Explore History

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.

You do not have Flash Player installed on this computer. You can download it here: Adobe
Drying Parachute, Puncher
Drying Parachute, Puncher

Parachutes were essential safety equipment for aircrew, but required careful handling. They needed to be completely dried before they could be packed for use.

A special section of HMS Puncher's hangar deck was reserved for drying parachutes, seen here hanging from the deckhead. Aircraft maintenance personnel cluster around the small blue "mule" tractor, which moved aircraft around the hangar deck. Prominent "No Smoking" signs warn of the dangers posed by flammable materials like high-octane aviation fuel, which could quickly turn the hangar deck into a fiery inferno.

Drying Parachute, Puncher
Painted by Leonard Brooks
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-1087

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