another six months." 

There were some in Caracas who thought he would not 
be able to. Police agents, keeping an eye on the slippery 
old man as best they could, learned of his illness. After 
checking with the doctors, they cabled Lisbon that Galvao 
was through. 


In December, 1960, Delgado mysteriously left Sao 
Paulo. The P.I.D.E. lost Ms trail, but lie was thought to 
have gone either to Havana, Cuba, or Caracas. In Havana, 
there were rumors that Premier Fidel Castro planned to 
use blocked Spanish funds to help finance the D.R.I.L. 
It seemed more likely that Delgado had gone there and 
not to Caracas, where surely he could expect no such 
help from old rebel Captain Galvao, who was obviously 
near death with a faltering heart. 

Word that Galvao was "enjoying his last illness" was 
accepted and surveillance was withdrawn. 

D-Day was postponed again until Friday, January 20. 
This time they were ready. The submachine guns and 
rifles were taken apart and packed with the pistols and 
hand grenades in three suitcases marked with an X in 
white paint. A Caracas customs guard was bribed to pass 
this marked luggage without opening it for inspection. 

One of Galvao's men, a radio specialist, failed to show 
up. The others went on without him, chagrined at his loss, 
for his skill as a telegrapher could not be approached by 
any of them. At La Guaira nineteen of the twenty-four 
rebels went aboard, singly and in twos or threes, mingling 
with the crowd unobtrusively. Sotomayor took a Second 
Class cabin which would give him greater freedom of 
movement about the ship. Fourteen others went quietly 
to Third Class compartments on D and E decks below 
him. Five others were the most unobtrusive of all; they 
had no tickets, only visitors' passes, and they hid out as 
stowaways. The three suitcases marked with an X were 
delivered to Cabin 358, where four rebels were quartered. 

Galvao himself had already left Caracas, his face hidden 
by his straw hat and sun glasses. At the last minute, he 


decided his name and face were too well known to risk 
boarding the Santa Maria openly at La Guaira. He could 
not fake a name because, if credentials were demanded, he 
would have to show his emergency Venezuelan passport 
which gave his true identity. He spent his ticket money 
for airplane fare for himself and Jose Frias de Oliveira, 
and together they flew to Curacao, Netherlands West In- 
dies, on the ten-o'clock plane that fateful morning of 
Januaty 20. At Curacao they would be joined by two 
others, Emanuel Jorge Pestana de Barros and Graciano 
Esparrinha, who were delayed overnight by minor diffi- 
culties in getting their travel documents. 

As the plane gained altitude, Galvao looked down on 
the Santa Maria, which his men would be boarding in 
about eight hours, Would they get safely aboard or end up 
in a Caracas jail? The great anxiety he felt was to stay 
with him for the next twenty-four hours. 

At Willernstad, Galvao and his companion checked 
into the Brion, a small roominghouse on the waterfront. 
It was a rather run-down hostelry, but the people were 
pleasant, and the window of his room was a scant sixty 
yards from the channel through which the Santa Maria 
must pass. 

The first thing he did was to telephone Julio da Costa 
Mota, his trusted lieutenant in Caracas, who was re- 
maining behind to run things there and to spread false 
rumors as to Galvao's whereabouts. But it was only two 
o'clock and there was little news, for it would be four 
hours yet before the embarkation began, 

At dinner, he eavesdropped on the conversation at the 
table next to his. His neighbors talked knowingly about 
ships. At mention of the Santa Maria he listened intently. 


The men said she had a damaged turbine and that her 
hull was overdue for a cleaning. He recalled the scandals 
associated with the construction of the Santa Maria 
charges of excessive costs, shabby workmanship, and pay- 
offs to politicians and his anxiety deepened. 

That night, shut up in Ms room, he painfully endured 
the slow passage of time. He tried to telephone Caracas 
again but failed to make contact. He wrote letters, to Del- 
gado and to Alvaro Lins, who as Brazil's ambassador to 
Portugal had given asylum to Delgado in Lisbon. He went 
to bed early, fretful and uncertain. 

After a night spent tossing and turning, he arose early 
and stood by the window, looking out to sea. At eight- 
thirty, his vigil was rewarded. A commotion announced 
the opening of the bridge across the channel of the port. 
There, in all her majesty, steamed the Santa Maria. She 
moved slowly past the window toward her berthing place. 
An hour and a half of anxiety and apprehension passed. 
Then someone knocked at the door. It was Sotomayor. 

"All is well," he said in his grave, dignified way. "But 
there are only twenty-four of us now. The radioman 
failed to answer roll-call yesterday morning." 

Sotomayor sat with him in the little room. He told 
Galvao how, instead of sleeping, he had spent his first 
night aboard the Santa Maria studying its operation. 
From bridge to engine room, from port to starboard, 
Sotomayor knew the ship, and he had no qualms about 
his ability to make her go. As the day passed, they re- 
viewed their plan. H-Hour was set at 1:30 the next morn- 
ing, a time when most of the passengers and off-duty 
crewmen, tired out from calling at La Guaira and Willem- 
stad, should be fast asleep. Sotomayor figured there were 


about 650 passengers and 350 crewmen aboard. Shortly 
before 1:30, Galvao and his men were to rendezvous in the 
Second Class recreation area at the aft end of A deck. 
Weapons would be distributed there and, upon Galvao's 
command, the men would divide into two groups. Soto- 
mayor and seven others would seize the radio room, the 
chart room, the navigation center and the bridge. These 
were all located on the topmost deck, the boat deck, two 
flights above A deck. Galvao and the remaining fifteen 
men would subdue the captain and the ship's officers in 
their quarters on the sun deck, which was just below the 
boat deck and the bridge. He would also post guards at 
six ladders connecting the boat deck and the sun deck. Two 
of these were far aft, two forward on the flying bridge, one 
just forward of the radio room, and the other leading from 
the bridge to the passageway outside the captain's cabin. 
One man with a rifle or submachine gun could hold off 
an army at these points, for, no matter how many would-be 
attackers there were, they would have to mount the ladders 
one or two at a time. 

Once in command of the Santa Maria, Galvao planned 
to sail swiftly and secretly to the Spanish island of Fer- 
nando Po off the west central coast of Africa. There, with 
the help of hoped-for volunteers from among the Santa 
Maria's crew and passengers, he would stage a commando 
raid, seize control, sever communications with the outside 
world, rally the natives to his cause, press into service 
a captured gunboat and any available aircraft, and launch 
an attack on Luanda, the capital of Angola. With Luanda 
in his grasp, after a blitzkrieg lasting two or three days, 
Galvao would proclaim it liberated Portuguese territory 
and declare war on the Salazar regime. He anticipated that 


this would touch off revolts in Portugal and Mozambique, 
Portugal's other big African possession, and total victory 
would soon be Ms. 

A pipe dream? Certainly. But Alexander and Napoleon 
and others had had pipe dreams and lived to see them 
come true. And even if it failed, in whole or in part, its 
utter boldness would capture the world's fancy and expose 
the Salazar regime to the searing glare of unfavorable 

It was seven weeks to the day since his heart attack, 
but, listening to Sotoinayor lay out the familiar plan with 
such crisp confidence, he felt like a very young man again. 
At noon, Galvao, Sotomayor, and Jose Frias de Oliveira 
were joined in the tiny hotel room by Emanuel Jorge de 
Barros and Graciano Esparrinha, just arrived from Caracas 
on a KLM airliner. Galvao's spirits soared when he re- 
ceived at that time a gift from Julio da Costa Mota, a 
copy of Ambassador Lins' new anti-Salazar book, Mission 
in Portugal. In a joyous mood, the five conspirators went 
out to lunch and to sight-see. 

At four o'clock they checked out of the Hotel Brion. 
Galvao paid for it with the last money he had in the 
world, except for a few coins in his pocket. His eyes twin- 
kling behind the sun glasses, his old straw hat flopping 
around his ears, Galvao led the way to the docks. Only 
Sotomayor had a ticket. Galvao and the others had visitors' 
passes, which they had scrounged in Caracas. In a half- 
hour they were at the pier, mingling with the mass of 
people going aboard and coming ashore. The man at the 
head of the gangplank did not even bother to look at his 
visitor's pass. 

As Galvao put his foot on the deck of the Santa Maria, 


seven months of anguish and frustration miraculously 
fell away. It seemed for an instant that, simply by step- 
ping aboard, he had gained complete possession. 

"Mine/' he thought. "You are mine." 

One of his men in the crowd in the D deck embarka- 
tion hall caught his eye and motioned to him to follow. 
Galvao was led discreetly to an inboard Tourist Class 
cabin. To save money, they had chosen such rooms, the 
cheapest because there were no portholes. Some of the 
men were in the cabin. He looked at their faces, and he 
saw the same contentment he knew must be shining out 
of his. Young Jose da Cunha Ramos had it. So did Joaquim 
Manuel da Silva Paiva, the loquacious mechanical en- 
gineer. And long-nosed Professor Velo. Even that valorous 
old sea dog, Sotomayor. Galvao suddenly realized that 
sweat was dripping from his fingertips and his khaki 
pants and shirt clung to his skin in great, dark blotches. 

"No air conditioning," someone said. "It broke down 
three days ago/* 

At seven o'clock, the Santa Maria's screws began to 
turn and soon she cast off and headed to sea. Galvao went 
topside to breathe the cool fresh air. By eleven o'clock, 
he was back in the heat of Cabin 358, helping assemble 
and load the weapons. They were hidden under mat- 
tresses. Before the men broke up to wait tensely for H- 
Hour, Galvao assigned the weapons. 

He gave the two submachine guns to Paiva and Agustin 
Romara Rojo, and rifles and pistols to Camillo Tavares 
Mortagua, Julio Rodrigues, Luis Fernandez Ackerman, 
Manuel Mazo Bravo, Graciano Maquis Esparrinha, Fran- 
cisco Rico Leal, Sotomayor, Professor Velo, and Velo's 
son, Victor Jose Velo Perez. Galvao kept for himself a 
Colt .45, which he stuck in his belt and covered up with 


Ills shirt. He shoved into his pocket a hand grenade which 
he had made himself. It was actually a bomb, for it had 
no detonator. If he had to use it, he planned to set it off 
by lighting it with a cigarette. The three other hand gre- 
nades he gave to Sotomayor, Rojo and Perez. The ten men 
who had no firearms were not without weapons. They 
carried knives, machetes and blackjacks. 

Back in his cabin, Galvao studied his watch as the min- 
utes dragged by. After an eternity, it was 1:2,5. H-Hour 
minus five minutes. Into the pockets of his shirt he stuffed 
the trappings of his new life a black beret, black epau- 
lettes with their three golden stripes, and an arm band in 
the green and red national colors of Portugal. 

He went on deck. It was an extraordinarily beautiful 
night, all clear overhead and with a few clouds scudding 
about on the horizon. Passengers were lying about the 
deck, enjoying the fresh air denied them in the swelter- 
ing holes their cabins had become without air condi- 

In Second Class Cabin 106, on the port side of deck B 
aft, almost directly under the rendezvous point toward 
which Galvao was headed, Arthur Douglas Patton and his 
wife slept peacefully. Since they had left New Orleans 
in October aboard the American freighter Dick Lykes, 
they had visited thirteen countries. It had been a nice 
three months. They would still be going strong if the 
bankroll had held out. 

The way they did it, it was an adventure. No particular 
plans, no reservations. Exciting things happened, like 
arriving in Venice at midnight, with no hotel arrange- 
ments and knowing not a word of Italian, and winding 
up in that strange little hotel where people kept arriving 


and departing all night long. But the most exciting thing 
of all had happened only the day before, in Caracas. 
The Pattons were ambling along a street when all of a 
sudden an Olds 88 came hurtling along with three fellows 
and a girl in it. A police car was in close pursuit. Another 
police car hemmed in the Olds from the opposite direction, 
shots were fired from a submachine gun, and the fleeing 
car squealed to a halt. Three more police cars roared 
up. The three men and the girl were hauled roughly out 
of their automobile. The police looked menacingly at the 
Pattons, who suddenly realized that, except for them, 
the streets were deserted. The Pattons took off on the 
run. It would be a long time, they told each other, before 
anything as exciting as that happened to them again. 
Arthur, Jr., would be delighted to hear about it when they 
got back home to Boulder City, Nevada, in a few days. 

In Second Class Cabin 240, below and a little forward 
of the Pattons on deck C, Mrs. Edna P. Chubb slept fit- 
fully. Friday had been an exciting day in Caracas. "The 
highlight," she wrote in the travel journal she always 
kept for her children and grandchildren, "was hearing 
the last ten minutes of President Kennedy's inaugural 
address at the U.S. Embassy." She had nothing to write 
about Curacao, for she had described it at length during 
her 1958 visit there. Lonely since the death of her hus- 
band in 1955, Mrs. Chubb had begun traveling in 1956, 
usually taking a trip a year. 

She was grateful that throughout the voyage home 
she had had her cabin all to herself. She had been abroad 
since September, traveling in Greece, Turkey, the Canary 
Islands, Portugal and Spain. Now she was a little weary 
and wanted to be left alone. They would arrive in Florida 
in three days and, six days after that, she would be cele- 


brating her seventy-first birthday in the bosom of her 
family at Pasadena, California. 

Henrique Galvao climbed the ladder three flights up 
from D deck to A deck. He entered the open-air recreation 
area near the Second Class swimming pool and surveyed 
his men. A few of them appeared a little emotional. But 
most were sprawled casually in deck chairs, smoking 
cigarettes, or chatting amiably around the swimming pool 
Many other passengers were lying about and a number of 
crew members passed by, on their way to duty posts or 
to bed. 

Galvao looked at his watch. It was exactly 1:30. He 
pulled out his black beret and put it on at a rakish angle. 
He attached the epaulettes and the arm band. The twenty- 
three other men followed his example. 

"Vamos!" he said. "Let's go!" 



Mrs. Caroline Boyce, a bright and cheerful widow o sixty 
from Lutherville, Maryland, near Baltimore, awakened 
in her cabin about two in the morning. For no particular 
reason, she felt wide awake. The engines were pounding 
so hard that her cabin was vibrating. That was certainly 
a change. Only a few minutes before, she had been 
awakened when the engines stopped altogether. She had 
then dozed off again. This time, she looked out her port- 
hole and sniffed the fresh, warm salt air. The sky was 
mostly clear, and she remembered she had neglected her 
nightly custom of checking the ship's course by the con- 
stellations. She clucked in mock disapproval. At this rate, 
she would lose her standing as an amateur astronomer. 
Somebody was sure to ask about it at breakfast. 

Mrs. Boyce threw on a robe, went topside and looked 
for the Big Dipper. She had trouble finding it, for it was 
not where she thought it should be. Ah, there it was. She 
followed the pointers thirty degrees over the located Po- 
laris, the North Star. But something was wrong. If the 
ship's course was northwest, as it was supposed to be, 
what was Polaris doing off the port fantail and not off the 

starboard bow? And Orion seemingly due east instead of 
due west? 

"Jogging around, I guess, to get through these islands/' 
she thought. 

Mrs. Boyce formed a mental picture of Willemstad, 
Curacao, in the Netherlands West Indies, their last port 
of call only the day before, and of the island-speckled 
Caribbean to the north. She could not conjure up any 
land that would call for such zigzag navigation. She dis- 
missed the thought and went back to bed. 

About four o'clock, Mrs. Sarah Jane Hamer Smith, of 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, came slowly awake, and won- 
dered why. Then she felt a strong breeze blowing through 
the porthole. That was nice. The cabin had been unbear- 
ably hot and stuffy ever since the air conditioning broke 
down before La Guaira. It was just her luck to be on the 
side of the ship away from the prevailing wind. But now 
the wind had shifted, and it was even stronger than be- 
fore. It would freshen the sticky cabin for her and her 
husband, Delbert Carl Smith, Jr., thirty-nine, and their 
pretty, pony-tailed, blonde daughter, seven-year-old 
Deborah Caroline. Mrs. Smith went back to sleep. It 
never crossed her mind that the ship had turned about 
and increased its speed to more than twenty knots. 

It was about half-past six when Mrs. Boyce realized 
that somebody was pounding on her door. She threw on 
a robe and answered the summons. It was Mrs. David R. 
Crockett, fifty, of Pompano Beach, Florida. In a strained 
voice, Mrs. Crockett suggested that she hurry and get 
dressed because somebody had been shot and killed. Mrs. 
Boyce looked out and saw blood on the deck of the pas- 
sageway. Crewmen were beginning to swab it up. 

Arthur Douglas Patton and his wife Myrtle were up 


bright and early. At seven, they went an deck to walk 
around awhile in anticipation of the generous breakfast 
they had come to enjoy aboard the Santa Maria. They 
noticed that the crew was not washing down the decks, as 
usual at that hour. They met Mrs. Henry A. Bates, sixty- 
six, of Washington, D.C., and she told them that a man 
with a gun had barred her from going topside for her regu- 
lar morning stroll. They talked about the blood they had 
seen in the passageway to the hospital, and wondered 
what it was all about. 

Nat Logan-Smith, a burly, red-faced man of fifty-seven 
who was a retired civil service administrator from Hono- 
lulu, Hawaii, was a late arrival on deck, He was met by 
a fellow passenger he had come to like, a quiet, sensible 
man named Martin Yunker, fifty-eight, a retired contractor 
from Warren, Connecticut. 

"Did you know we were taken over by pirates last 
night?" Yunker asked. 

Logan-Smith gave him a look of disbelief and waited for 

Mrs. Yunker was at her husband's elbow, a little dis- 
traught, as he went on. "They were all over the place this 
morning, carrying guns and wearing red and green arm 
bands, searching the boats. Are you ready to walk the 

He was laughing, or trying to, when he said that last. 

Logan-Smith was taken aback. He had been through 
a war, traveled the world and was along in years. What 
happened to him was not important. But he was hanged 
if he was going to let anybody, guns or no guns, take 
away from him the Karman-Ghia sport car he had bought 
in Germany. It was sitting down in the hold at that mo- 


ment, and it was the first tiling lie thought of at the men- 
tion of pirates. 

"Aw, searching the boats for stowaways is customary 
after leaving a port/ 5 he growled. "Come on, we're late for 

In the First and Second Class salons, the breakf asters 
were mystified. Gone were the cheery smiles of the maitre 
d'hotel and his waiters. Gone were the sumptuous, many- 
course meals to start the day right. The men wore long 
faces, and there was no choice of a menu. It was fruit 
juice, bread, butter and coffee take it or leave it. 

Mr. and Mrs. Patton marked how tense the maitre 
d'hotel was when, without explanation, he announced 
they could have only coffee and rolls. 

Logan-Smith thought he would loosen up his waiter and 
maybe find out something. "Well," he said, "we'll be with 
you only two more days/' 

"Don't be too sure of that," the waiter sighed, and 
scurried for the galley. 

The maitre d'hotel went around to every table. In an 
anguished voice, he disclosed there would be a meeting 
of passengers in the lounge. He refused to say why, but 
the word had gone the rounds. A few made jokes about 
their predicament. It was inevitable that someone should 
recall that this was, after all, the old Spanish Main, breed- 
ing ground of pirates for centuries. But there was really 
nothing very funny about it. One man was dead and two 
were wounded. Who knew what was next in store? 

A hush fell over the passengers as Captain Maia and a 
tall, dark stranger entered the lounge with an escort of 
khaki-clad gunmen. They all stood at attention as the 
Portuguese national anthem was played on the ship's 


loudspeaker system. It was their first good look at the rebel 
uniform with its arm band of green and red. 

Captain Maia made a long speech in Portuguese stating 
that he was no longer in command because Galvao had 
seized the vessel, killing one man and wounding others. At 
length he was finished, and the newcomer, Velo, ad- 
dressed the passengers for the first time. He spoke in 
Portuguese too, and the Americans, straining for a familiar 
sound, kept asking each other, "What was that?" "What 
did he say?" The speeches by Maia and Velo were trans- 
lated into Spanish and, finally, into English. Velo's was a 
political harangue, denouncing the governments of Salazar 
in Portugal and Generalissimo Francisco Franco in Spain. 
Velo pledged fervently that they would be overthrown, 
and he would never rest until they were. He wound up 
with a promise to the passengers. 

"Passengers have nothing to fear as long as they coop- 
erate," Velo said. "But we will brook no interference. This 
ship is not going to Miami. We regret the inconvenience 
but it can not be helped. There is no cause for alarm. All 
passengers will be disembarked at a "neutral port in five 
or six days. Every effort will be made to insure your safety 
and comfort/' And Galvao, who had quietly joined the 
group, nodded sagely at his words. 

The meeting ended with Tchaikovsky's 1812, Overture 
banging and crashing over the loudspeaker. 

In general, the passengers breathed more easily. Per- 
haps things would not be too bad. Velo was a handsome 
chap, nearly six feet tall, healthy suntan, flashing white 
teeth. And when he talked, it was hard to believe that 
he and the others could kill a man. 

But Mrs. Floyd W. Preston, thirty-seven, of Lawrence, 
Kansas, did not like the uncertainty. She wondered how 


she could keep lier four robust sons out of mischief for 
another five or six days. The boys Carl Bruce, eleven; 
Harold Wayne, nine; Donald Floyd, five; and Steven 
Dean, two would not take kindly to being cooped up. 
And what about all her things down in the hold? The 
station wagon, the furniture, the clothes in short, every- 
thing the Prestons owned, for her husband, also thirty- 
seven, a professor of petroleum engineering at the Univer- 
sity of Kansas, was transferring back to campus after a 
two-year sabbatical in Caracas. Eleven-year-old Carl 
might be manageable. The little ones would probably be 
difficult to keep amused. But nine-year-old Harold was 
the one to watch. He had already served notice. 

"Boy!" he had said, spectacles bobbing on his button 
nose, as if he were a flirtatious owl. "Pirates! Real pirates! 

Nat Logan-Smith was still concerned about the fate of 
his Karman-Ghia. He talked it over with Martin Yunker, 
who pointed out that, in all Velo's talk about a "neutral" 
port for disembarking passengers, he never once hinted 
where that might be. They decided to find somebody who 
knew and could say. The two men climbed to the bridge. 
The regular mate was on watch, but to his left a uniformed 
rebel had him under surveillance. The rebel was extremly 
courteous. They were perfectly safe, he said, and yes, all 
the passengers could take their belongings with them 
when they left the ship. Where? Ah, that was a secret! 

Eben Neal Baty, sixty-four, of Paradise Cove, Cali- 
fornia, a veteran traveler who once wrote a best-selling 
book about his experiences abroad, rather liked the ad- 
venture of it all. He turned to his wife Emma, sixty-six, 
and said, "You know, I'm glad we didn't take that other 
ship we were thinking about." 


But Mrs. Dorothy Thomas, sixty, of Los Angeles, could 
not believe her senses. "Such a thing isn't possible," she 
insisted. "It doesn't make sense!" 

It remained, however, for Manuel Lourenco, a Portu- 
guese en route to Lisbon from Venezuela, to come up 
with the most plaintive reaction of all. "This is a hell of 
a thing to happen to a man going home to retire after 
thirty years in a foreign country," he said. 

A number of the American women got together to talk 
about something that was troubling them. These men, 
however courteous they might appear, had shot three 
officers. Who knew what other depredations they might 
commit as time went by? It might be well to take no 
chances. They decided they had better not wear any- 
thing enticing, so they ruled out bathing suits, shorts and 
plunging necklines. 

About eleven that morning, a small freighter appeared 
on the horizon. Then it came so close that the excited 
passengers, looking through field glasses, could make out 
its Japanese flag. The freighter slowed down and every- 
body wondered if it suspected anything wrong on the 
Santa Maria. Or was the freighter's captain simply curious 
for a long, close look at the rakish lines of the $1,600,000 
luxury liner? The Santa Maria cut crisply away to the 
southeast and soon, at more than twenty knots, left the 
Japanese ship far astern. 

Lunch and dinner, like breakfast, were ample in quan- 
tity but restricted in choice. There was no longer any 
menu to pick from. And glum waiters set it on the table 
without flourish, too demoralized to care for the niceties 
any more. The little extras were missing, but there were 
no significant shortages. 

In the afternoon and evening, the passengers gathered 


about portable radios, listening intently to the news. The 
rebels made no attempt to interfere. But the news was 
routine. No mention of the Santa Maria. No word of any 
uprisings in Portugal or any of its "provinces." People 
talked of the legend of the Flying Dutchman and of how 
that ship was doomed to sail forever, with never a port 
of call. Arthur Douglas Patton remembered the two bot- 
tles with messages inside that he had dropped over the 
side in happier days for a lark. Maybe now was the time 
to do it again, seriously. Maybe tomorrow. 

"It is a terrible thing/' he told his wife, "to be a prisoner, 
and nobody in the world knows it." 



Despite a heart attack, a dwindling cadre of supporters, 
a lack of ready cash, and the sharp eye of the P.I.D.E., 
Galvao had captured the Santa Maria. He had carried out 
the first phase of the bold scheme which came to him on 
June 18, 1960, when he read of the Santa Maria's schedule, 
and he was now headed for Angola and Phase Twothe 
raising of an Army of Liberation against Salazar. As he 
stood on the bridge and watched the prow turn toward 
the channel between St. Lucia and Martinique, he de- 
cided to rechristen the ship. 

"Santa Liberdade," he thought. "Blessed Liberty." 
He made a note to have a sign painted with the new 
name and strung across the railing of the bridge on which 
he stood. There would be another smaller sign above it 
bearing the initials of his revolutionary organization. To- 
gether, in letters three feet high, they would say: 


Galvao chuckled, pleased with his originality. But there 
is an old saw about nothing being new under the sun. And 


so it was in the case of even so daring a feat as liis. The 
American comic strip "The Phantom" was at the time 
featuring an adventure in which pirates disguised as 
passengers smuggled arms aboard a ship. 

The pirates of the China Coast long had worked with 
the order and discipline of the Galvao crew. 

The New York Times of December 12, 1929, in describ- 
ing the China Sea pirates, might just as well have been 
referring to Galvao's operation when it reported: 

To recruit a reliable gang, select a likely victim, 
gather the essential information, carry through the 
enterprise and plan a retreat with spoils and prison- 
ers, requires no ordinary ability. . . . 

The whole gang goes on board, some in the saloon, 
the majority in the steerage and one or two among 
the crew. They are not slinking, cowardly ruffians, but 
men who know their job and usually try to do it effi- 
ciently and humanely provided that humanity is 
compatible with efficiency. . . . 

But it is not every piracy that works smoothly. 
Often the Indian guard on duty is shot dead by a 
treacherous volley, and when the Norwegian coaster 
Soluiken was captured the master, Captain Jastoff, 
was murdered because he did not immediately open 
his cabin door. 

Stranger still, there had actually sailed in those very 
waters the fabulous French pirate, "Good" Captain Mis- 
son, who founded a democratic Utopia aboard his ship 
and dedicated it, fifty years before the French Revolution, 
to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. 

The amazing Misson, whose exploits are chronicled but 


not too well documented, took over the French man-of- 
war Victoire off Martinique early in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. The captain had been killed in a victory over the 
English man-of-war Winchester. Misson and his counselor- 
companion, an unfrocked Dominican priest from Italy 
named Caraccioli, apparently were as glib a pair of talkers 
as Galvao and his theoretician, Professor Velo. After a 
harangue denouncing tyranny and extolling liberty, Mis- 
son and Caraccioli were elected by the cheering French 
sailors as captain and executive officer, respectively. 

They rejected the black flag of piracy, choosing instead 
a white one embroidered with the motto "For God and 
Liberty/' Thereafter, they scourged the seas, politely 
robbing ships and apologizing for each murder. Their ship 
was not a ship but a "nation" and, according to C. John- 
son's A General History of the Pyrates, published in Lon- 
don in 1726, "they were no pyrates but men who were 
resolved to affect the Liberty which God and Nature gave 

Misson eventually led his men to Madagascar, where 
they established a strictly socialistic colony and named it 
"Libertatia." All property was commonly held, even 
money, and there was no race or color bar. Libertatia had 
a navy of two ships, the Childhood and the Liberty, 
Finally, however, the previously friendly natives rose up 
for some reason and attacked the flourishing settlement. 
Misson and a few others escaped to sea, only to go down 
with their ship in a hurricane. 

It may be that Galvao knew all this as the Santa Maria 
plowed on another voyage of liberation toward Angola, 
where he hoped to find thousands of volunteers for a 
military assault on Portugal. He had good reason to expect 
support from the inhabitants of that oppressed colony. 


In Angola, Galvao's goal, one of the great horror stories 
of the century was being played out to its inexorable 
denouement. On the one side were the black Angolese,, 
becoming aware of the rising expectations sweeping 
Africa and straining for the first time against the bonds 
that have held them to Portugal for nearly five centuries. 
On the other side were Salazar and his government, sworn 
to expend "the blood from our veins" rather than accept 
the inevitable. There could be no other end but tragedy, 
and the floating revolution aboard the Santa Maria was to 
play a role. 

Angola has belonged to Portugal since Diogo Cao dis- 
covered the mouth of the Congo River in 1482,, ten years 
before Columbus discovered America. Those were the 
days of Portugal's pre-eminence in the Era of Explora- 
tion, and her kings Henry the Navigator, Alphonso the 
African, John the Perfect and Manoel the Fortunate- 
sent intrepid men into strange worlds with the Gospel 
in one hand and shackles for slaves in the other. Quickly, 
Portuguese settlers spread down the west coast of Africa 
and around the Cape of Good Hope to the east coast, 
advanced in South America and crossed the seas to the 
Near and Far East. By 1540, Portugal had acquired, 
through discovery, conquest, cession and colonization, a 
maritime empire extending across half the globe. Portu- 
gal was thus one of the first of the Western colonial pow- 
ers, and today has elected to be the last. 

There is still a yearning in those stout Portuguese hearts 
which quicken at mention of names like Diogo Cao,, 
Bartholomeu Diaz, Vasco da Gama, Pedro Alvares Cabral 
and Ferdinand Magellan, for the power of an earlier 
Portugal. Small wonder, then, that any threat to the colo- 
nies is met with such fierce determination to fight to the 


last man. With them, Portugal boasts a territory of 805,586 
square miles, a population of 22,419,666, a balanced 
budget, international stature, and a protected market 
for goods which would find few buyers anywhere else. 
Without them, Portugal would be reduced to 34,230 
square miles, a population of 8,980,000, a monstrous trade 
deficit, and a tenth-rate level, wallowing in a depression 
which would make its current per capita income of $245 
a year seem high. 

Angola, nearly twice the size of Texas, is the biggest, 
richest and by far the most important of the Portuguese 
provinces. Its loss would produce an estimated $100,000,- 
ooo a year adverse balance of trade for Portugal. This is 
so because Angola, together with Mozambique, buys 
twenty-three per cent of what Portugal exports. Besides, 
Angola and Mozambique send back millions every year 
in diamonds, coffee, sisal and minerals. And, politically, 
as Angola goes, so goes Mozambique, although not quite 
so quickly. 

As France did with Algeria, Salazar technically ended 
Portuguese colonialism with a stroke of the pen, by saying 
in his new constitution that the colonies were no longer 
colonies but "provinces" and therefore an integral part 
of Portugal. Technically, this was like giving statehood to 
Alaska and Hawaii. Actually, it changed nothing. 

"Forced labor in the Portuguese provinces is today in- 
distinguishable from outright slavery/ 7 Captain Galvao 
had written. 

Galvao's was not a lone voice crying in the wilderness 
of the "Kingdom of Silence," as the Burmese delegate to 
the United Nations called Angola. Over the years, despite 
a censorship worthy of the Kremlin, journalists and 
political observers have gone to Angola, looked and 


listened. They have been reporting for decades that, 
despite the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the Berlin 
Conference of 1885 and all the other international denun- 
ciations of slavery since then, hundreds of thousands of 
human beings live and die in bondage, however subtle 
the legalities. 

What happens is that the law says one thing and the 
exigencies dictate just the opposite. The Portuguese Con- 
stitution forbids the exploitation of native labor either for 
the state or by the state for private enterprise. But there 
is also a law which requires every African in Angola to 
work at least six months a year. This is the legal basis 
from which the abuses flow. 

