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
Engine Room Staff, HMS Puncher
Engine Room Staff, HMS Puncher

HMS Puncher's engine room staff, dressed in their summer white uniforms, pose on one of the carrier's elevators.

With a crew of 1,000, Puncher, like HMS Nabob, had more sailors on board than any other ship operated by Canadians. At the time of this photograph, Puncher was returning to Norfolk, Virginia, after delivering American aircraft to Casablanca. A few months later, the engine room staff were hard pressed when Puncher's propulsion system developed major problems. Only repairs using components from HMS Nabob, out of service after being torpedoed, managed to return Puncher to service in 1945.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19820422-017

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