White Ensign Flying: Corvette HMCS Trentonian

White Ensign Flying: Corvette HMCS Trentonian

by Roger Litwiller

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Overview

White Ensign Flying: Corvette HMCS Trentonian by Roger Litwiller

The courageous, historic story of a great fighting ship of the Second World War.

White Ensign Flying tells the story of HMCS Trentonian , a Canadian corvette that fought U-Boats in the Second World War. Trentonian escorted convoys on the North Atlantic and through the deadly waters near England and France. The ship was attacked by the Americans in a friendly-fire incident during Operation Neptune and later earned the dubious distinction of being the last corvette sunk by the enemy.



Litwiller has interviewed many of the men who served in Trentonian and collected their stories. Their unique personal perspectives are combined with the official record of the ship, giving an intimate insight into the life of a sailor — from the tedium of daily life in a ship at sea to the terror of fighting for your life in a sinking ship.



Over one hundred photos from the private collections of the crew and military archives bring the story of Trentonian to life, illustrating this testament to the ship and the men who served in it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459710399
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Publication date: 03/08/2014
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Roger Litwiller is the author of Warships of the Bay of Quinte. His interest in Canada's navy began as a sea cadet in his hometown of Kitchener, Ontario. Later he became an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve and the Navy League of Canada. He lives near Trenton, Ontario.

Table of Contents

1. A New Ship (February 1943 to December 1944)
a. A new Name
b. An Accidental Change
c. Construction –in Kingston
d. The Man Hunt –German Prisoners escape in Kingston
e. A New Commanding Officer -Lt. Bill Harrison
f. Launching/Christening  -A Bad Omen
g. Commissioning A New Warship

2. To Halifax-To War (December 1944)
a. Leaving the Great Lakes
b. Montreal and New Crew
c. Christmas in Quebec City
d. Freezing Cold and the Men Threaten to Walk Off the Ship
e. Commanding Officers First Letter to Trenton
f. Ice in the St. Lawrence River

3. Halifax (January 1944)
a. A Port City at War
b. The Rest of The Crew Arrive
c. Proceed to Liverpool, NS. To Finish Ship
d. New Years Eve in Liverpool
e. Thirty Days of Construction Workers and Builders
f. Back to Halifax

4. Bermuda (February 1944)
a. Sailing South into a North Atlantic Winter Storm
b. Ninety Foot Waves
c. Crew Exhausted
d. Melting Ice Crashing on Deck
e. Bermuda and Training
f. A Broken Line and Damage to TRENTONIAN
g. The Crew Learn to Fight Their Ship
h. Skinny Dipping and the Admirals Daughter
i. A Monkey Onboard

5. Northward Again (March 1944 – April 1944)
a. Back To Canada
b. Another North Atlantic Storm
c. Iced Over
d. Escorting a British Submarine
e. Escorting their First Convoy into the North Atlantic
f. Searching for the Enemy
g. Escort Convoy to Newfoundland
h. Detached to Search and Rescue Damaged British Submarine
i. Action Stations -Fishing off the Grand Banks with Depth Charges
j. New Guns and Radar
k. A New Coat of Paint
l. One of the Crew Goes to Jail

6. To England (April 1944)
a. Commanding Officer’s Letter to Trenton
b. Last Shore Leave Halifax
c. I’m Not Dying a Virgin –An Unsuccessful Visit to the Halifax Brothels
d. One Last Look at Canada -“We’re Not Going to Bring the Ship Home Again”
e. Action Stations Surface –Sink that Iceberg
f. Search for German Submarine
g. Search for Survivors of Sunken Merchant Ship
h. Arrive Londonderry
i. He Ain’t No Sailor –A Seasick Sailor Carried Ashore

