Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Sinking Of The Ben and Josephine Account From The Gloucester Daily Times

The Infamous Fred Buck At The Cape Ann Museum found the article from the Times with the account of how our Grandfather’s boat was sunk by the German Sub  on June 11, 1942

Gloucester Daily Times, June 11, 1942
ENEMY SUB SENDS TWO LOCAL …
14 Fishermen Reach Shore Safely After Craft Are Shelled
Two Gloucester fishing draggers were shelled and sunk within a half hour of each other off the New England coast Wednesday afternoon, June 3, while the crews of both vessels were endangered by machine gun bullets, shrapnel from hurtling shells and even from direct shelling by an enemy submarine, a long dull grey craft without identification marks.

All 14 men in the crews managed to reach shore after 36 hours of rowing through fog and drenching rain, with neither crew able to salvage an ounce of food.  Capt. John O. Johnson, owner-skipper of the second craft shelled, told a graphic story of the event, while Capt. Joseph Ciametaro [sic], 27 years, Washington Square, skipper of the other boat, described the machine gunning.  The only casualty was Capt. Johnson’s dog "Snooksie."

First Local Casualties
These are the first Gloucester fishermen to be sunk by subs since late summer of 1918, when the German submarines took a toll of Gloucester swordfishermen and market fishermen on Georges Bank.  News of the sinkings were learned here within two days of the tragedy.

In Capt. Ciametaro’s crew were Sam Frontiero, 45 years, 19 Mansfield Street, engineer; Tony Frontiero, 35 years, 17 Elm Street, cook; Sam Orlando, 23 years, 7 Washington Square; Dominic Montagnino, 27 years, 21 Riggs Street; William Mahoney, 49 years, 12 Locust Street; Peter Frontiero, 27 years, 42 Fort Square; James A. Sheaves, 42 years, 12 Marchant Street.

Their craft, costing some $80,000 a couple years ago when she was built, was on the fishing grounds in the late afternoon, and had already made one set, getting 1500 pounds redfish, when in steaming toward what they thought would be a better spot, Orlando on watch forward, saw the conning tower of a submarine off a distance from them.  At first, they thought she might be an American submarine on patrol, but when the raider came within 300 feet of their craft, they saw men on deck armed with machine guns, letting loose a barrage of tracer shots at their craft.

Machine Gun House
"Orlando called me on deck and when I realized they were firing at us, I knew very well she was an enemy," said Capt. Ciaramitaro.  "I ran into the pilot house to get the compass, and as I did, some of the machine gun bullets smashed away at the house.  Mahoney who was up nearby came within inches of getting killed.  They must have thought the firing would be a warning.
"Anyway, we made for the two dories aboard, and lost no time in launching them into the water.  We didn’t even bother to get our clothing or anything else and even left the compass behind.  I had planned to break the seal on the radio telephone in the engine house and notify the Coast Guard that a sub was attacking us, but the firing was too hot for us, and it would take too many precious minutes to get this done.

"Sheaves, Orlando, Montagnino and Tony Frontiero were in the first dory, while Sam Frontiero and myself made for the other.
"Within five minutes of the machine gunning, the sub crew started firing from a gun mounted on deck.  I don’t know what type it was or how big.  I know that those shells came thick and fast, and there must have been anywhere from 40 to 50 shells sent at our boat.  One of the shells must have banged into the foc’s’tle, because we saw the stove come hurtling out through a shellhole in the port side of the boat.

"The shell that did the trick was the last one, smashing into the engine room, causing an explosion, which set the boat afire.  However, it was a half hour later before she finally sunk.  We couldn’t see how good their aim was, because we were on the opposite side from where they were shelling.
"There was a lot of shrapnel from the shells flying around us, but none of us was hit.  None of the crew bothered to speak to us and we said nothing to them.  We don’t know whether they were Germans or Italians.  They certainly weren’t friends.  They were tall and slim.  There were several men on the deck of the sub.

Many Misses
Orlando and others of the crew declared there were more misses than hits as the shells screamed overhead and around them.  It looked like the battle of the Marne might have looked, they thought.  The weather was clear with visibility of at least six or seven miles, said the skipper.  The sea was fairly smooth.

As the two dories were rowing away from the craft in which they had made big money in the past couple years, they saw a short while later smoke rising in the distance and knew that the neighboring dragger had been sunk.

