Rayner writes about his war with classic British understatement about combat with the Germans. His various ships were often under sustained air attack by the Germans while trying to prevent freighters from being torpedoed. At one point, Rayner’s own warship was torpedoed, the after third of the ship was blown off and the ship turned turtle shortly thereafter. Less than 1/4 of the crew survived.
Rayner himself almost died. After swimming away from the sinking ship (he was the last to leave) in the very cold water for thirty minutes or more, he wrote:
His men pulled him aboard a raft and he survived.
Of all the books written by those who participated in the Battle of the North Atlantic, this is by far the best. It’s a little known gem and hard to find because the publisher, the US Naval Institute Press, constantly lets it go out of print. But if you can find a copy, you will do yourself a favor by reading it.