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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.

Canadian Sailors Board HMCS Bonaventure

Canadian sailors board their new home, the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1957.

The sailors, some wearing cap tallies with their ship's name, carry bags and suitcases with personal belongings, while shipyard workers in overalls (right) leave the ship. Originally launched in Belfast in 1945 as the British carrier HMS Powerful, the aircraft carrier that became Bonaventure was stored in a partially complete state until Canada bought it in 1952. Extensive construction and modifications to the ship's original design were completed in 1957, when Bonaventure entered service with the Royal Canadian Navy.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19900076-978