At eighteen, an indigena, or native Angolan, gets a plas- 
tic-covered caderneta. It contains his photograph, finger- 
prints, record of payments of his seven-dollar annual head 
tax, and the log of his employment. Instead of paying the 
tax, he may work it out on road-building or similar public 
projects for one month. He must always carry the log of his 
employment. And he must always make sure that his work 
is recorded. If he cannot prove that he is working or al- 
ready has worked his six months, he may be hauled away 
to a remote camp, tied up or flogged with hippopotamus- 
hide whips should he protest, and forced under guard to 
accept Salazar's conception of "the dignity of labor." 

If he is still uncooperative, he may be shipped away, to 
Sao Tome or Principe or even some non-Portuguese terri- 
tory like the Union of South Africa or, until the Belgians 
gave it up with such disastrous consequences, the Congo. 
For the especially recalcitrant, such as a man caught 
bandying about subversive words like "freedom," even in 
his native tongue, there is always the palmatoria. This is a 
sort of ping-pong paddle with holes in it. Applied to the 


palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, its holes suck up 
tiny patches of flesh. The victim may be all right in a few 
days or he may be crippled for life. There is a law against 
the hippo whip and the palmatoria, and it is sometimes ob- 
served. The laggard may suffer nothing more than a 
stretch of road-building for the government, and at no 

In that case, he might just as well have gone off to the 
sugar fields or the coffee plantation, where the pay is 
about fifteen cents a day. Of course, he does not get this 
pay all at once, whether he is a contradado, or contract 
worker, or a uoluntario, signed up on his own with an 
employer. He is paid about four cents a day. The rest is 
saved until he has fulfilled the contract, usually for a year 
or a year and a half. It is then sent to the chefe de posto? 
usually a white man or mulatto, who is the government's 
straw boss in his home town. If the chefe has sticky fingers, 
as so many of them seem to, the worker may wind up with 
very little to show for his long stay away from his family. 

Portuguese officials argue that this is the only way to 
get things done, that the native Angolan is likable but 
lazy. They are fond of such sayings as: "An African is like 
a woman. The more you beat her, the more she loves you." 
And another: "Don't you slap a puppy if he soils the 
carpet? Isn't he the better for it?" But their arguments are 
not nearly so patronizingly pat when it comes to the other 
fields to which Galvao pointed his damning finger health, 
education and even the social, of which the Portuguese are 
so proud. 

Galvao estimated that sixty per cent of the Angolese 
who are born die in infancy. One-third of the labor force 
is rejected as physically unable to work. Medical services, 
he said, are non-existent or confined to the cities like 


Luanda, where, in the senzala, the native quarter, 120,000 
Angolese live in filth and poverty. In the bush, the witch 
doctors are the only available medical practitioners. 

The Portuguese, from Salazar on down, are quick to 
boast that they have no color consciousness. Certainly 
Brazil, long a Portuguese colony, is the world's greatest 
example of how people of different racial strains can live 
and work together without a color bar. But what happened 
in Brazil was not happening in Angola. Society had be- 
come highly stratified and, with the recent influx of thou- 
sands of new white settlers from mainland Portugal, a 
color consciousness was beginning to creep into the social 
attitude. No matter how black or how white, it was how 
Portuguese a man was which fixed his station in life. 

A black native might go to a four-year "rudimentary" 
school run by missionaries and learn a little Portuguese 
language and history, plus basic personal hygiene. But 
he would be taught nothing of his tribal language and 
traditions. And if he completed the course, he would be 
among the four per cent who do. To get into primary 
school, located in one of the larger towns, he would have 
to be able to read and write Portuguese and to afford the 
fees and living expenses. To move on to secondary school, 
he would have to show that he had completed seven years 
of education before the age of fourteen. 

And always he would be bucking The System. The 
schools in each case would accept him only if there was 
room after the white students and the assimilados had 
been accommodated. Small wonder that fewer than a 
thousand Africans are in the primary schools of Angola. 

The indigena can get on the social escalator by becom- 
ing an assimilado, an assimilated person. This is fixed by 
law. All he has to do is prove he is truly Portuguese in 


spirit. He must cut himself off completely from his an- 
cestry, speak only Portuguese and live like a Portuguese, 
including wearing shoes. Once he has proved all this to 
an examining board, he may be allowed to turn in his 
caderneta for a Bilete de Identidade. He may now marry 
a white Portuguese or a mulatto with social impunity and 
fraternize freely in movies, restaurants and bars. But his 
living expenses go up, for he no longer is treated as a ward 
of the state. And if there is any backsliding into the old 
tribal ways, he is severely punished according to Portu- 
guese law. 

This, to Salazar, was the best of all possible worlds, 
with perhaps a little room for improvement. What hap- 
pened in Portugal or any of its "provinces" was Portugal's 
business and had been for nearly five hundred years. 

As he put it, in a speech to the National Assembly on 
November 30, 1960: "We are not disposed to accept the 
interfering intervention of others in our internal life and 
affairs. . . . Any person of good faith can see for himself 
that peace and complete calm reign in our overseas terri- 
tories, without the use of force and merely by the habit of 
peaceful living in common." 

He said forces in the world, Communist and otherwise, 
were working in Africa and elsewhere to threaten the 
Portuguese way of life. It was then that he pledged: "I 
do not see that we can rest in our labors nor can we have 
any other care than to hold with one hand our plough 
and with the other our sword, as did your ancestors 
through many centuries. . . . Great sacrifices will be called 
for, as well as the most absolute devotion and, if necessary, 
also the blood from our veins. . . . This is our destiny, this 
is the mission of our life, which we should not curse but 
rather bless for the loftiness and nobility." 


But other destinies were casting their shadow across 
Angola. After nearly five hundred years, there were among 
Angola's 4,500,000 population only about 70,000 assimila- 
dos, half of them black, the other half mulatto. Yet, white 
immigrants from the mother country, fleeing a grinding 
poverty in which the highest-paid skilled worker could 
get no more than the equivalent of $2.80 a day, were set- 
tling in Angola at the rate of 20,000 a year. As a result, in 
the scramble for jobs and status, racial "color blindness" 
was being put to a severe test. Illiterate and poverty- 
stricken, the newcomer by birth had rights and privileges 
denied the African, the assimilado as well as the indigena* 
He was genuine Portuguese, not ersatz. 

This was the Angola toward which Galvao was headed. 
He figured he needed four days of secrecy in which to get 
the jump on the Portuguese Navy, which would surely 
oppose his move with all its force. The Santa Maria was 
due in Port Everglades, Florida, from Curacao in three 
days. Nothing would be thought amiss until she failed to 
arrive on time. To cover that one-day lag, he radioed 
ahead to Shaw Brothers Shipping Company, the Miami 
agents for the Santa Maria, that she had been slowed down 
by minor engine trouble. She would therefore arrive a day 
late, on January 25 instead of January 24, as scheduled. 

But about ten o'clock on the morning of January 22, 
after his first, sleepless night in command of the Santa 
Maria y Galvao was approached by the ship's doctor, Dr. 
Theodomiro Borges, with distressing news. The wounded 
navigator, Joao Lopes de Souza, would die unless the 
bullet he harbored was removed. This required a delicate 
operation possible only in hospital surroundings. He had 
to be put ashore, or die. 



Galvao faced a grave ethical crisis. They would be near 
St. Lucia in the morning. Souza could be put ashore there, 
but that would give away the Santa Maria's secret. The 
whole world would know that she had been seized, and 
the Portuguese Navy would intercept him before he could 
reach Angola. One man already was dead. Should he ac- 
cept responsibility for the death of another? Was the 
success of the enterprise worth the life of this young man? 
Could he control the crew if he let this man die? Galvao 
talked it over with Velo, Sotomayor and some of the 
others. He went to his cabin and wrestled with his con- 

The situation was a severe blow to Sotomayor. As the 
second in command and, in fact, almost the equal in 
authority, his advice would weigh heavily with Galvao. 
He meditated on the alternatives, too, as he steered the 
course for Angola, with Captain Maia helping with the 
navigation under the guns of the other pistoleros. Soto- 
mayor had suffered much in his fight against the Iberian 
dictatorships. He had seen many men die. 

At fifty-two, Sotomayor was still tall and darkly hand- 
some. But his life, the conspiratorial life of the fugitive 


rebel, had made him aloof and taciturn. It was strange that 
a man in whom the fires o hate burned so high could be 
so cold. "Franco and Salazar will receive analogous blows," 
he would say and that, to him, said it all. 

He had joined Galvao in Caracas after slipping away 
from secret-police surveillance in Lisbon, where he had 
been living in exile. He could never go home to his native 
Galicia or, for that matter, anywhere in Spain until the 
Franco regime had been destroyed. He was one of the 
generalissimo's most hated and feared foes. 

Next in line to Sotomayor came another Spaniard, the 
lean and hungry Professor Velo. With his bushy hair, 
high forehead, sunken cheeks, expressive eyes, hatchet 
nose and assertive Adam's apple, he looked like a brood- 
ing figure out of an El Greco painting. Indeed, some of 
the American passengers called him "El Greco/' after 
Henry A. Bates of Washington, D.C., pinned the name on 
him. Like Sotomayor, Velo was a Galician, having been 
bom April 26, 1915, at Celenova in Orense. 

Velo had fought in the Spanish Republican Army dur- 
ing the Civil War. He dropped out of sight during World 
War II, but in 1947 the Franco police arrested him. They 
charged that his home in Galicia had served as the clan- 
destine meeting place of an anti-Franco underground for 
three years. He was accused of being a Communist and 
put in jail. He was freed, however, and he went to Lis- 
bon. In 1950, he made his way to Caracas, where he and 
other Spanish revolutionaries soon banded together in old 
Alberto Bayo's Union de Combatientes Espanoles. By 
1959, he had become "secretary for special affairs" of the 
U.C.E., which meant that he was calling signals for the 
organization's terrorist campaign inside Spain. 

He was a spellbinding orator, and even the Americans 


who could not understand Spanish were enthralled by his 
harangues aboard the Santa Maria. As Galvao's chief 
theoretician and organizer, he hardly let an hour go by 
that he was not out trying to recruit new rebels among 
the crew and Third Class passengers. Mrs. Chubb, the 
indefatigable sympatica, would sit on the stairway lead- 
ing up from the lounge, hug her knees and revel in the 
sound of the Professor's importunate speechesthrilled by 
them without understanding a word. David R. Crockett 
of Pompano Beach, Florida, liked to discuss Spanish and 
Portuguese politics with Velo, although Crockett had little 
knowledge of either. He liked to see the sparks fly as "El 
Greco" lit into the subject which had engrossed his life 
since youth. 

"I am from Spain but Portugal is just as bad," Velo told 
Crockett one day, when the American found an inter- 
preter. "The people are downtrodden. There is no freedom 
there. General Delgado actually won the election in 1958 
but they stole it from him. Any who raise their voices in 
protest are killed or put in jail and tortured." 

Crockett nodded agreement, remembering a Santa 
Maria crewman a few days out of Lisbon, before the rebels 
came aboard. The crewman had popped a cork into his 
mouth and said, "This is Portugal." 

"I sympathize with the aims of your revolution," Crock- 
ett told Velo. 

Velo and Sotomay or these were the two men upon 
whom Galvao most depended, the one his strong right 
arm and the only man among them who could operate the 
ship, and the other his ideologian and persuasive recruiter 
for The Cause. Galvao gave great weight to their views in 
trying to decide whether to dash for Angola and let young 
de Souza die, or send him to a hospital ashore and sur- 


render the element of surprise. He had to consider also 
the desires of the twenty-one others who had joined him in 
"Operation Dulcinea." They had come far and sacrificed 
much to be with him. They were: 

Victor Jose Velo Perez, seventeen years old, the son of 
the Spaniard, Velo. He lived with his parents in Caracas, 
where he attended school. A fierce patriot, he was imbued 
with his father's hatred for Franco and Salazar. He had 
begged to be taken along on the seizure of the Santa 
Maria. A cold youngster, it was he who fired the first of 
the shots which mortally wounded Third Pilot Joao do 
Nacimento Costa. 

Jose de Cunha Ramos, nineteen and the youngest of 
the Portuguese. He worked as a carpenter in Caracas, 
where his family had moved from his home town of 
Porto in Portugal. He teamed with young Velo and 
throughout the trip the two were inseparable. 

Francisco Rico Leal, forty-four, Spanish, married and 
the father of two children. The Venezuelans to whom he 
sold furniture as a salesman at a store in Caracas would 
have been shocked at his background. He boasted aboard 
the Santa Maria of having killed many "right wing Span- 
iards" during the Civil War, and to Franco's Guardia 
Civil he was known as "the King of the Assassins/' Rico 
was a member of the Anarchist Party in Spain before and 
during the Civil War. He is reputed to have led an as- 
sault against a Guardia Civil barracks in Alicante, where 
he was born, and taken six of the guards prisoner. As the 
guards were being led away, the story goes, Rico and his 
men opened fire, killing four and wounding two. In 1937, 
he was arrested for robbery. He shot one policeman, 
wounded another and fled. He turned up fighting in an An- 
archist Division and, after the war, left Spain with a price 


on his head. He eventually arrived in Caracas, where he 
married a Venezuelan, and settled down to a new life. 
But to him, the Spanish Civil War was not yet over. 

Fermin Suarez Fernandez, forty-six, Spanish, married. 
A native of Gijon, Asturias, he was a mechanic in Vene- 
zuela, where he had become a citizen. For him, too, the 
Civil War was still alive. He had made a number of trips 
back to Spain. During the months prior to his going aboard 
the Santa Maria, he had helped plant bombs in San 
Sebastian and in the Atocha Railroad Station in Madrid. 

Joaquim Manuel da Silva Paiva, thirty-five, Portuguese, 
married. A civil engineer, he was a native of Lisbon. It was 
Paiva who fired the submachine gun bullets which cut 
down the young navigator, Joao de Souza. Toward the 
end of the rebel cruise aboard the Santa Maria, Galvao 
must have become disenchanted with him. A note ap- 
parently in Galvao's hndwriting, found in the cabin which 
he had just left, remarked on Paiva as follows: "Absolutely 
without morals. Marked deceitful personality, great vivac- 
ity, no culture, and perverse intelligence. Disloyal. Dan- 
gerous by reason of ability to attract persons. Vanity and 
cynicism. Great ease and ability in difficult situations. 
Doesn't merit the confidence of anyone. Concerning his 
personal bravery I have doubts; he is too great a braggart 
to merit confidence in this respect. I judge him susceptible 
of committing acts of cowardliness. Patriotism, ideals and 
ideas: zero. Venal. Surrounded by moral incapacity. All 
of companions, or the majority of them, judge him capable 
of treason." 

Rafael Ojeda Henriquez, thirty-one, Venezuelan, single. 
A civil engineer in Caracas, the city of his birth. A calm, 
pleasant man, to whom the passengers turned naturally. 
He was gentle, dignified, well-mannered. He was a close 


friend of Velo. Galvao liked him, too, and appointed him 
a lieutenant. 

Manuel Perez Rodriguez, twenty-eight, Spanish, a bach- 
elor. He had come from Porrino, Pontavedra, where he 
was born, to Caracas in search of work. He found it, as an 
automobile mechanic. 

Camilo Tavares Mortagua, twenty-seven, Portuguese, 
married. He was a native of Oliveira de Azemeis-Ul. In 
Caracas, he was a radio announcer. 

Luiz Manoel Mota de Oliveira, thirty-three, Portuguese, 
a bachelor. A native of Espinho-Anta, he had lived in 
Barcelona, Spain, before going to Caracas, where he 
worked as a carpenter. 

Graciano Maquis Esparrinha, twenty-four, Portuguese, 
married. He went to Caracas from his native Oliveira de 

Emanuel Jorge Pestana de Barros, twenty-three, Portu- 
guese, single. He made his home in Caracas but he was 
born in Funchal-S. Pedro. 

Filipe Viegas Aleixo, forty-six, Portuguese, married. He 
was born in Almancil. He worked in Caracas as a chauf- 

Basilio Losada Losada, twenty-nine, Spanish, single. 
Born in Lugo-Escairan, he was a furniture-finisher in 

Alfredo Illanez Ferro, thirty-one, Spanish, a bachelor. 
He was a mechanic in Caracas. 

Jose Frias de Oliveira, thirty-seven, Portuguese, mar- 
ried. He was a native of Albergaria-a-Velha. In Caracas, 
he worked as a salesman. 

Julio Ferreira de Andrade, thirty-four, Portuguese, mar- 
ried. Born in Anadia-Arcos, he lived in Barcelona before 
going to Caracas. By trade he was a locksmith. 


Jose Perez Martinez, forty-seven, Venezuelan, married. 
A civil engineer, lie made his home in Caracas. 

Manuel Mazo Bravo, thirty, Spanish, single. He was an 
electrician in Caracas. 

Luis (Federico) Fernandez Ackerman, twenty-one, 
Spanish, a bachelor. His father, Jose Fernandez Vasquez, 
was a Spanish diplomat assigned to the Spanish Embassy 
in Paris. As a boy, he shocked his parents and friends with 
his extremist views. He talked often about joining a ter- 
rorist group to assassinate Franco. In Caracas, he worked 
in an office. 

Augustin Romara Rojo, forty, Spanish, married. An 
anesthetist, he had left Madrid some time earlier and gone 
secretly to Moscow. He turned up in Caracas two or three 
months before "Operation Dulcinea" was launched. 

Antonio de Almeida Frutuoso, twenty-six, Portuguese, 
a bachelor. A native of Espinho-Anta, he had lived in 
Barcelona, Spain, before going to Caracas, where he 
worked as a carpenter. 

These were the twenty-four meneleven Portuguese, 
eleven Spaniards, two Venezuelans who took the Santa 
Maria with two submachine guns, four rifles, eight pistols 
and four hand grenades. None was an avowed, card-car- 
rying Communist, although there were some incriminating 
associations. And they all, in one way or another, were 
disciples of that doughty old guerrilla expert, "General" 
Alberto Bayo Girod. 

Nobody seems sure about how Bayo came by his title. 
Some say the Spanish Republican Army gave it to him. 
Others say he gave it to himself. But there is no doubt 
that he knows a lot about guerrilla fighting. In fact, he 
wrote a pamphlet about it, drawn from experiences in 


Spain, and this little booHet had great effect on the 
Caribbean area. 

Alberto Bayo was born in Cuba, in Camaguey Province, 
on March 27, 1892. He first went to Spain as a youth, to 
enroll in the Infantry Academy at Toledo. He saw his first 
combat in the 1916-1917 Moroccan Campaign and, smit- 
ten by the new aerial warfare, returned to Spain to enter 
the Four Winds Academy. He was almost thrown out 
in 1922, after he beat to death a Spanish nobleman, Don 
Joaquim Gonzalez Gullarza, in a fist fight. But the acad- 
emy relented and he was graduated with the title of 
"Pilot in Military Skills" 

When the Civil War came, Bayo fought on the Repub- 
lican side. He led the Republican attack on Majorca which 
failed miserably. For a time he served as aide-de-camp 
to the Republican minister of war, with the rank of colonel. 
He spent the last days of the war in England, trying to 
buy airplanes, and in Paris, recuperating from injuries. 
At war's end in 1939 he went back to his native Cuba 
and started calling himself "General" Bayo. He studied 
and taught mathematics in Havana until 1942, when he 
shifted to Mexico City to teach aerodynamics and aerial 
navigation at the Mexican Army's Aviation School. 

It was in 1957 that Bayo, his military life put aside and 
his attention turned to running a Mexico City book store, 
was first approached by Castro with an appeal to help 
him learn guerrilla warfare. 

Bayo had written a pamphlet, 150 Questions for a 
Guerrilla, drawn from experiences in Spain. It caught 
the eye of Fidel Castro, who also was in Mexico City then. 
Bayo agreed to set up a school of instruction, with Fidel 
and Raul Castro, "Che" Guevara and Camillo Cienfueges 
as his first students. They quietly organized a guerrilla 


training camp at La Rosa Ranch in Charco, a few miles 
from Mexico City. A number of Cuban exiles went through 
this school, but Bayo always afterward referred to the 
Castros, Guevara and Cienfueges as his "star pupils." 

When they had triumphed over the Batista regime in 
Cuba, Fidel Castro brought old Bayo to Havana as his 
chief of guerrilla tactics. 

Soon, age began to catch up with Bayo. To some, he 
had become a tiresome old man, quick to reminisce and 
quicker to embroider each tale with the retelling. But he 
kept his hand in. He wrote two more pamphlets, Tempest 
in the Caribbean and My Part in the Cuban Revolution,, 
and he popped up all over the area, holding secret meet- 
ings with Latin dissidents from the Old and the New 
World. He organized the Union de Combatientes Espa- 
noles, which sought to bring all anti-Franco exiles under 
central authority, and he was on hand in Caracas in Oc- 
tober, 1959, when he and other Spanish and Portuguese, 
including Galvao and Delgado, joined forces in the crea- 
tion of the Diretorio Revolucionario Iberico de Libertacao. 

Bayo's connection to Castro suggests that the Cuban 
leader had an interest in the Santa Maria. Trie was prob- 
ably kept informed as the plotting progressed. 

One strange event might indicate as much, and more. 
Two Cuban revolutionary leaders, Major Elroy Gutierrez 
Menoyo and Major Armando Fleitas, were picked up in a 
small boat with about fifteen other Cubans off Key West, 
Florida, late in January, 1961. They were thought to be 
defectors and were taken to the United States Immigra- 
tion and Naturalization Service camp in Texas. There they 
told a weird tale. They claimed they had set out from 
Cuba and were hanging around waiting for the Santa 
Maria, in order to board her as rebel reinforcements. 


Whether or not a rendezvous had been planned, and 
missed by design or poor coordination, they were far 
from the Santa Maria's redirected course. 

The Santa Maria-Liberdade was steaming at more than 
twenty knots away from Miami's $35>a-day hotels and 
toward Angola, where most men count themselves incred- 
ibly lucky to hold that much money in their hands once 
in a lifetime. 

As Galvao balanced de Souza's life against his venture's 
precious secrecy, black men and brown men and even 
white men in Angola schemed for freedom and waited for 
some signal to rise up against nearly five centuries of re- 

Just outside Angola's boundaries, the revolutionaries 
watched and waited. Uniao das Populacoes de Angola, 
a moderate organization, made its headquarters in Leo- 
poldville in the Congo. FRAIN, a radical group dominated 
by Communists, was set up in Conakry, the capital of 
Guinea. They aimed their propaganda broadcasts at the 
Angolans and sent their agents into northern Angola. 
They waited for some signal, some word or deed that 
would touch off the bloodletting. 

Aboard the Santa Maria., Galvao reached his decision. 
The life of the young navigator had to be saved. 

Dawn was breaking and a light rain was falling when 
the Santa Maria raised St. Lucia on Monday, January 23. 
She steamed to within two miles of the docks at Castries. 
Lifeboat No. 3, the second one on the starboard side, was 
reeled into the placid water. In it were an engineer, a 
coxswain, two deckhands, a crewman suffering with yellow 
jaundice, the wounded de Souza and the hospital at- 
tendant, Carlos de Carvalho. 

As the big launch sputtered to life and headed for 


shore, Carlos turned from his patient and looked up at 
the ship. Captain Galvao and Captain Maia stood on the 
outcropping of the flying bridge. Around them were a 
number of armed rebels. Lining the rails from bow to 
stern were what seemed to be every last one of the ship's 
passengers. The men looked grim, and some of the 
women and children were softly crying. They were silent, 
all eyes on the launch. 

But not all of the passengers were topside that misty 
morning. Arthur Douglas Patton and his wife Myrtle had 
been on deck earlier, about half past six. They saw a 
coastline but could not tell what it was. A radio was play- 
ing and the announcer was speaking French, so they fig- 
ured they were near Martinique, and the land they saw 
was either Martinique or St. Lucia. A large aircraft flew 

"Look!" Patton cried. "It dipped its wings! Maybe it 
recognized us!" 

The Santa Maria made a sharp turn, almost a hairpin, 
and seemed to be heading back in the direction from 
which it had come. The Pattons returned to their cabin, 
as mystified as ever, torn between the hope inspired by 
the aircraft and the depressing signs of the land receding 
in the distance. 

In their cabin later the Pattons were startled at the 
sound of an engine. They went to the porthole and looked 
out. They saw the lifeboat pulling away from the idling 
ship. They went back on deck, where fellow captives 
swapped dozens of versions of what was going on. 

In her cabin, Mrs. Chubb was just starting to stir. She 
had been up until nearly four o'clock in the morning, writ- 
ing in her journal. She still could not believe she was 
actually living through the strange adventure that seemed 


so much like a dream. But she was beginning to get a 
little worried. She wrote: 

January 23, 19613 A.M. It just simply isn't true 
and can't be true. In my wildest dreams of something 
dreadful or something wonderful that could happen 
to me, this I never dreamed of to be held a prisoner 
of pirates (actually revolutionaries) in mid- Atlantic 
on a large ocean liner in this day and age. 

Tomorrow I shall awake. But here I am and it be- 
gins to look serious. Small things I do not write about 
huddled groups; grim stolid faces; gay fretfulness; 
watchfulness. The crew remains kind, helpful but un- 
communicative and we do not try to break that down, 
thinking of their interests. The menu slashed by % 
leaves plenty of food; the new promptness demanded 
is not difficult. The flag flown from our ship is gone. 
It may be to make it less recognizable. 

Rumor says we go to Belem or Cape Verde Islands. 
We shall, because we have no choice, wait and see. A 
Portuguese man let me listen to Voice of America. 
We were not mentioned. . . . 

The sea is beautiful and calm and wholly un- 
troubled. Most of us are showing, we think, proper 
poise and control, a few fussers 

On the flying bridge, Galvao's face was a serene mask 
of resignation. He felt the wind quicken as the Santa 
Maria picked up speed and his hopes for a secret dash 
to Angola went bobbing away behind him with the seven 
men in the lifeboat. 

The alarm, he knew, would be spread around the world. 



The Santa Maria broke free of St. Lucia and the other 
Windward Islands, strung like a gate across the eastern 
end of the Caribbean. As she knifed east-southeast through 
the lower North Atlantic, still bound for Angola on the 
African west coast, Galvao took stock of the situation. 

There was enough food and water to last almost a 
month, if properly conserved. He already had ordered ra- 
tioning. Food was being served on a no-menu, take-it-or- 
leave-it basis, and water for bathing and laundry was 
available only three times a day, in the morning, midday 
and evening, and for two hours each time. His fuel, about 
1,600 tons of oil and normally good for about five thousand 
miles, was burning up at an alarming rate as Sotomayor 
pressed ahead at more than twenty knots. But how beau- 
tifully she sailed! It was only the beginning of his second 
day in command of this 610 feet of Portugal, but already 
he loved her. 

It was crucial that the world understand why he had 
seized the Santa Maria. Soon the chase would begin. If 
the world adjudged them pirates, they would be shown 
no mercy and The Cause would be lost. As insurrectionists, 
they would at least be heard and The Cause would 


flourish, no matter what happened to them as individuals. 
This was what he and Professor Velo and the others who 
spoke to the passengers and crew were trying to get 
across. This was the message he hoped would rally the 
passengers and crew to his side, or at least deter them 
from active opposition, for he wanted no more bloodshed 
aboard this ship, his ship. 

Galvao was worried about the progress of the indoc- 
trination. The first thing he did after seizing the Santa 
Maria was to make the rounds of the crew's quarters 
and talk to the seamen. 

As he looked at their strong bodies and smooth-browed 
Portuguese faces, a note of entreaty came into his voice. 
He was a leader with very few followers, and he could 
be forgiven if he felt an urgency about recruiting more 
men for his assault on Salazar. The series of meetings with 
the crewmen started about seven o'clock that first Sunday 
morning. Galvao followed up with an address to the pas- 
sengers over the ship's loudspeaker. 

The impassioned speeches won over few new recruits. 
But they had one noticeable effect on the passengers and 
crew. They seemed to ease the shock. The crew was still 
melancholy but deferential and cooperative. The passen- 
gers were no longer in a near-panic. Some, in fact, were 
beginning to smile faint greetings at the pistoleros, and 
one or two had even struck up conversations. Galvao 
wondered how he could improve relations. 

There were a lot of passengers to be concerned about, 
for only twenty-four men and fourteen guns. Neverthe- 
less, the ship was far from crowded, especially in First 
Class and Cabin Class, and Galvao gave orders for his 
men to move into the empty rooms. They chose the First 
Class Cabins, for human as well as tactical reasons. They 


were the most comfortable and spacious. Besides, being 
high and forward, they were closer to the boat deck and 
the bridge, from which the small band of armed men con- 
troEed the whole vessel. Altogether, there were 612 pas- 
sengers 239 Spaniards, 189 Portuguese, 87 Venezuelans, 
44 Dutch, 42 Americans, 7 Cubans, 2 Brazilians, i Italian 
and i Panamanian. 

The 44 Dutch and the 42 Americans comprised the 
bulk of the 165 First Class and Cabin Class passengers. 
The 447 others were in the crammed Tourist Class quarters 
on the lower three decks aft. These were the least desirable 
areas of the ship and, with the air conditioning out, they 
were pestholes of muggy heat and trapped stale air. But 
the Spaniards, Portuguese and other Latins in Third Class 
did not complain at first. Of peasant stock, weighed down 
for generations by poverty and lack of status, they were 
used to adversity. With typical stoicism, they were ready to 
sweat patiently while the masters of their fate played out 
the string. Soon, they hoped and prayed, it would be all 
over. They would be back home, after working in the 
dollar-rich New World, and they could resume the old 
way or, with the savings they had accumulated, live a 
notch above the old way. Such was the mental attitude at 
first of the people "in steerage.'* 

The Americans saw immediately that few, if any, of 
their prerogatives were likely to suffer. Galvao had in- 
dicated as much at the outset. The steel barriers in the 
passageways, separating First, Cabin and Tourist Classes, 
were kept locked. And Galvao even left the first two 
classes their deck chairs, for which they had paid two dol- 
lars rental at the start of the trip. The Americans were 
confident that their government would not let them down. 
The world's most powerful navy would soon be on their 


trail and somehow they would be rescued. As the Ameri- 
cans talked, in little groups which then passed the word 
around, they decided that it was all really out of their 
hands and there was nothing much they could do except 
to maintain a dignified calm until others dissuaded Galvao 
from his mad scheme and they could be put safely ashore. 

Thanks to her many years as a social worker, Mrs. 
Chubb had a towering interest in people. Unlike some 
of the passengers, she looked kindly upon "the pirates." 
She felt no animosity toward them, although she could 
not condone their violence. She had spent some time 
in Portugal and she knew what its police-state repression 
was like. The rebels' goal was certainly laudable. 

Relaxing in her deck chair in the open air that first 
Sunday night, Mrs. Chubb had discussed things with 
those in nearby chairs. She was as confused as anyone else 
about what would happen next. But she was sure of one 
thing. She knew it would be many days before they would 
be allowed to leave the ship. 

Mrs. Chubb went to her cabin and, with a touch 
of sadness, broke the cellophane off a set of bridge 
cards. They would come in handy, to while away the 
long hours ahead. She was sad because they were particu- 
larly beautiful cards, and she had bought them as souve- 
nirs for her grandchildren. There were full-color pictures 
on the backs depicting Portuguese and Spanish explorers 
and settlers in North and South America. 

When Henry Bates saw them, he was inspired. Mrs. 
Chubb's gesture seemed ceremonial, like cutting the rib- 
bon on a new bridge or highway. It marked the beginning 
of a great adventure in their lives. He could do no less 
than respond as generously. He went below and came 
back with one of his precious bottles of Cointreau. Laugh- 


ing, they all had an after-dinner drink Mrs. Chubb, Bates 
and his wife, and Mrs. Caroline Boyce and played the 
first of what were to be many hands of bridge with Mrs. 
Chubb's donated cards. 

John W. Dawson, born in the bush country of Australia 
sixty years before but living in the United States since 
192,3, was of another mind on how to meet the situation. 
Dawson and his sixty-two-year-old wife Hedwig had 
run a bookstore in Palo Alto, California, and they made 
money. But thirteen years before they boarded the Santa 
Maria at Lisbon, they sold the bookstore and began to 
travel the world. 

