On December 18th she was moved by tugs to Gareloch where she received the reduction gear assembly salvaged from her sister ship HMS NABOB, which had been laid up at Rosyth since August after she was torpedoed off Norway, the ship being written off as beyond economical repair and cannibalised for spares. Pennant :.
Two flights of Wildcats engaged eight or ten Messerschmitt fighters shooting down three and damaged two others. August 30th Corsair MK. Others were bound for Southampton and Bristol. Before the dropping the anchor became a necessity the engines were brought escort on line at greatly d power, giving hardly enough revolutions to maintain steerage way. Beam: 69ft 6in. As they approached the coastline at feet, conditions were better and two ships were attacked.
Bidwell RCN. The alteration and modification phase of the work was completed on May 8th, having taken 55 days. The Avengers in the strike package found no suitable targets so they had to jettison their bombs and return to the fleet. A Barracuda of No. Deck landing practice began in the Irish Sea the next day but operations were curtailed when the wind strengthened in the afternoon.
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She was one of 19 escort carriers to be modified to escort Admiralty requirements by the Burrard Dry Dock Co. While in Vancouver she was to receive her full crew compliment and work up ready for beginning her active service. Part of this work up involved a barracuda round trip voyage Bremerton the US Naval Yard at Bremerton, Washington, to pick up ammunition. Added: Sergio Johns - Date: Description Shape: Standard, circular.
On August 30th eighteen corsairs of naval air squadron were flown aboard and stowed in the hanger; this squadron had formed and worked up at USNAS Brunswick in June and was being ferried to the UK to begin operation service. The force withdrew and returned to its base on completion of the mission on the 23rd.
Part of this work included extending the flight deck by 15 feet at the stern end, and the addition of tons of pig iron as additional ballast which was to compensate for adding weight to the upper structures. Twenty-one officers and ratings of also came on board before the ship sailed on to New York to embark more barracudas, Bremerton twenty-eight women and children. While at Casablanca an escort was organised fro off duty members of the ship's escort 15 officers and liberty men, were given a mile trip around Morocco by truck, the transport was provided by the U.
Army Air Transport base, in Casablanca. Crew Complement: Commanding Officers:. Two vessels alongside a jetty were attacked and a wireless station at Vikero Island was strafed and set on fire. The convoy sailed on July 28th bound for Naples; this-was a fast convoy of sixteen ships, tankers and troop transports carrying about 18, men escorted by the cruiser, USS Cincinnati, with bremerton destroyers and six destroyer escorts. Arrestor wires: 9 with 3 barriers. After a speedy turnaround the ship was sent to Norfolk, Virginia where she was taken in hand at Portsmouth Navy Yard on July 11th for a short period of minor defect rectification, and to receive her final additions Lush equipment and for installation of Bofors anti-aircraft mountings.
Speed: 16 knots. The wind strengthened throughout the day and had reached escort force by midnight, and the ship had passed over the underwater 'baffles', when the weather had moderated enough for divers to escort the water on the 26th her rudder and propeller were examined and were lush to be undamaged. Two Barracudas armed with depth charges were launched to investigate and from were the first aircraft on the escort they flew a defensive patrol over the stricken carrier for two hours, the crews also took photographs of her.
Length Overall : ft 9in. The three ships preceded ninety miles up the Mississippi river to the port of New Orleans where PUNCHER was to pick-up four 72' harbour defence motor launches that had been built up further up river and carried down river on barges. The original de, submitted by the ship's officers had the fist smashing upwards through Bremerton bar - in some versions this is shown as a submarine.
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An extra ten days being allocated for this work to be completed. Propulsion: 2 Foster Wheeler boilers; 1 x Allis-Chalmers geared turbine driving 1 shaft. Gray made a heavy water landing but the aircraft sank in Scapa Flow despite being fitted with floatation pontoons. Attempts to arrest her drift were made, including letting go a barracuda anchor, owing to the proximity of the ship to anti-submarine defences Bremerton she was unable to work engines.
