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.

Grumman Tracker Launch, HMCS Bonaventure
Grumman Tracker Launch, HMCS Bonaventure

Flight deck crew aboard HMCS Bonaventure stand at their stations as the carrier's steam catapult launches a Grumman Tracker.

A flight deck officer (second from left), part of the team responsible for flight deck operations and aircraft movements, gives a launch signal with a flag. A steel cable called a bridle attaches the aircraft to the catapult piston, visible just to the left of the Tracker's nose gear. The powerful catapult would accelerate the Tracker to a speed of almost 200 kilometres per hour within a distance of some 35 metres.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19900076-974

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