Fog set in on the long pull to shore.  Guided only by the direction of the wind which the skipper had sensed as he left the dragger, the reckoning proved correct and brought them to land 36 hours later.  They rowed in reliefs of two, and both dories kept together.  They had no food, but did have a small amount of water.  It was a long hard pull and when they finally made it, every man was exhausted.  They were given strong steaming coffee, bacon and eggs, and it all tasted mighty good.  Later the navy took charge of the men and took their accounts of what had happened.  They arrived about 4:30 o’clock in the morning.
Asked as to whether or not they were frightened when machine gunned, the skipper exclaimed, "Of course we were scared.  With those bullets flying all around us, there was no wonder we were scared."

"Every time they would fire a shell it would knock the boat around," the skipper added.  "The next shell would swing around the other way."  Said Peter Frontiero, "To tell you the truth, we were stunned.  The sub skipper gave us plenty of time to get off, but he did have a lot of shots fired in the pilot house.  When he let the shells go, we knew he meant business and we got going.  We are glad they never hit our dories."

What is Great Pond Status?

The point of the Aftermath video is to showcase the litter, not who owns the pond. Thank you Daniel for pointing out the litter and thank you Anonymous for sharing that Niles Pond has Massachusetts Great Pond Status. And thank you to all who wrote comments-it just goes to show how much we all care about our beautiful Niles Pond and surrounding environment.

Irrespective of who owns the pond, let’s all please not litter, and if you do see trash left behind, clean it up, and if you can’t manage the job yourself, email the wonderfully good eggs Donna Ardizzoni and her One Hour at a Time Gang for the really tough jobs.

Niles Pond Sunrise

From the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection website: Chapter 91 comprises four basic areas of geographical jurisdiction. Any activity that takes place in one of the hot link areas listed below requires Chapter 91 authorization. The areas are:

Flowed Tidelands – Any project located in, on, over or under tidal waters seaward of the present mean high water (MHW) shoreline. Jurisdiction in this case extends seaward three miles, to the state limit of territorial jurisdiction.

Filled Tidelands – The limit on filled tidelands is: A.) Outside Designated Port Areas, the first public way or 250 feet from mean high water, whichever is farther landward and B.) Inside Designated Port Areas, the historic MHW shoreline (i.e., all filled areas).

Great Ponds – Any project located in, on, over or under the water of a great pond. A great pond is defined as any pond or lake that contained more than 10 acres in its natural state. Ponds or lakes presently larger than 10 acres are presumed to be great ponds, unless the applicant provides unequivocal evidence to the contrary. Ponds 10 or more acres in their natural state, but which are now smaller, are still considered great ponds.

Non-Tidal Rivers and Streams – Projects located in, on, over, or under any non-tidal, navigable river or stream on which public funds have been expended either upstream or downstream within the river basin, except for any portions not normally navigable during any season by any vessel. Additionally, the Connecticut River, the Merrimack River and portions of the Westfield River are within jurisdiction.

Chapter 91: An Overview and Summary ~ Read more to find out how Great Pond Status directly affects Niles Pond: Read more

Once again- Ed Sticks It In My Culo

So the task seemed easy enough to me.

Send my buddy Ed down to What’s Cooking to partake in the free soup and $2 sliders opening day specials for lunch.

While there this morning to get the skinny before anyone else and bring you guys the video owner Brian rambled off a whole litany of soups and chilis packed with meat.

After inhaling a couple of sliders apiece and getting to the soup portion of our lunch I start to eat the soup and lo and behold Ed goes and gets us some vegan soup.

Now for many of you, vegetarian soup may cut it.  But for working men the unwritten rule is that you obviously go for the chicken or beef or chili soup.  What working man in this day and age opts for the vegan soup?

Fail.

This is not an indictment on the quality food at What’s Cooking mind you, the sliders were fantastic.

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You Have Beef Chili and Chicken Veggie w/Rice and You Go Vegan On Me?  Really Ed???

What kind of cruel devious diabolical man are you anyway?

Brad Byrd’s haunting voice and guitar vs. Brad Byrd the Indie Rocker

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Today you’ve got a rare chance to catch the essence of a hit song from the singer/songwriter in his studio — and then hear the final, produced version, which was featured on ABC TV’s hit comedy Happy Endings last week.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Watch this video of Brad Byrd singing Zero to the 101.

2) Click on the link below the video to hear the fully produced version of the song

Then check out our Thursday picks: Richard James at Minglewood or Dave Sag with Willie “Loco” at Rhumbline.  You’ll be rockin’ tonight!

TOMORROW is it… Check out the awesome fishing lure by Karen Conant!

Fishing Lure buoy by Karen Conant

Fishing Lure buoy by Karen Conant

For those of you familiar with The Hive or Crossfit Cape Ann, this style may look familiar :) Created for Art Haven by Karen Conant, one of the wonderful super-involved folks of the Cape Ann community! Again, the rules:

-If you like a buoy you see, bidding starts at $20, and you can just bid in the comments section below the post, HOWEVER

-Your bid doesn’t become official until you send Art Haven an email (arthaveninfo@gmail.com) saying you’re serious and letting us know how to get in contact with you.

