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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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Sports in Hangar, HMS Puncher
Sports in Hangar, HMS Puncher

With aircraft away or parked on the flight deck above, HMS Puncher's cavernous hangar deck proved ideal for staging a variety of sports.

Maintaining the crew's morale proved very important to Captain R.E.S. Bidwell. Puncher's counterpart HMS Nabob had suffered serious morale problems caused by factors including poor living conditions and differences in pay and food between the Royal Canadian Navy and Britain's Royal Navy. Bidwell took special measures to ensure these problems were addressed before Puncher entered active service. Sports helped cement a crew into an effective team, and under Bidwell Puncher proved a happy ship.

Sports in Hangar, HMS Puncher
Painted by Leonard Brooks
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-1162

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