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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.

McDonnell Banshee, HMCS Bonaventure
McDonnell Banshee, HMCS Bonaventure

A McDonnell Banshee fighter sits on HMCS Bonaventure's flight deck in late 1960 or early 1961.

The Royal Canadian Navy acquired Banshees for HMCS Bonaventure in order to provide protection against enemy aircraft that could locate or attack ships at sea, and to attack ground targets. Banshees were armed with four cannon, visible just behind the black radar dome on the aircraft's nose. They could also be fitted with the Sidewinder air-to-air missile, and could carry rockets or bombs to attack surface targets. This particular Banshee crashed in June 1961, killing its pilot, Knudd Rassow.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19860241-001_11a

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