Navy Enlisted F/V Superior for War Duty in 1942 From Bill Hubbard
Here’s a short piece for GMG that should have inerest for some Glouceser and Essex Families. I’ve written in the past about my grandfather’s dragger "Superior" and her WW-II enlistment by the Navy. Now, I’ve dinally documented that service but, found out that my uncle, Capt. Ronald Dahlmer was also enlisted and served as her skipper while in navy serevice. The story is attached and so is a picture of Superior the way she looked in 1942.
Note I have copywrighted the article as it will be included it in a short book I’m writing. I hereby give you and Good Morning Gloucester permission to publish it in whole or in part.
William D. Hubbard
Navy Enlisted F/V Superior for War Duty in 1942
And Enlisted Ronald G. Dahlmer to Skipper Her
Early in WW-2 the navy faced a bleak future with many German Submarines lurking off our Atlantic Coast and few vessels and aircraft to combat them. One stop-gap measure was to enlist small coastal craft and fit them with light armament and powerful radios to patrol for and report enemy subs. Nearly 300 such vessels were enlisted from their owners, refitted for naval or coast guard service and sent on patrol.
The 110’ Dragger Superior was owned by my grandfather Capt. John A. Dahlmer and skippered by my uncle Capt. Ronald G.Dahlmer, two of the Gloucester’s Michigan Bears She was one of 12 Essex-built craft enlisted by the Navy in 1942 and converted for naval service at the US Naval Dry Dock in South Boston, Mass. Armed with 3 single 20mm guns, she was placed into service as YP-433.
Capt. Ronald G. Dahlmer enlisted in the navy on the Forth of July, 1942. Because of his long experience and having the perquisite Coast Guard licenses, he enlisted at the rank of Chief Boatswain’s Mate and assigned to Superior, YP-433. On 10 Dec.1943, while Captain of YP-433, Ronald was promoted to Chief Master Boatswain(AA)M2.
Superior served until 1945 when she was returned to Gloucester and the Dahlmer family.
Her first duty had been Anti-Submarine Patrol and later she delivered gasoline, food and other supplies to US and allied weather stations in Newfoundland and Greenland.
Superior was built in 1932 at the Story Shipyard in Essex. Her keel was the last laid down by noted shipwright Arthur D. Story. There were at least eleven other vessels built in Essex at either the Story or James shipyards that were familiar in Gloucester and also taken by the navy in 1942. They included: Antares, Raymonde, St. Anthony, Therese M. Boudreau, Elivra Gaspat, Edith L. Boudreau, Donald Arsenault, Rainbow, Babe Sears, Alvin T. Fuller and Ronald And Mary. All were returned to their owners in 1945 or 1946 except Raymonde which the navy sold and the Donald Amerault which was sunk by submarine gunfire off Ft. Lauderdale Florida while on patrol.