Dawson was a prolific reader, and as he often said, "I 
don't read junk." His tastes ran to meaty, non-fiction works 
from which he could glean useful information and atti- 
tudes which were grist for his philosophy, which was 
rugged individualism-conservatism. He directed his read- 
ing toward his travels, so that as he trotted the globe his 
knowledge of it increased through books as well as per- 
sonal observation. Gerald Brenan, an authority on Spain 
and Portugal, was a favorite while the Dawsons were con- 
templating the Iberian Peninsula. They studied his Face 
of Spain. They also brought along Aldous Huxley's Col- 
lected Essays and E. M. Forster's Passage to India and 
what could be more appropriate? Max Nomad's Aspects 
of Revolt. 

Dawson thought Salazar's economic plan was sound, 
all things considered. And his favorable inclination toward 
Salazar, although not generally shared among his fellow 
passengers in Cabin Class, was reinforced by his detesta- 
tion for the Galvao rebels. He had no use for men who, 
in flagrant immorality, as he saw it, seized a ship at sea 
and shot down members of the crew. 

(Left) Captain Mario Simoes Maia, skipper of the Santa Maria, who gave 
over his ship to Captain Henrique Galvao under force of arms to protect 
passengers and crew. (Right) Captain Henrique Galvao, rebel-poBtician- 
playwright extraordinary, who seized the Santa Maria at gunpoint on 
January 22, 1961, as Phase One of his anti-Salazar campaign, Operation 

(Below) The luxury liner Santa Maria, pride of Portugal, is renamed Santa 
Liberdade by rebel Captain Galvao, in honor of his mission. 


The rebel-held Santa Maria, once 
found, receives a U.S. Navy patrol 
plane escort as it heads toward the 
Brazilian coast. It was this escort 
that gave hope to the passengers 
that they would be rescued. 

At a rendezvous point some fifty-five 
miles from Recife, Admiral Allen 
Smith enters launch from the U.S. S. 
Gearing on January 31 to discuss 
safe removal of the passengers. 

fr^, ' i? ". - , j.,^ .*-. ;,*j 
T. - *-; 


, * ' * " * ,,^*** 4, j., .., _ ^^ 

The U.S.S. Gearing stands by as the admiral boards the Santa Maria to 
consult with Captain Galvao. 

Admiral Smith and Lieutenant Commander Reaney try to reassure the 
passengers of the Santa Maria. 

An emotional moment: co-conspirators Captain Henrique Galvao and 
General Humberto Delgado embrace as the general boards the Santa 
Maria-Liberdade at Recife. 

A proud moment. General Delgado, who opposed the Salazar regime in 
the 1958 election, considered by the rebels the true leader of Portugal, 
receives a salute from his followers. 

(Top right) A pensive moment; as 
General Delgado ponders, perhaps, 
how Operation Dulcinea will end, 
how it will affect the Salazar regime. 

(Below right) French photographer- 
parachutist Charles Bonnay makes 
his first attempt to drop in on the 
Santa Maria and misses. Picked up 
by the U.S.S. Gearing, he kept try- 
ing and eventually boarded the ship 
before passengers left one of the 
few newsmen to succeed. 

(Below left) Life photographer Joe 
Sojerschet hangs from a ladder while 
trying to board the Santa Maria in 
Recife harbor on February 1. Not 
so lucky as Charles Bonnay, he was 
ominously warned off by a rebel 
guard, had to retreat to a waiting 
fishing boat. 


Iff The twelve-day ordeal is over. Wait- 
_*^ ing hands reach out to lift a baby 
rt r om the landing stage to the tug 
that will carry him to shore. 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bates of Wash- 
ington, D.C., wait with their lug- 
gage on the Recife dock for arrange- 
ments that will get them home. 


(Top right) Delbert Carl Smith of 
Johnstown, Pa., looks thankful and 
weary as he holds his daughter Deb- 
orah in his arms after leaving the 
Santa Maria at last. 

(Below) Mrs. Floyd Preston and her 
sons Harold and Stephen peer joy- 
fully through the portholes as they 
await disembarkation. 



Brazilian Admiral Dias Fernandas 
reads a document putting the Santa 
Maria in the hands of Brazil on 
February 3. Captain Galvao stands 
at attention during the dramatic 
shipboard ceremony. In the docu- 
ment, Galvao was promised political 
asylum for himself and his rebels. 

Captain Galvao signs the document 
handing over the Santa Maria. Later, 
he was incensed because Brazil re- 
turned the liner to Portuguese gov- 
ernment-controlled Companhia 
Colonial de Navegacao. The adven- 
ture is over; the Santa Maria is no 
longer his. 


He knew a lot about books and he had a mind that was 
quick to grasp and sift details and then form opinions, 
firmly. Why not, he thought, write a book himself about 
the Santa Maria incident? He kept on the lookout, observ- 
ing and recording, and he asserted himself as one of the 
leaders among the forty-two American passengers. He was 
thus able to talk personally to Galvao on two occasions, 
and each time he did not bite his tongue. 

Dawson, in his blunt way, was contemptuous of the 
bridge players and other dawdlers among his fellow pas- 
sengers. He occasionally stomped around in fits of anger 
at Galvao, the American passengers, the rambunctious 
children, President John F. Kennedy and the United 
States Navy. On such occasions, a mild cuss word would 
slip out. He would "damn" the Santa Maria and the con- 
fusion, and sometimes he would say, "Nobody knows what 
the hell's going on in this damn boat. They all stay in 
their cabins and play cards. I'm going down to Third 
Class. That's where the fighting's going to be, and that's 
where I'm going to be when it starts." 

Mrs. Caroline Boyce, widowed mother of four, grand- 
mother of ten, knew something about the Portuguese, too. 
When she boarded the Santa Maria at Lisbon on January 
9, 1961, she had just spent three months in Madeira and 
five weeks in Portugal. 

It was her first visit to Portugal and her principal reac- 
tion was, "The Portuguese are desperately poor people." 
She wondered about a regime which permitted its people 
to live in near-starvation. She was impressed, therefore, 
with the perorations of Galvao and his rebel chieftains 
aboard the Santa Maria. And, like Mrs. Chubb, she felt 
tolerant toward them, not at all harshly, like Dawson. 

The forty-four Dutch passengers, mainly vacationing 


tourists, lacked the security o any of the others. Galvao 
ignored their existence, not bothering to have anything 
translated for them. Portuguese, Spanish and English 
were the languages aboard the runaway ship. The Dutch 
spent much of their time running around trying to piece 
together what was being said and done from among 
those in their number who understood any of the three 
languages. Those Dutch who lived in Curacao, and had 
boarded there for the trip to Europe, were generally fluent 
in English. 

Paul Venetian of Noordwejk, the Netherlands, was not 
one of the confused Dutch. With three others, he plotted 
a sudden counterattack which he hoped would overthrow 
the rebels. Huddling at the rail, leaning against a bulk- 
head with studied nonchalance, innocently promenading 
the deck, they plotted furiously as the second day of 
captivity waned, trying to reach a decision on when and 
how to act. This was despite the fact that their inability 
to speak either Spanish or Portuguese made it hard for 
them to keep up with much of what was going on. 

For another Netherlander, William van der Meer, the 
situation was no trouble at all. He was seized in a different 
kind of captivity. Laura Mendes, a lovely brunette pas- 
senger from Spain, had captured his heart and he had no 
thoughts left for piracy or politics. He was in love with her, 
and she with him, and they vowed to be married as soon 
as they got off the ship. 

Mrs. Delbert Smith had a special problem. First of all, 
she was terrified of Galvao, his men and their guns. She 
was afraid for herself, her husband and their seven-year- 
old Deborah. They had decided to go for their usual 
morning swim that first day. But when she saw men lurk- 
ing around the pool with guns, she called it off. Worst of 


all, Debbie seemed to have come down with something. 
She was feverish and bleary-eyed, listless and cross. For- 
tunately., the Smiths' call for a doctor was promptly 
heeded. The diagnosis was unhesitating: measles. That 
meant confinement to the cabin for all three. Jane re- 
sented it at first as a piece of tough luck. But gradually 
she came to look on it as a blessing in disguise. It kept 
ber away from the gunmen and it gave her a chance to 
prepare Debbie for the extraordinary situation in which 
:hey were all caught. She swabbed Debbie's wispy blond 
hair off her feverish forehead and helped her count the 
measles as they popped out all over. 

About noon on Monday, the second day of captivity, 
Mrs. Chubb went to her cabin to tidy up for lunch. She 
tvas surprised to find in her bureau drawer a handsome 
md obviously expensive radio set. She heard her cabin 
loor open and she turned quickly. There was a ship's 
naid, one she had not seen before. The woman's eyes 
vere as big and round as only frightened Portuguese eyes 
^an get, and she held an index finger to her pursed lips in 
i gesture of silence. Without a word, the maid gently em- 
braced Mrs. Chubb, motioned to her to cover the radio 
vith a scarf and to close the bureau drawer. Mrs. Chubb, 
ler heart thumping, followed directions and went to lunch. 

On the dining room stairs, a ship's officer took both of 
ier hands in his and whispered, "God bless you." At her 
:able, the waiter came up solemnly, shook her hand and 
;aid, "Thank you." Mrs. Chubb, baffled by it all, hurried 
hrough lunch and hastened back to her cabin. She was 
n the dark but she was game. It was like something out of 
i good British spy thriller and at seventy (really seventy- 
me in a few days ) one does not deal lightly with adven- 
ures. Throwing herself into the spirit of whatever the 


conspiracy was all about, Mrs. Chubb unzipped the big 
suitcase she kept flat on the deck, put the radio inside, 
covered it with clothing, zipped the suitcase shut and laid 
on top of it a folded kimono and a batch of unanswered 
letters. She rang for the maid and, with sign language, 
showed her the new hiding place. She resolved to keep 
feeling for it once or twice a day, to make sure it was still 
there and not ferreted out by rebel searchers. 

Mrs. Floyd Preston's big problem was laundry. After 
mothering four lively boys and living two years in Caracas, 
where riots and even assassinations are not uncommon, 
she had built up a certain equanimity. She and her hus- 
band were taking the violence in stride. But laundry was 
not so easily ignored. The maid assigned to her in First 
Class Cabin No. 15, Maria Sousa, had carted off a huge 
load of laundry on Saturday, just after the departure from 
Curacao. Mrs. Preston had not had time to do it in the 
hubbub of packing all her belongings, selling or giving 
away unwanted furniture, saying farewells to friends and 
herding her brood to the docks at La Guaira. She had 
looked forward to having all the clothes and diapers 
nicely done up by the ship's laundry in time for disem- 
barkation at Port Everglades on Tuesday. But Maria had 
brought them back on Saturday and, with tears in her 
eyes, explained that the laundry was closed because of 
water rationing. 

"However, I have washed the clothes with my hands," 
Maria said. "I am sorry, but all of them are not yet dry." 

June Preston expressed her great thanks and, with 
Maria's help, festooned the bathroom with the limp, wet 
diapers, shirts, shorts, socks, underwear, blouses, skirts 
and dresses. And that was the way it would be for the rest 
of the trip for her. She managed a pretty good schedule r 


although taking advantage of the midday water meant 
skipping lunch now and again. She figured out an ex- 
tremely effective, if unorthodox, method of rinsing. She 
used the bidet. Its fountain of fresh water was more prac- 
tical than sloshing the clothes in the wash basin or tub. 

June and the two younger boys with her in Cabin No. 
15, Donald and Steven, awakened early on Monday, Janu- 
ary 23, and popped their heads out of the portholes. In 
Cabin No. 17, next door but not connecting, Floyd Preston 
and the two older boys, Carl Bruce, and Harold, were also 
awake. The ship had stopped and either that or the heat, 
intense when the ship was not moving, even with the 
electric fans, had disturbed their sleep. Outside they saw 
the lifeboat being lowered with the wounded navigator 
and the others in it. Floyd and the big boys went on deck 
to see what it was all about. They soon came back with 
word that Galvao was sending some sick men to a hospital 

All that day, the Prestons tried like the other passen- 
gers to find out what would happen to them. There was a 
great guessing game among the passengers as to where 
the Santa Maria was headed. Some said northeast, others 
said southeast, but all agreed it was east and toward the 
open mid-Atlantic. They listened to portable radios but as 
night fell they still had heard no mention of themselves 
on the news. 

The older Preston boys amused themselves by playing 
chess with some of the Spanish children in Cabin Class. 
They climbed over the steel barriers in a passageway to 
go there. The younger Prestons pulled wooden toys around 
on strings or went for endless rides on the slide in the 
First Class playroom. Floyd turned in early that night, 
but June went on deck. She intended to go to the movie 


but instead fell into giiessing-game conversations with her 
fellow passengers, especially Howard R. Weisberger of 
Las Vegas, Nevada, who had a battery-operated radio and 
a good chart of the Atlantic sea lanes. The evening ended 
on a grisly note for June. She had to sit politely through a 
long dissertation by the Portuguese Immigration Service 
doctor as he explained how he had embalmed the body of 
the slain officer and put it in one of the ship's large storage 

On the bridge, Galvao was mystified. He had put the 
lifeboat ashore at St. Lucia about eight o'clock in the 
morning. Yet, by midnight, he had not received a single 
message. Surely, the arrival of the men from the Santa 
Maria would sound the alarm. Where were the messages? 
Was his secret, by some miracle, still preserved? 

Not quite. The men in the lifeboat had indeed gone 
ashore at Castries shouting about pirates and murder on 
the high seas. The startled fishermen and workers on the 
quays in the sleepy, tropical port had thought them mad- 
men at first. But gradually, the truth dawned. Word was 
rushed to the authorities. 

Commodore Clinton Shand of the British Royal Navy, 
the Senior Naval Officer in the West Indies, was contem- 
plating the start of another routine week when the in- 
credible news reached him. Pirates? In the twentieth 
century? Certainly, one knew about Bartholomew Rob- 
erts, Sir Henry Morgan, Captain Kidd and John "Long 
Ben" Avery, and even of the lady pirates Anne Bonney 
and Mary Read. They had roamed these waters, murder- 
ing and pillaging until they came to the end that all pi- 
rates come to well, almost all. But that was long ago. 
Piracy had not been a real menace to shipping in Ameri- 
can waters since the public hanging of Captain Gibert and 


four others from the pirate ship Panda at Salem, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1835. But all this notwithstanding, Commo- 
dore Shand reacted without hesitation. He ordered the 
British frigate H.M.S. Rothesay to get underway immedi- 
ately. With one of the men from the lifeboat along as a 
guide, he set out in the Rothesay in hot pursuit of the 
Santa Maria. 

But the authorities had delayed too long, The British 
commodore, for all his determination, was badly outdis- 
tanced. The Santa Maria had a start of more than two 
hours and a half on the Rothesay and was clipping along 
at more than twenty knots on an unknown course. Be- 
sides, the Rothesay was low on fuel. Commodore Shand 
searched out as far as he dared and then sailed, frustrated 
and still a little stunned, back to St. Lucia. 

The mills of bureaucracy ( even a military bureaucracy) , 
grind slowly. Commodore Shand messaged promptly to 
Barbados Radio and his message was relayed without 
delay. But it was not until two o'clock in the afternoon 
that Rear Admiral Allen E. Smith, Jr., United States Navy, 
Commander of the Caribbean Sea Frontier, heard about 
the hijacked liner at his headquarters at San Juan, Puerto 
Rico. The admiral ordered an immediate air search. By 
half-past four that hot Monday afternoon, January 23, 
the first PaV Neptune reconnaissance plane had taken 
off from San Juan in quest of the needle in the haystack. 
An hour later, the second one was in the air. Soon, a 
third was sent up. 

The chase was on. 



Commodore Shand's "TTT'-code for "Urgent" had 
skipped out via Barbados Radio to London, Washington 
and Lisbon. Understandably, Lisbon was the first to react. 

In Lisbon, American Ambassador C. Burke Elbrick re- 
ceived an urgent summons late Monday, January 23, to 
the Foreign Ministry. There, excited officials told him 
of what had happened. Pirates had boarded the Portu- 
guese liner Santa Maria and the United States, as an ally 
in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, should do 
something about it, Elbrick, completely in the dark but 
an experienced foreign service officer, expertly covered 
up. Talking with great self-assurance but saying nothing 
which might commit him or his country, he beat a grace- 
ful retreat and made straight for the telephone. 

"The Portuguese Government has just handed me a 
formal request for American assistance in rescuing one of 
their ships from pirates," Elbrick reported to the State 
Department. "What in the world is this all about?" 

Hastily, State Department specialists in Portuguese af- 
fairs filled him in. It was true, they said. The United 
States Navy had a report from the British frigate H.M.S. 


Rothesay that pirates had boarded the Santa Maria. The 
Rothesay had tried pursuit but gave it up for lack of fuel 
and clear knowledge of where the ship had gone. Another 
British frigate in the area, H.M.S. Ulster, was joining the 
hunt. Dutch aircraft were up also and Spain had promised 
some warships. The American Navy had aircraft aloft 
and had assigned two nearby destroyers, U.S.S. Damato 
and U.S.S. Wilson, to scout the scene. Clear orders were 
being dispatched to the Caribbean Sea Frontier by Robert 
L. Dennison, Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, 
from his headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia. It looked like 
piracy, believe it or not, and Elbrick was to notify the 
Portuguese of the United States' intentions to cooperate 

At twenty-three minutes past eleven on the evening 
of January 23, Admiral Dennison, acting on the informa- 
tion available to him, radioed Rear Admiral Smith at 
San Juan, Puerto Rico, to follow this procedure: 

1. Identify and determine destination. 

2. Intercept and search if required to ascertain if 
reported piracy is true. 

3. If act of piracy occurred bring ship into nearest 
U.S. port (presumably San Juan). Follow applicable 
provisions of international law in accomplishing 
above. Use force as necessary, bearing in mind safety 
of passengers and crew. 

These were clear orders, the kind all military men love 
to receive but seldom do. 

Far to the north, on snowbound and windswept Cape 
Cod, Francis Doane reported as usual for his midnight-to- 
eight "lobster shift" at the Radio Corporation of America 
wireless station at Chatham, Massachusetts. It promised 
to be a fairly busy night for Doane and the other operator 


on duty. Chatham Radio, with its fifty kilowatts on a 
frequency of five hundred kilocycles, was one of the 
world's most powerful. Since its inauguration in 1914., it 
had been one of the busiest marine stations on the Atlantic 
coast, handling messages from North America to ships at 
sea all over the world. 

Doane had four routine messages for the Santa Maria, 
and he was having trouble raising her. Over and over he 
tapped out the Morse code contact signal on five hundred 

"CSAL DE WCC," the coded message clicked out. 
"Calling the Santa Maria from Chatham Radio." 

At eighteen minutes past midnight, the Santa Maria 
sputtered a response. It came in the nonchalant "hand" of 
an experienced Morse operator, a dying breed in this 
day of voice-radio communication. Doane sent his four 
messages and the ship signed off, without giving Doane 
a hint of anything unusual aboard. 

At half past two in the morning on January 24, Doane 
had a fifth message for the Santa Maria, this one from 
Lisbon. He raised the ship, sent the message and stood 
by for a sign-off. Instead, the Santa Maria's operator came 
through with a message of his own. It was in Portuguese, 
which neither Doane nor his colleague comprehended. 
But they figured out that it was addressed to The Press, 
so they sent it to the R.C.A. network, the National Broad- 
casting Company in New York. Translated there, it let 
the cat out of the bag: 

To all newspapers: All normal aboard. We will in- 
form the world in due time. Due to weather we will 
make a telephone broadcast on 2037 kilocycles. 
(Signed) Captain Henrique Galvao. 


Galvao had decided not to wait. To achieve his goal of 
exposing the abuses o the Salazar regime, he needed 
maximum publicity. He had expected a deluge of Press 
inquiries once the word spread from St. Lucia. But not 
a single question had been sent all day. Now he was 
fishing for them, by a teaser message that was bound to 
provoke queries. 

N.B.C., thanks to having Chatham Radio in its R.C.A. 
family, had a running head start on its news competitors. 
It rushed back a message to the ship requesting more in- 
formation, thereby establishing the first contact with Gal- 
vao's floating revolution. N.B.C. then released Galvao's 
first message to "all newspapers/' to whom it had been 
addressed, and began lining up reporters and television 
cameramen and sound technicians for the race to be the 
first to board "the pirate ship" and interview the par- 
ticipants in the fantastic drama. 

At half past seven Francis Doane pricked up his ears 
at Chatham Radio. Galvao was transmitting a reply to the 
N.B.C. query for information. Striking a blow at the 
piracy theme, the message said: 

First official communique to all democratic news- 
papers of the free world from the command of the 
forces occupying the S.S. Santa Maria in the name 
of the National Independent Junta of Liberation led 
by General Humberto Delgado, legally elected presi- 
dent of the Portuguese Republic, who has been fraud- 
ulently deprived of his rights by the Salazar Adminis- 

After a brief combat at about 1:45 A.M. I captured 
and occupied the S.S. Santa Maria with the forces 
under my command, the first free group from the 


national territory. The crew accepted the act as a 
political one in accordance with international mari- 
time law, and the majority of the passengers welcome 
the action enthusiastically. There is complete calm 
and safety on board, services are being furnished as 
normally as on an ordinary voyage. Best relations with 
the occupying forces. I give you this on my word of 
honor. Passengers and crew request their families be 
informed that they are well, and I add that they are 
well and free. 

We can not reveal our destination without open 
hostilities against the tyrannical government of Sala- 
zar. We shall try to reach it. Political objectives purely 
democratic, therefore purely anti-totalitarian, against 
all forms of tyrannical governments (and) peoples. 

We ask not only the support of all truly free gov- 
ernments and peoples but also political recognition 
of this party liberated from the national territory, led 
by General Delgado, whom the Portuguese people 
elected chief in a legal election. 

In executing our action, we did not have the slight- 
est political or material aid from any foreign govern- 
ment, only the sacrifice and patriotic devotion of the 
occupying forces under my command and the base 
personnel. None of us and none of those who came 
over to our side of their own free will is willing to 

We shall put the passengers ashore in complete 
safety and as quickly as possible at the first neutral 
port that assures non-internment of the ship. 

We salute the Portuguese people and other op- 
pressed people of the Peninsula with many thanks for 
their behavior and understanding of the circum- 


stances, and invite them to join the democratic up- 
rising which will follow us. We salute the Brazilian 
people and press for their constant support of our 
cause. The occupying forces are well and ask the 
press of the world to greet their families in their 

Henrique Galvao 

Galvao followed this with a message addressed to 

Mission integrally accomplished. After brief est com- 
bat, occupation. All our companions acted serene 
bravery worthy of praise. I confirm the communique 
and at same time I give it to free world press that 
from all world asks information. 

As it was and will be, Salazar's newspaper insult 
and calumny. Crew accepted consummated fact and 
maintains itself disciplined, majority passengers en- 
thusiastically with us. 

Aboard there is absolute tranquility, safety in per- 
fectly normal life. All are well, asking their health 
be communicated families. I beg obtain, as rightful, 
recognition of insurrectional act and consequently 
state of belligerence, through hearing of specialists 
international law. 

We follow our secret destiny and we hail in Your 
Excellency, Chief of State, elected by people. I shall 
communicate whenever possible without prejudice of 
secrecy of destination and operational plans. In no 
event shall we surrender. 

I beg to make known to our families and Portu- 
guese people, whom Your Excellency represents, that 


we are well and we salute you. Everything established 
according to powers conferred me by Your Excellency 
and National Independent Liberation Junta as the 
political, military, administration organ of National 
Independence Movement. 

We shall land passengers in first neutral port that 
assures us this possibility without internment of ship. 
Our desire is ever so much greater since all are show- 
ing themselves in sympathy and understanding, in- 
cluding foreigners. 

We salute people, press, president-elect Brazil, very 
sensitive their support of our cause. For Motherland, 
for Liberty! 

Henrique Galvao 

And then, until half past nine, came a stream of mes- 
sages from passengers to their families. 

"Destination unknown. Love. Mother," Mrs. Boyce 
wired her son, C. Prevost Boyce, Jr., in Baltimore, Mary- 
land. He was relieved and said he felt little concern 
about the future because "Mother always is able to adapt 
to difficult situations." 

"Everything is all right," Mrs. Joan Densmore Harber- 
son messaged her father in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

"We're safe. Don't worry," was the wire from the Del- 
bert Smiths. 

"Safe. Well," the Henry Bateses said. 

"We are OK," the John W. Dietzes wired. 

And Mrs. Chubb settled for one word: "Fine." 

Galvao was fighting back against the piracy charge. In 
Sao Paulo, Brazil, eager to join the battle, General Del- 
gado chimed in. Besieged by reporters, and therefore in 
his element, Delgado declared: 


"We are not pirates, only politicians." 

Delgado said he had sent telegrams to John Moors 
Cabot and Sir Geoffrey Wallinger, the American and 
British Ambassadors to Brazil. He read the identical tele- 

The Santa Maria case does not represent mutiny or 
piracy but is an appropriation of a Portuguese trans- 
port by Portuguese men for Portuguese political pur- 
poses. I ask insistently that your government does not 
interfere in the case. 

Holding a copy of the radiogram he received from 
Galvao, Delgado described himself as "the land-based 
commander" and said that Galvao was acting as his agent 
in the seizure of the ship. He emphasized that the passen- 
gers would be safely put ashore somewhere, but he be- 
came vague when asked where that might be. 

"That's something I can not tell you under the circum- 
stances/' he chuckled. But he warned that, if attacked, 
Galvao and his men would resist. 

In London, a howl of protest went up from the Labor 
benches against the hunt for the Santa Maria by the two 
British frigates. Hugh Gaitskell, the Labor Party leader, 
was cheered when he questioned whether the British 
Government should interfere "where people are seeking 
to escape from a dictatorial regime." Laborite Reginald 
Paget asked testily whether the British Navy "will be 
equally at the disposal of the Russian or Hungarian Gov- 
ernments in the event of one of their crews making a dash 
for liberty." And George Brown, deputy Labor leader, 
contended that "we seem to have dashed in here to take 
part in what is really an internal affair." Ian Orr-Ewing, 
civil Lord of the Admiralty, shot back that, after all, one 


man was dead and another seriously wounded and he 
would always expect the Royal Navy to assist a N.A.T.O. 
ally "when murder has been committed on the high seas 
and serious injury has been done to other people." 

"I think it is in the tradition of the Royal Navy that 
when asked for assistance you should provide it, and we 
have done exactly that," Orr-Ewing argued. 

However, he agreed to one concession. He said Her 
Majesty's Government would bear in mind the Labor 
Party suggestions that Britain should refuse to surrender 
to the Portuguese Government any of the Santa Maria 
revolutionaries who might be arrested. 

The Portuguese Government lost no time in getting its 
case before the world. Salazar denounced the incident as 
"a preposterous crime." His regime issued its first Santa 
Maria communique, a factual account of what had be- 
come known up to the delivery of the wounded officer in 
St. Lucia. A Portuguese Government spokesman said: 

"The men who attacked the Santa Maria are not poli- 
ticians or ideologists. They are just outlaws. . . . 

"The conscience of the civilized world cannot fail to 
reproach with indignation this return to the barbarian 
practices that made the Caribbean Sea an area of dis- 
honor which took centuries to clean up." 

In Washington, the new Kennedy Administration, just 
four days in office and already faced with an international 
incident, was having misgivings about the Navy's attitude 
that it was "a clear case of piracy." 

That Tuesday morning, the telephone rang in the State 
Department's Legal Division and a well-known voice 
said: "This is the President. Let me talk to your expert on 

While the President held the line, they searched high 


and low for an expert on piracy. But there was none, and 
the best they could do was to give him a curbstone opin- 
ion and a promise to look into the situation thoroughly. 

However, these qualms had not had time to burble 
through the cumbersome machinery through which all 
public statements must go in the American Government 
before they see the light of day. While the soul-searching 
was going on, the State Department's press chief, Lincoln 
White, ran out of time. He went before his daily noon- 
time press conference at the slick, new State Department 
building and put out a statement prepared by his superiors. 

"The Government of Portugal has asked certain coun- 
tries, including the United States, to provide assistance 
in locating and intercepting the Santa Maria, and the 
United States is acceding to this request," White said. 
"As a United States Navy spokesman stated last night, 
destroyers and airplanes have been dispatched to inter- 
cept the vessel under the well-defined terms of interna- 
tional law governing piracy and insurrection aboard ship/* 

State Department reporters who had been reading the 
Galvao and Delgado statements all morning on news 
tickers, were taken aback. Where, they asked, did one find 
these "well-defined terms of international law"? 

White looked a little distressed. Try a government law- 
yer, he suggested, or look it up in Digest of International 
Law, edited by Green H. Hackworth, former State De- 
partment legal adviser and the first American member 
of the International Court of Justice at the Hague. 

"The objective of the operation," White said, "is to 
protect the passengers and crew and return the ship to 
the control of the rightful owners and operators." 

Would the United States grant political asylum to 
Galvao and his men if they surrendered? 


"That seems a little far-fetched/' White said. 

The idea was not far-fetched at all in Latin America. 
There was speculation that Galvao might head for Cuba, 
but Delgado scouted that one by snorting, "Cuba? Why 
Cuba? There is no reason for Cuba." Neither Galvao 
nor Delgado was willing to be tagged with an affinity 
for Fidel Castro's Communist-oriented Cuba. But almost 
any other country in Latin America was at their disposal. 
Public opinion there seemed overwhelmingly on their 
side, especially in Brazil, where an old friend of theirs, 
Janio Quadros, was being inaugurated as president in a 
few days. 

But whatever the Santa Maria was, pirate ship or pa- 
triotic beachhead, and wherever she was headed, West 
Africa or South America, by evening one certainty be- 
gan to dawn on the world. The United States Navy 
could not find her. 



All of Tuesday, January 24, the Navy had six aircraft from 
San Juan and one from Trinidad out looking. The destroy- 
ers Damato and Wilson had refueled at Trinidad and 
were crisscrossing below the droning aircraft. The British 
frigates Rothesay and Ulster were searching. Three Dutch 
reconnaissance planes were in the air trying to track her. 
But still they could not find the Santa Maria. 

At the Pentagon, the Navy was taking its lumps. It was 
bad enough that the Navy Press Desk was getting such 
queries as this one, from the Long Island Newsday: "Is 
there any reason why the Navy can't find the Santa 

To make matters worse, the Air Force was snickering 
at the Navy's dilemma. The Wild Blue Yonder boys made 
no secret of their contempt for the Navy's performance. 
"Hell, just give me an old. DC-3 and I'd find that ferry- 
boat for you in an hour," they would say to their chagrined 
sea-going colleagues over coffee at a Pentagon snack bar. 

And in that sanctum sanctorum, the conference room 
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Arleigh A. "Thirty- 
one Knot" Burke, the Chief of Naval Operations, 
took some high-level ribbing. Army General Lyman L. 



Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, teased the 
admiral about his lack of success in the Caribbean. And 
then he let him have it, in the best tradition of inter- 
service rivalry. "Or maybe you don't want to find it/' Gen- 
eral Lemnitzer said. "That would prove your contention 
that an aircraft carrier cannot be found at sea, wouldn't 

It was all in fun, but the edges were barbed, aimed at 
a prize Navy argument. Every time somebody wanted 
to cut an aircraft carrier out of the budget on the ground 
that it was too expensive and too vulnerable, the Navy 
came back with the flat assertion that carrier task forces 
are difficult, if not impossible, to find at sea because they 
can maneuver and escape detection. 

The State Department had its troubles, too. The Salazar 
Government in Lisbon was hopping mad that the United 
States had not already located the Santa Maria, fired 
a shot across her bow, boarded, and clamped Galvao and 
his men in irons. Ambassador Elbrick was deluged with 
complaints, and the wire between Lisbon and Washington 
hummed with them. State Department officials were per- 
turbed, too, because they realized that close cooperation 
with the dictator Salazar would not sit well with the Latin 
American peoples. 

Admiral Burke, no man to take professional criticism 
lightly, decided it was time to bail the Navy out. He 
knew that finding the Santa Maria with the limited forces 
available was no easy task. The area first being scanned 
covered 130,000 square miles, bigger than New Mexico. 
In those waters, there normally would be seventy-five to 
a hundred ships as big as the Santa Maria, plus scores of 
smaller vessels. Every one of them sighted by the harassed 
search pilots would have to be checked, a time-consuming 


chore, especially at night. He knew all this but the public 
did not. He ordered Navy press officers in Washington, 
Norfolk and San Juan to explain the problem. Mean- 
while, he directed a step-up in the effort. Two messages 
went out on Tuesday, January 24. 