-Finally, if you’re the highest bidder on the blog, that makes your bid the starting bid at the auction. We’ll be in touch about your max bid if you can’t make it to the auction.

If you’ve got any questions, leave ‘em in the comments section. Also, check out the artist buoys on Art Haven’s Facebook page and tell us if there are particular buoys you’d like to see go up here. And remember, your money is helping more kids on Cape Ann have access to crazy fun art activities :)

Finally, for your enjoyment, the organizing process…

What’s Cooking Grand Opening Day Video With Brian Rice

At The Site of The Former Scroo Cookin’ What’s Cookin’ will be holding their grand Opening today at 11AM

Free cup of soup to the first 30 people and $2 Pulled Pork & Bolognese sliders!  We are also the sole distributor of Gloucester’s finest sausage – Trupiano’s!

You heard it here!

185 Washington Street, Thursday January 26th Get There Today and Say You Saw It On GMG!

Steel Derrick from Skip Montello

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joey,

Saturdays light snow fall melted slowly through yesterday leaving an icy mirror on the surface of the steel derrick quarry this morning. The gray skies preserved a striking reflection of the trees and granite blocks.

Thanks, Skip

PS. Great harbor shot this morning!

North Coast Angler www.northcoastangler.com

Skip Montello Photos www.skipmontellophotos.com

Is there apathy in regards to Gloucester’s Fishing Industry News or have people given up trying to understand it.

 

Cod cut loss to city: $70M

By Richard Gaines

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A statutory need to address a reported widespread decline in the status of the Gulf of Maine cod was translated Wednesday into terms of a potential economic catastrophe for the New England groundfishing industry — with projections of dealing a $70 million hit to Gloucester’s economy alone.

Click here for the rest of the story
Richard Gaines reports some really heavy stuff today in the Gloucester Daily Times but other than people directly involved in the fishing industry locally and a few other folks that seem to weigh in on it outside of the industry I wonder if the general public has tuned it all out because it is so difficult to understand and or they gave up trying because it’s impossible to keep up with all the changes.

In either case there are some MAJOR MAJOR changes to the life and independent spirit of what so many people have clung to here for so long but it seems like people are resigned to feel like it’s all a done deal.

Like the people that think that the Government is ever going to allow the amount of fish that was once landed in this city to ever be harvested again, that’s just crazy.  They would be nuts to because it would get us right back to the state of overfishing that got us into this mess in the first place.  But now with Catch shares and the privatization of the industry and without provisions to make sure that fishing permits stay in the hands of independent fishermen I never thought I’d see the day but within our lifetime there likely will be very few independently owned fishing boats.

When you listen to the bananaheads at the meetings continue to cling on to the hope that this town is going to somehow revert back into the golden days of schooners or when our Grandfathers and Father’s age when millions and millions of pounds of fish were being landed here on a daily basis tell them to wake up.

It’s not “Times, They are A Changin’”

They’ve Changed.

Community Stuff Thursday

Kristen Virgilio asks-

Hi Joey! A friend and I are looking for a basic photography class and we’re having some luck with community colleges and some other places out of town offering some options.  That said, with all the knowledge and experience in this field in Gloucester I was wondering if there was someone in town who taught.  I knew if there was something like this, you’d know about it.!
Thanks for any direction you can offer and thanks so much for the blog!!


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Each year it is estimated that 1 million people suffer from Shingles. The risk of developing shingles increases with age and is particularly a risk for individuals who have underlying health conditions.

The Gloucester Health Department has a small amount of shingles vaccine and is offering it FREE to Gloucester residents over 60 years of age.

Interested residents should call the Public Health Nurse, Chassea Robinson, RN at (978) 282-8023.


Danilo Perez at Shalin Lui supports music education

Joey,

The NSJP started a  couple years ago to help revitalize jazz on the North Shore.   Our efforts have helped to fuel a new jazz revival on the North Shore.   Last spring we put on a concert and workshop sponsored by Varian,  Gorton’s and the NSJP  at Gloucester High School.   The  auditorium was packed. Check out the show here. 

Here’s our upcoming fundraising  event.  I hope your reader come out. It will be an exciting time.

all best,  Henry

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Hi Joey. Took some shots of the Gloucester Chantey Singing Group Jan. 18th at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.
They were being videotaped as part of a possible TV documentary about Gloucester.

–Len Burgess

Len Burgess Forwards-

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