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Second World War (1939-1945)
The Navy in European Waters  - Naval Aviation: HMS Nabob and HMS Puncher

Although HMS Nabob and HMS Puncher were formally part of Britain's Royal Navy and operated from British bases, Canadians commanded and provided most of the crew for these two escort carriers. Severe damage from a German torpedo prematurely ended Nabob's career, but Puncher served until the end of the war.

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Folded Plane and Elevator, HMS Puncher
Folded Plane and Elevator, HMS Puncher

A Fairey Barracuda torpedo bomber with folded wings (centre) sits on HMS Puncher's aircraft elevator, which is lowered to the level of the carrier's hangar deck.

HMS Nabob and Puncher could each operate more than twenty aircraft, flown by aircrew of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. Two large elevators allowed them to be moved between decks. Like many carrier aircraft, the Barracuda's wings folded to reduce its space requirement. The enclosed hangar deck allowed maintenance staff to service, fuel, and arm aircraft while sheltered from the elements, and helped keep the flight deck clear for aircraft takeoffs and landings.

Folded Plane and Elevator, HMS Puncher
Painted by Leonard Brooks
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-1098

HMS Puncher at Scapa Flow
Flight Deck, HMS Puncher
Awaiting the Return of the Aircraft Squadron
Folded Plane and Elevator, HMS Puncher
Sports in Hangar, HMS Puncher
Drying Parachute, Puncher
"Bucket Dobeying," HMS Puncher
Engine Room Staff, HMS Puncher
Engine Room, Aircraft Carrier, His Majesty's Ship Puncher
Fairey Firefly Landing
"Back from Norway"
HMS Nabob
HMS Nabob Survivors
Medal Set, Dennis Thompson Forster, HMS Nabob