The first, relayed by Admiral Dennison from his At- 
lantic Fleet headquarters in Norfolk, went to Admiral 
Smith, the Caribbean Sea Frontier commander at San 
Juan. It virtually invited him to write his own ticket, 

"i. Desire maximum effort locate Santa Maria. 2. Nom- 
inate any additional forces required." 

The second message went from Admiral Dennison to 
Task Group 88, which was taking a leisurely good-will 
tour along the west coast of Africa. The orders detached 
two destroyers from the group, U.S.S. Vogelgesang and 
U.S.S. Gearing, and ordered them to take up blocking 
positions in the middle Atlantic. Their job would be to 
intercept the Santa Maria if she should dash for Angola. 
To keep the destroyers in fuel, the oiler U.S.S. Nespelen, 
also with Task Group 88, was directed to tag along. 

Admiral Smith, the man the Navy sent out after Galvao, 
was tised to doing his best and coming out of it with 
little more than the traditional "well done." He had given 
thirty-seven of his fifty-six years to the Navy. He had 
served in the Nicaraguan Campaign, World War II and 
the Korean War, as one of the Navy's first patrol pilots, 
flying the same kind of unglamorous, fatiguing missions 
he was to direct in the search for the Santa Maria. His 
service in the decade before World War II was in the 
Caribbean area, alternating two tours at the Pensacola 
Naval Air Station with service aboard the carriers U.S.S. 
Marblehead, U.S.S. Ranger and U.S.S. Sandpiper, 


He served in the Caribbean and Atlantic during the 
war. It was while executive officer o the U.S.S. Bogue 
that he won his Letter o Commendation with Ribbon 
and Combat "V" for meritorious service "in operations 
against enemy submarines from July, 1943, until March, 
1944." His second Letter of Commendation with Ribbon 
(but without a Combat "V") was awarded for his work 
in the Aircraft Division at the Navy Department in Wash- 
ington during 1944-1945. 

Smith divided his career immediately after the war 
between shore-based assignments and commands of the 
carriers U.S.S. Thetis Bay, U.S.S. Solomons and U.S.S. 
Norton Sound. 

His Legion of Merit came in 1952, when he was in 
command of the U.S.S. Philippine Sea. The citation praised 
his "exceptionally meritorious conduct . . . during opera- 
tions against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 25 
January to 6 July 1952." 

Thereafter, duty took him to posts in Bermuda, with 
the fleet in the Mediterranean, in Norfolk, Virginia., and 
in Glenview, Illinois. In May, 1960, he was designated 
Commander Caribbean Sea Frontier, with additional duty 
as Commandant Tenth Naval District and Commander 
Antilles Defense Command, with headquarters at San 
Juan, Puerto Rico. 

By late January 24, Admiral Smith had two destroyers 
behind the Santa Maria and two destroyers ahead of her. 
His complement of aircraft had grown to fourteen, and 
the four-engine planes, with their unsightly radar humps, 
were flying a tightly coordinated schedule out of San 
Juan. If he had any doubts he was involved in a Big 
League operation, they were dispelled when in addition 
he was authorized by Admiral Dennison to send the 


nuclear submarine U.S.S. Seawolf after the elusive run- 
away. The Seawolf glided out of Roosevelt Roads at San 
Juan and raced for the widening search area. 

Aboard ship, Galvao was taking measures to defy de- 
tection. When Mrs. Chubb went to her cabin to rest a bit 
between dinner and the movie, she had no sooner settled 
down with a book when a hurried knock came on the 
door. It was the maid, who without a word snapped off the 
lights, walked over to the porthole and lifted the wooden 
awning into place to cover every inch. Then she went 
to the bed and turned on the weak reading light. 

"But it's so warm!" Mrs. Chubb protested. Remembering 
then that the maid spoke virtually no English, she got the 
idea across in sign language. She grasped her blouse 
near the collar and shook it. "Too warm! Phew!" 

The maid shook her head sadly. With gentle firmness, 
she emphasized that only the bed light was to be used, and 
that the porthole was to be kept covered even then. Gal- 
vao was running without lights to avoid being sighted. 

Galvao had neglected one clue to his position. Through- 
out the day he wore out two radio operators as he carried 
on a running press conference with American news serv- 
ices and unloaded reams of messages of the "safe and 
well" variety to distraught families in two hemispheres. 
Apparently it never occurred to him that his pursuers 
might set up a "fix" with radio direction-finders to triangu- 
late the ship's position. 

At Chatham Radio on Cape Cod on the morning of 
January 25, Francis Doane was just past the halfway mark 
of his midnight-to-eight "lobster" when, at half past four, 
the Santa Maria began sending on 8330 kilocyles. The mes- 
sages were mostly routine, but a few repeated Galvao's 
theme that he was an insurrectionist and no pirate. Three 


other R.C.A. communications stations were monitoring the 
transmission stations at San Juan, Lantana in Florida, and 
Riverhead on Long Island. They triangulated on the 
stream of dots and dashes which emanated from the Santa 
Maria until twenty minutes past five. The "fix" was on. 

At seven minutes before six, an urgent message from 
San Juan reached the Navy's Flag Plot Headquarters at 
the Pentagon. In that room of charts, the Navy keeps 
track of every warship in the world, marking their move- 
ment from port to port and on the high seas as reports 
pour in twenty-four hours a day. The message from San 
Juan Direction-Finder put another marker on the Flag 
Plot charts. The cellophane tag bore the legend, "Santa 

The tag was positioned at latitude 11 6' north, longi- 
tude 48 18' west. 

Five and a half hours later, at twenty-eight minutes 
past eleven in the morning, the Danish freighter Vibeke 
Gulwa reported sighting the Santa Maria at latitude 10 
43' north, longitude 47 west, approximately 810 miles 
northeast of Trinidad, on a course of 105, speed unknown. 

The surface sighting confirmed the radio fix. The Navy 
in Washington flashed the news to the searchers. The 
closest ship was the U.S.S. Wilson, about 100 miles east 
of Martinique. But the Navy's Flag Plot knew it would 
take the Wilson twenty-four hours to reach the coordi- 
nates, and she was in a bad position to try to overtake the 
shifting Santa Maria. The closest aircraft, a P#V Neptune 
from San Juan's Patrol Squadron 18, was also hundreds 
of miles away. The pilot, Lieutenant Daniel L. Krauss, 
gunned his big plane to its top speed of 150 knots and 
headed for the quarry. 

In Washington, State Department spokesman Lincoln 


White steeled himself for an onerous duty. The United 
States was about to do an international rowback. As 
usual, the State Department handed the soiled end of the 
oar to Line White. The day before, he had read the state- 
ment prepared by policy officers that Galvao would be 
collared under the "well-defined" laws of piracy. But, after 
hours of dusting off legal tomes, the State Department's 
lawyers had found the laws of piracy about as well defined 
as the rules of exotic poker games at a clubwomen's tea. 
White hauled his tall Tennessee frame to the State De- 
partment's Press Conference Room shortly after noon on 
Wednesday, January 25, and grasped the oar firmly. 

"The facts concerning the seizure of the Santa Maria 
are not entirely clear/' White began. "Information avail- 
able to the Department is conflicting and not sufficient 
to form the basis of a firm opinion as to whether the crime 
of piracy under international law has been committed." 

White, a genial man of fifty-one who can still blush, 
did so. 

"There are grounds for suspicion of piracy," White con- 
tinued. "This, together with the request of the Portuguese 
Government for assistance, are considered to afford ample 
basis for the action now being taken by United States 
naval authorities to ascertain the whereabouts of this 
vessel and to make an appropriate investigation." 

Gone was the idea of intercepting the Santa Maria. 
Gone was all hint of the Navy's order of the day before 
to "use force as necessary." It was a different situation 

It was 4:30 P.M., Washington time, when Lieutenant 
Krauss saw a ship on the horizon as dusk and a misty 
rain engulfed his lumbering aircraft. He started letting 
down in a shallow glide. At a thousand feet he leveled 


off and switched on Ms searchlight. The powerful beam 
raked the ship from bow to stern. Hundreds of people 
lined the rails and clustered on the fantail, shouting 
and waving. As he flew past the ship, Krauss and his men 
looked back. On the stern, in big white letters was the 
name he had been hoping would be there: 




Arthur Douglas Patton and his wife were at the ship's rail, 
straining to see the aircraft as they heard the engines 
grow louder somewhere in the mist of approaching night- 
fall. When Lieutenant Krauss in the Navy Neptune 
switched on his searchlight, Doug Patton's heart skipped 
a beat, and he turned instinctively to embrace his wife. 

Found at last! Uncle Sam's boys had come through! 
National pride coursed through his veins like a wonder 

"I feel/' he said, "like singing "God Bless America!' " 

Mrs. Patton felt the same emotion. The Portuguese and 
Spaniards near them were just as moved. They ran to the 
rail and waved and cheered at the big aircraft, tears in 
their eyes and a lump in their throats. They went to the 
Americans and began pounding them on the back and 
pumping their hands, as if the Americans personally had 
arranged this salvation. 

The relief of all those on deck was incredible. The plane 
was something tangible, after all of Galvao's shilly-shally- 
ing and vague promises of a disembarkation at some mys- 
terious "neutral port." Here was a new element, a pressure 



on Galvao to follow through on the soothing assurances 
which flowed so easily from him. 

A little boy hopped up and down and pointed and hol- 
lered at the airplane. It was nine-year-old Harold Pres- 
ton. He had been walking the deck with his father and 
his older brother. 

"Go get Mother, quick," Preston said to the lad, and 
Harold lit out for Cabin No. 15, howling like a banshee. 

June Preston was preparing her two little ones for bed, 
ducking under and around her drying laundry as she 
guided the boys through their bathroom chores. She heard 
a pounding of footsteps in the passageway, then the door 
flew open and her No. 2 boy burst in. 

"Airplane! And it's got a light a real bright light and 
it's flashing signals and going around and around and 
Daddy says for you to come on up," Harold said in one 

Mrs. Preston gathered up Donald and Steven and, with 
Harold energetically leading the way, they all headed 
topside. Passengers were crowding to the deck to see the 
airplane. There was a hum of voices as everybody seemed 
to be talking at once, and there were shouts and gestures 
as, though the haze, the dark blue, sharklike aircraft 
showed itself, flashing dots and dashes with its light. 

"What a comfort!" June Preston thought, as she looked 
for the plane and followed the sound of the engine. 
"Uncle Sam to the rescue!" 

On deck, Mrs. Chubb shared the exuberance of the 
others at sight of the Navy plane. Despite Galvao, his 
doubletalk, his zigzag course, his blackout, they had been 

To John W. Dawson, it was about time. For the life of 


him, Dawson could not understand what had taken the 
Navy so long. He had been watching things deteriorate 
aboard the Santa Maria, and it was he who had organized 
a committee to look after the Americans' rights. Dawson 
was glad to see the long-awaited aircraft, but he could 
not shake the feeling that something ominous was going 
on. He hated the sight of the sign which Galvao had put 
up on the railing of the bridge, saying "Santa Liberdade." 
Darned if he could see any "Blessed Liberty" on the ship. 

Even Galvao may have felt a sense of relief when the 
Navy Neptune swooped by. For two days he had mes- 
saged back and forth with the United States Navy and 
a growing clientele of newspapers and television stations. 
He studied the Morse signals from the plane as the light 
spelled out a request for a radio conversation. Galvao 
ordered the Santa Maria's signalman to blink back that 
the ship's radio was on 2182 kilocycles. He walked quickly 
aft to the radio room. Professor Velo was already there, 
and together they heard the voice of Lieutenant Krauss. 

Was everything all right on board? The Santa Marias 
radio operator, prompted by Velo, said it was. Lieutenant 
Krauss, following his instructions, suggested the Santa 
Maria turn back and enter a United States port. The re- 
sponse was terse: No. Lieutenant Krauss asked the ship's 
destination. Galvao replied: Angola. 

But then Galvao the Word Warrior took over. He gave 
the twenty-four-year-old naval lieutenant from Sea Is- 
land, Georgia, his favorite lecture that he and his men 
were patriots, not pirates and wound up with a flourish. 
He was ready, Galvao declared, to negotiate for debarka- 
tion of the passengers. He would negotiate with officials 
of any nation but Portugal and Spain. 


Lieutenant Krauss, with one eye on his falling fuel 
gauge, kept circling and talking. He signed off long enough 
to message his headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico: 

All well aboard. Destination Angola. Captain Gal- 
vao refused return San Juan. Will accept confer- 
ence on board Santa Maria with U.S. or any author- 
ities other than Portuguese or Spanish. Wishes to 
discharge passengers unharmed earliest. 

The message was quickly relayed by Admiral Smith at 
San Juan, to Admiral Dennison at Atlantic Fleet head- 
quarters in Norfolk. Admiral Dennison moved it along 
to the Pentagon, which notified the White House. 

At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, John F. Kennedy, in his 
sixth day as President of the United States, was cram- 
ming for his first presidential press conference. The news 
came just in time. Armed with the information sent by 
Lieutenant Krauss from his perch halfway between San 
Juan and Angola, Mr. Kennedy was ready when a reporter 
popped the question: Would the United States board the 
Santa Maria? 

"Well, I believe that the location of the ship has been 
determined," President Kennedy said, conveying the idea 
that it had been no trouble at all to find the needle in the 

"At the present time," he continued, "the instructions 
are for the Navy to continue its accompaniment of the 
ship. The Santa Maria has been located by a Navy P#V 
aircraft and the position is approximately six hundred 
miles north of the Amazon River, headed on a course of 
117, a speed of fifteen knots, and the exact position at 


ten minutes after four was ten degrees thirty-five min- 
utes north, forty-five degrees fifty-two minutes west. 

"It is being trailed by aircraft to be picked up by de- 
stroyers of our African task force. 

"There are Americans involved and their lives are in- 
volved. But I have not given any instructions to the Navy 
to carry out any boarding operations, though of course we 
are concerned about the lives of the Americans involved, 
and also we are concerned because the ship belongs to 
a country with which the United States has friendly rela- 

Mr. Kennedy had touched all bases violence was out, 
he was concerned for the Americans aboard, and he fa- 
vored friendly relations with Portugal. He had also put 
on a little razzle-dazzle, by reciting the Santa Marias 
position, speed and course with the aplomb of an old 
Navy hand, indicating the Navy had things under con- 

At Norfolk, Admiral Dennison burned up the air with 
two major messages. 

The first, to Admiral Smith at San Juan, canceled the 
original orders to use "force as necessary" in bringing the 
Santa Maria to heel. It took the tack dictated by President 
Kennedy, saying: "Keep Santa Maria under constant sur- 
veillance. Make no attempt to stop ship or to board. Use 
of force prohibited." 

The second message was addressed to Galvao via 
Chatham Radio and said: "Request you proceed any port 
northern South America you choose to discharge passen- 
gers. Please advise port selected and time of arrival. Will 
attempt to arrange conference aboard Santa Maria as you 

No question about it, the Navy was moving in. In Flag 


Plot at the Pentagon, a hasty check was made to see what 
ships were available in the area in case Galvao insisted 
on a transfer of passengers at sea. It would be a risky 
business, since so many of the passengers were either 
children or elderly. Even in the best of seas, with trained 
Navy men, it was not uncommon to have injuries and 
deaths in such a maneuver. But, if Galvao were adamant, 
there would be no alternative. What ships were available? 
A nuclear submarine, four destroyers and two oilers al- 
ready were assigned to the chase. There were also two 
landing ships and the carrier U.S.S. Boxer, all three 
loaded with combat-ready Marines, and a number of de- 
stroyers. There were no big attack aircraft carriers in the 
Caribbean, although two were at Jacksonville, Florida. 
But the Navy was determined to talk Galvao out of any 
sea transfer, although it had yet to figure out how to 
do it. 

On the bridge of the newly christened "Santa Liber- 
dade," Galvao was doing some figuring of his own. He 
delayed replying to Admiral Dennison's message while 
he assayed the situation. Although Sotomayor kept the 
prow of the ship pointed toward Angola, Galvao already 
was resigned to his inability to get there. His old friend 
Janio Quadros, who would be president of Brazil in a few 
days, had made no promising response to the feelers 
broadcast by Galvao in many of his radioed messages. 
The present Brazilian Government, headed by President 
Juscelino Kubitschek, had said flatly it would take the ship 
away from him if he landed in Brazil, although he would 
be welcome to remain as a political refugee. The United 
States Navy had locked onto him, and the big reconnais- 
sance aircraft were now hardly ever out of sight or ear- 
shot. His every movement was tracked and reported to 


Lisbon. He had heard by radio that Portugal was rendez- 
vousing five warships, including the new frigate Pero 
Escobar with its three-inch guns, off Cape Verde Islands. 
He had also heard the Spanish cruiser Canarias would sail 
with the Portuguese to intercept him if he stayed in the 
open mid- Atlantic. 

Droning overhead, the American pilots studied the 
Santa Maria, moving toylike on the serene sea. As Navy 
men, they admired the sleek lines and checked her specifi- 
cations on their data charts. 

She was indeed a queen, although, not quite as heavy 
as her twin, the 21,765-^ Vera Cmz, now at Sao Paulo, 
Brazil. The Vera Cruz had arrived there Wednesday, 
January 25, but her captain, Ambrosio Pereira Ramal- 
heira, refused to sail out again until he could guarantee 
her and her seven hundred passengers against a possible 
seizure. He was to wait twenty-four hours, in fact, while 
a detachment of ten Portuguese secret police flew from 
Lisbon and marched aboard, each with a submachine 
gun. The captain also strapped a .45 automatic on each 
of his officers. 

The government-controlled Companhia Colonial de 
Navegacao concurred in these precautions. While com- 
pany spokesmen boasted in Lisbon that the Portuguese 
frigate Pero Escobar would catch up with Galvao in a 
matter of hours, officials worried about the future of the 
line. Galvao's adventure had disappointed passengers 
scheduled to board the Santa Maria all along her route. 
The Vera Cruz would pick up some of them, but many 
would cancel and go by other means. This would be bad 
for the entire fleet-the 13,196 ton Patria y I3,i85-ton Uige 
and the io,ooo-ton Infante D. Henrique, as well as the 
ten cargo vessels, ranging in tonnage from 5,981 to 1,699. 


Galvao was studying Santa Maria specifications, too. 
Unaccountably, things had been happening to the $1,600,- 
ooo luxury liner, the "Portuguese Palace Afloat/' Fresh 
water was being used up very fast, despite the rationing. 
The air conditioning had gone out and one of the huge 
turbines was giving trouble. A leak was reported in the 
propellor shaft housing on the port side, and a couple of 
feet of Kelly-green Plimpson line was showing to star- 
board aft, as the big ship listed out of ballast. Galvao 
could not understand it, and he wondered whether Cap- 
tain Maia and his crew, for all their docile air, were com- 
mitting sabotage. 

As his fourth day in command came to a close, Galvao 
was plagued by other signs of unrest. The tranquility and 
resignation aboard ship had been disturbed by the ap- 
pearance of the American airplane. The crew seemed 
less servile and the passengers, especially the Americans, 
looked less afraid. He resolved to have the silver-tongued 
Professor Velo talk to the First and Cabin Class passen- 
gers in the morning. In Third Class, restrictions on food 
and water and the intense heat might well drive men to 
make desperate decisions. Galvao knew it was common- 
place in South America for men to go armed. There were 
many in the bowels of the Santa Maria with pistols and 
knives in their bundles and cardboard suitcases. 

In First and Cabin Class, the forty-two Americans, em- 
boldened by Lieutenant Krauss' feat of navigation in lo- 
cating them, discussed various demands to be put to 
Galvao and Professor Velo. The meeting with them was 
set for ten o'clock on the morning of the fifth day of cap- 
tivity, Thursday, January 26. 

In the meantime, Galvao fired off a reply to Admiral 
Dennison. He curtly rejected the admiral's suggestion that 


he land in a South American port of his choosing. The 
suggestion, he declared, was "an impertinence and an of- 
fense." He considered himself a Portuguese politician, a 
freedom fighter and a representative of the duly elected 
president of Portugal who had been robbed of his victory 
by Salazar. 

"I and my followers will not be confused with pirates/ 5 
Galvao messaged. "I don't have to receive orders from a 
foreign country." 

In Washington, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, 
in shirt sleeves, his thick brown hair characteristically di- 
sheveled, sat before a television set in the dining room just 
off his spacious office at the Department of Justice watch- 
ing his older brother John hold his first news conference 
as President of the United States. At a quarter past six, 
as the President was replying to a question about the 
Santa Maria and breezily commenting that the Navy had 
no orders to try to board her, "Bobby" Kennedy turned 
and said to nobody in particular, "Get somebody in here 
from the Office of Legal Counsel." 

Within seconds, Harold F. Reis, First Assistant in the 
Office of Legal Counsel, stood before his youthful new 
boss. Reis ordinarily would have been home by that time 
of evening, but he was hanging around on the sixth day 
of the "New Frontier" for a very good reason. The new 
Attorney General put in long hours and expected his help 
to do likewise. Only a couple of days before, he had called 
after hours for legal advice on the new Food-for-Peace 
program. Reis, who had already gone home, had to return 
to the office that time. This night, he was taking no 
chances. He stuck around just in case he was needed. His 
foresight did not go unrewarded. 

"I've got to have a paper on this Santa Maria business," 


Bobby Kennedy said. "Do we have a right to go aboard? 
Fd like a paper on that for tomorrow morning's Cabinet 

Reis nodded. He would work up something even if it 
took him all night. He did not mind the extra work, but 
he hated to have to throw together a legal opinion, how- 
ever informal, on such short notice. He stayed for the 
end of President Kennedy's first presidential press confer- 

Then he headed for his own office. It was a quarter 
to seven and he knew he had a long night ahead of him. 
As the legal tomes began coming down off the shelf, he 
put in several telephone calls. He called the State De- 
partment's Legal Division and the Navy Judge Advocate 
General's office, as well as half a dozen private lawyers 
he knew who might be helpful. 

The Navy obliged by sending over a briefing officer 
from the Pentagon. He came equipped with elaborate 
charts of the Caribbean and Middle Atlantic, and for half 
an hour held forth on everything the United States Navy 
knew about the Santa Maria up to that time. 

Neither the State Department nor the Navy had pre- 
pared a formal legal opinion. Nobody had asked for one, 
and so, in the conservative way of lawyers, none had been 
prepared. Reis realized that, although there were a num- 
ber of theories and the documentation of jurisprudence 
available to him was useful, he was breaking fresh ground 
on the case. With three co-workers Harry Sellery, who 
had been summoned back to the office from his home, 
Mary Lawton and Leavenworth Colbyhe sought the 
answer to the legal riddle. 

Finally, at one o'clock in the morning, they started 


writing the memorandum to the Attorney General. They 
argued out each sentence, and then Reis wrote it down 
in longhand on a yellow legal notepad, read it aloud, made 
whatever changes they agreed upon, and handed the 
sentence to a stenographer to be typed. They worked this 
way for two hours. At three o'clock it was ready for the 
signature of Robert Kramer, Assistant Attorney General, 
Office of Legal Counsel, and they walked wearily to their 
cars through the snow and ice which had piled up around 
Washington in the bitter cold spell which began Inaugu- 
ration Day. 

The three-page, closely typed memorandum to Attorney 
General Kennedy said in part: 

You have requested a brief memorandum with re- 
spect to the question whether this government may 
authorize its naval vessels to board, presumably by 
force if necessary, the Portuguese registered vessel 
Santa Maria. In the time allotted, it is not possible to 
supply you with a definitive opinion. 

Nevertheless, it is believed that international law 
supplies a reasonable justification for such action if it 
is undertaken at the request of or in cooperation with 
the Portuguese Government. In this connection, it is 
understood that the government has requested that 
assistance of the United States. 

The need for protecting U.S. nationals would 
further support such action. 

It might also be possible to support boarding as an 
act to suppress piracy. This contention may need 
further investigation since most of the experts on the 
subject whom we have consulted doubt that piracy 


has occurred. Nevertheless, it is believed that a rea- 
sonable argument may be made that the capture of 
the ship constitutes piracy. . . . 

There appears to be room for a contention that pi- 
racy has occurred both as a matter of international 
and domestic law. The 1958 Geneva Convention on 
the High Seas defines piracy in terms broad enough 
to include the seizure here involved. . . . 

Attorney General Kennedy had the memo in his pocket 
when he attended his first Cabinet meeting the next 



Galvao's stiff rejoinder to Admiral Dennison's overture 
had in no way daunted the American Navy. Rather, Rear 
Admiral Smith followed up with a radiogram that sounded 
as if, back in San Juan, he was poised to dash across the 
Caribbean and out to the middle Atlantic for a rendezvous. 

"I note your intention to land passengers in neutral 
country as soon as possible/' Admiral Smith had mes- 
saged. <C I am concerned about the safety of passengers and 
am anxious to arrange their safe disembarkation soonest. 
What are your plans for landing passengers?" 

Galvao allowed Admiral Smith and the Navy to stew 
awhile. But he did not neglect press and television in- 
quiries. Pounding his propaganda home, Galvao wired 
United Press International in New York on Thursday, 
January &6: 

Our plan is to give insurrectional continuity to our 
stroke for the liberation of the Fatherland from the 
odious Salazar dictatorship. We seek recognition of 
our insurrectional political position and facilities im- 



plied in the right to disembark passengers in a neutral 

We will not surrender nor will we stop in the face 
of attacking ships. They must bear responsibility at- 
tacks on ship which we regard as first liberated part 
national territory. 

That one had an ominous ring to it, as far as the safety 
of the passengers was concerned. So did Galvao's message 
the same day to the Columbia Broadcasting System in 
response to an inquiry: 

We will disembark as rapidly as possible in a neu- 
tral port which will grant facilities sufficient for the 
safety of them, for us and this ship, considered part 
of a liberated, patriotic territory. 

We will never surrender nor halt before all the 
squadrons of the world We are fighting as a demo- 
cratic opposition on behalf of the Portuguese Chief 
of State, General Humberto Delgado, the only legiti- 
mate chief of state by a popular majority vote which 
we recognize. 

Delgado, accepting kudos from the press in Sao Paulo 
as the "mastermind" behind Galvao's bold coup, when 
asked where the Santa Maria was headed, smiled enigmat- 
ically and said, "We did not take this ship just to keep 
it on this side of the Atlantic." 

In another interview, he seemed to forget Galvao and 
the twenty-three other rebels aboard the Santa Maria, 
saying in that omnipotent way of his, "Seventy-five per 
cent of the Portuguese people are on my side and if I 
succeed in overthrowing Salazar a provisional govern- 


ment will be set up immediately and free elections held 
right away." 

In Rio de Janeiro, Ms old friend and benefactor. Dr. 
Alvaro Lins, chimed in with a threat calculated to scare 
off the United States Navy. Dr. Lins put out a statement 
expressing complete solidarity with Galvao and Delgado, 
and adding: 

"If the United States and Great Britain commit the 
terrible mistake of taking sides with the anachronistic 
dictatorship of Dr. Salazar, I will reveal the secret plans 
of the Pentagon concerning the establishment of military 
bases in Portugal and Spain, which I had occasion to 
learn during my stay in Lisbon as Ambassador." 

But the opposition was getting in some licks in the war 
of words, too. In Portugal, the Salazar-contr oiled radio 
and press berated Galvao and Delgado as irresponsible 
fugitives from justice now reduced to piracy. In Spain, 
the Franco regime not only dispatched the cruiser 
Canarias in pursuit of the Santa Maria too late, some said 
sourly, ever to hope to catch her but the government- 
controlled press blossomed with anti-Galvao articles. 

The Americans, Dutch and other non-Iberians who 
assembled for the ten o'clock meeting with Galvao could 
not have cared less about all these pros and cons. What 
they wanted to know most of all was: When do we get 
off? What they next wanted to know was: And what about 
my European sports car in the hold? 

Martin Yunker settled himself into a comfortable chair 
in the lounge as Galvao, rolling his sheepdog's eyes about 
the room in search of sympathy, went into his spiel. He 
spoke in Portuguese, and the Second Class maitre d'hotel 
stood by as interpreter. But that poor man was doing 
a bad job of it. His English was not good. The Americans 


felt they were losing a lot in the translation. Indeed, 
some felt they were catching more of the Portuguese than 
of the English. Finally, the impetuous John Dawson could 
stand it no more. He stood up and interrupted: 

"See here, we're not getting this at all, and you seem 
to be talking about things we should know about. There's 
no need for this. We've got a fellow right here among us 
who speaks Spanish fluently. Put it in Spanish, and Mar- 
tin Yunker here will interpret for us." 

Martin Yunker was taken aback. He would hardly have 
called his Spanish fluent. He had worked at it for some 
years, unofficially doing commercial translations while 
general traffic manager for a transportation company in 
New York. Since his retirement, he had talked Spanish 
every chance he could get. During his recent weeks in 
Spain, he had practiced in long talks with his Asturian 
gardener. He liked Spanish music, Spanish dancing, Span- 
ish literature in fact, everything Spanish except the 
Franco regime. Even so, this to his mind did not qualify 
him as fluent, much less as an interpreter. But a challenge 
was a challenge, and when Galvao agreed, Yunker found 
himself up among the rebels, putting it all into English, 
although occasionally he had to go around Robin Hood's 
barn to get across the sense of what was being said. 

Galvao's Portuguese-accented Spanish was difficult to 
follow, but Professor Velo spoke the most beautiful Span- 
ish Yunker had ever heard. It flowed from the man, and 
Yunker had no trouble at all turning it into English. 

The gist of what they said was that they had been in 
touch with the United Nations, the Navy, the Human 
Rights Commission, the State Department and a number 
of other organizations. Also, they reported the Navy had 


recommended going to San Juan but Galvao had refused, 
although he welcomed a conference with any but Portu- 
guese and Spanish officials. On top of this, they again 
went over the reasons for which they had seized the ves- 
sel, and begged for some understanding of the fight they 
were waging against Salazar. 

Galvao and Velo offered to answer questions. The 
passengers responded with what was uppermost in their 
minds: When do we land? Yunker found himself running 
the whole show, saying whose turn it was to ask questions, 
keeping order and generally behaving as the chairman of 
the meeting. It was a good deal more than he had bar- 
gained for. Fortunately, the business sessions he had at- 
tended during his working years had acquainted him with 
Roberts' Rules of Order. After about twenty minutes of 
questions, most of them answered with strong assurances 
that "tomorrow" would be debarkation day, the meeting 
came to an end with an offer to send any messages the 
passengers desired. Generally., there was a good feeling 
between the rebels and the passengers. It was hard to be- 
lieve that at last they would be getting off, but the rebel 
leaders had sounded sincere. A few diehards were just as 
pessimistic as ever, recalling that "manana* was Galvao's 
stock answer to every question. 

Dawson was more convinced than ever that Galvao 
and Velo were rascals and not to be trusted. But, like the 
others, he and his quiet, gentle wife so different in every 
respect from her fireball of a husband resolved to get 
their luggage in order, just in case a departure signal was 
given without warning. 

Yunker was pleased with how things had gone, despite 
his distaste for the limelight. He thought both Galvao 


and Velo were fine men, and he was beginning to have 
doubts about the efficacy of the Americans-First Commit- 
tee organized at the insistence of Dawson. 

"We ought to work for the welfare of all the passengers," 
Yunker said. "I don't care if a person is a Hottentot as 
long as he's human/' 

Yunker had almost missed out on all this. He and his 
wife had started out with Tourist Class tickets on the S.S. 
United States. They exchanged these for Tourist Class 
tickets on the Santa Maria, simply because they wanted 
some warm weather coming home. Since May, when they 
arrived in Europe, they had been fruitlessly chasing a 
warm climate. Italy was cold, France was cold, Spain was 
cold, andjudging by reports of record snow in the 
States New York would be the coldest yet. That was why 
they chose the Santa Maria, to make the trip through the 
South American tropics to Florida, where they hoped 
to arrive without the feeling of chill which had pursued 
them for months. If their home town of Warren, Connec- 
ticut, was still snowbound, they could simply hole up in 

Luckily, as they were boarding at Lisbon, Yunker 
struck up a conversation with Chester Churchill. They 
promised to look each other up on the voyage and com- 
pared notes on where they were quartered. Churchill ex- 
claimed in horror, "Good heavens, man, they've got you 
in Tourist! You can't stay there 1 Those cabins are for 
refugees. Impossibly cramped and dingy!" 

