For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
ABBOTT, Howard Charles - Peacefully passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Ajax Pickering Hospital-Lakeridge at the age of 95. Reunited with his beloved wife Ruth Eleanor (December 25, 2018). Loving father to Robert (Marina), Nancy (Paul) LaPlante and Michael (Lynne). Howard will be sadly missed by his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends. Visitation at Scott Funeral Home Woodbridge Chapel, on January 17, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 Pm followed by Funeral Service.
Ships served in:
HMCS YORK - Enlisted 30 May 1942. Commenced active service 08 Jun 1942
HMCS MONTCALM - 09 Jun 1942 - 21 Sep 1942
HMCS ARVIDA - Served in Arvida 13 Feb 1943 - 08 Feb 1944 as an OS and AB, RCNVR. Rated AB 08 Jun 1943
HMS PUNCHER - Served in Puncher 18 Apr 1944 - 10 Sep 1945 as an AB, RCNVR
HMCS YORK - Drafted to York 14 Sep 1945. Demobilized 14 Nov 1945
* The photos below are from the collection of Howard Abbott, RCNVR. They have been scanned and cataloged by author Roger Litwiller and have been shared here courtesy of Roger Litwiller. Some photos were taken by Howard, some are official RCN photos. Any known information is provided with the captions.
(1) Service ID photo for Seaman Abbott (2-5) Certificate of Service (6) Certificate of Discharge
(7) Howard Abbott with Isa Sweeny in Ireland (8) Howard Abbott with Miss Sword, girlfriend in Ireland. He states they met when she took him home after a party and gave him a place to sleep, the next morning she fed him her weeks worth of rationed eggs. (9) Howard Abbott - 1944 (10) "Pop and I, 1942" - Howard Abbot and his father Charles Abbott (13) "Love Ruth"
(14) #18 Platoon, D Coy., #3 CWAC (B) T.C. - Jan 1945, Kitchener, ON (18) CWACs (19) Signatures on the back of #15
Halifax, 22 Sep - 23 Nov 1942
(23) Howard Abbott at HMCS CORNWALLIS, middle row, second from left (24) Howard Abbott in HMCS CORNWALLIS (25) RCN recruits outside barracks at HMCS Cornwallis (27) Howard Abbott in HMCS CORNWALLIS (29) Howard Abbott (centre) at HMCS Cornwallis
HMCS ARVIDA K113
13 Feb 1943 - 08 Feb 1944
(30) Howard Abbott posing on gun mount on HMCS ARVIDA, St. John's, NFLD, 1943 (31) HMCS KOOTENAY alongside HMCS ARVIDA. Note the funnel artwork on HMCS KOOTENAY (32) Unknown RN destroyer, Londonderry, 1942. (33-34) MAC in convoy - 1943. (35) Merchant ships in column. South Atlantic convoy - 1943 (36) HMCS KOOTENAY (right) with HMCS WETASKIWIN following astern in the Irish Sea - 1943
(37) HMCS LA MALBAIE in the Irish Sea - Jul 1943 (38) HMCS WETASKIWIN (39) North Atlantic Convoy (40) Oil Tanker in Convoy - 1943 (41) HMCS OTTAWA, HMCS KITCHENER and HMCS ARVIDA in the Irish Sea - Jul 1943 (42) HMCS OTTAWA and HMCS ARVIDA, Larne, Northern Ireland - Aug 1943 (43) Convoy in the North Atlantic - Jun 1943
(44) HMCS ST CROIX - 1943. Photos taken from HMCS ARVIDA not long before ST CROIX was lost in Sep 1943. (45) Capt D's yacht, HMS PHILANTE, Larne, Northern Ireland - Aug 1943 (46) HMCS LA MALBAIE - 1943 (47) HMS DIANTHUS, convoy escort seen from HMCS ARVIDA - 1943 (48) HMCS WASKESIU alongside HMCS ARVIDA c1943/44 (49) "Catalina aircraft scaring off submarines. North Atlantic 16 Sep 1943" Webmaster's note: Catalina Patrol aircraft dropping a depth charge - believed to be while escorting convoy HX256, NYC to Liverpool 09 Sep -21 Sep 1943 (50) Guss Flinn and Stoker Parkins, both from Montreal, on HMCS ARVIDA - 1943
(51) HMCS ARVIDA takes on fuel from a tanker in the convoy in North Atlantic - Aug 1943 (52) HMCS ARVIDA conducting a stern fueling from ship in convoy in the North Atlantic - Aug 1943 (53) LS Roger J. Oulette painting the rope covers on one of ARVIDA's ladders - 1943 (54) Howard Abbott on duty as Quartermaster on HMCS ARVIDA - 1943 (55) George Boynett from Toronto in HMCS ST CLAIR, St. John's, NFLD - 1943 (56) AB Thomas Riley from Hamilton, ON on HMCS ARVIDA - 1943 (57) HMCS ARVIDA's sea boat crew 1943. Front to back: Peter De Beck, Bud Briggs, Ivan Bennett, Jim Fraser, and Bob Langraff.
18 Apr 1944 - 10 Sep 1945
(58) Ship's badge for HMS PUNCHER (59) HMS PUNCHER at Vancouver to be finished to RN standards, February to May 1944 (60) HMS PUNCHER's first squadron of Fireflies fly over the carrier in preparations for operations in the Pacific after VE day (61) An Avenger and a Barracuda from 778 Service Trails Unit from RN Air Station Arbroath is ready to takeoff from HMS PUNCHER. The Canadian manned Aircraft Carrier is carrying out Deck Landing Training on November 5th and 6th 1944 (62) A Wildcat from HMS PUNCHER damages it's landing gear as it lands on the pitching deck of the carrier in rough weather (63) The Batman coaches a Firefly onto HMS PUNCHER's deck (64) A Firefly is returned onto its wheels after flipping on its nose during a landing on HMS PUNCHER late in 1945.
