Explore History

The Early Cold War
Naval Aviation

Between 1946 and 1970, Canada's navy operated three aircraft carriers to help fulfil its anti-submarine mission and to help protect ships against enemy aircraft. These carriers required specialized equipment, procedures, and training for their crews.

Fairey Firefly Crash, HMCS Warrior
Fairey Firefly Crash, HMCS Warrior

Members of HMCS Warrior's deck crew examine a damaged Fairey Firefly following a crash.

The Firefly's port (left) wing has broken off, as have the blades of its propeller (centre, beyond sailor). The crew are no longer in the aircraft, and any fire that might have started has been extinguished. Operating high-performance military aircraft from aircraft carriers has always been a risky undertaking. In addition to the flight deck's limited size, the carrier's motion up and down and rolling from side to side complicates the task of landing. Night and adverse weather can add further complications.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19910238-690

HMCS Warrior
HMCS Magnificent
HMCS Bonaventure
Fairey Firefly Aircraft and Plane Guard Destroyer, HMCS Warrior
Grumman Avenger aboard HMCS Magnificent
Grumman Tracker Launch, HMCS Bonaventure
Grumman Avenger Landing Aboard HMCS Warrior
Hawker Sea Fury Landing on HMCS Magnificent
Supermarine Seafire
Supermarine Seafire Crash, HMCS Warrior
Fairey Firefly Crash, HMCS Warrior
Landing on HMCS Bonaventure
McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee
Flight Deck and Island, HMCS Bonaventure
McDonnell Banshee, HMCS Bonaventure
Grumman Tracker, HMCS Shearwater
Bell HTL-4 Helicopter
Personnel Delivery by Helicopter
Life Raft and Emergency Supplies
Petty Officer, HMCS Magnificent
Triangular Bandage
Canadian Sailors Board HMCS Bonaventure
From School to Sea!
Robert N. McKinley Medal Set, HMCS Bonaventure