This page is confined to photos and stories related to events occurring during what came to be known as the Santa Maria "Piracy"Incident, taking place during late January and early February of 1961. The Acrobat (.pdf) files may be viewed on your computer immediately if you have an Acrobat Reader 'plug-in' installed as part of your browser. Or, you might downloaded and read the files offline and at your leisure.
If you do not have a copy of Acrobat Reader, one may be obtained FREE at Adobe's homepage at

( Click on any photo to see the full-sized version!!! )


Operation utilized elements of the 1st, 2nd and the entire 3rd Platoon of
"G" Company
2nd Battalion
6th Marine Regiment
2nd Marine Division

Jan-Feb 1961

CDR J. E. Tingle, USN

USS Gearing: "She was a tin-can, destroyer, the lead ship of the U.S.Navy's Gearing Class...
Home Page

** Troop reassignment
to USS Gearing

USS Vogelgesang

*Familygram Four

*Familygram Five

Aerial Photos Provided by
Doug Bender and
VW-4 Hurricane Hunters

Aerial Photo of Santa Maria by Hurricane Hunters

Still More
Aerial Photographs

taken by Life Magazine

during the Santa Maria
pirating incident

First Encounter with
Santa Maria at Sea

Santa Maria
Photo by John Lemongelli

Troops Prepare
for the Worst

Gearing Launch Leaves
for Santa Maria

Negotiations Proceed

Idiot Parachutist from
Paris Match Magazine
[Read the full story]

Amiral Meets Galvao

Ken Kollai "Demands
Galvao's Surrender."

Santa Maria Coming
in Recife, Brazil

Santa Maria Docked in Recife

Galvao Surrenders
to Brazilian Authorities

Galvao's Press
Conference in Recife


Photos of
Santa Maria Incident
Solant Amity Cruise Book

Published in Acrobat

USS Gearing's

***DD-710 Travel Log

Excerpts from

Galvao's Text

Admin Remarks****
S.F. McMurray,


All the photos of
3rd Platoon
while aboard the
U.S.S. Gearing DD-710

Published in Acrobat

3rd Herd returns to
the Graham County

* Familygrams #4 and #5 were sent to the families of Gearing's crew, including Marines, by Captain, CDR J. E. Tingle . #4 was furnished to website by former L/Cpl James J. McCarthy and #5 by then Pfc. BARman Trevor E. Davies, who left the Corps in 1965 as a Corporal.
** Copy of "Personal" form letter provided by Captain Tingle of the USS Gearing to families of Marine crew, each member was provided an opportunity to add personal comments before sending it. Great concept.
***Travel Logs: 3rd Platoon, G-2-6 AND the USS Gearing provided by then L/Cpl George Bitsoli.
Please note the discrepancy: the 3rd Herd's log omitted a refueling stop in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Gearing arrived 2100 on 26Jan61 and departed 1100 on 27Jan61, sailing then to intercept the Santa Maria.
****Administrative Remarks of Gearing's Executive Officer. Provided by then Pfc. Joseph Teklits. Another copy with same content was obtained from former L/Cpl James J. McCarthy. Thank you both.

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To Home page. Meet the 1st Platoon; 2nd Platoon ; 3rd Platoon; Weapons Platoon or Headquarters and H&S Personnel. See Solant Amity Cruise or read the Comments of visitors to the site or a tribute to the Marines aboard the Hermitage or of the Corp's Discipline Problems in the 1970s. Or, perhaps you would just like to see some recent photos of the Corps' Parris Island Training Center or an array of Military Anecdotes from the 60's . Then, maybe you'd just like to see some Links and Things.