For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


Bogue Class Escort Carrier



HMS Puncher


Laid down: 21 May 1943

Launched: 08 Nov 1943

Commissioned: 05 Feb 1944

Paid off: 16 Jan 1946. Returned to the USN at Norfolk

Fate: Sold to commercial service. Broken up in 1973


Battle honours and awards:  Atlantic  1939-45


Begun as MV Willapa, she was commissioned HMS Puncher at Tacoma, Wash., on 05 Feb 1944, and arrived at Vancouver on 15 Mar for modification to RN standards. She left Esquimalt in Jun for Norfolk, Va., en route ferrying motor launches from New Orleans to New York. In Jul she left Norfolk for Casablanca with a cargo of 40 USAAF aircraft, returning to Norfolk to load the Corsairs of 845 (RN) Squadron and a deck load of U.S. aircraft for the U.K. On 01 Feb 1945, she joined the Home Fleet, and following VE-Day was used for several months for deck landing training. In Sep she was partially converted to serve as a troop carrier and employed the rest of the year repatriating Canadian troops from Britain. In 1946 she left Halifax for Norfolk and was paid off there 16 Jan for return to the USN. Converted for merchant service, she became the British Muncaster Castle in 1949, later to be renamed Bardic in 1954 and Bennevis in 1959. She was broken up in Taiwan in 1973.


Photos and Documents          Ship's company photos


HMS Puncher - Royal Navy Research Archives


Commanding Officers

Capt. Roger Edward Shelford Bidwell, RCN - 15 March 1944 - 16 Jan 1946



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten




























Former Crew Members


Allison, Ken, AB, Dhobey Worker (front Saint John, NB)

Allison, Ted, CPO

Amundsen, James, AB, RCNR

Armit, G.G, Cdr, RCNR

Barker, Kenneth, AB, Bugler, RCNR

Brown, (Winger)

Calder, James, LCdr, RCNVR

Chorlton, Ron, AB, Met


Cooper, Cecil Ross, V60196  - 


Cooper, Rupert, ABSM, Dryer Machine Worker (from Windsor, ON)

Copland, Robert, ABSM

De Wolfe, Leo, CPO

Dirrado, Albert, AB, Dhobey Firm Steam Presser (from Montreal, QC)

Doyle, (Mother)

Duck, Vernon, AB, Dhobey Firm President (from York, PEI)

Fraser, E.B., Lt (S), C.O.'s Secretary / LCdr (S), RCNVR

Fraser, Joseph A., AB, RCNR


Gomeroy, George, PO (S), Dhobey Firm Book keeper (from Victoria,BC)

Hart, W.J., Surg-Lt, RCN

Hope, Keith, AB, RCNVR

Horne, Robert, AB, Laundry Sleeve Ironer (from Ottawa, ON)


Humphreys, Cyril, PO, Yeoman of Signals

Hutcheson, C., Capt, Dental

Koughan, W.H.. LCdr, RCNR

Latreille, Roger, AB, Laundry Steam Presser (from Montreal, QC)


Logan, Jim

MacAskill, D., Lt (E), RCNVR

Macdonald, William, CPO

Macdonald, A.A., Lt, RCNVR

Malone, Maurice Charlie, Surg-Lt

McDonnel, J.A., RCNVR

McKenzie, Red, PO

McRae, J.D.J., Lt, RCNVR

Midleton, Charles, AB, RCNR

Morris, Sgt, Dental


Muise, A.O.


Munn, Gordon, Lt. (SB), RCNVR

Nelson, Crisp, CPO, MAA, RCN

Nichols, Edward, PO

Nicholson, LSM

Nott, John, AB, Met

Oneil, Lt, RCNVR

Outerbridge, L.M., Chaplain, RCN

Piere, C.F., LCdr, RCNVR


Price, F.A., Cdr, RCNR

Reid, Stanley Park, CPO, MAA, RCN

Shoup, H.R.W., Lt, RCNVR


Siawk, Roman


Slater, Oliver Kenneth, RCNVR 


Snelling, S.D.L., Lt, RCNVR

Spidell, Jack, CPO

Starkey, PO


Teepoorten, Sgt, Dentral

Thorpe, W.J., Lt (S), COs Secretary, RCNVR

Tregaskes, Stuart, Lt (S), RCNVR

Tucker, J.L., Lt, RCNVR

Tullidge, G., A/Cdr (S), RCNVR

Wadsworth, G.B., Lt (S), RCN

Wallace, Dixon, Cdr, XO, RCNR

Waskett, PO

Whitson, Norman, PO SBA

Woods, A.B.W., Reverand, RCN

Woods, Albert, CPO

Yawney, William, AB, Laundry Checker (from Sudbury, ON)

Zelionka, Albert, RCNR


Photos and Documents


R.C.N.A.C. Puncher (HMS Puncher) arriving in Halifax, NS, Nov. 13, 1945

Photographer: Hayward, Buckingham St., Halifax

From the collection of James Edward Lowe, RCN

Courtesy of Kathleen Lowe


The photos below were from a book documenting the 2 years that HMS Puncher operated mainly manned by sailors of the RCN - 05 Feb 1944 to 16 Jan 1946.









Courtesy of Steve Hlasny