The Galga Andaluza (1750)
The 54-gun, 631-ton, two-bridge frigate Nuestra Señora del Carmen, aka Galga Andaluza, was built in Cadiz in 1731.
As a warship, she sailed in the Mediterranean in surveillance, escort and cargo transport missions, and took part in some battles against Algerian ships and in landing and support operations to marine infantry troops in the capture of the Brindisi Castle, in Taranto.
In 1736, she was part of a flotilla that left Cadiz, under the command of Captain Nicolás Geraldino, heading for the Río de La Plata, armed with 46 cannons and a crew of 323 men. On their way there, they managed to capture several Portuguese ships, among which was a ship from Angola with more than 600 slaves. In the Rio de la Plata, this flotilla continued to fight against Portuguese ships for control of the region until 1738, when it returned to the port of Cadiz with an important cargo of riches. After being careened at La Carraca Naval Station, La Galga continued her surveillance and combat missions against the Portuguese and English. She returned to America in 1741, and then returned to the Spanish coast to perform escort duties in the Mediterranean.
In 1747, she was reassembled in the port of Cartagena for a new voyage to America and was loaded with quicksilver, together with the ships Leon and San Francisco Javier and a group of merchant ships. The convoy left Cadiz for Veracruz on March 14, 1748, commanded by Captain Juan de Egues. The Galga Andaluza sailed under the command of Blas de Barreda. During the journey, several merchant ships were captured by an English squadron.
In the port of Veracruz, La Galga was getting ready to return to Spain loaded with riches and other goods, when the War of the Seat, also known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear, broke out between Great Britain and Spain, lasting from 1739 to 1748 in the Caribbean. Once this conflict was over, La Galga joined the Armada de Barlovento, which shortly thereafter was definitively disbanded, establishing its base in Havana. From this port, commanded by Captain Daniel Houni, La Galga sailed on her last voyage, one from which she would never return. She sailed on August 18, 1750, together with the brig Mercedes and five merchant ships bound for Spain, carrying troops of the 6th Marine Battalion and British prisoners.
A few days after leaving Havana, a hurricane hit the convoy and scattered the ships. During the whole week that the storm lasted, La Galga lost her masts and, in a desperate maneuver, part of her artillery was thrown into the sea to lighten her load. In the middle of a heavy swell and without any possibility of maneuvering, she sank on August 25, 1750 in the area of Cape Hatteras, near the coast, on the Eastern Shore, between the present states of Maryland and Virginia. Only one soldier and three passengers were killed.
La Galga was not the only ship to be wrecked in the storm; also lost were the merchant ships: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, aka La Ninfa, captained by Manuel Bonilla; Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, under the command of Captain Manuel Malburo; and El Salvador, aka Enrique, commanded by Captain Juan Cruanio. The rest of the ships that were part of the convoy arrived in Norfolk. However, according to some historians, the San Pedro, captained by John Kelly, the Nuestra Señora de los Godos, aka Arrinton, under the command of Captain Pedro Pumarejo, the San Vicente, and the schooner Mariana also sank.