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.

Bell HTL-4 Helicopter
Bell HTL-4 Helicopter

A Bell HTL-4 helicopter hovers in front of a hangar, likely at HMCS Shearwater near Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

This particular example was one of the first three helicopters acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in 1951. The RCN used the HTL-4 and the similar HTL-6 for utility operations such as aerial observation and photography, as well as for training pilots destined for larger helicopters. The hangar in the background may be part of the navy's School of Naval Aircraft Maintenance, which was based at HMCS Shearwater.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20020135-110

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