Brazil was neutral at the beginning of World
War II, until German submarines attacked and sank Brazilian merchant
ships killing over 1000 civilians. The Brazilian Expeditionary Force
(BEF) was created in August 1943 under the command of Major General
João Baptista Mascarenhas de Moraes. It consisted of an
infantry division, an artillery division, an engineering battalion, a
medical battalion, a reconnaissance squadron and other small service
The BEF was shipped to Italy in July 1944, and went
into action in September. The units joined the U.S. 5th Army and
served with distinction through the North Apennines and Pó Valley
campaigns to V-E Day.
When General Mascarenhas de Moraes returned to Brazil
and was made a Marshal in 1946. He served as Chief of Staff during the
second Vargas government (1951-1954). He died in 1968.
On the map the stamp shows the battles in which the BEF