7. LONDONDERRY (May 1944)
a. The Admirals First Impression –TRENTONIAN Fouls a Wire and is Disabled
b. Commanding Officer and Navigating Officer Leave TRENTONAIN for Secret Meetings
c. Fresh Buns and Irish Ballads
d. Panic Incorporated –Commence Period of Heavy Training and Exercises
e. Ship’s Mascot –TRENTONIAN Crew is Joined by a New Pet
f. TRENTONIAN is Strafed by Two Spitfires
g. The Crew Becomes Most Proficient
h. Another New Coat of Paint
i. TRENTONIAN Fouls Another Wire and is Towed Past the Cheering WREN’s
j. Shore Leave and the Navigating Officer Breaks a Leg

8. Scotland (May 1944)
a. Arrive In Oban, Scotland
b. All Shore Leave Stopped
c. Commanding Officer’s Letter to Trenton
d. One of the Crew Gets Ashore
e. A Big Convoy –TRENTONIAN is Senior Officer of Sixty Ship Convoy

9. D-Day (June 1944)
a. A Dirty Job -Escorting Old Derelict Ships a Job Not Fitting of a New Warship
b. Explosions Below –TRENTONIAN clears her Anti-Submarine Mortars and Does Not Reload
c. The Grand Fleet –TRENTONIAN is passed by the Might of the Royal Navy
d. Poole Bay –TRENTONIAN’s Convoy is ordered to Anchor with Hundreds of Other Ships for 24 Hours
e. 85% Could Die –The Commanding Officer Addresses the Crew
f. Hundreds of Planes Overhead
g. Gun Flashes Across the English Channel
h. Ships Slowly Leave the Anchorage Heading to France
i. Invasion Of France Underway
j. TRENTONIAN’s Turn
k.  Action Stations –Clear Lower Decks
l. TRENTONIAN Arrives at the Beachhead
m. Battleships and Big Guns
n. No Rest –Three Days of Continuous Work
o. The Enemy Attacks –TRENTONIAN Passes a British Frigate Sunk at the Beachhead
p. Back To England

10. A Secret Mission (June 1944)
a. Finally One Day of Rest
b. TRENTONIAN Escorting Two Cable Laying Ships in the English Channel
c. A Secret Telephone Cable from England to the Beachhead
d. So Slow –TRENTONIAN Sailing Circles Around Cable Layers
e. Actions Stations –German Aircraft Attack
f. Action Stations –TRENTONAIN Attacks a Possible Submarine
g. Darkness Falls –Gunfire Visible All Around the Horizon
h. Action Stations –German E-Boats Pass By TRENTONIAN and the Cable Layer
i. Action Stations –Starshell Fired Directly Over TRENTONIAN and Cable Layer
j. Someone is Shooting at TRENTONIAN
k. Attack is moved to Cable Layer
l. TRENTONIAN Has a Near Miss
m. Cable Layer Hit –Secret Cable Cut and Lost
n. The Attack Stops –Five Minutes Later
o. An American Destroyer Appears Out of the Darkness
p. A Horrible Mistake –It Was the Americans Who Attacked
q. Cable Layer Devastated -2 Killed/24 Wounded/3 Critical
r. Fighting to Keep Cable Layer Afloat
s. Cable Layers Skipper Dies in TRENTONIAN
t. Landing the Wounded in Plymouth
u. Crew Sworn to Secrecy

11. Invasion Convoys (June 1944 – July 1944)
a. Building the Artificial Harbour at Normandy
b. Those Damn Yanks –An American Destroyer Causes TRENTONIAN to Crash Against a Fuel Ship Spilling a Large Amount of Fuel Over TRENTONIAN and some of Her Crew including Mascot
c. Seven Convoys in Six Days
d. Buzz Bombs Overhead –A German New Secret Weapon
e. Burial At Sea –Ships Mascot Gets Sick and Dies
f. No Shore Leave –Forty Four Days of Continuous Work
g. The Wedding
h. Clear the Decks –TRENTONIAN shelled by the British Army
i. Crew Watches as Spitfires Shoot Down Buzz Bomb
j. TRENTONIAN Escorts a Total of 18 Convoys in 21 Days
k. Finally the Germans Shoot at TRENTONIAN too

