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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

US Frigate Trumbull (II)

  • Laid down, date and location unknown
  • Launched, circa 1776
  • Fitted out for sea in 1779 at New London CT., CAPT. James Nicholson in command
  • Trumbull sailed in late May 1780 encountering the British 32-gun letter-of-marque Ware
  • In what has been described as one of the hardest fought naval engagements of the war Trumbull and Watt fought to a draw in close in fighting
  • Trumbull suffered eight men killed and 31 wounded losing most of her rigging during the battle
  • Watt faired even worse, losing 13 killed and 79 wounded, losing most of her rigging and being holed several times including below the waterline
  • Trumbull weathered a gale while struggling back to Connecticut reaching Nantasket on 14 June
  • Watt was able to limp into New York on 17 June
  • Although urged to speed the outfitting of his ship and return to sea Nicholson was plagued by lack of funds and scarcity of men
  • Finally ready for sea again, Trumbull departed, 8 August 1781
  • In company with a 24-gun privateer and a 14-gun letter-of-marque she escorted a 28-ship merchant convoy
  • On 28 August 1781 lookouts on the American ships spotted three sails to the eastward; two tacking to give chase to the convoy
  • Trumbull became separated from the convoy in a rain squall which carried away her fore-topmast and her main topgallantmast
  • The frigate soon found herself engaged with the British frigate HMS Iris, the former Continental frigate Hancock (II), and the 18-gun ship General Monk, the former Continental privateer General Washington
  • Trumbull was trapped and seeing no way of escaping Nicholson gathered his crew and fought for over and hour
  • Eleven Americans were wounded and five killed during the engagement before Trumbull struck her colors
  • Taken in tow by the British to New York, Trumbull was so badly damaged she was never taken in British service
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 700 t.
    Keel Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    twenty-four 12-pdr guns
    six 6-pdr guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Trumbull (II) 175k Draft plan of the 24-gun Continental frigates Trumbull.
    NRGs Model Ship World
    Robert Hurst
    Trumbull (II) 134k Sketch drawing of the 24-gun frigate Trumbull at anchor. Artist unknown.
    Image from American Pink -USS Trumbull
    Robert Hurst
    Trumbull (II) 148k Oil painting by Nowland Van Powell, 1969 of the battle between the US Frigate Trumbull and the British 32-gun letter-of-marque Watt.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92870-KN. Courtesy of the Bruce Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee.
    Trumbull (II) 260k "USS TRUMBULL Captured by HMS IRIS and HMS GENERAL MONK"
    On the night of 8 August 1781, HMS Iris, under CAPT. George Dawson, accompanied by HMS General Monk under CDR. Josias Rogers, brought under CAPT> Nicholson, under fire for one hour and 35 minutes, forcing Trumbull to strike her colors.
    Description: Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia, artist, Warren
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 56474
    Trumbull (II) 1049k Headstone at Granary Burying Ground of Jabez Smith, a Trumbull sailor killed in the ship, labeled "anchored in the haven of rest".
    Photo by Swampyank at English Wikipedia (real name unknown)
    Robert Hurst

    USF Trumbull (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Wikipedia - USS Trumbull (1776)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 August 2016