The following is an acount of the HMCS TRENTONIAN a corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). She and all who sailed in her served with pride and honour.
February 2, 1943
Today at Kingston Ship Yards a new hull was laid down no. 27. When finished she will be HMCS TRENTONIAN and assigned the number K368. The name was chosen to get the support of the town of Trenton, Ontario to adopt the ship and her crew. The name has been altered because Trenton is already in use by the U.S. Navy with the cruiser U.S.S. TRENTON.
At the town council meeting it was announced that a warship was now being built that will bear the name of the city. A committee has been formed to raise funds and look after the needs of the men that will live in her. The Dept. of Defence was contacted, and dispelled rumours that TRENTONIAN has already been involved in a enemy action.
September 1, 1943
A large delegation from the City of Trenton has turned out for the launching of the ship. At 1500 the launching ceromony commenced and the ship was Christened by Mrs. Cory, wife of H.R Cory, Mayor of Trenton. Mrs. Cory was presented with a large silver tray commemorating the occasion (now on display at the Trenton Branch, Royal Canadian Legion).
Mrs. Cory about to christen TRENTONIAN
At 1530 TRENTONIAN slipped the way and slid sideways into the water of Kingston, a wonderful site, that will be repeated many more times. We will finish most of our construction here before the ship heads east before winter freeze up.
Launching Ceromony for TRENTONIAN,
Kingston Shipbuilding Yards, Kingston, Ont.
December 1, 1943
Today the Royal Canadian Navy gained a new ship of war. Hull no. 27 was commissioned as His Majesty's Canadian Ship TRENTONIAN.
Lieutenant William Edward Harrison, R.C.N.R.
Lt. W. E. Harrison has been assigned to command this new ship and crew, and we are now under the control of Atlantic Command. All is well for a new construction and the ship is almost ready for the tasks ahead of her, we are still missing some of our crew, equipment and armament.
On a more refreshing note, the newly formed Navy League Branch in Trenton has collected $1391.97, and sent for our comfort 7,065 magazines, 17 hard back books, 17 games and 205 ditty bags. The ditty bags are especially appreciated by the men. A letter has been sent to Trenton with an update on the nominal role, we now list 6 officers and 43 ratings, this is to help ensure that the pen-pal arrangements continue. We will be leaving the safety of the Great Lakes soon for destinations in the St. Lawrence.
December 3, 1943 (1145 zulu)
All the work that can be completed by the shipbuilder's is complete. The ship has been accepted into the growing fleet of the R.C.N. and we have our orders to proceed to Quebec City to take on more of the crew, with a short stay in Montreal.
December 6, 1943 (1914 zulu)
Arrived Montreal after an uneventful trip thru the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence Seaway. We no longer have to worry about being frozen in, the Great Lakes for the winter.
December 9, 1943.
We have left Montreal for Quebec City. It is a short journey, but we will take our time with a few excercises for the crew.
HMCS NORSYD tied up at Quebec City on an ice covered St. Lawence River
December 10, 1943
We arrived at Quebec City today and tied up along side our sister HMCS NORSYD. Our crew has expanded and is now getting to know each other and the ship. After a week of work ups, sailing up and down the St. Lawrence and practicing tying up and casting off the jetty, we will head for Halifax. We have found that the new insulation installed is creating alot of condensation inside the ship. Now that the cold temperatures are here, we must wear our wet weather gear above and below decks. The crew has been complaining of icicles forming in the mess, and are threatening to walk off the ship. Naval Headquarters sent a group of engineers to investigate and they have found that the hot air system has been installed backwards, and instead of blowing the air out it has been sucking cold air in! This problem has now been remmedied and life is more tolerable in the lower decks. The first night of warmth was spent playing poker, crib and letter writing.
December 11, 1943.
Except from Letter.
"Dear Miss Farley"
"We have arrived hear after many vicissitudes and headaches and the sooner we get into more open water the better I'll like it. The ship doesn't look much better than when you saw it but we have more than half the crew here now."
We expect to be here until about the 20th Dec. so you can send the afgans to above address (address removed by censor)."
"Sincerely, Wm.E. Harrison"
December 17, 1943.
Except from Letter.
"Dear Miss Farley",
"Your letter and parcel with afgans arrived yesterday. Many thanks for both. Some of the men, have, I hear already received letters from their penpals. They appear to be delighted with them so I hope the freindship by correspondence lasts. Sailors are notoriously bad corespondents."
"You asked about quilts. I'm sure they would be useful, but a limited amount, as there are only nine bunks in the ship. The officers supply their own sheets, pillowcases and counterpanes. As for your other questions, socks and mitts are always acceptable, little pictures that they can stick up to improve the scenery and a very urgent need at the moment -ashtrays. However we don't really want to trespass on your generosity."
"Things are still hectic here, still wet paint around and ends of wires. We have also got the dismall news that we will spend Xmas at sea, so that won't be so hot in more senses than one. It couldn't be much colder here at any rate. However, we will have quite a time finishing off when we get there."
"I am still living ashore not having my cabin finished yet. They have decided to run a lot more wires and a ventalating shaft right through it.."
"Yours Sincerely, W.E. Harrison"
December 22, 1943
Christmas Card sent to the City of Trenton
"The Ship's Company have found the "comforts" the people of Trenton have sent us a tremendous help in improving the living conditions in our ship."
"I would like to take this oppurtunity to extend on behalf of the officers and men our sincere wish to the people of Trenton a very Merry Christmas and a New Year that will see the termination of the war and that victory shall be ours."
"I remain, Yours Sincerely, W.B. Kinsman, Executive Officer,
for W.E. Harrison, Commanding Officer."
December 25, 1943
Our departure from Quebec City has been delayed due to the repairs to the ventalating system, so we have the good fortune of Christmas in port. For some of the crew this is their first Christmas away from home. Today homesickness is at a high. The hospitality extended to us from shore has helped to ease the burden. A traditional Navy Christmas dinner is served with the officer's serving the men. The youngest rating, aged 17, exchanged places with the skipper for the day, or so we thought. As it turns out we had another rating much younger, but he chose to remain silent due to his true age.
December 26, 1943 (1415 zulu)
Now with Christmas over, we slipped our lines and are now heading for Halifax, in company with HMCS NORSYD and HMC Tug NORTON. Soon after, we were met by some choppy seas. For most of the crew this is their first time in a ship and their first taste of seasickness. Unfortunately, the cooks seam to be the hardest hit. One cook is completely incapacitated. Those of the crew that have not sucumbed, are taking turns in the galley to lend a hand. Unfortunately, the ship board cuisine of these amateurs, cound not be palitable even in fair weather.
December 30, 1943
Arrive Halifax after a difficult passage. Here we will recieve the remainder of our crew and tomorrow we proceed to Liverpool N.S. to fit out and recieve the remainder of our weapons. Once complete we will head for Bermuda to finish working up.
December 31, 1943 (1100 zulu)
We slipped our lines at Halifax and now procceding to Liverpool. We are due to arrive at 1800 zulu. We will be in refit there for over a month while weapons and equipment is installed and the crew become familar with the ship and their duties. I wonder what New Years eve in Liverpool will be like?
Forward to Ship's Log 1944
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