Yunker went with Churchill to look at the cabin as- 
signed him. Churchill was right. Tourist Class on the S.S. 
United States was in no way comparable to Tourist Class 
on the Santa Maria. While he went to change his ticket, 
Churchill staked out Cabin No. 113, starboard aft on B 


deck, right where First Class left off and Cabin Class be- 
gan. He was grateful for Churchill's friendly gesture. 

Mrs. Chubb was pleased with the ten o'clock meeting, 
too. But she pondered the significance in one of Galvao's 
replies that there was about fourteen days of fuel remain- 
ing. Would he try to last out to the end? She was pleased 
to hear Galvao say that, if any medicines should run 
short, he would cable for replenishments to be dropped 
from the Navy planes which were now their constant com- 

Mrs. Chubb approached Galvao after the meeting. She 
had received a cable from Thomas Daly, night editor of 
the Pasadena Independent., asking for a statement from 
her and from Galvao. Galvao listened gravely to her re- 
quest, nodded and, turning to an aide, dictated a long 
statement. He accepted the one she had written and both 
messages were dispatched to the radio room. 

Arthur Douglas Patton and his wife sat quietly through 
the conference. They listened attentively and, later that 
day, wrote out all that had been said in their joint diary. 
Some of the questions sounded inappropriate to them. 
Here they were, imprisoned on the high seas, in such 
suspense that almost everybody was keeping bags packed 
for any sudden order to get off, and yet most of the ques- 
tions were about automobiles and souvenirs and whether 
passengers would be reimbursed for any extra travel ex- 
penses incurred. Galvao promptly pledged that whatever 
Portuguese government was in power would make it all 
good. But this sounded a little glib and pie-in-the-sky 
to the Pattons. 

Following the meeting seven Americans in First Class 
decided to take Galvao up on his offer to send any cables. 
Floyd Preston, John Dietz, Leon Miller, Delbert Smith, 


Robert Harberson, Mrs. Dorothy Thomas and Dr. Irene 
M. Dunn got together and drafted a message which, in 
effect, was a calm appeal to their government to rescue 
them from their predicament. The cable was addressed to 
the Army, Navy, Air Force and State Department, and it 

Majority American citizens aboard request rendez- 
vous U.S. fleet. Captain Galvao says he is receptive to 
negotiate soonest for disembarkation at sea of passen- 
gers onto U.S. vessel. Americans confident prompt 
action will be taken by their government. 

(signed) Harbersons, Smiths, Millers, Prestons, 
Thomas, Dunn, Dietzes. 

Floyd Preston was not concerned particularly about the 
safety of himself and his family. The worst that he foresaw 
as likely was that he would be late to the University of 
Kansas for the new semester. He had made friends with 
some of the crew, however, and he was keeping an eye 
out for a possible quick flareup, either from the crew 
or some of the passengers, that could lead to gunplay. 

Mrs. Preston was so busy juggling the schedules of her 
four sons and keeping them occupied and out of mis- 
chief that she hardly had time to contemplate either the 
danger or the inconvenience. There was the matter of the 
swimming pool. None of the children could swim, and 
both parents knew it would be no fun hauling the boys 
around in nine feet of water. They kept making excuses. 
One day, they put them off with the tale that it was too 
rough. The next day it was too cool. The next the water 
was dirty. But, sooner or latex*, they knew they would run 
out of excuses, and they would have to take the plunge. 


Then there was also the matter of the movies. The two 
older boys, who could read, had been pestering their 
mother to go. They had read somewhere that movies 
were shown nightly. But the titles discouraged June 
Preston. How could she take the boys to "Hatful of Rain/' 
for example? That Thursday night she relented enough to 
take the No. i boy, Carl Bruce. It was an Indian epic, 
"White Feather," and although he did not understand 
it all, the boy enjoyed it and did not ask too many ques- 

The lifesaver for June was the Navy aerial tracking 
team. Whenever a plane came close, its red and green 
traveling lights blinking in alternation, the young Prestons 
would charge to the rail to watch. As the plane circled, 
it was great sport for the boys to rush across the ship to 
see the plane from the other side. They never seemed 
to tire of it. The only chaperoning necessary was to see 
that, in their mad dashes, they did not topple overboard. 

The name "Santa Manana" had really caught on, now. 
Nobody really believed Galvao any more when he talked 
about disembarkation. But it was not a hope to be lightly 
given up. The best thing was not to raise expectations 
but to be prepared all the same, just in case for once a 
Galvao "manana* came to pass. 

June could not entirely suppress a feeling that she 
ought to be laughing out loud at the whole thing. There 
was just too much comic opera about it all for it to be 
taken seriously. The rebels' hip holsters were a case in 
point. The pistols were real enough, but the holsters 
obviously had been bought in a Caracas five-and-dime 
store. They were made of cheap, roughly finished leather, 
exactly the same sort of holster the children had for their 
cap pistols. And Galvao, in his insistence on formalities 


and on acting the role of genial host, had opened the 
Thursday meeting by proposing drinks all around. At ten 
o'clock in the morning! It was suggested that coffee might 
be more appropriate, but nobody seemed to care for either 
coffee or drinks. 

But not all the comic opera was on Galvao's side. Two 
American men in First Class came up with what they 
thought was a bright idea. They pooled their resources 
and found they had $4,000 between them. They offered 
it to Galvao for the movie rights to the seizure story. 
Galvao courteously turned them down. 

The discouraging thing was that, despite the constant 
air patrol, nothing seemed to have changed aboard the 
"Santa Manana." Galvao and Velo were all sweetness and 
light, as when Mrs. Dietz complained that the posting of 
the rebel guard deprived her of access to a shuffleboard. 
A new one was promptly painted for her on the deck just 
outside her stateroom. But their promises of a landing 
tomorrow always evaporated when tomorrow dawned. 

Nevertheless, Galvao's freedom of choice was being 
constantly restricted. The approaching Portuguese and 
Spanish fleet had ruled out his run for Angola. Opposition 
to him was being rallied there, anyway, judging by the 
statement of Angola's Governor General Alvara da Silva 
Tavares that "necessary precautions" had been taken in 
Luanda, the capital, and that "the entire population is in 
a state of rage against" Galvao. Galvao's best bet seemed 
to be Janio Quadros. He had been quoted as saying 
Galvao could keep the ship. There appeared to be little 
choiceshort of scuttling the vessel, which he had been 
reported considering if threatenedexcept to wait for 
Quadros' inauguration as president of Brazil on February 
i and to take him up on the offer he was said to have made. 


At San Juan, the American Navy was deeply disturbed 
by a report that Galvao might sink the ship rather than 
give up. With eighteen airplanes, four destroyers, two 
oilers and one nuclear submarine on the job, the Navy 
was confident it would not lose sight of the ship. But still 
the destroyers pressed closer, even though the Navy 
had emphasized that under no circumstances would it at- 
tempt a sea transfer. Then why the surface vessels? 

Captain Edward R. Hunt, Assistant Chief of Staff for 
Operations of the Caribbean Sea Frontier, had a ready 

"It would be nice to have ships around just in case/' 
he said. 



Aboard the Santa Maria, Galvao's "old sea dog/' Jorge 
Sotomayor, studied the statements issued by the Ameri- 
can Navy as he guided the ship along the upper coast 
of South America. His mind, however, was really on those 
other navies, the Spanish and Portuguese. The Portuguese 
frigate Pero Escobar mounted three-inch guns and could 
sink the Santa Maria in minutes. As for the Spanish, cruiser 
Canarias, he knew her well. She had figured in that one 
great moment in Sotomayor's battle career. It was ironic 
that now, almost twenty-three years later, he should again 
be pitted against her. 

Sotomayor had been in the Spanish merchant marine 
when the Civil War started. In those first uproarious days, 
when seamen were revolting against their officers and 
slaughtering them without quarter, Sotomayor had be- 
come one of the new breed of officers in the Republican 
Navy. Like the others, he had none of the schooling and 
social status of the old officer class. And this lack of train- 
ing in the naval niceties soon showed. Administration and 
discipline were chaotic. By contrast, the Falangist Navy 
was in fair fettle, and always it was protected by ac- 


companying warships of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. 

But one night it was midnight of March 5, 1938 the 
cruisers, Canarias, Baleares and Almirante Cervera led a 
Nationalist fleet past Cartagena, and there were no Ger- 
man or Italian escorts. A Republican fleet steamed out 
to meet it the cruisers Libertad and Mendez Nunez 
and the destroyers Lepanto, Sanchez Barcaiztegui and 
Admiral Antequera. There also were a number of smaller 
craft, and on one of these were Sotomayor and three other 
men. In the resulting confusion of battle, Sotomayor 
maneuvered his little launch alongside the Baleares, let 
go with his torpedo and fled. The Baleares blew up and 

The Canarias and all the rest of the Nationalist ships 
sailed on, impervious to the plight of the 1,000 men aboard 
the Baleares. All of them would have been lost but for the 
appearance of the British non-intervention patrol, The 
H.M.S. Kempenfelt and the H.M.S. Boreas picked up 
400 survivors and took them to the Canarias just as Re- 
publican aircraft appeared and began dropping bombs. 

Now the Canarias was on the trail of the Santo Maria, 
Sotomayor could be forgiven if he felt that, after two 
decades, she was coming just for him, to take her revenge. 

Galvao's thoughts were turned, too, to the Spanish 
and Portuguese warships, As he studied the American 
Navy's statements, one of them stood out above the others 
as best suiting his purposes for the next step. It was the 
description of the role of the four American destroyers, as 
expressed by Lieutenant Commander Charles Rainey, 
Information Officer for the Caribbean Sea Frontier Head- 
quarters at San Juan, It read: "The destroyers will serve 
as a plain guard and will be available to escort the liner 
if the Santa Maria herself so desires." 


Galvao consulted Sotomayor and Professor Velo and 
together they drafted a response to this most welcome 
invitation. While it was a conciliatory reply, Galvao was 
not going to let the United States Navy forget that the 
passengers were hostages, his pawns in the increasingly 
tense chess game he was playing. He sent by wireless 
on Friday, January 27: 

We accept protection escort American Navy 
against action of Portuguese warships until landing 

Will land passengers near South American or West 
African port, giving preference Africa with all guar- 
antee as political insurgents, that is, without losing 
our ship or action against crew or forces under dread- 
ful dictatorship, with the right to carry on our political 
defense Portuguese people freedom without further 
protection after landing passengers. 

Meeting aboard ship or landing port. We are very 
interested to show the world our respect for life, not 
forgetting your rights to protect American citizens. 
We beg your early reply. 

We have permitted all crew and passengers to have 
cables sent to families but we are having difficulties 
sending messages to you because radio officers are 
overworked. For freedom and democracy. Best 

This did not exactly fit the American Navy's plan. Ad- 
miral Smith and his boss, Admiral Dennison, certainly did 
not want to be cast in the role of protectors of the Santa 
Maria against the Portuguese and Spanish warships. Nor 
did they want to be maneuvered into transferring the 
passengers at sea. Admiral Dennison, from his Atlantic 


Fleet headquarters at Norfolk, sent another message to 

Dennison's cable emphasized again his desire to protect 
the Americans and his "humanitarian concern for all the 
passengers." He said their well-being "requires that they 
be disembarked as soon as possible/ 7 Dennison accepted 
Galvao's offer to have a Navy spokesman go aboard the 
Santa Maria for negotiations. Then, in an effort to entice 
Galvao into a Brazilian port, he pledged he would "take 
no action to interfere with the Santa Marias entering and 
departing a port or lying off a port for the purpose of dis- 
charging passengers." 

Admiral Dennison took one look at the latest report on 
the Santa Marias position and decided it was time to 
make another move. 

The Santa Maria by now was almost smack on the equa- 
tor 35' south latitude and 31 45' west longitude, on a 
course of 140 southeast. That would put her about 875 
miles from Belem and about half that distance from Fer- 
nando de Noronha, a tiny island off the Brazilian coast 
used by the United States as a missile-tracking station. 
Neither place was ideal for the transfer of hundreds of 
passengers, but Dennison felt he had to be in position to 
do it, if there was no alternative. 

His decision was doubly confirmed when, for more than 
three hours, the Santa Maria was lost in the equatorial 
mists. One four-engincd Constellation hurricane-hunter 
searched fruitlessly for that long before giving up and 
returning to its base at Belem. Happily, the Santa Maria's 
radio chatter, almost endless now, provided an accurate 
fix on her whereabouts and, when the mist melted away, 
the Navy patrol planes spotted her blithely cutting 
through, the smooth waters of the mid-Atlantic. 


After checking with the Pentagon, which in turn cleared 
it with the State Department, Dennison ordered Admiral 
Smith to fly to Belem, an insect-ridden, jungle-threatened, 
happy-go-lucky port at the mouth of the Amazon River. 

Dennison ordered the destroyer U.S.S. Wilson to Beleni, 
also. His plan was to put Admiral Smith aboard the Wilson 
for the rendezvous at sea with the Santa Maria for negotia- 
tions. If Smith could talk Galvao into port, Dennison 
would be ready. He dispatched the landing ship U.S.S. 
Hermitage, big enough to take on all the passengers, to the 
general area of the Santa Marias zigzag course. 

The American Navy was all alone now. The British, 
after that corking debate in Parliament and with criticism 
of the American and British efforts whistling about South 
America, had quietly bowed out of the chase. The frigates 
H.M.S. Rothesay and H.M.S. Ulster did an about-face and 
returned to the Windward Islands, to take up the polit- 
ically safer duties of refueling, restocking and minding 
one's own business. 

In Lisbon, American Ambassador C. Burke Elbrick was 
on the carpet again. The Portuguese Foreign Ministry 
read him the diplomatic riot act. What he was told went 
something like this: 

"The Portuguese Government is not at all pleased with 
the way your Navy is handling the Santa Maria affair. 
You want to assure the safety of the American passengers, 
and that is natural and good. But what about the ship 
and the crew, which is being forced to work at gunpoint? 

"The Portuguese Government wants to assure the safety 
of all the passengers and all the crew. And it wants the 
return of the ship to its rightful owners, in accordance with 
international law. 

"The United States is proceeding as if Galvao were 


some honored old friend, not a pirate and a refugee from 

Portuguese justice. 

"This is not living up to the United States Government's 

obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty. And it is not 
a friendly action toward the Portuguese Government. We 

need hardly remind the American Ambassador that Por- 
tugal has freely given his government use of the Azores as 
an air base, and that the agreement covering this will be 

up for renewal in 1962." 

No, they need not have reminded Mr. Elbrick of that. 
He was fully aware of it. He promptly notified the State 
Department that the whole tone of the Navy's negotia- 
tions was irksome to the Portuguese who, after all, held a 
trump card in the Azores base. The State Department 
informed Elbrick: "We purposely make no reference to 
the crew because we do not want Galvao to get his back 
up. We can legitimately negotiate for the safety of the 
passengers, but we are afraid that, if we start talking 
about the crew, he may call off all bets and steam for 
Angola. Once we get him in or near a port, our first duty 
is to get the passengers off. Then we will work for the 
safety of the crew." 

But Elbrick was instructed not to pass on this strategy 
disclosure to the Portuguese Government. It was consid- 
ered too crucial to the whole maneuver. To let the Portu- 
guese know might tip off Galvao. As long as Portuguese 
Government spokesmen were publicly complaining about 
the Americans' lack of expressed concern for the crew, 
Galvao could still cling to the hope that he could keep 
enough of the crew aboard to navigate the ship to wher- 
ever he chose. 

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Delgado called a news conference 
at his apartment, crammed to the rafters with cheering 


Portuguese exiles who said they came to volunteer to fight 
Salazar. Amid all the tears and flapdoodle, Delgado an- 
nounced with a flourish that he was naming Galvao "dele- 
gate plenipotentiary" for revolutionary action, whatever 
that might mean. 

In a high-sounding declaration, Delgado, as the self- 
styled mastermind of the seizure of the Santa Maria, 
ordered Galvao to prepare for "operations of liberation, 
occupation, administration, and public order.'' He directed 
that Galvao set up aboard the ship "an independent Junta 
of Liberation." And he called on all governments "to give 
directly or indirectly major help, moral and material, with 
the objective of liberating the Portuguese nation from 
slavery imposed by a totalitarian government," 

But, more importantly, Delgado tipped off the world to 
the very real possibility now that Galvao was weakening 
in his determination to bolt for Angola. Asked a question 
on this point, Delgado replied with a sigh, "We did not 
intend to go to Brazil but plans could change any time. 
Everything is in the hands of Galvao," 

Aboard the Santa Maria, Galvao had his hands full. He 
knew by now that he had a tiger by the tail. The trick was 
to figure out how to let it go without being devoured. 

Galvao still clung to a lingering hope that he could keep 
the ship in his possession even if he should surrender his 
hostages. When he received a wire from Admiral Dennison 
that promised no interference if Galvao chose to debark 
passengers at a port, he wanted to be sure this meant 
he could sail away again, in command. He called in 
Yunker to help him out with the message. 

Things were not going well aboard the ship. The crew 
grew more surly by the day, moving silently about their 


tasks like caged animals. The Beat along the equator 
gnawed at the nerves. 

The First and Cabin Class passengers, emboldened by 
the daily appearance of the American planes, approached 
Galvao now with little or no deference, some of them 
even with a patronizing air. These passengers had, in 
fact, lost almost all of their fear of the rebels. Few both- 
ered to lock their cabin doors any more. Rather, many 
doors were left ajar at night, in hopes of catching a stray 

Galvao had little concern about the First and Cabin 
Class passengers. He had seen to it that very few of their 
rights and privileges were impaired. 

The danger, he knew, was in the Tourist Class, where 
food and water rationing were working a real hardship. 
Strange to say, it did not strike him at all as ironic that 
the democratic revolt which he was leading left class lines 
undisturbed. Although he preached a square deal for the 
poor people of Portugal, he took only a few steps to give 
a square deal to the poor people of the Santa Maria. 
And even these were on the spectacular rather than the 
substantial side. 

He at first allowed the Tourist passengers to move 
freely about the deck space and passageway previously 
reserved for Cabin Class. But he later curtailed this 
privilege because it was abused. The Tourists usurped the 
deck chairs, for which Cabin Class passengers had planked 
down two dollars each at the outset of the trip, and scat- 
tered orange peels, cigarette butts, scraps of food and 
paper about the decks. This litter lay where it fell for 
a couple of days, until Cabin Class complained, and the 
crew was goaded into sloshing it all away with fire hoses. 


Galvao also decreed that the Tourist children could 
use the Cabin Class playroom. In this he persisted, true 
to his Latin's love for children, despite complaints about 
the youngstersparticularly when some of the older ones 
extended their suzerainty to the adults' lounge, racing 
around with cap pistols and playing pirates, much to the 
discomfiture of their elders. One American lady was al- 
most reduced to tears when a small Spanish boy crept 
up behind her, jammed a cardboard pistol into her back 
and yelled, "Bang!" 

But First Class was inviolate. Except for Sotoinayor 
and Velo, none of the rebels moved into First Class. While 
the others, as well as scores of Tourist passengers, flowed 
upward and took possession of Cabin Class rooms, Galvao 
rigidly maintained the barriers between First Class and 
the remainder of the ship. 

The American passengers had been made aware of the 
food problem in Third Class. A Spanish woman, obse- 
quious in manner but determined to make her point, ac- 
costed a group of Americans. With tears welling in her 
eyes, she showed them what Third Class had been served 
for dinner that night, It was a boiled potato, as hard 
as a rock, and beans which scarcely had been near a fire. 
There had been only soup for lunch, she said, and there 
was no milk at all for the children. 

The Americans talked about forming a committee to 
go into Tourist Class and investigate. But, in the end, the 
investigating committee could never get together. In- 
stead, they sent a message to Galvao, imploring him to 
improve the Tourist fare. He sent back word that lie 
would try and, in the meantime, he ordered milk for the 

As if these administrative problems were not enough, 


Galvao's optimistic scheme for enlarging his band of rebels 
was not doing well at all. He had depended upon the 

pulling power of Professor Velo to swell the ranks of his 
Salazar-hating entourage. Despite the best that Velo and 
others could do at the daily indoctrination sessions with 
the crew and Tourist passengers, only five persons among 
the hundreds on board had elected to throw in their lot 
with the rebels. None of the five, significantly enough, 
came from the number of native Angolans in the Santa 
Marias crew. 

The five, all unmarried Portuguese crewmen from Lis- 
bon, were: 

Victor Manoel Figueira Dias Algarves, eighteen, a bus- 

Jose Prudencio Tinoco, twenty-three, a steward. 

Hermogenio Antonio Borges da Silva, twenty-five, a 

Joaquirn Andrade Goncalves, thirty-seven, an elec- 

Joaquim de Almeida Tempero, thirty-three, a seaman. 

As Tourist Class struggled against the heat and hunger, 
especially the fretful children and the many pregnant 
women aboard, and as the crew worried silently about 
what Galvao would do with them, the Cabin and First 
Class passengers faced two major concerns: uncertainty 
and boredom. These took their food, ample and well- 
cooked, as a matter of course. But they fussed over the 
necessity of always keeping their bags packed, for they 
never knew when Galvao's "manana" might come, and 
time hung heavy on their hands. The card games, the 
reading, the traipsing to meals three times a day, the tea 
dances in the afternoon, the alternating dances and movies 
in the eveningsthese were not enough to fill up the day. 


The idle hours were devoted mainly to talk, usually specu- 
lation about when and how they would disembark. Occa- 
sionally there were sharp words, as when they chose 
sides for or against Galvao or argued whether the Ameri- 
can Navy was doing too much or not enough. John Daw- 
son, for one, was against Galvao and could not for the 
life of him understand why the Navy had not yet rescued 
them. On the other hand, Eben Baty liked Galvao in the 
three talks he had had with him, and growled that the 
worst thing of all was the continual "buzzing" of the ship 
by American planes. 

At week's end, seven-year-old Debbie Smith made her 
reappearance. She looked a bit wan, but her rash was 
gone, and she started doing the rounds of the First Class 
area, looking for things to do. Her mother, still fearful of 
violence, was not sleeping well. But Mrs. Smith conquered 
her distaste for the armed rebels lounging about the pool 
and resumed swimming. 

Mrs. Chubb had no time for boredom. She was still 
catching up on her sleep after her bout with illness at 
Seville before boarding the Santa Maria. And she devoted 
her waking hours to trying to find out what was going 
on in the drama being played about her. Nights, she wrote 
all she had learned in her journal, taking care also to note 
family events in it, such as: 

"Friday, January 27, 1961 (Grandmother Patterson's 
H3th birthday)." 

Arthur Douglas Patton decided it was about time to 
throw over another bottle with a message in it. He had 
already tossed out two on his European vacation, one on 
the way over from the S.S. Dick Lykes out of New Or- 
leans, and the other from the Santa Maria after leaving 


La Guaira, Venezuela. One such bottle of his had been 
found once, by a man on the beach at Devon, England. 
The man's daughter, an attractive twenty-one-year-old 

named Diana Quirk of Braunton, North Devon, had writ- 
ten the Pattons and sent them a snapshot. They had sent 
her a small collection of stamps in fulfillment of the mes- 
sage's promise to reward the finder with "something of 
value," He wrote a similar teaser message this time. On a 
Santa Maria postcard he wrote, "If the finders of this 
contact Douglas Patton at Boulder City, Nev., they will 
learn something to their advantage." His intention this 
time was to tell the finder that the bottle had been floated 
from a "pirate ship," the Santa Maria. 

The tension had ebbed, and that night, Friday, January 
27, good looks and good manners scored a complete vic- 
tory over fear. A number of the lady passengers got up 
and danced with some of the rebels. 

These were certainly among history's strangest "pi- 
rates." All of them, from Galvao down to the youngest 
teenager, were possessed of an Old World courtliness 
which enchanted the American women aboard. It was 
hard now to recall, on that sixth day of captivity, that it 
had all started with a burst of death-dealing gunfire from 
these exquisitely polite Latin gentlemen. 

Some of the younger women among the third-class pas- 
sengers were obviously seized with more than idle curi- 
osity about their well-mannered captors. It soon became a 
common sight groups of three or four young Spanish and 
Portuguese girls, some of them strikingly lovely, clustered 
about a rebel posted on guard duty. In the evenings the 
younger men faced the happy dilemma of which among 
the beauties to "date." They never lacked female com- 


panionship, at any time. Galvao watched the shipboard 
romances bloom, pretending not to notice but secretly 
pleased, like an indulgent father. 

In the lounge, on the nights when there were dances 
instead o movies, they "dressed" for the evening. The 
khaki uniforms with red and green armbands were shed 
in the commandeered cabins, and the rebels appeared 
at night in tropical business suits or sport shirts and slacks. 
They paid for their drinks with American dollars, al- 
though sometimes they put it on the cuff by writing 
"D.R.I.L." across the check. And they never drank too 
much. Their conduct was always exemplary. It was as- 
sumed, however, that they always carried their pistols 
with them. 

June Preston was feeling a bit queasy. At lunchtime she 
had not been able to finish her meal. She wondered 
whether it was seasickness, a reaction against the heat and 
the uncertainty, or something worse. In any event, she 
passed up dinner for a light snack in her cabin and, after 
putting her two youngest boys to bed, joined her husband 
on deck to enjoy the night air and look at the Southern 
Cross and other stars of the Southern Hemisphere. They 
ignored the dance in the lounge, but it was good to listen 
to the music while collapsed in a deck chair. Like most 
of the other passengers, June drew comfort from the 
winking green and red lights of the Navy plane as it cir- 
cled ceaselessly over the Santa Maria. 

But the next day it was gone. 



Rear Admiral Allen E. Smith, Jr., was all dressed up with 
no place to go. Pursuant to his orders, he got set in San 

Juan, Puerto Rico, for the hop across to Belem on the 
morning of Saturday, January 28. There he was, in a fresh 

white uniform, his four-engined Constellation standing 
by, and a half-dozen reporters tagging along to watch him 
at work. But his new orders were to hold it. The Brazilian 
Government had stopped all flights of American planes 
to and from Brazilian soil 

The State Department in Washington was baffled at 
first. How could it be? The explanation, as the Brazilian 
Embassy gave it, was simple. The United States had neg- 
lected to gain the proper clearances. A fast recheck with 
American Ambassador John Moors Cabot in Brasilia soon 
clarified the matter* There had been a misunderstanding. 
The United States had asked permission for two types of 
aircraft to land and take off from Recife and Belem. The 
Brazilian Foreign Ministry had understood this to mean 
a total of two airplanes and these were authorized. When 
more than a dozen, began zooming in and out of the two 
airfields, local officials complained to their government, 



and Brasilia, ever mindful of its sovereignty, called a halt. 

By Sunday morning, the necessary formalities were 
completed. The American planes were flying patrol again, 
and Admiral Smith climbed aboard his four-engined 
charger and took off for Belem almost a whole day late. 
No real harm had been done to the chase, for the Navy 
kept watch on the Santa Maria through radio "fixes." 

But the temporary absence of the aircraft jolted the pas- 
sengers aboard the Santa Maria. The ship's beauty shop 
operator grew so nervous that she could no longer dress 
her customers' hair, and she canceled all her appoint- 
ments. The Cabin Class maitre d'hotel went berserk. He 
was locked in a cabin in the aft section of B deck. A little 
later, two women telephone operators became hysterical. 
They were locked into a cabin next to him. Their howling 
and screaming and pounding on the door could easily be 
heard by the Americans quartered in that part of the ship. 

Laurence Williams, a Canadian, was so wary of the 
rebels that he went to great pains to hide his journal 
He wrote on the backs of ship's menus and he tucked other 
notes between sheets of music. 

Tension developed, too, among the Americans. Mrs. 
Chubb, the mildest of souls, lost her temper at Mr. Church- 
ill, accusing him of talking endlessly about nothing and 
suggesting tartly that he try silence for a while. Angry 
words between two men even led to a scuffle a shoving 
match and not really a fist fight in which one of them 
fell to the deck and broke his eyeglasses. Mrs. Bates was 
shocked speechless when one of the little Preston boys 
turned on her, as she sought to correct him, and snapped, 
"Aw shut up!" 

The behavior of the rebels did not help matters. They 
were seen pulling covers off of lifeboats and inspecting 


the interiors of the craft. Rumors immediately swept the 
ship that Galvao was going to set the passengers adrift 
in them on the high seas. The question naturally arose 
as to what one wore in a lifeboat. Somebody remembered 
that in the movie "Lifeboat," Tallulah Bankhead had worn 
a full-length mink coat. This set all the American women 
to wondering whether they should take their fur coats 
along. The Americans considered asking Galvao for a life- 
boat drill. But they rejected this on the grounds that 
the Portuguese and Spaniards aboard, as volatile Latins, 
might mistake a drill for the real thing and set off a panic. 

The Americans were at a loss as to how to cope with the 
increasingly deep depression of the crew members they 

Mrs. Boyce was disturbed by the despair of a third 
engineer whose family she had met during her stay in 
Portugal. The man was convinced that, as soon as the 
passengers were unloaded, Galvao would head out to sea 
and certain destruction by the Portuguese and Spanish 
warships lurking there. The Portuguese officer was sure 
he would die, and he asked only that Mrs. Boyce remem- 
ber him to his family if she ever visited Portugal again. 

Mrs. Chubb was still trying to divine the mystery of 
the radio set which somebody had smuggled into her 
room. She checked faithfully every day to see that it was 
still undisturbed in its hiding place in her zipper-bag 
luggage. But whenever she broached the subject to her 
maid or the officer who seemed to be implicated, she was 
invariably met with finger-to-lips signals to keep quiet 
about the whole thing. 

Galvao came up with a new wrinkle on Saturday night 
to make the prospect of imminent debarkation even more 
tantalizing. Over the loudspeaker he announced that two 


American warships would come alongside and escort the 
Santa Maria to a port, which would be reached in a couple 
of days. It was maddening. Would this really happen? Or 
was it just more of Galvao's "manana" talk? 

The trouble was that, as soon as the temporizing made 
the passengers completely impatient with Galvao, some- 
thing charming would happen to take the steam out of 
their anger. Professor Velo and his close friend from Vene- 
zuela, the civil engineer Rafael Ojeda Henriquez, won 
many a passenger away from wrath by the simple gra- 
ciousness of their manner. 

There were always little incidents, such as the time 
Mrs. Chubb, going upstairs in semi-darkness, turned a 
corner and bumped into Galvao, walking along, head 
down, deep in thought. 

"Oh, hello," she said. 

"Good afternoon, Senhora/ 5 he replied, with a sweeping 
bow, and went on his way, leaving the little old lady from 
Pasadena delighted at the chance encounter. 

"They really are gentle, quiet, courteous gentlemen," 
she said later. 

But the adventure was beginning to pall on Mrs. Chubb. 
That Saturday night, as she contemplated the possibilities, 
she wrote in her journal: 

Not knowing where I'm going, how I'm getting to 
U.S. or when, I am uncertain of plans. A ride on a 
battleship would be fun but crossing the Atlantic 
again and again is tiresome. I'm tired. I'd prefer Pasa- 
dena, but could I exert myself to get to Florida later? 

The Portuguese company fine print seems to think 
piracy is like an act of God! So they aren't responsible. 
I surely would like clean clothes and a bath in clean 


water, and relief from soggy, soggy hair. Most women 
wear Lead scarves. We need them even in heat! 

Things were beginning to get June Preston down, too. 
Washing for her husband, herself and the four boys 
took up all her spare time. She was forever doing laundry, 
and the uneasy feeling at the pit of her stomach was 
persisting. The boys were getting harder to manage. 
Steven, the two-year-old, and Donald, five, were growing 
bored playing cheques, the Venezuelan term for automo- 
bile crashes, with their string-pulled, wooden cars. Steven 
lately had taken to rushing up to rebel guards and butting 
them like a billy goat. Always, the men were tolerant of 
the little boy's mischief. They played with him, indulgent 
but wary whenever he lowered his head and went into 
his butting stance. 

