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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.

Fairey Firefly Aircraft and Plane Guard Destroyer, HMCS Warrior
Fairey Firefly Aircraft and Plane Guard Destroyer, HMCS Warrior

Four Fairey Firefly aircraft sit on the deck of the Canadian aircraft carrier HMCS Warrior, while a "plane guard" destroyer follows.

Take-offs and landings from carriers can be risky procedures, and aircraft can crash into the water due to equipment failure or human error, requiring prompt action to save lives. Before the development of rescue helicopters, a destroyer served "plane guard" duty, following closely behind an aircraft carrier. The destroyer's high speed allowed it to keep up with the aircraft carrier, and also permitted it to rush to the site of any aircraft crash.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19910238-689

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