(65) The damaged Barracuda of Lt Cornish, returns to HMS PUNCHER following a minelaying operation off Haugesund Fjord, Norway on 22 February 1945 (66) A Firefly flies over HMS PUNCHER in June 1945 (67) Seven of the nine Barracuda's returned to HMS PUNCHER following a minelaying operation in Haugesund Fjord, Norway on 22 February, 1945. Two aircraft were shot down by shore defences over the target and both aircrew were killed. (68) A Barracuda nosed into HMS PUNCHER's flight deck; the rear gunner was slightly injured according to Howard Abbot; the angle of the plane made rescue difficult (69) Crashed Barracuda is secured to HMS PUNCHER's deck following a crash. Howard Abbott recalls this plane was later pushed over the side (70) Firefly missed the arrester wires and crashed into the barricade (71) Having snapped its tail hook, this Barracuda was flipped onto its nose by the barrier, saving both aircrew and aircraft on HMS PUNCHER
(72) HMS BIRMINGHAM and another CVE, possibly HMS TRUMPETER sail in formation with HMS PUNCHER in April 1945. HMS PUNCHER was attached to Operation NEWMARKET in the Arctic Ocean. The objective was to attack the U-Boat depot ships at Kilbotn, Norway. (73) HMS DIDO alongside HMS PUNCHER during operations off Haugesund Fjord in January 1945 (74-75) Several of HMS PUNCHER's sailors take advantage of the hot weather to tan on the carriers crowded flight deck, while ferrying aircraft to Casablanca in July 1944. Too hot to touch, they cover the deck with blankets and towels (76) An Avenger is secured to the flight deck of HMS PUNCHER during a ferry operation of aircraft from Norfolk Virginia in September 1944. Eventually ending in Glasgow, HMS PUNCHER transported 40 aircraft including, 18 Corsairs, Hellcats, Avengers, and one Helldiver. (77) Following a crash on HMS PUNCHER's deck during night operations, this Barracuda was jettisoned over the carrier's side. Note the artwork - Donald Duck holding a torpedo (78) Flight Operations aboard HMS PUNCHER in 1944/45, with one Barracuda safely on the flight deck, two more are making their aproach
(79) A Barracuda catches the wire and lands safely on HMS PUNCHER during flight operations in late 1944 or early 1945 (80) Arrester wire on the tail hook of a Barracuda on HMS PUNCHER's flight deck. (81) Deck handling party ready a Barracuda for storage on HMS PUNCHER late 1944 or early 1945 (82) Eleven of the twelve Barracuda's from HMS PUNCHER's 821 Squadron sit ready for take-off in Jan 1945. The ship's company and squadron personnel were undergoing flight training operations in January 1945 (83) HMS PUNCHER ferrying a deck load of aircraft to Glasgow in September or October 1944. This Avenger is destined for delivery to an RCAF Squadron (84) Communicator on HMS PUNCHER (85) Unknown sailor on HMS PUNCHER
(86) "Guess Who?" "Off Norway this winter"" Howard Abbott on HMS PUNCHER of Norway - 1945 (87) Howard Abbott on HMS PUNCHER of Norway - 1945 (88) "Meet the boys" - Howard's shipmates on HMS PUNCHER (89) Howard Abbott (front left) with shipmates in HMS PUNCHER (90) Howard Abbott onboard HMS PUNCHER (91-92) HMS NABOB taken from HMS PUNCHER at Vancouver while both escort carriers were completing in February 1943
(93) RCN sailors on the foc's'le of HMS PUNCHER. Howard Abbott, rear, 2nd from right in light coloured shirt (94) RCN sailors on the foc's'le of HMS PUNCHER (95) Howard Abbott resting against the jack staff on HMS PUNCHER - 1944 (96) One of PUNCHER's boats coming alongside the ship (97) HMS PUNCHER's ships boat looks like a toy set alongside the steel wall of the carrier's hull - 1943 (98-99) Howard Abbott catching a short break onboard HMS PUNCHER
(100) Howard Abbott gets a big hug from PUNCHER's bugler (101) "A few of us at Coney Island one day" "Ferguson" - Howard Abbot in front passenger seat - 1944 (102) "Here is a picture of the ship Dear. What do you think of her? - HMS PUNCHER Feb 1945 (103) A Petty Officer from HMS PUNCHER poses with a Palace Guard in Casablanca - 1944 (104) Crew from HMS PUNCHER touring the lush gardens in Casablanca during a visit in early Aug 1944 (105) HMS PUNCHER's ships company had a good view of Rabat, the capitol of Morocco, during a visit there in early August 1944 (106) Sailor from HMS PUNCHER poses with a Moroccan Palace Sentry during a visit by PUNCHER in early August 1944
(107) Crew from HMS PUNCHER explored the ancient ruins in Morocco during a port visit in Aug 1944 (108) Three of PUNCHER's crew in Casablanca, Morocco - Aug 1944 (109) The Royal Palace - Casablanca, Morocco - Aug 1944 (110) A Petty Officer from HMS PUNCHER poses with one of the Palace guards in Casablanca, Morocco - Aug 1944
RCN Guard drills for a crowd gathered in Quebec during WWII.