Bill Hubbard Asks About His Grandfather’s Boat The Superior

Bill Hubbard Writes-

I’m trying to track down an important bit of history about my Grandfather’s Boat.  Capt. John A. Dahlmer’s fishing boat Superior was taken by the US Navy early in WW-II.  We have heard that she was used to supply weather stations along the Greenland and Newfoundland coasts with fuel and food.  She was returned to the family in 1944.  As a child, I remember seeing a paper certificate issued by the US Navy thanking him for the use of his boat in the war effort.  He was also paid $1 for each of the 4 years she was on naval duty.
My question is, what was the name of the navy command that operated Superior and other New England vessels during the war years?  I’m sure some of your readers had similar experiences with other boats at that time and, maybe someone can tell me.  Maybe even someone has a picture of her at that time.  A picture of Superior sporting her new, first in the fleet, whaleback bow in 1935 is attached.
Bill Hubbard

Superior with whaleback bow

Bill this would be a great question that maybe our FOB Fred Buck at The Cape Ann Museum could answer-


9 thoughts on “Bill Hubbard Asks About His Grandfather’s Boat The Superior

  1. Since posting this to GMG I have learned that the Superior and other fishing vessels and large yachts were under the Atlantic Sea Defense Command. That is in the US Navy’s History of it’s actions in WW-II. I spent most of yesterday on Google searching Navy records and reports. Some naval districts published lists of private vessels used in their patrols but I have found nothing from the First Naval District so far. Bill


  2. Not sure about Superior specifically, but many of these fishing boats and yachts were part of what was called the ‘corsair-fleet’ or as some of the visitors to the shipbuilding museum call it: the hooligan navy. Many of these, including Gloucester’s Gertrude Thebaud were on station patrolling for U-boats off our coast. Some were supply vessels, while others because of their wooden hulls (like the Gov. Saltonstall I believe), were converted to mine sweepers.

    If I can find anything related to Superior I’ll post it here.


  3. Hi Bill, from what you mentioned in your post, it seems like the Superior was on similar duty to the Effie Morrissey – now known as Ernestina. The Morrissey was on duty sailing up to Greenland for hydrographic surveys and to supply Allied air bases and remote weather stations. Ken Lawson’s book: Essex Vessels in Times of War talks about the Morrissey’s role and it sounds very similar to what you mentioned. Cmdr. Forbes wrote a book on his experiences that could be useful in your search: Quest for a Northern Air Route by Alexander Forbes.

    Once again if I find more, I’ll post it here

    PS: Superior was the last keel laid by AD Story, he never returned to his yard after that and died the same day that the Sebastiana C was lauched from the James yard in 1932.


  4. My Grand Dad, Capt. Tom Benham, had the Gov. Saltonstall built, during WW2 Navy used as mine sweeper, Capt. Tom oldest warrant Officer in Navy, I think the name was changed to the Kingfisher.


  5. I have a couple of old photographs of the Governor Saltonstall and of the Ruth Lucille. I also have one of the Captain.
    Thomas Benham was my grandfather as well.
    (I think I just found my cousin.)


  6. Hello everyone.

    Would this be the same dragger Superior my Great Grandfather was on when he was lost at sea on April 17, 1946? His name was Dennis Amero, husband of Fannie Amero (nee Muise), who lived at 4 Stanley Terrace, Saugus, MA. He was the cook for Superior according to the following documentation:

    And if it is the same Superior would there be any photographs of the crew at any time with or without Dennis Amero in any photos?

    Thank you,

    John Gilbert Amero
    Philadelphia PA


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