For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
HMS PUNCHER D79
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 (below)