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.

Landing on HMCS Bonaventure
Landing on HMCS Bonaventure

This photograph, taken from an aircraft landing aboard HMCS Bonaventure, shows the aircraft carrier's angled flight deck outlined in yellow.

Such flight decks, built at an angle to the ship's centre line, were an important post-war innovation that allowed high-performance aircraft to operate more safely and easily from aircraft carriers. Aircraft landing on an angled flight deck did not risk striking other aircraft parked further forward on the aircraft carrier's deck. The angled deck also left a clear path for aircraft to accelerate and take to the air again if something went wrong during a landing.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19860241-001_7a

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