Mrs. Lucille Williamson, forty-two, a widow from Bat- 
tle Creek, Michigan, grew in personality as the tension 
increased. Whereas at the outset she had seemed cold 
and withdrawn to her fellow passengers in Cabin Class, 
now she seemed to blossom with each passing day. She 
had struck up a cordial, restrained friendship with one of 
the ship's officers and, somehow, this seemed to make her 
prettier, more congenial She voiced no complaints about 
the uncertainty of the ship's fate and she accepted cheer- 
fully whatever privations accrued from the strange activ- 
ity. She was with a cheerful group, the others at her table 
being Mrs. Chubb, the friendly and talkative Nat Logan- 
Smith and Martin Yunker, who entranced his fellow diners 
with detailed reports on his chats with Galvao. 

Yunker was called to Galvao's side on Saturday to join 
in a radio conversation with a circling Navy Neptune, It 
was an important talk. After assuring the pilot, Com- 


mander William Webster of Bingham, Massachusetts, that 
all was well aboard, Yunker translated Galvao's new offer. 
Galvao, for the first time, said flatly he would be willing 
to let the passengers off at tf 'any selected Brazilian port," 
as long as nobody would try to take the ship away from 

Webster promptly relayed this to his superiors. It was 
the break they had been waiting for. It was clear that 
Galvao had been prompted to make his offer by reports 
of a newspaper interview with Janio Quadros, to be sworn 
in on Tuesday, January 31, as president of Brazil. The in- 
terviewer quoted Quadros as saying: "Henrique Galvao is 
my old friend. Being my friend, he knows I will not turn 
over the ship to Portuguese authorities in any manner." 

This was a far cry from the statements of the outgoing 
regime of President Juscelino Kubitschek. The Kubitschek 
government had offered political asylum to Galvao and his 
men, but said the ship had to be taken over and returned 
to Portugal under international law. Galvao was delighted. 
If Quadros would take off the passengers, allow him to re- 
fuel and replenish and be on his way, there was still a 
chance that he could continue to defy Salazar. What did 
it matter if the Santa Maria were torpedoed and sunk? All 
the better, for that would further dramatize Salazar's con- 
tempt for human life. Galvao did not mind dying at all, 
if it were for The Cause, and his men were prepared to die 
with him. The crew, however, had other ideas. 

Captain Mario Simoes Maia ? obedient but sullen, did 
what Galvao and Sotomayor told him to do. He assisted 
in the navigation and, by his example of cooperation, 
helped keep the crew in line. But the captain and his crew, 
except for the five who went over to the side of the rebels, 
did not fancy themselves as sacrificial lambs on the altar 


of Galvao's hatred for Salazar. They wanted to live. Lack- 
ing the courage to revolt, they resorted to sly sabotage. 
Water taps were left running all night at times, to drain 
away the Santa Marias meager supply of fresh water. The 
engines were tinkered with, to make them less effective 
and to increase fuel consumption. Captain Maia purposely 
made slight errors in navigation, so that the ship kept mov- 
ing closer to the Brazilian coastline as it steamed in circles 
below the equator. 

Sunday, January 29, dawned exceedingly warm. June 
and Floyd Preston, sweltering with the rest of the passen- 
gers, had an added botheration. The four Preston boys 
were clamoring again to go swimming. A few children al- 
ready were in the pool, Dutch children mostly, and they 
looked so cool and carefree, straw-colored hair plastered 
to their heads, as gracefully at ease in the water as otters. 

"All right," June sighed. "Let's go get our suits on." 

There was a mad dash to Cabins No. 15 and 17, and in 
less time than it takes to tell, all six Prestons marched out 
in bathing suits. June led the way, hoping to be able to 
share the two life rings she had spotted at the pool earlier, 
since none of her boys could swim a stroke. 

"Me first! Me first!" cried two-year-old Steven. 

June went down the ladder into the pool and Floyd 
handed over a squirming Steven. Bobbing in the life ring, 
Steven reached down with both feet for the bottom. He 
was about ten feet too short to reach it. He let out a howl. 
He wanted no part of all that much water. In a few sec- 
onds, he was back on the deck, content to do any further 
"swimming" in the big bathtub of Cabin No. 15. 

Donald, five, went in up to his ankles on the ladder, 
thought better of it, and solemnly joined Steven on deck. 
The older boys, Harold, and Bruce, put on the two life 


rings and splashed about happily. This emboldened Don- 
ald and, after awhile, he tried again, and this time he 
found it great fun being towed about the pool in a life 
ring by his mother. 

After an hour or so, the Prestons shooed their children 
out on deck so they could enjoy themselves without having 
to watch little boys in life rings. June dove in and stayed 
under, swimming below the surface. Steven screeched in 

"Mommie! Mommie!" 

He thought she had disappeared forever in that bottom- 
less pit. He was incredulous but relieved when she bobbed 
up at the other end. There was more to this swimming 
business than sitting in a bathtub. 

It was a pleasant diversion for the Prestons, and that 
afternoon, tired out from the water, they all took naps. 
They trooped to tea afterward and, in the early evening, 
stood at the railing and cheered when the Navy recon- 
naissance plane appeared. They had taken to calling it 
"The Evening Mail" and its absence the day before, when 
flights out of Brazil had been grounded in the protocol 
mixup, had been acutely felt. 

That night June and Floyd were in the bar when Galvao 
entered. He looked bedraggled, as if the heat were getting 
to him, too. The black beret was set at its familiar jaunty 
angle. But his khaki shirt and trousers were soiled and 
rumpled, and those shoulder boards! They drooped dis- 
mally toward Galvao's armpits, giving him the classic look 
of a military sad sack. 

Galvao talked to Cecil and Joan Harberson. He told 
them he expected to confer the next day with the Ameri- 
can admiral. Any day now, he said, the passengers would 
be getting off the ship. He said some newsmen were going 


to parachute to the Santa Maria. And he explained how 
his old friend, Janio Quadros, who would become presi- 
dent of Brazil in two days, had apparently promised to let 
him deposit the passengers at a Brazilian port and sail on 
without interference. 

This news was all over the ship before the sun had fully 
risen on the next day, Monday, January 30, the ninth day 
of captivity. To some, it gave new hope. But the majority 
snorted in disgust. Galvao's "manana* promises had pro- 
duced more cynics than the boy who cried, "Wolf!" Even 
that perennial optimist, Mrs. Chubb, was at last disillu- 



Mrs. Chubb had the clear impression, from Galvao's an- 
nouncements on Saturday, the American warships would 
come alongside on Sunday to escort the Santa Maria into 
port for debarkation of passengers. She had gotten ready. 
She stayed up until one o'clock Sunday morning, repack- 
ing her bags. She washed out her brown and blue gingham 
dress by hand and tipped her maid a dollar to iron it. She 
saved the dress, wearing around during the day what she 
later called "most distressingly mussed clothes." She said 
goodbye to her friends in the crew in the morning, and 
she said goodbye to them after lunch. By tea time, it was 
apparent nothing was going to happen, and so, feeling 
pretty downhearted, she changed into fresh clothes and 
played bridge until dinner. She turned in early. Monday 
was her birthday and she recorded it in her journal: 

January 30, 1961 This yist birthday opens drear- 
ily. . . . 

The ship just marks time, an hour or so south, an 

hour or so north, a turn about. The water is supposed 

to be seven miles deep so there is no anchor and we 

can't stand still Moving is helpful, air is dislocated, 



but it is always hot and humid eight degrees south 
of the Equator. . . . 

I am not unpacking in this heat and humidity. 
Clothes can't get more mussed. I dig my fingers in 
and hunt for what I need. This morning a pair of 
stockings. I roll them way down and my feet are 
more comfortable than when bare in my heavy shoes. 

The children grow more noisy and freer in their 
scampering. Few cry and all are remarkably clean. 
How mothers manage it, I do not know. 

We are jealous! First Class has no invaders. Even 
the three Liberator leaders appear rarely for meals. 
With fifty-seven or so passengers, they have a swim- 
ming pool, wide almost empty decks, dining room, 
library, empty lounge, bar, writing room. With 100 
passengers we have most of Liberators, and at least 
100 or so Third Class passengers on our decks. . . . 

Everyone is lackadaisical, boredom and weather. 
Our food is less and less appetizing, again boredom, 
and also fewer changes. Rumors are terrific, people 
are less attractive. Escaping is practiced by the people 
I like best. Each of us goes to our rooms to read or 
sleep or tries to find an out-of-the-way corner. A few 
blustering American men worry me more than the 
Liberators. They can't see that arguments with our 
captors could produce a riot in our congested, almost 
inflammable situation. 

The restraint of a Liberator should have put them 
to shame yesterday when a man tried to tell him off 
and show him his sins. The Liberator replied vehe- 
mently in Spanish, shook his fist and walked away.. 
He could have pulled the gun at his hip. 

Our stairs and cabin corridors are quite dark. A riot 


would cause accidents at best . . . heart attacks . , . 
anything could happen. I'd sure hate to have restric- 
tions put upon us, but loud argumentative people 
need to be sent to their cabins. . . . 

If the Cruise in the South Atlantic lasts much 
longer, the population will increase. A dozen or so 
women's time must be approaching fast. ( A baby was 
born last day). 

But Mrs. Chubb's pessimism was short-lived. 

All in all, it was an amazing day, with tension flowing 
up and down like a barometer gone haywire. It was, as 
Mrs. Chubb was to remark many times afterward, "quite 
a birthday for an old lady!" 

There was, to begin with, land. Not much of it, just three 
vague points showing on the horizon. Rumors buzzed 
about the ship that it was Brazil, and there was sound 
like a low keening as the people gathered at the rail and 
murmured about those beckoning patches of bluish purple 
so far away. It was the first land they had seen since paus- 
ing at St. Lucia exactly one week before. 

Soon, it became clear that it must be Brazil, Recife in 
fact. In the bar, television sets were receiving broadcasts 
from the Recife station. Every time the words Santa 
Maria were mentioned, a crowd of viewers quickly gath- 
ered. Many of the rebels spent hours in the bar, watching 
television. The passengers speculated that Galvao was 
circling between twenty and fifty miles off Recife, waiting 
for his conference at sea with the American admiral and 
killing time until his friend, Janio Quadros, became presi- 
dent of Brazil. A low-silhouetted ship, possibly a destroyer, 
lay far off on the horizon, too. Could the American ad- 
miral be aboard that craft? 


It was on this day, too, that the people of the Santa 
Maria first felt the direct impact of the scores of reporters, 
photographers and cameramen who had swooped down 
on Brazil to record the floating revolution. 

They had come from four continents, more than a hun- 
dred of them, and they swarmed into Recife like locusts. 
Recife, slumbering in the equatorial backwaters of the 
world, was totally unprepared for the invasion. But it 
learned quickly, and the economic boom was great while 
it lasted. It would be a long time before boat owners, tele- 
phone operators, telegraphers, cab drivers, bell boys, bar- 
tenders, waiters, hostesses, bank clerks and various and 
sundry factotums forgot the week that The Press came to 
town in quest of the Santa Maria. 

Struggling with bulky television cameras and lights or 
strutting jauntily with trench coat and attache case, they 
made themselves unselfconsciously at home, for home to 
them was anywhere that big news broke. They were globe 
trotters who always kept a suitcase handy and their pass- 
ports and expense accounts up to date, ready to cover an 
Asian war today, an American presidential inauguration 
next week and a French film festival the week after. They 
all had the same orders from their editors: get aboard the 
"pirate ship," and get there first. 

The Grande Hotel, because it had the best accommoda- 
tions as well as a commanding view of the harbor and the 
ocean beyond, was their natural headquarters. They met 
in the lobby, with great hoorahs and handshakes, like Old 
Grads on Founders Day, and in the second-floor bar, where 
they could sip and look out the French windows at the 

"Hi, therel Ottawa, wasn't it? Queen Elizabeth's visit 
in fifty-seven?" 


"Hi, there! Haven't seen you since Khrushchev at Coon 

"Hi, there! I remember-the Summit Conference last 

"Hi, there! The Tokyo riots . . . right?" 

Soon they got down to the business at hand. They 
brought each other up to date on what the Santa Maria 
and the Navy were doing. But it was understood that, 
when it came to the main event, the actual effort to slip 
aboard the runaway liner, it would be every man for him- 
self, and devil take the hindmost. 

What a grand race it was! They called it "The Recife 
Regatta," and they pressed into service every ratty, leaky 
tub that could float. There were tugboats, sloops, launches 
andwhen the Santa Maria came within sight even skiffs. 
The wily fishermen of Recife soon saw they had a good 
thing going, and the rental prices skyrocketed. For one 
sortie in a tugboat, when the Santa Maria was about fifty 
miles offshore, the price was $2,900, and a clever skipper 
might be able to work in two trips in a day. The going 
rate for a fishing launch, thirty to forty feet long, was 

"Not all the pirates are at sea," the correspondents 
grumbled. But they shelled out and wired home for more 
money. The boat owners, wallets bulging with twenty- 
dollar bills, held out one hand for the money and, with 
the other, waved away would-be clients who had arrived 
at the dock too late. 

The first view the passengers had of the "rats of Recife" 
was a little single-engined airplane, painted a gay green 
and red, circling low overhead. In the opening where the 
door had been, a young man braced himself in a kneeling 
position. The plane dropped down and flew just above the 


water, at about deck level, and the young man pressed a 
camera against his face, squinting as he sighted in on the 
Santa Maria and pressed a button to start his camera whir- 
ring. Then late in the afternoon, a battered old fishing boat 
appeared and pulled alongside the Santa Maria. Passen- 
gers crowded to the rail to look down on it. A rope ladder 
was lowered, and five men, as unkempt a lot as the Santa 
Maria's passengers had ever seen, clambered up from the 
bobbing fishing boat. It was hard to believe, but these five 
ragged visitors were newsmen, the first to board the elu- 
sive liner. They conferred at length with Galvao and then 
mingled with the passengers, asking questions and shoot- 
ing pictures all over the ship. Their presence assured the 
passengers that they were no longer isolated. 

Most encouraging of all, Galvao finally made two moves 
that gave credence to his pledge that relief was near. He 
posted landing instructions on the bulletin boards and had 
them read over the loudspeaker system. Also, and this was 
really the most unbelievable sign he announced that he 
was throwing a farewell dinner that night for the First 
and Cabin Class passengers. 

Galvao's landing instructions were clear enough. Pas- 
sengers would be allowed to carry a small bag of personal 
belongings with them. The rest of their luggage was to be 
left in the cabin, to be searched and taken ashore later. 
Passengers were not to carry ashore anything for the crew. 
Nor were they to take with them any firearms or records 
of the ship. A strict priority of departure was set up: preg- 
nant women, sick persons and the families of these would 
be first. Next would go married couples and their children. 
Finally, single persons could leave. It looked good for the 
passengers, but there was small comfort in this program 
for the crew. 


This was becoming a very sore point on the interna- 
tional scene as well as aboard the Santa Maria. The Portu- 
guese Government, in its daily contacts with American 
Ambassador Elbrick in Lisbon, hammered at the theme 
that sheer humanitarianism demanded that the United 
States seek the release of the 356 crew members. It went 
beyond that. Dr. Jose Scares da Fonseca, chairman of the 
board of the Companhia Colonial de Navegacao, owners 
of the Santa Maria, cabled President Kennedy from Lis- 
bon. He urged that the American Navy work for the free- 
ing of the crew members "who are also human beings and 
have been in even bigger danger." The company disclosed 
that it had called on Interpol, the international police or- 
ganization, to intervene to restore the ship "with the same 
expediency as it deals with other cases of international as- 
sault and robbery." Portugal's National Syndicate of Sea- 
farers also cabled President Kennedy, appealing for an 
effort to save the crew. A similar plea came from Manuel 
Cardinal Goncalves Cerejeira, patriarch of Lisbon. 

Aboard the Santa Maria, as cooks scrambled about pre- 
paring the night's banquet and the print shop dropped 
everything else to turn out an especially designed sou- 
venir menu, Galvao was having one of his busiest clays in 
the radio room. 

Galvao's spirits were buoyed by two messages from 
Carlos Lacerda, governor of Guanabara, the state in Bra- 
zil which encompasses Rio de Janeiro. First, Lacerda sug- 
gested Galvao stay out of a Brazilian port until after 
Quadros' inauguration the next day. The governor prom- 
ised to do all in his power to see that the Santa Maria 
remained in Galvao's hands. Then, Lacerda reported that 
he had talked with Alfonso Arimos and Silvio Heck, des- 


ignated as Foreign Minister and Navy Minister, respec- 
tively, in the incoming administration. Lacerda added: 

"President Janio lias declared to the press that he will 
assure disembarkation of passengers, political asylum for 
you and your companions as well as to maintain you in 
command of the ship Santa Maria. 

"While these declarations are not confirmed officially, I 
can tell you this is really the thought of the new Presi- 

Galvao promptly messaged his thanks to Lacerda. He 
emphasized that his mission aboard the Santa Maria was 
"to open most active hostilities to advance the liberation 
of the motherland." 

Galvao swapped a number of messages with the Ameri- 
can hurricane-hunter plane, piloted by Commander Wil- 
liam Webster around the Santa Maria that bright, sunny 

"Admiral Smith will board the destroyer Gearing at day- 
light tomorrow to proceed to rendezvous area," Webster 
told Galvao. "Disembarkation of passengers to take place 
tomorrow if possible." 

Galvao agreed to the rendezvous, and he added, "We 
will be looking forward to arriving in Recife." 

Webster messaged that the Brazilian Government, as 
such, had given no formal assurances that Galvao could 
sail on after he entered Brazilian waters. But Galvao dis- 
missed this word of caution with lavish praise for Qua- 
dros, saying he would settle details with Admiral Smith 
on the morrow. 

"There is no doubt that with the new Government we 
will have the best reception and treatment," Galvao said. 
"1 am sorry that the passengers had to have their route 


changed. But I was also obliged to change my route. All 
passengers have had their rights respected and to the 
present moment there has been no trouble between them 
and us/' 

Galvao called Howard Weisberger of Las Vegas to the 
radiophone. He wanted Weisberger to confirm for the 
Navy plane that all was well between the captors and 
captives aboard the ship. 

"Our morale is good, primarily because of the frequent 
appearance of American naval aircraft/' Weisberger said. 

Galvao was pleased with his day's work. He looked for- 
ward to the banquet with relish. If there was anything he 
loved and understood, it was style. Sometimes., during this 
hot and taxing cruise, things had not gone as stylishly as 
he desired. But this night he hoped to make the passen- 
gers forget any little crudities or lapses in protocol. With 
the banquet all laid out, the First and Second Class pas- 
sengers seated, and the ship's orchestra playing gay, un- 
obtrusive music, Galvao had one more order to give. 

"Champagne for Third Class," he told the ship's com- 
missary, and it was duly sent down. 

And then, flanked by Velo and Sotomayor, Galvao swept 
grandly into the First Class lounge. With a flourish, they 
seated themselves at a "captain's table." Galvao admired 
the menu, printed to his precise specifications. Its head- 
ing, in Portuguese and English, said: 


Farewell Dinner 
Monday, January 30, 1961 

It offered a wide variety of choices. There were three 
kinds of soup. As a fish course, one could have either 
salmon or lobster. The entree could be either Tournedos 


Saute Montmorency or Chicken Chipolata. Vegetables in- 
cluded artichokes, potatoes cocotte, green peas, and aspar- 
agus with Dutch sauce. The salad was lettuce with just 
about any dressing imaginable, including A-i sauce and 
Miracle- whip. There also was a cold buffet offering York 
and smoked ham, chicken, roast lamb, and leg o pork. 
There were Portuguese wines, of course, and to top it all 
off there were cheeses, orange pudding, nuts and fruits, 
and instant coffee. 

For once, there were no political harangues. It was a 
happy, carefree evening, the strongest sign yet to the pas- 
sengers that their ordeal might truly be nearing an end. 
Galvao would not squander his limited resources in so 
profligate a gesture if he did not expect to stock up again 
very soon. And that meant, hopefully, that the passengers 
could leave the ship. 

Many of the Second Class passengers came to the head 
table, menu and ballpoint pen in hand. Galvao, Velo and 
Sotornayor were busy for the better part of an hour, sign- 
ing autographs. 

Arthur Douglas Patton got all three. He went up on a 
dare, and he was glad he did. 

"Something to show our grandchildren/' he told his 

The evening went well until instant-coffee time. Shortly 
before ten o'clock, when the tables had been cleared of 
dinnerware and the orchestra swung into dance music, the 
First Class passengers rose and left. It was a calculated 
snub, but Galvao gave no indication that he noticed. 

Other people began to dance. After-dinner drinks flowed 
and the party was soon in full swing. Galvao, signing auto- 
graphs and chatting benevolently, basked in the warm 
glow of the get-together. Somebody started tossing colored 


paper streamers over the dancers and there was merry 
laughter as the tempo of the orchestra quickened. 

"A real fiesta," Nat Logan-Smith said. 

June and Floyd Preston walked out with the other First 
Class passengers as soon as the dinner was over. Floyd re- 
paired to the bar to watch television. There was more 
about the Santa Maria now, even jokes, such as "The 
Santa Maria Dance Step one with lots o back and forth 

It had not been a very pleasant day for June Preston. She 
had come down with dysentery the night before and spent 
the day in bed. The ship's doctor dropped in about noon 
to give her antibiotic pills and prescribe a diet of water, 
tea, and sweet biscuits. Her husband had undertaken to 
keep their four boys out of mischief. 

June went to her cabin, where the sight of over-used 
towels almost sickened her again. She had had to ask for 
clean sheets that day. Bed bugs. They had nibbled on her 
all day as she lay a-bed during her indisposition, and the 
sheets were stained with blood where she had inadvert- 
ently squashed them. 

Nobody enjoyed the farewell dinner-dance more than 
Galvao. Unhappily a brief encounter on the way to his 
cabin robbed him of his gay mood. As lie passed a crew- 
man in a dimly lit passageway, he caught the man's eye. 
He was taken aback by the cold insolence of the stare* 
What dangers lurked in the mind behind such eyes? 



Galvao was disturbed by the sullen new look of the crew. 
But it was only one of many worries. His ship, his be- 
loved "Santa Liberdade," was in trouble. It was not only 
the air conditioning breakdown, and the Third Class drop- 
pings littering the Cabin Class area like a picnic ground 
on a summer weekend. Worse still, one turbine could do 
little more than limp along. Water, food and fuel were 
low. The sea was intruding through a defect in the packing 
of the port propeller shaft, and the list to that side was 
becoming very noticeable. There was no hope of making 
these repairs, or even of fixing the air conditioning, with- 
out a stay in port of several days. But how could he swing 

So far, he had only a newspaper report and the word of 
Governor Lacerda that Quadros would permit him to keep 
the Santa Maria if ho entered Brazil's territorial waters. 
Quadros would be sworn in as president at noon that day, 
Tuesday, January 31. Galvao waited impatiently for offi- 
cial word from Quadros assuring him of nonintervention. 
In response to- queries from the Brazilian press, he sent a 
message aimed at drawing out Quadros. It said, "I hope to 
enter Recife on the same solemn day that Brazil initiates 



a new era headed by your admirable and honored Presi- 
dent Quadros." 

But first there was Rear Admiral Allen E. Smith, Jr., to 
deal with. At dawn, the admiral steamed from Recife, 
about forty miles northwest of the Santa Marias position. 
With him aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Gearing were sixty- 
six reporters and photographers from all over the world. 
Smith sailed amid a great whoopdedoo about having se- 
cret instructions from Washington. Navy spokesmen said 
the orders were in a sealed envelope brought by Com- 
mander J. E. Tingle of Fort Worth, Texas, skipper of the 
Gearing. In a move to forestall reporters' inquiries, but 
hardly flattering to Admiral Smith, the spokesmen had an- 
nounced on Monday, January 30, in Recife: 

"The admiral will meet Captain Henrique Galvao 
aboard the Santa Maria at daylight tomorrow morning. 
The purpose of the meeting will be to confer with Captain 
Galvao and to attempt to reach an agreement with him on 
the disembarkation of passengers, in accordance with in- 
structions which he will receive from the destroyer Gear- 
ing, which is to arrive in Recife at five o'clock local time. 

"The Admiral emphasizes that at the moment he doesn't 
know what his instructions will be." 

The announcement added that the destroyers U.S.S. 
Vogelgesang, U.S.S. Wilson and U.S.S. Damato "arc ex- 
pected in the Recife area shortly." It said they would "be 
available to assist Admiral Smith in carrying out his in- 
structions in accordance with agreements reached with 

That sounded as if the Navy might finally accede to 
Galvao's demands that the passengers be transferred to 
other ships on the high seas. How else would all those 
destroyers be helpful? 


If Galvao wanted to, al he had to do was to steam into 
Recife at high tide, tie up at a pier, drop a gangplank and 
wish the passengers Godspeed. But he still was not sure 
that he could then set sail again. To make him even more 
uneasy, he had picked up a news broadcast in which Qua- 
dros had cast doubt on the newspaper story quoting him, 
declaring, "When I have something to say about the Santa 
Maria, I will not say it in this manner, and I have nothing 
to say right now." 

Galvao, mindful of the surly mood of the crew and the 
restiveness in Third Class, took certain security precau- 
tions. He knew the presence of official visitors aboard 
would create excitement, so he ordered the barriers sepa- 
rating the three classes to be raised and locked in place. 

From the flying bridge, Galvao watched the Gearing 
approach at a fast clip from Recife. A few thousand yards 
away she slowed down and ran up flags, announcing her 
presence and requesting a radio frequency for voice con- 
tact, Galvao was annoyed at the smartness with which the 
Gearing sailed and executed her turns. 

"We are obliged," he snapped over the radio in Spanish, 
"to reject as an unfriendly act toward our conduct the 
fact that the American destroyer has come into a position 
of combat. I recognize your dress." 

From the Gearing, Ernest S. Guaderrama, the American 
consul in Recife, hastened to assure Galvao that the Ameri- 
cans came in peace. 

"I beg your pardon/" Galvao said, after a pause. "Thank 
you very much." 

At the prompting of the newsmen, the Gearing asked if 
Galvao would permit reporters and photographers aboard. 
He replied that all of them were welcome except Arthur 
Agostino, a Portuguese who, in a radio broadcast from Rio 


de Janeiro, had caEed the rebels "killers, murderers and 
thieves." Agostino was not aboard. It made no difference, 
however, for Admiral Smith had orders not to take any 
newsmen with him except a reporter and a photographer 
from the Navy, both enlisted men. 

When she spied the Gearing early on that morning of 
January 31, Mrs. Edna Chubb thought it was one of the 
most beautiful sights she had ever seen. The lean, grey- 
hound lines of the destroyer made the Santa Maria seem 
fat and gross by comparison. She studied the number on 
the Gearings bow "871" in black and white block let- 
teringas if it were the "Mona Lisa/' She saw the newsmen 
lining the Gearings railing and she watched intently as 
the Gearing put a launch over the side and about ten men, 
some in uniform and others in mufti, got aboard. Their 
bright orange Mae West lif ejackets gave them a gay, carni- 
val air. This impression was heightened as the launch 
bobbed across the two hundred yards of choppy water 
separating the two ships and Mrs. Chubb saw that the 
bowed canvas sunshade of the launch was decorated at 
either end with short, fat tassels, dancing with the pitch 
and roll of the boat. 

The Gearing arrived at half past seven, but it was an 
hour before Admiral Smith set foot on the boarding ladder 
of the Santa Maria. Galvao, Velo and Sotomayor stood 
stiffly at attention at the top of the gangway. Their khaki 
uniforms, although carefully pressed, lacked the immacu- 
late look of the white tunics and trousers of the American 
and Brazilian officers who came silently aboard, saluted 
and shook hands with a mumbled, "How do you do?" 

Martin Yunker walked with the entourage to the First 
Class library, and a number of other Americans trailed 
along, too. Yunker had been asked by Galvao to serve as 
his interpreter. He had balked at doing the job alone, 


however, and at his request Galvao agreed to a second 
interpreter, Senora Gonsuelo Gonzales del Tanago of 
Madrid, Spain. She was a lovely young woman, about 
thirty, the mother o three children with another on the 
way. She had those big, round Spanish eyes that seem 
always on the verge of tears, and a small mouth with full, 
pouting lips. Senora Gonzales was perfectly bilingual and 
Yunker was pleased that she would sit in on the confer- 
ence. As it turned out, however, very little Spanish was 
used, and the interpreting was done by Ernest Guader- 
rama, the bespectacled, solemn-faced American consul at 
Recife, who was in Admiral Smith's party. 

Passengers and crew crowded around. Women wept 
unrestrainedly and there were shouts of "Gracias, Ameri- 
canos!" The hopes of all aboard went into the conference 
room, and there was a m&lee of knees and elbows as many 
of the onlookers managed to fight their way inside, too, 
to stand silently by as the talks began. But they were soon 
asked to leave, which they did, only to hang around in 
the lounge and on deck, waiting and watching. The Gear- 
ing circled the Santa Maria as the conference wore on. 

A tugboat loaded with newsmen came alongside, belch- 
ing black smoke that poured into the hot cabins and pas- 
sageways amidships and smarted the nose and eyes. The 
reporters and photographers clamored to come aboard, 
but the rebels on guard at the gangway grimly shook 
their heads. Two tiny light planes droned overhead, like 
dragonflies reconnoitering a fishpond. The passengers, 
waiting as their fate was being decided, watched all this 
and envied the people aboard the destroyer, the tugboat 
and the airplanes who were there by choice and who 
knew as a certainty they would soon be ashore, on dry 

On the Gearing, there was a commotion. A low silhou- 


ette had been sighted on the horizon, moving quickly 
toward the rendezvous point. Was it the Portuguese frig- 
ate Pero Escobar, come to wreak revenge on Galvao? 
Navy binoculars trained on the intruding warship. A 
blinker message, requesting indentification, was flashed. 
Back came the response, and a sigh of relief went up on 
the Gearing. It was the American destroyer U.S.S. Da- 
mato, arriving to give a hand. It joined the Gearing in 
circling the Santa Maria. 

In the library, Galvao and Smith conducted their talks 
with a caution worthy of a summit conference. Adhering 
strictly to his instructions, Admiral Smith appealed to 
Galvao's humanitarian instincts, arguing that he should 
dock at Recife and set the passengers free. But Galvao 
was adamant. He would gladly surrender the passengers 
but he would never give up the ship. 

"I would sink it first/* Galvao declared. "I will defend 
myself. And I think the Americans should protect my 
ship, because American passengers are aboard. But I do 
not believe the Brazilians will try to interfere with the 

The admiral, his pink face turned almost beet red by 
the exertion of coming aboard, the heat and the tension 
of negotiating, asked with deceptive calm what would 
Galvao do if the Brazilians refused his request. 

"I would decide right away to go to another place." 


"Accra, in Ghana, and we would need American pro- 
tection and fuel." 

Smith could see he was getting nowhere. Galvao would 
give up the passengers, but only with assurances which 
the United States could not provide. It was by no means 
certain that a President Quadros would be as firmly pro- 


Galvao as a President-elect Quadros. And it was unthink- 
able that the United States would allow itself to be 
maneuvered into a position of providing food, fuel and 
protection. At the same time, Galvao could not be allowed 
to sail off to Africa with a shipload of hostages. Smith 
suddenly lost his temper, as he looked into the beautiful, 
perennially sorrowful eyes of Senora Gonzales, seated at 
the table in her role as standby interpreter. 

"You must set these people free!" he cried. "Why, here's 
a young lady with tears in her eyes!" 

Galvao was unmoved. The conference floundered along 
a bit more until, at the end of two hours, it reached its 
inconclusive end. Galvao would release the passengers 
but he wanted the ship and the crew as well as food, 
water, fuel and an armed escort against the Portuguese 
and Spanish warships. Smith arose with a feeling of 

In the lounge, he addressed the passengers as Guader- 
rama, armed with a pencil and a huge pad of paper, 
sought out the Americans and took down their names 
and addresses and whatever comments or requests they 
had. Guaderrama was a gentle, slow-moving man who did 
his work with the bedside manner of a good country doc- 
tor. Talking to him and listening to the admiral over the 
public address system, the Americans felt their hopes rise. 

"You have the sympathy of the entire world," Admiral 
Smith said. **I have just conducted a conference with Cap- 
tain Galvao. He has given me strong reason to believe 
that he intends to discharge all passengers. 

"Within twenty-four hours, I hope all of you will be 
disembarked. Do not, however, be too optimistic. He 
has promised to confer with me again if his plans are 


Just as the admiral and his party prepared to leave, a 
shout arose on deck and people looked up, pointing and 
jabbering excitedly. Two men had leaped from the two 
light planes and they floated toward the water, their 
white parachutes brilliant against the deep blue of the 
midday equatorial sky. 

