Out of Gloucester


January 13, 1947

No Word Yet From Missing Trawler
Three Local Men In Crew of Boston Craft Unreported Since Thursday
Wide Search On

Three Coast Guard planes continued their search of the seas from Brunswick, Me., across to the Nova Scotian waters and as far south as New York for the missing 113-foot Boston beam trawler Belle, Capt. Peter Linehan, missing since late last Thursday with 17 in her fishermen crew including three Gloucester men.  No word of her was known at noon today.

The three local men include Thomas Rossiter, Abbott V. Place, 26, and Edward H. Ernst, 40. It was the first trip on the Belle for both Place and Ernst.   The Belle had been fishing on Western bank off Nova Scotia and was on her way into port with 60,000 pounds fresh fish including 18,000 pounds haddock, 27,000 pounds cod and other mixed fish worth $6,000.

The Coast Guard pointed out that even a search by air could take several days before a missing craft of the Belle's size might be located by the planes, especially when the Belle's radio communication has been quiet since late Thursday.  They recalled the search  for the dragger Francis C. Denchy which took nine days before the craft was found.  The Atlantic ocean is a lot of water and a search for one comparatively small craft without any accurate position, is bound to take time, they say.

Although the seas have been heavy and the winds fairly high the past few days, there should be no cause for grave concern for a steel vessel such as the Belle is, and especially of her size for she should be ale to ride it out.

January 14, 1947

Trawler Belle is Still Missing

Bad weather today prevented Coast Guard planes form continuing the air search for the missing Boston trawler Belle and her crew of 17 men.  Planes were standing by, however, prepared to resume the hunt when weather permits.
Navy and Coast Guard air and surface units have already covered 50,000 square miles of sea in a vain hunt for the missing craft.  The Eastern Air Command, Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy have been asked to search the area south of Nova Scotia.   The Coast Guard cutter Bibb, en route from Argentia to Boston, has been diverted to take up the hunt, and Coast Guard planes as far south as Atlantic City have been alerted.  The Canadian ship Macbrien, out of Halifax, is keeping a watch in that vicinity.  Navy planes have been offered for further search.

January 17, 1947

Eight Planes in Search For Belle
Renewed Efforts Greatest in North Atlantic Area
Cover 50,000 Square Miles

One of the biggest air hunts ever launched into the North Atlantic area got underway today.  Eight service planes sped eastward to sweep 50,000 square miles of ocean in a renewed search for the missing Boston trawler Belle and her crew of seventeen, including three Gloucester men.

Seafaring men pointed out that the Belle was probably heavily laden with ice which, added to their cargo of fish, would tend to make her less maneuverable.

The areas to be searched intensively include the Gulf of Maine, George's Bank, Brown's Bank, Cultivator Shoal, and Asia Rip.  The search will extend from Cape Cod to a point 225 miles at sea, from Portland, Me., to the New Jersey Coast, with the easternmost boundary of Brown's Bank.

January 21, 1947

Coast Guard Ends Trawler Search
No Trace Found of Belle, Missing Since January 9
Three Gloucester Men in Crew

After an intensive 11-day sea and air search from waters off Maine to New York, the US Coast Guard late yesterday officially called off the search for the Boston beam trawler Belle, missing since Jan. 9 with her crew of 17 men, including three Gloucester men.  Eight of the crew were married and their families represented a total of 32 children.

The Coast Guard Air-Sea-Rescue headquarters in Boston announced that they would continue broadcasting a description of the 113-foot trawler, twice a day for the next week to ships at sea requesting they notify the Coast Guard if any trace of the vessel or wreckage was found.

The vessel was last heard from on Thursday, January 9 when the skipper, Capt. Peter J. Linehan, 45, of Houghs Neck, reported he was about 10 miles east of Boston, on his way into port, with a load of fresh fish, and that his craft was having trouble, and required assistance.  Although a Coast Guard search was organized and on its way in shore time, they never were able to locate the craft as the boat's radio telephone went off the air.

The crew members of the Belle were:

Capt. Peter J. Linehan, 45, of Houghs Neck
Thomas Rossiter, 44, of Gloucester, father of three children
Edward Ernst, 40, of Gloucester, father of three children
Abbott Place, 27, of Gloucester, father of five children
Patrick Jackson, 41, of Dorchester, father of three children
Gerald D. Maloney, 38, of Cambridge, father of five-weeks old daughter
Stephen Dunn, 36, of Roxbury
Edward Dunn, of Dorchester, father of four children
Leonard F. Foote, of Medford, father of five children
John McCue, 20, of Dorchester
Edwin A. Trott, engineer, of Boston
Ivar Persson, second engineer, Boston
John Rosell, cook, of Boston
Martin Armstrong, of Boston
William Squires, of Boston
Patrick Aylward, of Boston
Howard R. Strum, of Boston


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