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.

Robert N. McKinley Medal Set, HMCS Bonaventure
Robert N. McKinley Medal Set, HMCS Bonaventure

These medals belonged to Chief Petty Officer R.N. McKinley, the longest serving rating in the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure.

McKinley's medals attest to Second World War service (left to centre), as well as to service in the Korean War (second and third from right). The Royal Canadian Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (right) recognizes his long career. Initially awarded for 15 years' service, the bar running across the ribbon indicates that McKinley subsequently spent another 15 years in the navy.

Medal Set, Robert N. McKinley
Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals
CWM 19810638-004

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