One of them was Gil Delamar, daredevil French para- 
chutist and photographer for the Dalmas Agency. He had 
announced in Paris that he would go to Brazil, hire a 
plane and bail out over the Santa Maria. An "old friend" 
of Galvao, he was confident he would be picked up and 
taken aboard. The other jumper was Charles Bonnay of 
the Black Star Agency. Also a French parachutist and 
photographer, he had vowed to board the runaway ship, 
too. Both landed at least a thousand yards from their 
target. Delamar had the better luck. He was picked up 
by the newsmen's tugboat but, before the tug could reach 
Bonnay, the American destroyer U.S.S. Gearing went 
alongside him. 

A line was tossed to Bonnay from, the Gearing. Making 
a great show of struggling with his shroud lines and the 
waterproof aluminum box containing his photographic 
gear, Bonnay allowed the line from the Gearing to slip 
away from him. He waved for the tugboat to come for 
him. Again the Gearing heaved him a line. Again he let 
it get away from him and waved to the tugboat. 

By that time, Bonnay's sinking parachute was pulling 
him under. The shroud lines sank and fouled about his 
feet, pinning them so that he could not tread water* He 
pulled out a knife and stabbed at the lines, but the choppy 
waves were banging him against the hull of the Gearing, 
This time, when a line was thrown, he grabbed it for 
dear life, wrapped it several times around his wrists and 


yelled to the American sailors to pull him up. He swal- 
lowed a lot of salt water before he finally broke free and 
made it to the Gearings welcome deck. 

The tug veered away and went alongside the Santa 
Maria. Galvao, in recognition of the bravery of his old 
friend, Gil Delamar, permitted him aboard. Bonnay was 
hauled before Admiral Smith, now back on his own ship, 
who began to dress him down for defying his orders that 
no newsmen were to attempt to board the runaway liner. 
But before the admiral could get started, the younger 
man at twenty-six, Bonnay could have been Smith's son- 
tore into him, denouncing the Gearing for interfering with 
his plan to parachute his way aboard the Santa Maria. 
Not a word of thanks from Bonnay for saving his life, 
only reproaches for preventing him from boarding the 
Santa Maria! Outraged, the admiral ordered the saucy 
young Frenchman out of his cabin. He was taken back 
to Recife with the sixty-six other, less daring newsmen. 
Then the admiral returned to his prime problem. 

"The picture is not as definite as all concerned would 
like it to be," Smith told a press conference on the Gear- 
ing. "Our only interest is to get the passengers off safely. 
We talked with cpite a few passengers aboard the Santa 
Maria and they were very nervous and apprehensive, liv- 
ing on hopes and promises." 

And what of the crew? They had little hope and no 
promises at all. Only the guns of the rebels kept the crew 
from mutiny. They worked listlessly, and the clutter of 
one clay became part of the next day's. Nobody bothered 
to sweep or wash down the decks. Refuse accumulated 
undisturbed. Clean towels and linen were almost impos- 
sible to get. More than a hundred Third Class passengers 
had moved into Cabin Class, and it was noticed that some 


of these squatters were pretty girls who danced with the 
rebels and went off with them in the evenings. Some crew- 
men were seen talking with small groups of grim-faced 
passengers from Third Class. There was an affinity here, 
a mutuality of suffering, and it was beginning to strike 

Galvao and Professor Velo met with the crew that 
night. They outlined the talk they had had with Admiral 
Smith, and they sought understanding for their position. 
But there was none. The crew wanted off. Galvao left 
the meeting deeply troubled. Some crewmen had cried 
during the meeting. It was a dangerous thing when men 
publicly shed tears of fear and frustration. 

Ashore, there was emotion, too. Delgado flew into Re- 
cife from Sao Paulo at dusk. He played the conquering 
hero bit to the hilt, making a speech at the airport on 
arrival, allowing himself to be swept triumphantly into 
town, and appearing later at a window of his hotel, the 
Sao Domingo, to address a crowd of tearful followers 
gathered in the street. He topped off the evening with a 
press conference. 

"I consider it my duty to take the greatest risk in the 
affair of the Santo Maria" lie said. "If this means going 
aboard the ship and sailing to Africa or Portugal, I am 
prepared to do it." 

Galvao slept little that night. He faced his most im- 
portant decision since he elected to sacrifice the clement 
of surprise in order to drop off the wounded officer at 
St. Lucia. How long ago was that now? Only eight days? 

Galvao made up his mind he could not risk another day 
tooling around off Recife. He sensed the tension among 
the crew and Third Class passengers was nearing the 
breaking point. He would force the issue. 



At fifteen minutes before eight on the morning of Wednes- 
day, February i, Galvao messaged Admiral Smith that 
he was sailing for Recife, to anchor just outside the three- 
mile limit of Brazil's territorial waters. He hoped the sight 
of Recife would calm things down aboard ship, and he 
gambled that his gesture of trust would inspire President 
Quadros to follow through officially on his reported pledge 
of assistance. 

In less than three hours, as the Santa Maria glided 
slowly toward Recife about five miles offshore, Quadros' 
reply began coming in over the ship's radio. Galvao lis- 
tened, his head cocked to one side like a wise old owl, as 
the message said: 

"I reaffirm my loyalty to our unshakeable democratic 

"You may be sure that in the exercise of my constitu- 
tional duties you and all who want to will receive the right 
of asylum in our territory and all else which laws and 
treaties permit. 

"The government and the people of Brazil follow with 
profound emotion the fate of the passengers who are un- 
der your care and responsibility." 

It was not the message Galvao wanted. It was not the 



flat assurance that lie could sail on unmolested. What did 
Quadros mean when he promised "all else which laws 
and treaties permit'? Surely Quadros could easily find 
laws and treaties which prohibited him from allowing 
Galvao to keep the Santa Maria. If Quadros could not, 
Salazar certainly would. 

Galvao was depressed when the Santa Maria dropped 
anchor at what he thought was a hundred yards or so 
outside the three-mile limit. Actually, Captain M aia, prac- 
ticing his subtle sabotage, had maneuvered the ship so 
that at least half of it was inside the three-mile line, hop- 
ing the Brazilian Navy would take a reading and come 
out and seize the vessel The Brazilians and Americans 
did take readings and they knew exactly where the Santa 
Maria was. But no effort was made to seize the ship, lest 
it cause further bloodshed. 

The officer the Navy sent after Galvao was a hard- 
working man who had trained himself all his life to do 
what he was told in the best way he knew how. His 
quarry was a swashbuckling maverick who followed the 
rules if it suited him and, if not, made his own. 

It would have been an uneven chase, a Fanner Brown 
plodding after a wily old Reynard the Fox. But Andy 
Smith knew how to chase, after decades of patrol duty, 
and his resources in aircraft and ships increased as Gal- 
vao's troubles with food, fuel, water and dissension 

Above all, Andy Smith knew when to punt. As soon as 
the Santo Maria nosed past the three-mile mark, he let 
the Brazilians have the ball, to take it from there. 

As soon as Admiral Smith looked through his glass and 
checked with Admiral A. R. Dias Fernandcs, commandant 
of Brazil's Third Naval District at Recife, and Com- 


inander Helio Leite, captain of the port of Recife, who 
also agreed that the Santa Maria was within the three-mile 
limit, he put out a statement saying: 

"It has been determined by Brazil that the Santa Maria 
is within territorial waters. Therefore, the entire situation 
has been taken over by the Brazilian Third Naval Dis- 
trict. Any further information will come from Brazilian 

It was a neat maneuver on that Wednesday, February i, 
one calculated to please Washington, which had been 
trying for some time to get off the hook in the extremely 
delicate situation. It was left for his Brazilian colleague, 
Admiral Dias Fernandes, to take over. Admiral Smith 
could now confine himself to making sure that his recon- 
naissance aircraft, four destroyers, two tankers and nu- 
clear submarine U.S.S. Seawolf were alerted to continue 
the tracking if Galvao decided to head for the open sea 
after all, 

"If the Santa Maria gets away from the Seawolf, that's 
something I want to see," Admiral Smith could say, with 
a new sense of confidence. 

Prsident Kennedy, standing before a 6 P.M. press confer- 
ence in Washington on the same day, noted that Portugal 
had expressed its "great interest" in getting the Santa Maria 
back. He said America's prime concern was for the safety 
of the passengers, but he added that "we hope all ... in- 
terests can be protected." Finally, he said he knew of no 
threats by Portugal to stop the United States from using 
the Azores as an air base out of pique at the way the 
Santa Maria search was handled. 

It was a good day for winding up a lot of things. Fol- 
lowing President Kennedy's press conference, Secretary 
of State Dean Rusk called in the Portuguese Ambassador, 


Luis Esteves Fernandas, and for the first time explained 
the American tactics to the Portuguese Government. The 
explanation went something like this: 

''When the Portuguese Government requested help In 
locating the Santa Maria, the United States, as an ally, 
responded immediately. Unfortunately, because of the 
time lead and the expanse of ocean to be searched, it 
took some time to find the vessel. There was apparent by 
then a dispute as to the legality of stopping, boarding and 
confiscating the ship. The United States therefore sought 
to convince Captain Galvao to take it into a northern 
port of South America. 

"The United States expressed prime concern for the 
safety of the passengers, particularly the forty-two Amer- 
icans, as it had a legitimate right to do. It deliberately 
avoided raising the question of the crew in order not to 
arouse Galvao to the point where he would make a run 
for it. The United States felt that, in view of that danger, 
the less said about the crew the better, although this did 
not reflect the government's genuine humanitarian con- 
cern for the crew. 

"Now that the Santa Maria has entered the territorial 
waters of Brazil, we are confident that the crew will make 
every effort to disembark. It is no longer necessary to 
keep silent the United States Government's concern for 
the safety of the crew as well as the passengers, nor to 
refrain from expressing a hope that the Santa Maria itself 
will be returned to Its rightful owners." 

Ambassador Esteves Fernandas dutifully cabled this 
revelation to his government. The attacks OB the United 
States in the Portuguese and Spanish press, as well as 
caustic official comments in Lisbon about the American 
effort, ceased with miraculous suddenness. In fact, in a 


couple of days the Portuguese Government publicly ex- 
pressed "thanks and sincere appreciation for the efficient 
cooperation" given by the United States Government and 
its Navy. 

Secretary of State Rusk was pleased, too. He sent a 
note of congratulations to Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, 
Chief of Naval Operations, who promptly made it public. 
Mr. Rusk's message said: 

"Please convey my respect and appreciation to Admirals 
Dennison and Smith and all Navy personnel who have 
handled the Santa Maria problem so ably. This is just 
one of many instances in which the Navy has shown 
that its fighting spirit is matched by its diplomatic skill. 

Admiral Robert L. Dennison, Commander in Chief of 
the Atlantic Fleet, also had his say. In a message to all 
concerned, he expressed congratulations and, just in case 
any Congressional Appropriations Committee members 
were tuned in, he threw in a bit of boasting about the 
Navy's "mobility and flexibility": 

"Just when we all think wcVe heard of or been involved 
in almost every type of situation involving the use of naval 
forces, along comes a new requirement, involving a dif- 
ferent approach, making new demands and presenting 
new tests of the flexibility of naval forces. 

"The United States Navy's part in the Santa Maria saga 
has been marked by a dedicated, efficient and successful 
effort on the part of many ships, planes and the men in 
them* Your mission stems from the age-old tradition of 
prompt assistance to those in peril on the sea but it also 
served to point up once again the important mobility and 
flexibility which is the unique characteristic of naval 
forces. Well done to all concerned." 


Along the busy waterfront of Recife, crowds began to 
gather. It was the beginning of carnival time, and a festive 
mood was in the air. Never before had a show like this 
hit town, and nobody wanted to miss it. Already, police 
were blocking off streets so that workmen could festoon 
them with arches of tinsel for the annual celebration. At 
the docks, the well-to-do mingled with shabby fishermen 
and dock wallopers, democratically akin as they stared at 
the shiny gray bulk of the Santa Maria so close at last. 

The morbid had much to discuss. It was known, that 
Galvao had boasted he would scuttle the ship rather than 
surrender it, and there were reports in the newspapers and 
on radio and televison that he had nearly a hundred 
pounds of dynamite aboard. 

As Recife stared, the Santa Maria stared back. Passen- 
gers and crewmen looked longingly at the tile rooftops and 
the beckoning palm trees shimmering in the heat waves of 
a hot, cloudless day. It was a haven tantalizingly near, yet 
frustratingly far away. Three miles is not too much to 
swim, but there were sharks in the water and gunmen on 

Admiral Dias knew the Brazilians had the legal au- 
thority to go aboard and take possession. What is more, 
they had the strength to do it. The Santa Maria was listing 
badly to port and, with a variety of ills, was probably 
unseaworthy. She was surrounded by American and Bra- 
zilian warships, and there was a battalion of well-trained, 
well-armed Brazilian marines awaiting only the order to 
throw themselves against Galvao's two dozen. It would 
have taken less than an hour. 

But they had orders not to do it the easy way. The man 
who brought the orders from President Janio Quadras was 
Dario Castro Alves of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry. 


The small, dark, mustachioed diplomat flew over to Recife 
from Rio de Janeiro. He took little part in the actual ne- 
gotiating besides asking a question or two, leaving it to 
gruff old Admiral Dias to do the talking. But It was he 
who worked out beforehand what the admiral would say, 
and it was he who plotted each step of incredibly patient 
negotiations whose purpose was to see that neither lives 
nor face were lost. 

Castro was sent to Recife to prevent bloodshed and to 
get the Santa Maria away from Galvao without hurting 
anybody or anybody's feelings. The biggest problem was 
Galvao himself. The old battler already felt let down, 
with Quadros backing away from his reported willingness 
to permit the Santa Maria to sail on after discharging pas- 
sengers at Recife. Galvao was talking, too, about scuttling 
the ship as soon as the passengers were off. There was also 
a fear that, on a romantic whim, he might force the crew 
at gunpoint to sail out to possible destruction by the 
Portuguese frigate Pero Escobar, hovering just over the 

The Portuguese Government was not making Castro's 
task any lighter. In Lisbon, spokesmen publicly urged the 
forcible seizure of the Santa Maria. Formal representa- 
tions to that effect were being made by the Portuguese in 
Brasilia. And in Recife, the Corapanhia Colonial de Nave- 
gacao went to- court, demanding an order which would 
force Admiral Dias to seize the ship and return it to its 
legal owners. The court agreed in principle but delayed 
issuing the order for ten days, ostensibly to give Galvao 
time in which to contest the claim. 

Twice that afternoon, the Brazilian corvette Cabala 
went alongside to put Brazilian officials aboard. The first 
time, almost symbolically, she crashed hard against the 


Santa Maria, putting a big dent in her plates and bend- 
ing the boarding ladder badly. The rude shock set off a 
demonstration among Spanish and Portuguese passengers 
on deck. 

'Tor the love o God, get us out of here!" screamed a 
woman in Spanish, over and over, and she held out her 
arms imploringly to the Brazilian vessel. 

Others among the Spanish and Portuguese passengers, 
almost all from Third Class, called out similar pleas. They 
waved white handkerchiefs overhead at arm's length, in 
a mute call for help. Some crewmen joined in the demon- 
stration, and there was much wailing and weeping. 

Admiral A. R. Dias Fernandes, a stern old man, tall and 
dark-browed, led his delegation through the writhing 
crowd and made no promises. In the library, dealing with 
Galvao at two sessions, he could make no improvement on 
the situation he had inherited from Admiral Smith. 

The Brazilian proposal was a compromise. It offered to 
let Galvao bring the Santa Maria into the harbor, unload 
passengers at dockside, and return to anchorage outside 
the three-mile limit. There, negotiations could be resumed 
on whether the crew should be allowed to disembark and 
whether Galvao could keep the ship. 

Galvao refused. He said he needed the crew to operate 
the Santa Maria. He insisted on his terms: discharge the 
passengers, retain the ship and crew, restock and refuel, 
make minor repairs and sail on. 

Both meetings ended in that deadlock. A night meeting 
was arranged. The Brazilian negotiators, threading their 
way through the milling ship-board crowd for the ride 
back to shore, said nothing to guarantee an end to the 
ordeal. They pledged, however, to return that night and, 
if necessary, argue all night with Galvao. They knew from 


the crew's demonstrations that tension had drawn the 
nerves of those aboard almost unbearably taut. 

The crew was angry and restless now, like a pack of 
hungry dogs. They crowded into the lounge to hear a 
report on the negotiations from Galvao and Velo. Galvao 
began calmly, going over the arguments they aE knew by 
heart about why it was necessary to overthrow Salazar. 
As Galvao developed the case so familiar to them, the 
crewmen realized that no progress had been made, that 
Galvao still intended to keep them aboard the ship in de- 
fiance of the American and Brazilian navies and to sail 
to the seas where the Pern Escobar waited. 

<c No! No!" the crewmen shouted, and out came the 
handkerchiefs, waved overhead. "Everybody leaves the 
ship! Everybody!" 

The men were on their feet, advancing toward Galvao, 
Velo and the handful of other rebels in the lounge. The 
rebels drew their pistols. 

"Get back!" Galvao commanded. "None of you leaves. 
The passengers may go but the crew must stay!" 

The crewmen retreated, yet continued to shout. 

"Everybody! Everybody!" 

Galvao was beside himself with rage. He shouted orders 
to a rebel with a submachine gun to shoot down the first 
man who made a menacing move. Then he stalked out of 
the lounge and walked stiff-legged, head down, to his 

Velo spoke to the crewmen. At first, he could hardly be 
heard in the hubbub. But the magic of his mellifluous 
voice soon cast its spell. The men subsided and listened 
as he went over the whole problem once more. In the end, 
he promised that every consideration would be given to 
their desires. And he emphasized that negotiations were 


continuing. If an alternate solution could be found, lie 
said, those who so desired might be allowed to go ashore. 

It calmed them down for the moment. 

Meeting aboard for the third time, that night, Castro 
knew that Galvao's demands were impossible. If granted, 
they would wreck Brazil's relations with her onetime 
mother country, Portugal. And, if the Santa Maria and her 
crew should sail to destruction, either by foundering be- 
cause of unseaworthiness or under the blazing guns of the 
Pero Escobar, Brazil would stand disgraced before the 
world. Yet, he could not flatly reject Galvao, for that might 
anger him to the point of capricious bloodshed. And so, 
explaining that they were not authorized to grant such a 
request, Admiral Dias and Castro promised to consult 
overnight with their government. Galvao, who could do 
the diplomatic fandango with the best of them, promised 
that he, too, would ponder the Brazilian proposal during 
the evening. 

In the Grande Hotel in Recife that night, American 
Consul Ernest Guaderrama ate a lonely meal. His thoughts 
were on the Santa Maria and he hardly tasted his food. 
Staring at the linen table cloth, he conjured up images of 
the captive passengers he had talked to during his visit to 
the ship the day before. He recalled all too vividly the 
anxiety in their faces, and his conscience troubled him. 

"Why did I leave?" he thought. "I should have stayed 
aboard, to represent those people and to comfort them. 
Those rebels are a hard lot. Some of them are seasoned 
soldiers who have seen much violence, and they are de- 
termined to get their way. They are gentlemen, but they 
are desperate men/' 

One of the reporters in the dining room came over, in- 
troduced himself and sat down. With the Santa Maria so 


close, the reporter asked, why not simply go aboard in 
force and take over? 

"Galvao has all the cards," Guaderrama said sorrow- 
fully. "We would sooner let him go than risk the life of a 
single passenger. But Til tell you this: I'm going back 
aboard tomorrow and I'm going to stay there until this 
thing is finished." 

That night an American delegation called on Galvao. 
The spokesmen were Martin Yunker, John Dawson, Ches- 
ter Churchill and Henry Bates. 

"The American passengers have had a meeting/' they 
told him. "We have decided that none of us will leave 
the ship unless the crew is allowed to leave, too." 

Galvao hung his head. He felt very tired. He was, he 
knew, losing control. 

Tension spread through the ship like an invisible, com- 
bustible vapor. A spark from any of the many frictions 
could touch it off, Galvao detected a wavering among his 
own men in favor of the crew's demands, and unquestion- 
ing discipline was the assumption on which he had staked 
all. Now it was open to challenge. 

Down in the littered, odoriferous, steaming Third Class 
area, desperate men who had waited with peasant pa- 
tience while others in higher station, argued their fate, 
looked at their children, whining in instinctive fear, and 
their women, in many cases in advanced pregnancy, wilt- 
ing under the physical and emotional strain. The men 
determined to act. They argued in whispers, not about 
how to rebel their plan was a simple mob assault but 
about when. 



It was time for General Delgado to get back into the act, 
and he did, in the style he loved. Under cover of dark- 
ness, but with a Life magazine reporter-photographer 
team along to record the feat, he slipped aboard a sixty- 
foot fishing launch and putt-putted out to the Santa Maria, 

His hair carefully crisscrossed to hide the bald spot, his 
gray lightweight suit set off with a flowered lavender tie 
and matching pocket handkerchief, Delgado was in high 
good spirits. He showed the newsmen., reporter David 
Snell and photographer Art Rickerby, a flashlight. When 
they got to the ship, he said, he would shine the flashlight 
on his face. 

"They might not receive us if they were unaware that 
it is the chief of state who has come calling at this strange 
hour," he said. 

The general burst out laughing at the landlubber antics 
of the newsmen as they struggled to maintain their bal- 
ance against the rocking and rolling of the bticket of a 

"I hope you gentlemen are not feeling any seasickness," 

he guffawed. "Me? Never! I have been a flier for more 
than thirty years, and the motion of the sea is the same 
as that of the air." 

Alongside the Santa Maria, Delgado flicked on the flash- 
light, holding it low so that his face took on the grotesque 
leer of a Halloween mask. Suddenly, a blinding spotlight 
stabbed down on the boat from the bridge. Snell sug- 
gested nervously that Delgado call out his name, but the 
general had a more dignified approach. 

"I will ask one of the crewmen to do it/* he said. "My 
voice is not very good/' 

A crewman shouted up in Portuguese that General Del- 
gado had arrived. The name echoed in many voices from 
the ship, mingled with shouts of "Viva Liberdade!" The 
gangway was lowered and Delgado hopped onto it, with 
one last comment to his companions in the boat. 

"I am going aboard like a fifteenth-century pirate,' 7 he 
laughed. "I must confess it is rather exciting. Quite a way 
for a chief of state to make his entrance, eh?" 

Galvao had a ten-man honor guard waiting at the head 
of the gangway. The two men embraced emotionally and 
then marched past the smartly saluting rebels and into 
the lounge. For more than two hours they conferred there, 
as each told the other what he knew and they made plans 
for the crucial conference on the morrow with the Bra- 
zilian negotiators. Delgado decided his place of duty was 
his room at the Hotel Sao Domingo and he took his leave 
in the early morning hours. But before he left, he ar- 
ranged for Snell and Rickerby to board the Santa Maria, 
in gratitude for the fact that Life magazine was picking 
up the tab for the boat ride, no mean sum at the fantasti- 
cally inflated prices the skippers of the "Recife Regatta" 
were demanding and getting. 


Delgado's midnight visit did not go unnoticed by the 
passengers, who were having trouble getting to sleep 
after the day's excitement. Martin Yunker heard the com- 
motion of Delgado's arrival right under his cabin. He 
noted Delgado's dignified air and, later, he observed 
him in the lounge, "talking to Galvao and everybody else 
like a Dutch uncle." 

June and Floyd Preston heard Delgado come aboard 
but, unlike many of the Americans who stayed up to 
watch the conference, they were too tired to bother. 
June had recovered from her bout with dysentery but 
tending the increasingly restive children was a wearing 
job. She took many meals in the stateroom, although it 
pained her conscience, because the servings were so gen- 
erous and she knew that food was scarce below decks. 
That night she had ordered dinner for herself and Steven 
and they brought enough steak, fish, potatoes, fruit and 
milk to feed all four of the children. Steven, at two, had 
no understanding of what was going on, but he must have 
felt the tension. He clung to her all the time now. The 
night before, when she left him and five-year-old Donald 
sleeping while she slipped out to dinner, he woke up and 
went roaming the passageway looking for her. He was 
dragging his pink nylon nightshirt, the security symbol he 
hung onto the way some children do with blankets. Isi- 
dro the steward found him and put him back to bed. 
June had her own security symbol the sight of the Bra- 
zilian destroyer Paraiba and the four American destroyers, 
anchored close to the Santa Maria or tied up at the docks 
in Recife. 

Mrs. Chubb watched Delgado make the transfer from 
the fishing boat to the starboard boarding ladder. Al- 

though the Santa Maria was standing still at anchor, the 
little boat rocked fearfully and she fretted that Delgado 
might be crushed against the ship's hull or thrown into 
the ocean. For the umpteenth time, she repacked her 
luggage. She had managed, finally, to talk her maid into 
relieving her of the mysterious little radio. She still had 
no clue as to why the crew planted it in her cabin, and 
she guessed she never would. There was an addition to 
her belongings a pair of gold colored roosters presented 
to her as a souvenir by the maid, grateful for her help in 
hiding the radio. It was a strange voyage indeed when 
the crew gave gifts to the passengers instead of lining up 
at trip's end for tips. 

The "Recife Regatta" was out bright and early that 
Thursday, February 2. Passengers were awakened at 
dawn with shouts from reporters and photographers cling- 
ing to perilous perches aboard a motley flotilla of fishing 
boats, each more decrepit than the other. They circled the 
Santa Maria like shabby minnows about a great gray 
whale. The newsmen importuned Galvao, standing proud 
as a peacock on the flying bridge, for permission to board. 
But he shook his head, smiled benevolently and waggled 
a negative index finger at them, like a kindly but stern 
schoolmarm correcting mischievous boys. Failing there, 
the newsmen turned to hollering questions at the early 
morning rail-leaners aboard the Santa Maria. 

Shortly before ten, when the hot sun had melted away 
the morning mist, more than one hundred Third Class 
passengers, joined by more than a score of crew mem- 
bers, assembled aft on A deck. It was the exact spot from 
which Galvao had launched his attack twelve days earlier. 
Directly below them, on the B deck fantail, a fright- 


ened-looking woman shouted in Spanish to newsmen in 
a nearby fishing boat. They could not make out what she 
was saying. She reached down, picked up a brown-skinned 
baby about a year old, dressed only in a short little shirt. 
She lifted the boy up and down several times and the men 
in the boat understood. She wanted to drop the child the 
twenty-odd feet into the boat, so that he at least could 
be rescued. The newsmen cried out that she was not 
to risk it. They tried to keep their boat away from the 
stern, lest nearness tempt her to throw the infant at them. 
A man fishing off the fantail watched the tableau 

The crowd on A deck began milling around. Many of 
the Third Class passengers and crew members had hand- 
kerchiefs out, waving them overhead at arm's length. 
They began to chant, stomping feet and waving handker- 
chiefs in tempo with their chant. 

"Liberdade! Liberdade! Liberdade! Todos! Todos! To- 
dos!" they chanted. "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Every- 
body! Everybody! Everybody!" 

Antonio Garcia Cabrera, leader of the insurgent pas- 
sengers, moved around, urging the people on like a cheer- 
leader. After a few minutes, he waved to them to follow 
him, Garcia, his dark eyes glistening, sweat standing out 
on his mustachioed, beard-stubbled face, strode purpose- 
fully in the lead up the promenade toward the First Class 
lounge. The crowd swayed behind the chunky Spaniard, 
working to a fever pitch. 

"Liberdade! Liberdade! Liberdade!" 

Admiral Bias Fernandas and his Brazilian negotiating 
team arrived just as the crowd began its forward surge. 
The old admiral scrambled off the corvette Cabala and up 
the gangway. He reached the deck as Tourist passengers 

and crew members swarmed around Galvao and the 
dozen or so armed rebels waiting for him there. 

"Save us! Save us! Save us!" the crowd yelled in Span- 
ish and Portuguese, applauding the Brazilians and clap- 
ping them on the backs. The applauding was done over- 
head, as if to make sure the Brazilians could see it as well 
as hear it. Some of the rebels were jostled rudely aside. 

Two levels below the deck, a woman in a white dress 
appeared at a porthole. She pleaded with the corvette's 
crew to take her off right away. Wringing her hands and 
talking excitedly in Portuguese, she cried over and over, 
"By the grace of God, rescue me!" 

Garcia, struggling to get close to Admiral Dias in the 
meMe, felt a pistol club him on the shoulder as a rebel 
intervened. Garcia called out, "Arrest them! Arrest them! 
Take them off the ship and let us go* on our way!" 

The tumultuous crowd stumbled toward the First Class 
lounge. Khaki-clad rebels on guard before the huge plate- 
glass doors there drew their weapons and braced for the 
assault. The crowd broke around them in a wave. Every- 
body was pushing and shoving and shouting. The rebels 
held their fire and retreated a half-step at a time. 

Suddenly, there was a resounding crash as a rebel guard 
fell backward through the door in a shower of broken 
plate glass. He bounced up immediately, bleeding from 
cuts on his face and hands, still holding his pistol on the 
crowd. Other rebels inside the lounge drew their guns, 

Little Debbie Smith, in the lounge with her parents, 
screamed hysterically, Delbert Smith grabbed his wife 
and daughter and shepherded them quickly toward a door 
on the port side* Mrs. Smith was almost numb with terror, 
thinking, "My God, it's happeningso close to the end and 


it's happening!" Howard Welsberger leaped from the easy 
chair In which he had been sitting. David Crockett took 
his wife by the elbow and said, "Let's get out of here 
before the shooting starts!" There was a general exodus 
of passengers toward the port side as the crowd, momen- 
tarily stunned by the loud crash of the falling plate glass, 
halted on the starboard side. 

In that brief moment of hesitation, as the crowd paused 
like an animal before its final leap, a Brazilian officer raced 
forward. He threw up both hands and commanded, "Get 
back! Get back! You will all get off!" 

The people were disbelieving, but they gave ground. 
They kept their distance from the rebel guards, still talk- 
ing in high-pitched voices. Women near hysteria cried 
and leaned against other women who soothed them with 
pats and daubed at their tears with handkerchiefs. Men 
stomped their feet and waved their arms. But they all 
waited, and Galvao and the Brazilian negotiators sighed 
in relief and began their conference. 

Arthur Douglas Patton, ducking in and out of the com- 
motion, rushed to the ship's rail. He had been carrying on 
a running news account to reporters in a fishing boat. He 
cupped his hands and shouted through them as the re- 
porters scribbled down every word, "The crew is threat- 
ening mutiny. They don't want to stay aboard. The Third 
Class is backing them. But it looks good for the passen- 
gers, We may be allowed to go ashore today/' 

Floyd and June Preston gathered their three older boys, 
who had been playing on A deck when the crowd swept 
toward the lounge. The boys had been "helping" Tomas, 
the bartender of the First Class lounge, to dispose of 
empty bottles. What they did was help load the cartons of 
bottles on a dolly, climb aboard the dolly for the ride to 

the rail, and then help the cabin boys toss the cartons 
overboard. June had been in her cabin with the baby, 
changing his diapers, during the uprising. Now, all the 
Prestons locked themselves up in their hot, airless cabins 
because a Venezuelan passenger had told them, "It is bet- 
ter to take cover. Go to your cabin and lock the door. 
There will be a counter-revolt at noon. The Tourist pas- 
sengers have decided it. If Galvao has not agreed to let 
everybody off by noon, there will be a revolt." 

The ten o'clock uprising had been a demonstration of 
strength and determination. The plan was that, unless 
Galvao gave in by noon, the Third Class passengers would 
arm themselves and attack their captors. 

In the conference room, as the cries of "Liberdade!" and 
"TodosT rang outside, Admiral Dias reviewed the situ- 
ation. The passengers and crew were clamoring to get off. 
Galvao admitted that his supplies were dangerously low 
and that the Santa Maria was far from shipshape. Presi- 
dent Janio Quadros, an old friend and admirer of Galvao, 
sympathized with his cause. But there were international 
obligations which had to be taken into account. If Galvao 
would dock and unload the passengers and crew, they 
could renew negotiations on the two remaining points: 
political asylum for Galvao and his men, which President 
Quadros would be most happy to guarantee, and disposi- 
tion of the Santa Maria. 

