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Ship's Log

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.

January 30, 1944.

Except from Letter.

"Dear Miss Farley,"

"Many thanks for the woolens and ashtrays. They are being put to good use, I can assure you."

"It is very difficult to find out just who receives parcels from home. To ask the whole ship's company would result in a victory for the more unprincipled, which is a thing we try to avoid. However, roughly speaking there seems to be very few who do receive parcels and a list of names would include practically the whole ship's company. As I'm sure you had anticipated only a few, that's not much good. The fairest way would be for us to distribute any parcels that turned up to the various messes. As a general rule foodstuffs, etc. that arrive in parcels from home are shared with their messmates anyway."

"I'm sorry I haven't got a picture of the ship yet. We're waiting for a chance to take a photo of the whole ship's company, which we will send on as well as a picture of the ship when we get it."

"Hoping you are enjoying the mild winter and not missing the warm weather too much."

Sincerely Yours, W.E. Harrison."

February 1, 1944

We departed Liverpool today and arrived Halifax. Fitting out is complete, except for our search light and a few irregularities.

Crew Photo
Taken during winter storm in Halifax

February 18, 1944. (2000 zulu)

Today we slip our lines and head south for Bermuda. We will leave the cold and the storms behind us, for a few weeks of hard work and work ups. On our return to Halifax we will be fully operational.

February 19, 1944

Our workups start today. The Officer-in-Charge will be John Waterhouse, A/Commander (RN).

February 22, 1944

Arrived Bermuda today, enroute we picked up the company of H.M.S. LAWSON. TRENTONIAN, like most ships has its own personality and little quirks, hers is the ability to jam a control at the worst posible moment. As we were docking with one line ashore the telegraph was put to the Slow Ahead position. It stuck in the Full Ahead! As the line drew taught the seamen scrambled for cover, the line snapped like an eraged snake. Fortunately all had cleared the area and the only casualty was, one of the forward ventalating hatches.

The passage down was also quite eventful. We travelled in a winter storm that even impressed the skipper. He estimated the waves to be 75 to 90 feet high. It was estimated that 98% of the crew was seasick. Water poured into the ship with every roll filling the lockers and the mess decks, gear, hammocks and equipment rolled in the mess decks making it impossible to move, not knowing when and from what direction the next sudden jar would send you. The smell from the sea water mixing with the fuel created an odour thru the ship that was not channel #5. It was rumoured that we were off course by 100 miles during the storm. If the crew could eat, the food would have to be cold. The galley could not cook in this weather, if there were cooks. One cook was too sick to move and of no use, the other cook was missing and feared lost over the side. Days later, after the storm eased, he was found nearly dead under a pile of hammocks and other "debris" in one of the mess decks. The hardy soul that took over for the cooks, during the last storm was finally allowed to "cook up a mess". The concoction of grease, eggs, bacon and miscellany was enough to finish off the rest of the crew that was still "well".

TRENTONIAN as she looked in Bermuda.

Her new coat of paint literally washed off of her, from the North Atlantic winter storms. Her crew just as exhasted as she looks.

Such a storm and such a beating to the men and the ship, the Medical Officer has ordered an unprecidented 48 hours of "excused from duties" for the crew. After which all will be required to stand-to and clean and repair the ship. Salt laden clothing, kit and hammocks to wash and repair. The ship needs some maintenance including the "so called" water tight doors and hatches.

We are scheduled to remain here and continue our training and practicing with our ship and equipment. In order to become efficient in our evolutions without the hardships of fighting the sea and weather while we train. Training will take place with the electronic gear, radar and sonar. Depth charges and Hedge Hog, with practice sub hunting, and gunnery operations, surface to surface and surface to air. Between the evolutions the crew will be given the oppurtunity to enjoy the island with ample shore leave.

February 29, 1944 (2130 zulu)

We slipped from Bermuda and are now returning to home waters. We are a little better practiced for the job that lies ahead, The Officer's and crew are better trained than when we first joined the ship. Our work ups and evolutions have proved to be very valuble.

One instance occured when we had gunnery practice with our surface to air weapons. When the target plane flew over, the guns crew gave the towed target a solid pasting, the likes of which that pilot would never forget! After a solid round of cheers, back slapping and other rejoicing at a job well done, the Gunnery Officer had the target plane return to show the crew the damage they had inflicted on this poor target. To the gunners dismay, they watched as the target passed by the ship without, so much as a scratch! In our defence, later on after some serious practice, the target plane flew past and the gun crew not only hit the towed target, but proceeded to blow away the tow cable to the aircraft. BRAVO ZULU! We will continue our workups in passage.

We have always looked forward to an easy transit each time, hopefully this trip will be the first.

