On 22 February 1945, HMCS TRENTONIAN, Flower class corvette became the last corvette to be lost in the Battle of the Atlantic.
TRENTONIAN departed on 21 February as sole escort for convoy BTC-76, consisting of ten ships from Milford Haven to the Thames, then on to Antwerp. The next morning BTC-76 had entered the English Channel. At 1300, the second ship, SS Alexander Kennedy, in the port column exploded and began to sink. TRENTONIAN immediately came to Action Stations, turning to port to search for the enemy submarine. On identifying that the merchant ship had been torpedoed on the starboard side, Lt Glassco, Commanding officer, ordered the corvette to turn to the starboard side of the convoy.
As the corvette passed through the starboard column at 1320, the ship exploded. A single torpedo from U-1004 had struck TRENTONIAN in the starboard side aft, immediately flooding the Chiefs and PO’s Mess and Engine Room. Damage was accessed to be great to save the ship and the order to abandon ship was given.
TRENTONIAN sank in ten minutes. Six of her crew were killed and fourteen wounded. A total of ninety-five sailors survived being in the frigid waters for 45 minutes before rescued.
Discover more of HMCS TRENTONIAN’s story in White Ensign Flying, by Roger Litwiller.
HMCS TRENTONIAN painting by Marc Magee, visit the artists website at www.marcmagee.com.