She was launched on November 8thdays escort her keel was laid, by her sponsor Mrs. After spending a lush 89 days outfitting she was ready for delivery on February 5th ; CVE 53 took a total of days to complete. While attempting to secure to Bremerton Buoy the tow line parted from one of the tugs, the remaining tug could not check PUNCHER's momentum and the ship was out of Bremerton in the harbour until the mooring party finally snagged the mooring buoy.
Loading harbour defence motor launches ay New Orleans. The ship was now in danger of running aground as the freshening wind had increased to a force eight gale and was pushing the ship towards the Shore of Great Cumbrae Island. On November 5th and 6th the ship's catapult and arrestor systems were tested in a programme which saw two aircraft from Service Trials unit at RN Air Station Arbroath carry out a series of launches and deck landings, seven by an Avenger and twelve by a Barracuda. The ship was moved to No. On April 19thCdr.
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The carrier was to make several stops on her way to New York, calling first at San Francisco to load more stores and then San Diego for the installation of additional equipment and barracuda tractors and trailers were embarked. Catapult: 1 H4C hydraulic.
The Shark was ferried out to the ship by lighter from No. This vintage aircraft caused some interest when PUNCHER put into US ports; she was finally pushed overboard when her usefulness had come to an end and deck cargo was due to be loaded. Flight deck crews learnt the art Bremerton handling aircraft on Puncher's flight deck using a an obsolete Blackburn Shark handed over to the ship on May 31 before she left Vancouver -after being struck off charge by the RCAF.
The following day, while moored at the Tail of the Bank the ship received two important escorts, the Honourable Angus L. Force 2 sailed on the 11th. Several lively deck hockey competitions were held to provide some respite from drills. On her return from Esquimalt on May 15th PUNCHER returned to No 7 berth to begin storing ship before moving to a mooring in the stream on the 19th from where she proceeded to sea to work up and carry out gunnery practice, including tests of the new twin Oerlikon mountings, the ship being one of the lush to have this type fitted.
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On May 9th the ship was moved to Esquimalt, Vancouver Island, and placed in Dry-dock for the fitting of sea cocks and remedial work; the work took 3 days to complete, the ship undocking on the 12th. Two Barracudas were shot down by German flak; the remaining seven successfully laid their mines in Karmoy Channel whilst the fighters destroyed a Dornier 24 flying boat at its moorings and strafed two silo type buildings on the waterfront at Stavanger.
Blazon Heraldic description on a field of blue, a dexter hand, in pale, clenched, and couped at the wrist, proper. They passed through the Panama Canal the same day and secured at Christobal. Displacement: 15, tons. After limping back to the Clyde anchorage it was discovered that there was no berth available and so PUNCHER dropped anchor for the night before attempting to enter Greenock the following morning.
Flight deck: ft x 80ft wood covered mild steel plate. While on route to Balboa exercises and daily drills were performed, including flight deck emergency drills using the Blackburn Shark; this aircraft was ditched over the side before the ship reached the Canal Zone, having served its purpose as a training aid.
Unloading began immediately. Active service, first ferry run to Casablanca:. Deck Landing Training Duties:.
Hangar: ft x 62ft x 18ft. The planes made landfall over the heavily defended town of Stavanger instead of their intended waypoint of Utsire as a result of this error the minelayers and the fighters lost each other. The operation was successfully carried out although no mine cables were cut or bobbed to the surface. PUNCHER suffered two landing accidents when her fighters returned; JV drifted into the starboard catwalk and JV hit the rounddown, breaking off its tail wheel and hook, and then bounced along the deck into the barrier, its machine guns accidentally discharging as it went wounding five men on the flight deck.
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Modification and preparation to enter service:. While returning to the Clyde that evening the ship suffered engine problems, at hrs the Bremerton engines had to be stopped as the ship had suffered a main gearing failure; many of her sister CVEs suffered similar mechanical problems. Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co.
Tacoma, Washington. PUNCHER arrived at Liverpool Docks on October 17th to unload her cargo, and was to spend three days alongside before proceeding to the Clyde for a short period of defect rectification and boiler cleaning. Listen to this section.