12.  Post Invasion (July 1944 – August 1944)
a. Five Days of Boiler Cleaning
b. Crew to London for Leave
c. Dodging Buzz Bombs
d. In Harms Way –TRENTONIAN Recovers Two Oil Barges From Minefield
e. Commanding Officers Letter to Trenton
f. Action Stations –TRENTONIAN Attacks Another Possible Submarine
g. TRENTONIAN Shelled in English Channel by Shore Guns Shooting at Flying Buzz Bomb
h. Collision with HMCS PRESCOTT
i. Trouble At Home –One of TRENTONIAN Crew Request to be Returned to Canada for Compassionate Reasons
j. A Stolen Keg and the Military Police
k. Commanding Officers Letter to Trenton

13. A Tragic Loss (August 1944 – December 1944)
a. HMCS REGINA Sunk While Escorting Convoy
b. One of TRENTONIANs Crew Leaves to Become an Officer
c. Boiler Cleaning at the Milford Haven Fish Dock
d. Shore Leave and A Fight Aboard Ship
e. France At Last –Crew Has Leave in Cherbourg, France –Germans Still Being Taken Prisoner
f. Tug Boats and a Sinking Cement Block –TRENTONIAN Recues the Crew
g. Commanding Officers Letter to TRENTONIAN
h. TRENTONIAN Crew Member Dies in Hospital
i. The Admirals Inspection
j. A New Mascot
k. FIRE, FIRE, FIRE –TRENTONIAN Saves a Merchant Ship on Fire
l. TRENTONIAN Escorts 45 Convoys by the End of The Year

14.  Christmas 1944 (December 1944)
a. Disobeying Orders –Commanding Officer Disobeys Order to Sail on Christmas Eve so Crew can Have Christmas in Port
b. Dinner Over TRENTONIAN Back to Sea
c. Letter from The Commanding Officer to Trenton
d. Too Many Sailors
e. A Sick Sailor and Stolen Chicken
f. Rumours of TRENTONIAN Returning to Canada for Refit

15. A New Commanding Officer (January/February 1945)
a. A New Coat of Paint
b. A Promotion for LCdr Bill Harrison
c. Harrison Rewarded with a Frigate and Leaves TRENTONIAN
d. Last Letter to Trenton
e. Rumours Are True –Looks Like We Well Take TRENTONIAN Home to Canada
f. Lt. Colin Glassco Takes Command of TRENTONIAN
g. New Skipper/New Rules –Everyone Wears a Life Jacket
h. Patrols in the Bay of Biscay
i. Another Storm

16. The Last Convoy (February 1945)
a. Flip of a Coin and TRENTONIAN Escorts Another Convoy
b. Mascot Jumps Ship as Gangway Pulled Up
c. Convoy Going to Antwerp
d. Crew Grumbles as Passing Canadian Warship Signals on Her Way Back to Canada
e. Action Stations –Merchant Ship Explodes
f. Sonar Contact –Definite Submarine
g. TRENTONIAN Explodes
h. All Stop
i. Prepare to Abandon Ship
j. No Panic
k. Fourteen Minutes/TRENTONIAN is Gone
l. Crew Await Rescue/Sing Songs
m. Ninety Six Are Rescued
n. One Officer Killed/Five Men Are Missing

17. The Aftermath
a. New Rules Saved Lives
b. Survivors Landed at Falmouth
c. Funeral for Lt. Stephens
d. Train to London
e. Crew is a Sorry Sight in Coveralls
f. Mistaken for German Prisoners
g. A Warning from the Admiral –Five Men Missing/Not Dead
h. The Skipper Fights Back –Five Men Dead/Not Missing
i. The Mistaken Courts Martial
j. Board of Inquiry
k. No Fault with Commanding Officer, Officers or Crew of TRENTONIAN
l. A City Mourns Her Ship

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