"Perhaps it is over/* Galvao replied at length. "But we 
will not clock, We will anchor at the harbor entrance, 
where the water is calm. There you may effect a transfer. 
All those who wish to leave may do so. My men and I and 
those of the crew who elect to stay shall stay aboard. And 
then we shall sec what happens next." 

They shook hands solemnly, and went out to the crowd, 


which greeted them with fresh cries of "Liberdade! To- 
dos!" It was fifteen minutes past eleven. 

Galvao, his teeth set on edge but still managing that 
thin, fatherly smile of his, held up a hand. As he spoke, his 
body seemed to sag and his dark eyes to glaze over. 

"Be calm," Galvao said quietly. "You are all getting off. 
Right now." 

Somebody shouted, "Viva Brazil!" Others took it up 
and it swelled into a mighty roar, as when a football team 
makes a crucial touchdown. Men and women began run- 
ning around the ship, embracing and slapping each other 
on the back. 

Arthur Douglas Patton padded back to the rail, waved 
to the nearest fishing boat and shouted, "They won! We 
are all going ashore, passengers, crew and baggage! In a 
half hour. Galvao gave in!" 

Admiral Dias moved grandly down the gangway and 
aboard the Cabala, which quickly cast off. The Santa 
Marias anchor chain began moving slowly up out of the 
water. The little red boat of Recife's port pilot sped out 
from the harbor. 

At twenty-one minutes past eleven, the huge anchor 
swung clear, and a minute later the Santa Maria began 
to move. Her gay pennants, which had hung dejectedly 
as she lay at anchor, suddenly sprang to life. From stem 
to stern, they snapped happily. The ship's public address 
system blared march music. The man who had been fish- 
ing off the stern hauled in his line and went below, with- 
out altering the impassive look OB his lugubrious Latin 

On the bridge, Galvao braced both hands on the railing 
and stood as tall as he could. He watched, silent and sad, 

as the distant harbor resolved itself into clearer focus and 
the Santa Maria skirted the rocky finger of a breakwater 
protecting it. 

At high noon, the Santa Maria dropped anchor at the 
mouth of the harbor, five hundred yards from the docks. 
Galvao announced, "I am in Brazilian water exclusively 
because I have faith in the attitude of the Brazilian Gov- 
ernment, and I am certain I will not be disappointed/' 

Two hours later, the first tug pulled alongside and sixty 
Brazilian marines came silently aboard to take off the 
passengers and crew. Galvao ordered his men to comply 
with their polite request to stack all arms in the lounge. 
He then announced, "This should be interpreted as a 
friendly gesture." 

With the marine officers as witnesses, Galvao counted 
out the $40,000 in the ship's safe, to show that none of it 
had been looted. He watched without a show of emotion 
as the young marines positioned themselves about the 
ship. Then he called his men together. He faced them as 
they stood silent, sullen and defeated. 

"The fight goes on/' he told them. "We will win. We will 

As the tugs pulled alongside, the passengers and crew 
streamed off the Santa Maria like refugees fleeing before 
an invasion or some great natural catastrophe. Men, women 
and children came down the starboard debarkation lad- 
der that Thursday, February 2, carrying suitcases, bicy- 
cles, velocipedes, bird cages, fur coats, doll carriages, 
teddy bears, and an amazing variety of other impedi- 
menta. Divers in bathing trunks stood at the foot of the 
ladder, helping passengers make the tricky transfer to the 
shifting deck of the tugboats. 


In the crush to get off, Floyd Preston lost his jacket, 
which he had thrown over a chair in the jampacked 
lounge. When he went to get it, it had disappeared. Mrs. 
Yunker, before leaving, sought out young Velo. On a 
motherly impulse, she kissed the teenaged rebel good- 
bye. Mrs. Dietz located Galvao, thanked him for the shuf- 
fleboard he had had painted for her and held out her 
hand to shake his in farewell. Instead, Galvao bowed 
gallantly from the waist and kissed her hand. 

Five crewmen could not stand the delay. Forbidden to go 
down the ladder before the passengers and fearful that 
Galvao might sail away with them still aboard, they went 
over the side. Two shinnied down hawsers and three 
others simply jumped. All five were picked up by launches 
and taken ashore. 

The passengers were loaded aboard buses and driven 
quickly to the plush Portuguese Club. Smiling crowds 
thronged the waterfront, shouting welcomes. Beside them- 
selves with joy after a dozen days of captivity, the pas- 
sengers yelled back, "Viva Brazil! Viva Brazil." 

"Trees," sighed Mrs. Dietz. "I didn't think I'd ever see 
a tree again/* 

At the Portuguese Club, the passengers found soap and 
water and wonder of wonders! clean towels. There also 
were cool drinks, sandwiches and even steaks. 

Alfredo Pinto Cuelho, president of the club, moved 
among his guests, smiling and bowing like a genial host 
at a weekend lodge. Twenty-four Brazilian marines and 
fourteen policemen cordoned off the sprawling grounds 
of the club. Doctors and nurses stood by in case any- 
one required medical attention. The American passen- 
gers assembled in a canopy-covered area between the 
empty swimming pool and three tennis courts* Dutch pas- 

sengers gathered in a bowling alley and Spaniards and 
Portuguese in a restaurant. 

Finally, there were the "rats of Recife," the indefat- 
igable newsmen who had been chasing these passengers 
for a week. At last they had their story. They plied the 
rescued with endless questions and directed them back 
and forth in front of still, newsreel and television cameras. 

Cecil R. Harberson wanted to talk about the Navy 
patrol planes. "I really felt proud when I first saw an 
American naval plane overhead while we were headed for 
an unknown destination," he said. "I will never again ob- 
ject to paying income taxes." 

To his wife Joan, the symbol of eventual rescue was the 
marine lieutenant who accompanied Admiral Smith to the 
Tuesday conference aboard ship. "I said, "He looks just 
like the Statue of Liberty to me, 7 and he did, too," 

Not all the passengers were in a gay mood. 

"The situation was so absurd I would not have believed 
it had 1 not lived it," Vasco Untero of Lisbon said. 

"This is the last time I travel by boat/' Malvina Cesar of 
Madrid declared* 

"If this is politics, I want no part of it," said Manuel 
Joaquiro, Lorenso of Aveiro, Portugal. 

After more than an hour, the passengers were herded lit- 
tle by little into buses and automobiles and taken to private 
homes for the night. The owners of the Santa Maria prom- 
ised that all passengers would be carried free to their 
destinations, by air to Miami, for instance, and aboard 
the Santa Maria's twin, the Vera Cruz, to Europe. Howard 
Weisbcrgcr, in no hurry to get home, elected to stick with 
the Santa Maria rather than separate from his new sport 
car, still in the ship's hold. 

^Fantastic! Unbelievable!" Mrs. Chubb wrote in her 


journal. "Here I am in the cool shade of a wide porch 

looking out across a 21 palm tree yard to a stucco wall 

topped by green-paneled fence, onto the Atlantic Ocean." 

She had been put up at the home of a Pan American 

World Airways official. Other families in Recife's colony 
of about two hundred Americans opened their homes to 
the American passengers, taking them as assigned by 
Consul Ernest Guaderrama. 

The six Prestons wound up at the home of Robert 
Shane, treasurer of the Presbyterian Mission in Recife, 
The Prestons bedded down their children and sat up until 
all hours with the Shanes, talking and reliving their ex- 
periences as reported in the Recife newspapers. The next 
day, Mrs. Shane, principal of the American school, had 
the three older Preston boys visit her classrooms and tell 
her students all about the Santa Maria, 

When it was all over, the once-gay Santa Maria was 
like a ghost ship. Her grand lounge, the scene on the 
climactic day of the Third Class revolt and, afterward, of 
the pushing, shoving m&lee down the gangway and into 
the waiting tugboats, soon echoed to the hollow footfalls 
of only Galvao and his men and the silent Brazilian 

That night, Galvao and his men took pot luck for din- 
ner. They discovered that the crew, before quitting the 
ship, had turned on almost every faucet and there was 
hardly any fresh water left. They found enough for din- 
ner and, by pooling their culinary talents, managed to put 
together a creditable final meal aboard ship. 

On the bridge, alone, Galvao studied the fat, yellow, 
sensuous moon that looked so out of place against the 
lean, virginal brilliance of the stars. It was a cloudless 
night, and the glow of the sky bathed the tile roofs and 

palm trees of Recife. The city's own lights winked in the 
distance, and, occasionally, Galvao could hear music and 
laughter as the citizens, no longer clustered at the wharves 
to stare at the Santa Maria, warmed up for Carnival. 
He gripped the railing, roughly yet with affection, and 
sighed, "To us, you will always be the 'Santa Liberdade ' 
Blessed Liberty." 



Galvao selected his starched khaki uniform with care on 
the morning of Friday, February 3, 1961. On this, of all 
days, he wanted to look impressive. He had managed ad- 
mirably the day before, standing proud and serene on the 
bridge while the 612 passengers and all but five of the 
356 members of the crew went ashore. He was delighted 
with the deference with which the reporters treated him 
now when, at long last, they all were permitted to board 
the Santa Maria. 

He told them how he had decided it was useless to try 
to continue. The ship had mechanical trouble. Food, fuel 
and water were low. At least a hundred men would be 
needed to operate the ship and he had only twenty-nine. 
Therefore, he had allowed the passengers and crew to 
disembark, put aside his weapons and permitted the Bra- 
zilian marines aboard, and arranged another meeting with 
Admiral Dias on the disposition of the ship. 

"But the fight goes on," he said, and he issued copies of 
rf< The First Revolutionary Proclamation of the National 
Liberation Junta of the Portuguese/' It was pure Galvao 
and it said, in part: 


The Santa Maria was not captured as a romantic 
gesture and much less as a plan only to call the at- 
tention of the world to the Portuguese drama. The 
conquest o this grand and beautiful ship, that for 
eleven days cruised the Atlantic pursued by airplanes 
and ships of various nationalities, carries a significant 
lesson for us all 

We would desire to prove and we did prove that the 
dictator Salazar is not invulnerable. We beat him and 
we ridiculed him, him and his navy, before the entire 
free and Christian world. Tomorrow, when and where 
we return to face him, we will beat him once more. 

We . . . are, in fact, at war with the Portuguese dic- 
tatorship in the same way that we are with the Span- 
ish through our integration with the D.R.I.L. But 
we are acting with a well-defined objective. It is not 
only the fall of Salazar that most interests us. We seek 
a revolutionary objective: the reconstruction of Por- 
tuguese society on new bases. . . . 

Our program is simple, most radical. We want a 
profound, authentic, human, total revolution. We will 
start with the destruction of an unjust social order, 
and it will have as its bases agrarian reform and ur- 
ban reform. 

Our propositions will be: land for those who work 
It and a house for those who live in it. We will liq- 
uidate large landed estates as we will liquidate 
stagnant speculation. We will destroy implacably 
privileges of the Portuguese plutocracy, which from 
birth divide men into rich and poor* 

Wo are far from Lisbon and the dictator. But 
everything encourages us in the unshakeable cer- 
tainty that we will enter there as victors to imple- 


ment the Portuguese revolution of the Twentieth 


These are the words that I have to say to you at 
the moment we are victoriously carrying out the first 
military action o the forces under my command, 
nucleus of the future Army of Liberation for Por- 
tugal and Spain. 

The Brazilian negotiators, led by Admiral Dias, had 
managed the disembarkation of the passengers and crew 
without loss of face on either side. The deal they made 
was simplicity itself: let all go who want to go, and then 
negotiate some more. 

Aboard the ship, Admiral Dias negotiated with Galvao 
for the last time. All morning they talked, slowly resolving 
differences. There really was nothing to negotiate about. 
The passengers were off. The crew was off. Galvao and 
his men were unarmed. The Brazilian marines controlled 
the ship. But obeisance had to be paid to Galvao's pride, 
and Admiral Dias was willing to go along with the game. 
Finally, he came up with a solution acceptable to Galvao: 
the ship would be turned over to the Brazilian Govern- 
mentnot to the line- and Galvao and his men would be 
granted political asylum in Brazil. They shook hands on 
it and made an appointment for that evening for the final 

Nearly a hundred reporters and photographers rode the 
tugboat to the Santo Maria that evening of Friday, Febru- 
ary 3. As they climbed aboard, they saw half-empty 
whiskey glasses on a table in the lounge, whore Galvao 
and Admiral Dias had toasted their agreement. 

Galvao's twenty-nine followers, trying to look military 
in their bedraggled khaki, were lined up on the prome- 


nade deck In parade formation. In the lounge nearby, their 
arms were stacked and guarded by Brazilian marines. 
Galvao spoke to his men in a choked voice, tears shim- 
mering in his eyes as he praised their valor and pledged 
that the fight would go on. Admiral Bias read the sur- 
render agreement which Galvao had signed earlier that 

"Do you agree to turn this ship over to the Brazilian 
command?" Bias asked at the end. 

"I do," Galvao said softly. 

The two men embraced and kissed on both cheeks, 
Latin fashion, and, at 6:22, P.M., the transfer of command 
was formally accomplished. 

The photographers, flashbulbs popping and floodlights 
glowing in the dusk, and the reporters straining to hear 
and see all, surged forward in a struggling mass. The rush 
carried Galvao to the rail, and for a moment he seemed 
to be in physical danger. But the marines moved in and 
edged the newsmen to the ladder and back aboard the 
waiting tug. 

On his way down the gangway, Galvao stopped, bowed 
bis head as if in prayer and said a silent goodbye to his 
"Santa Liberdadc." Waiting for him on the tug was Del- 
gado and, together, they went to the little wheelhouse. 
Just before the tug reached shore, Galvao stepped out onto 
the tiny bridge, to direct the landing of his men. 

Two buses waited there, to take them to the Recife 
police barracks for the night, This did not, by any means, 
indicate they were being arrested. When newsmen ques- 
tioned an official on this point, he was quick to explain, "It 
is just that there are no hotel rooms, since you reporters 
have them all, and we must have some place for them to 


Galvao lined his men up once more, this time In front 
of the buses as the cameras clicked and whirred. On com- 
mand, they all tossed a snappy salute at the Santa Maria. 
He embraced Admiral Dias again, and climbed into a bus 
bound for the police barracks. 

And that is how it ended. Yet, the strange case of the 
Santa Maria, the floating revolution which dominated the 
news and captured imaginations for nearly two weeks all 
over the world, was not yet closed. 

President Quadros almost immediately turned the ship 
over to the Companhia Colonial de Navegacao, despite 
a cry of anguish from Galvao, who had expected long 
litigation to harass the Salazar regime. The owners brought 
ashore the remains of Third Officer Joao Jose do Naci- 
mento Costa, to be shipped home to Lisbon. Then company 
lawyers promptly filed suit in Recife, accusing Galvao 
and Delgado of homicide, robbery, injuries, depriving 
passengers and crew of their liberty, and damage to the 

The company estimated it had lost $100,000 on each of 
the thirteen days Galvao held the ship. The United States 
Navy conservatively set its expenditures in pursuit of her 
at a minimum of $200,000. 

But what of the cost to Salazar? Beginning on the Fri- 
day that Galvao and his men quit the Santa Maria, up- 
risings swept anguished Angola, leaving thousands on 
both sides dead and wounded, and requiring Salazar to 
pour troops into the restive territory. The Angola rebels, 
who said the timing of their terrorism was inspired by the 
seizure of the Santa Maria, figured that in the five months 
.that followed they had lost #5,000 dead, against 1,000 for 
the Portuguese armed forces. Even in passive Goa, nation- 


alists stepped up anti-Salazar terrorism, partly because 
they were emboldened by Galvao's example and partly 
because, for the first time, the United States voted in 
the United Nations in support of self-determination in the 
Portuguese "provinces." 

Galvao and his men, secure in their political asylum 
against the vengeance of Salazar, could not escape the 
wrath of their fellow conspirators. On July 20, 1961, in Rio 
de Janeiro, Fernando Queiroga, a member of the D.R.I.L. 
Council, announced that Galvao, Velo and Sotomayor 
had been kicked out of the organization. They were ac- 
cused of having made spectacles of themselves without 
achieving any gains for the revolution, of having per- 
formed acts of an "individual and spectacular character 
without political or revolutionary ends." 

Even Delgado was chastised. Although not ejected 
from D.R.LL., he was criticized for not having rallied the 
Portuguese armed forces to revolt in 1958, when he lost 
the presidential election. Instead of doing so, the charge 
said, he "preferred to take refuge ridiculously in the Bra- 
zilian Embassy." 

Finally, the great blood brothers themselves fell out. 
Delgado turned up in Casablanca, Morocco, and on Octo- 
ber 30, 1961, told a press conference that Galvao was a 
publicity hound and the floating revolution was a mistake. 

"Captain Galvao conducted an action very damaging 
to the preparation of the revolt of Portugal," Delgado de- 
clared. "He displayed an exhibitionism almost without 
measure. 1 am obliged to say that I have broken all per- 
sonal and political connection with him. Consequently, I 
have no connection with other theatrical measures he 
may take in the name of preparing for revolution or to 
enrich himself as he took in the case of the Santa Maria." 


The Salazar regime was delighted, but worried, too. 

What "other theatrical measures'* was Galvao cooking up? 
Up to then he had done nothing more harmful to Salazar 
than denounce him in a book, Santo Maria; My Crusade 
far Portugal, and in public statements while visiting the 
United States, France, Italy, England, and Sweden. True, 
there had been rumors of invasion ships being organized 
by Galvao, but they had never come to anything. 

Delgado's split with Galvao gave all indications of being 
genuine. Was he grumpy because Galvao upstaged him 
during and after the Santa Maria affair? Or was there 
something so daring and perhaps more effectivebeing 
concocted in that fertile imagination that Delgado wanted 
no part of it? From Lisbon's point of view, the ship seizure 
had been bad enough. 

For if Galvao failed to raise his Army of Liberation, he 
succeeded admirably in calling the attention of the world 
to the repressions of the Salazar regime. And he wrote an 
incredible new chapter in the history of man's adventures 
at sea. 

As nine-year-old Harold Wayne Preston put it in talking 
to a reporter, "Gee, at last iVe got something exciting to 
tell about that's really true." 


Abreu, Rodrigo, 32 
Agostino, Arthur, 171-172 
Aleixo, Filipe Viegas, 75 
Algarves Figueira, Victor, 145 
Angola, 10, 36, 37, 60, 70, 72, 79, 

82, 107, 118, 134, 141, 142 
conditions in, 16-18, 28, 63-69, 

Azores base, 35, 141, 181 

Bates, Henry A., 85-86, 100, 189 
Bates, Mrs. Henry A., 54, 86, 100, 


Baty, Eben Neal, 57, 146 
Baty, Mrs, Eben Neal, 57 
Bayo Girod, Alberto, 32, 71, 76-78 
Bonnay, Charles, 176-177 
Borges, Theodomiro, 12, 69 
Boulton, H. L. & Co., 37 
Boyce, Mrs. Caroline, 52-53, 86, 

87, 100, 151 
Boyce, C. Prevost, 100 
Burke, Arleigh A., 105-106, 183 

Cabala, 185-186, 194, 198 
Canarias, 119, 127, 136, 137 
Cabot, John Moors, 101, 149 
Calafate, Luis Cesariny, 24, 32 
Castro Alves, Dario, 184-185, 188 
Castro, Fidel, 32, 43, 77-78 
Castro, Raul, 77-78 
Cesar, Malvina, 201 
Chatham Radio, 95-96, 97, 109- 

110, 117 
Chubb, Mrs, Edna P., 50, 72, 80- 

81, 85, 87, 89-90, 100, 109, 

114, 131, 146, 150-153 passim, 

157-160, 172, 192-193, 201- 

Churchill, Chester, 130131, 150, 


Gienfuegcs, Camillo, 77-78 
Colby, Leaven worth, 122-123 
Columbia Broadcasting System, 126 
Companhia Colonial de Navegacao, 

i, 119, 185, 208 
Communists, 32, 39-40, 76, 79 
Costa, Jose do Nacimento, 3-4, 11, 

12, 73, 208 

Crockett, David R., 72 
Crockett, Mrs. David R., 53 

da Costa Motta, Julio Cid, 

44, 47 
da Fonscca, Jose Scares, 164 

Daly, Thomas, 131 
Damato, USS, 95, 105, 170, 174 
da Silva, Hermogenio Antonio, 145 
Dawson, John W., 86, 114-115, 

128, 129, 146, 189 
Dawson, Mrs. John W., 86 
de Almeida, Viera, 28 
de Andrade, Julio Ferreira, 75 
de Barros, Emmanuel Jorge Pes- 

tana, 44, 47, 75 
de Carvalho, Carlos, 5-6, 11-12, 


Delamar, Gil, 176, 177 
Delgado, Humberto da Silva, 7-8, 

9, 38, 39, 4<>, 43, 72, 78, 97- 

104 passim, 126, 127, 141-142, 

178, 190-193, 207-210 passim 
background of, 24-32 
Dennison, Robert L., 95, 107, 108, 

116, 117, 118, 120121, 125, 

138-139, 140, 142, 183 
de Oliveira, Jose Frias, 44, 47, 75 
de Oliveira, Luiz Manoel Mota, 75 
de Souza, Antonio Lopes, 3-6, 11- 

12, 69, 72, 74, 79 
Dias Fernandes, A. R., 180-181, 

184, 185, 186, 188, 194, 195, 

197, 198 

Dietz, John W., 100, 131-132 
Dietz, Mrs. John W., 100, 134, 200 
Diretorio Revolucionario Iberico de 

Libertacao (D.R.I.L. ), 32-33, 

36, 40, 60, 78, 148, 205, 209 
Doane, Francis, 95-96, 97 
Dunn, Irene M., 132 

Eisenhower, D wight D., 35 
Elbrick, C. Burke, 94-95, 106, 140- 

141, 164 
Esparrinha, Graciano, 44, 47, 48, 

Esteves Fernandes, Luis, 181-182 

Fernandez Ackerman, Luis, 48, 76 

Fleitas, Armando, 78-79 

Franco, Francisco, 33, 38, 41, 56, 

Frutuoso de Almeida, Antonio, 76 

Galvao, Henrique, 7-10 passim, 24, 
31-48 passim, 74~75 78-83 
passim, 91, 92, 96-104 passim, 
107, 109, 111, H5> 120-121, 
127, 135, 140> *4i 142, 147- 

148, isi, 152, i6o, 163, 164- 
165, 180, 185, 186, 189, 192, 
3-93, 197. 199, 202, 203, 204, 
207-210 passim 
background of, 13, i4i i5-#3> 

30, 66, 69 

negotiations by, 116, 117, 118, 
125-126, 128-129, 130-131, 
138, 165-166, 169, 170-177, 
179-180, 182, 188, 189, 196, 

relations with passengers, 56, 84- 
87 passim, 143-146 passim, 
153-154, 156, 163-168, 171, 
178, 187, 195, 197, 198, 200 

Garcia, Carlos, 4 

Garcia Cabrera, Antonio, 194, 195 

Gearing, USS, 107, 165, 170-177 

Goncalves Andrade, Joaquini, 145 

Gonzales del Tanago, Sra. Con- 
suelo, 173, 175 

Guaderrama, Ernest S., 171, 173, 
175, 188-189, 202 

Guevara, "Che," 77-78 

Gutierrez Menoyo, Elroy, 78-79 

Hackworth, Green H., 103 
Harberson, Cecil R., 131-132, 156- 

157, 201 
Harberson, Mrs. Cecil R., 100, 156- 

157, 201 

Hermitage, USS, 140 
Hunt, Edward R., 135 

Illanez Ferro, Jose, 75 
Interpol, 164 

Kennedy, John F., 50, 87, 102-103, 
116-117, 121-122, 164, 181 

Kennedy, Robert F., 121, 123-124 

Kramer, Robert, 123 

Kratiss, Daniel L., no, 111112, 

Kubitschek, Juscelino, 118, 154 

Lacerda, Carlos, 164, 169 

Lawton, Mary, 122-123 

Leite, Cicero Campos, 5, 7, 11 

Loitc, Hello, 181 

Lemratzer, Lyman L., 105-106 

Lins, Alvaro, 25, 45, 47, 127 

Logan-Smith, Nat, 54-55, 57, 153, 


Lorenso, Manuel Joaquim, 201 
Losado Losado, Basilio, 75 
Lourenco, Manuel, 58 

Machado, Gustave, 31 

Maia, Mario Simoes, 2-3, 6-10 

passim, 37, 55-56, 70, 80, 81, 

120, 154-156, 180 
Mazo Bravo, Manel, 48, 76 
Mendes, Laura, 88 
Miller, Leon, 131-132 
Mortagua Tavares, Carnillo, 48, 75 

Nation Magazine, 33-34 
National Broadcasting Co., 96, 97 

Nespelen, USS, 107 

Ojeda Henriquez, Rafael, 7475, 

Paiva da Silva, Joaquim, 48, 74 

Paraibo, 192 

Patton, Arthur Douglas, 49-50, 53, 

55, 59, 80, 113, 131, 146-147, 

167, 196, 198 

Patton, Arthur Douglas, Jr., 50 
Patton, Mrs. Arthur Douglas, 53, 

55, 598o, 113 
Perez Martinez, Jose, 76 
Pero Escobar, 119, 136, 174, 185, 

187, 188 

Pinto Cuelho, Alfredo, 200 
Piracy, 9-10, 55, 57, 61, 85-86, 92, 

94-95? 97, 100-104 passim, 

123-124, 127, 140-141, 162 
Policia Intcrnacionale de Defcnsa 

do Estado (P.I.D.E.), 19, 21- 

22, 24-29 passim, 37, 40, 43, 

Preston, Carl Bruce, 57, 90, 91, 

133, 155-156, 196-197, 202 

Preston, Donald Floyd, 57, 90, 91, 

3.14, 133, 148, 153, 155-156, 

192, 196-197, 202 
Preston, Floyd W., 57, 90, 91, 114, 

131-132, 348, 155-156, 168, 

192, 196197, 200, 202 
Preston, Mrs. Floyd W., 56-57, 90- 

92, 114, 132-133, 148, 153. 

155-156, 168, 192, 196-197, 

Preston, Harold Wayne, 57, 90, 91, 

114, 155-156, 196-1977 SOA, 

Preston, Steven Dean, 57, 90, 91, 

114, 133, 148, 153. 155-156, 

192, 196-197, 202 

Quadros, Janio, 118, 134, 154, 157, 
160, 164-165, 169-170, 171, 

174-175, 179-180, 184, 185, 
197, 208 
Quciroga, Fernando, 3233, 209 

Radio Claridad, 31 

Radio Corp. of America, 95, 96, 97 

Rainey, Charles, 137 

Ramalheira, Ambrosio Pereira, 119 

Ramos da Cunha, Jose, 9, 48, 73 

Rats of Recife, 162, 201 

Recife Regatta, 162, 191, 193 

Reis, Harold F., 121122 

Rickerby, Art, 190-191 

Rico Leal, Francisco, 48, 7374 

Rodrigues, Julio, 48 

Romara Rojo, Augustin, 76 

Rothesay, HMS, 93, 94, 105, 140 

Rusk, Dean, 181-182, 183 

Salazar de Oliveira, Antonio, 7, 9, 
30, 3i, 33, 35, 46-47, 56, 60, 
63, 65, 67, 71, 73, 86, 97, 98, 
99, 102, 106, 126-129 passim., 
145, 154, 155, 180, 187, 205, 
208209, 210 

background of, 14-16, 18-19, 21, 
24-25, 27-29 

Santa Maria, SS, 1-4 passim, 10, 
11, 17, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42-48 
passim, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 69, 
70, 72, 73, 74, 76, 78-82 
passim, 86, 87, 91-95 passim, 
101 no passim, 112, 116-117, 

119, 121-124 passim, 126-127, 
130, 136, 138-139, 140, 142, 
145, 147-148, 150, 152, 154, 
156-157, 160-165 passim, 168, 
170, 172, 173, 176-193 passim, 
j^gS^igg passim, 201-206 pas- 
sim, 209, 210 

food, fuel, mechanical woes of, 
45, 54, S^, 81, 82, 83, 115, 

120, 131, 142-145 passim, 
166-167, 169, 175, 184, 197, 

Seawolf, USS, 108-109, 181 

Sellcry, Harry, 122123 

Shaiid, Clinton, 92-93, 94 

Shane, Robert, 202 

Shaw Brothers Shipping Co., 69 

Smith, Allen E., Jr., 93, 95, 107- 

108, 116, 117, 125, 138, 140, 

149, 150, 165, 170, i7-*8i 

passim, 183, 186 
Smith, Deborah, 53, 88-89, 100, 

146, 195 

Smith, Delbert Carl, Jr., 53, 88, 

131-132, 195 
Smith, Mrs. Delbert Carl, Jr., 53, 

88-89, 146, 195-196 
Snell, David, 190-191 
Sotomayor Portela, Jorge, g, 41, 43, 

45-49 passim, 70-71, 72, 118, 

136-137, 138, 144, 166-167, 

172, 209 
Sousa, Marie, 90 
Suarez Fernandez, Fermin, 74 

Tavares da Silva, Alvara, 134 

Tempero de Almeida, Joaquim, 145 

Thomas, Mrs. Dorothy, 58, 132 

Time Magazine, 22 

Tingle, J. E., 170 

Tinoco, Jose Prudencio, 145 

Ulster, HMS, 95, 105, 140 

United Press International, 125- 


United States, SS, 130 
Untero, Vasco, 201 

van der Meer, William, 88 

Vayo, Julio, 32 

Velo Mosquera, Jose, 9, 33, 48, 56, 
57, 61, 70, 71-72, 82, 115, 
120, 128, 129-130, 134, 138, 
144, 145, 152, 166-167, 172, 
178, 187-188, 209 

Velo Perez, Jose, 9, 48-49, 73, 200 

Venetian, Paul, 88 

Vera Cruz, SS, 40, 119, 201 

Vibeke Gulwa, SS, no 

Vogelgesang, USS, 107, 170 

Webster, William, 153-154, 160- 

Weisberger, Howard, 92, 166, 196, 


White, Lincoln, 103, 111 
Williams, Laurence, 150 
Williamson, Mrs. Lucille, 153 
Wilson, USS, 95, 105, no, 140, 


Yrigoyen, Xavier, 12 

Yunker, Martin, 54, 57, 127-130 

passim, 142, i53~*-54 *72- 

173, 189, 192 
Yunker, Mrs. Martin, 54, 130, 200 



Warren Rogers, Jr., is a top correspondent for the New 
'York Herald Tribune, for whom he covers foreign and 

military affairs. Born in New Orleans, he attended Tulane 
and Louisiana State University, and started his newspaper 
career with the New Orleans Item. He has worked for the 

Associated Press first in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, 

then in Washington, as foreign affairs specialist. Since 1959 
he has worked out of the New York Herald Tribune 
Washington Bureau, where he followed the developments 
of the Santa Maria incident from the inside. He was at 

Recife, Brazil, for the finale of her incredible voyage, 

(continued from front flap) 

the following twelve days of drama and 
pathos that were to electrify the entire 

A sweeping account of the Santa Maria 
incident, The Floating Revolution ex- 
plores in detail the reasons behind the 
dramatic assault, and how Galvao used 
it to focus world attention on the injus- 
tices of his country's government. Drawn 
against the larger background of Portu- 
guese politics, Mr. Rogers' stunning gal- 
lery of portraits emerges not only of 
the rebel Galvao and the dictator Salazar, 
but of all the men who were actively 
connected with the Santa Maria's cap- 
ture. Portugal's domestic and colonial 
struggles are underscored, as the route 
of intrigue leads from Lisbon to Caracas 
to Angola. 

The strange and often humorous reac- 
tions of the forty-two American passen- 
gers as suspense mounted are sharply 
contrasted with the determined yet un- 
usually polite manners and character of 
the rebels. The role of the U.S. Navy in 
locating the Santa Maria after several 
long, tiring clays of search, and the deli- 
cate task of the Brazilian negotiators in 
arranging to dock the ship with immunity 
in Recife, Brazil, lead to the grand finale, 
and what the author terms "Galvao's 
tr i u in p h an t s u rr en tier . ** 

Tlw Flouting Revolution is not only 
a fast-paced story of thrilling adventure 
on the high seas, but it is also a consci- 
entious work of modern political report- 
ing at its most acute, keen best.