Monday, August 4, 2008

Bombers Search Sea for Boston Trawler as Skies Clear Again

Boston Globe Jan. 17, 1947

With the advent of the first fair weather in three days, Navy and Coast Guard airfields ordered several bombers into the air today to search for the Boston trawler Belle, missing at sea since Jan. 9 with a crew of 17 Greater Boston men.

Included in the group of Coast Guard and Navy bombers, placed at Coast Guard disposal for the search, are three radar-equipped Flying Fortresses from the Naval Air Station at Quonset, R.I.

Other planes aiding in the search for the stricken vessel, which was 100 miles east of Boston when her skipper, Capt. Peter Linehan of Quincy, radioed a week ago last night that her engine was disabled and she was drifting, are two Coast Guard Catalinas and two F-17's from Floyd Bennett Field, N.Y; one Coast Guard Mariner Patrol bomber from the Salem Air-Sea Rescue Station; and a third Catlina bomber from the Quonset, R.I. base.

In the belief that strong northwest winds may have blown the missing vessel far off the position where she was last heard from, the planes will make an intensive search of an area of 45,000 square miles -- within a line running from the southern tip of Nova Scotia 250 miles to the south and then 250 miles west.

The 113-foot steel vessel, which was launched last May, was returning from Nova Scotia fishing banks with its catch when disabled. She was provisioned with a month's supply of food and water.

Tensely awaiting word of the whereabouts of the Belle, ownded by Standard Fisheries of Boston, are the wives and 24 children of six of her crew members.

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