March 4, 1944

Arrive Halifax from Bermuda, with a quick stop in Liverpool for oiling. We had some problems with our water tanks enroute. We tried to talk the skipper into putting in at New York for repairs. He, unfortunately did not share our feeling of urgency. Too bad, we were quite willing to accept the delay in our return home and accept the hardship of having to lay over in New York City while repairs were made.

We got our wish, a trip free of storms. Except for those created aboard for the continued workups. We did encounter some serious icing on our return. The ice was so thick our guns were no longer functional. We must of carried a dangerous amount of weight topside. Stanchions that were a few inches thick are now the size of a mans arm. We have alot of chopping and clearing ahead of us. All the worse, for the outer decks are hazardous and slippery.

TRENTONIAN under heavy ice.

March 12, 1944

Work ups complete!!! It has been a long 23 days of continous training, excersicing, reorganizing, then training and excercising, again. Commander Waterhouse has submitted his report to J.D. Prentice A/Captain (RCN), Captain (D) Halifax for his approval. It is actually very reassuring to have gone through this program, it wasn't to long ago with the rapid expansion of the RCN that a ship and her crew literally went from the builder to duty stations with the training and efficiency to be improved on the job!

The report goes as follows:



Commanding Officer made good Depth Charge and Hedge Hog Attacks. Generally efficient.


Satisfactory. Clean and well maintained. Magazines clean and well stowed. Average ship of her class.


This department is not yet efficient. Signal Officer is new to his job. When senior hands display more initiative and instruct ratings, this branch will improve very much in efficiency.


Sick Bay is very satisfactory in all respects. Messdecks have a leak in the deckhead and a considerable amount of sweating due to lack of proper insulation. At the time of inspection the messdecks were too damp to be considered healthy or sanitary. Talk on V.D. given.

This is just a brief over view of a 15 page Inspection Report. Some of it is very commendable other areas are lacking and we must work to improve. Overall A/Commander Waterhouse stated we were average for our class of ship. Now with workups behind us we are now on active duty.

March 15, 1944.

It sure didn't take long for them to assign us to duty. We are to assist the local escort force with convoy escort in the North Atlantic. Our first job, we have been ordered to depart Halifax in company with H.M.C. Ship's NEW GLASGOW, LOISBURG and DRUMHELLER to over take convoy HX 283, originating in New York and proceeding to the U.K.

March 19, 1944.

We have been ordered to 41 Deg. 25" N, 63 Deg. 15" S, with the ships we joined with and HMCS STORMONT for an anti-submarine sweep.

March 21, 1944.

Return to Halifax with H.M.C. Ship's NEW GLASGOW, DRUMHELLER and LOISBURG. Uneventfull escort duty for our first job. No enemy sighted.

TRENTONIAN's new look, badley needed after a winter in the North Atlantic.

April 2, 1944. (2230 zulu)

Sporting a new coat of paint, the same diamond Western Approches, but minus the colorfull light grey with green and blue, and just light and dark grey. We have been ordered to the Royal Navy base at Argentia, New Foundland.

April 3, 1944.

We have been diverted from our trip to Argentia, to rendezvous with the Royal Navy Submarine P223 at 47 Deg. 50' N, 49 Deg 12" W. This is for the safety of the submarine. Standing orders are "ALL" subs are to be attacked and destroyed, unless on the surface and escorted by an allied vessel. She is in transit to Argentia, we will have to spend some time searching for her, she is on the outer edge of a field of pack ice. Also to make things easier, we do not have direct communications with the submarine, so we must radio our location, course and speed, to Halifax every 3 hours. P223 will be doing the same, eventually we should meet, somewhere in between.

April 4, 1944. (0013 zulu)

Our lookouts spotted a surface sub, at 46 Deg. 22" N, 53 Deg. 18" W, and we closed to action stations. Very quickly, recognition was given and P223 and us closed from stations. We then procceded to escort the British sub to Argentia.

H.M.Sub P223, taken from TRENTONIAN.

April 5, 1944. (0800 zulu)

Arrived with submarine at Argentia. We have been turned around, back to Halifax right away for fitting of radar.

April 7, 1944

Returned to Halifax. Enroute we detected a solid contact on our sonar set. The skipper gave the order and we made a rapid depth charge attack!!! After which, we lost our contact, but we found a shool of fish now floating on the surface. Was it a sub or was it the fish we found beneath the waves, we will never know. But the skipper being one never to waste good food, ordered the fish to be gathered and cleaned and a seafood feast to be laid on for this evening meal. We will be laid up, while the new radar set and the after search light are installed.

"Duff" fit for King Neptune. Who needs a hook, line and sinker.

To be continued.

Sill to come:

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