Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remember when we were awesome? pt.1

Does anyone recognize the ship in this picture? It is the HMCS Bonaventure, Canada's last aircraft carrier. I'm betting some of you are surprised to learn Canada ever had any aircraft carriers. In fact, we've had three. In 1946, the RCN took possession of HMCS Warrior from the Royal Navy. In 1948, we gave her back and replaced her with HMCS Magnificent. Finally, in 1957, the Magnificent was decommissioned and replaced with HMCS Bonaventure, which served in the RCN until her decommissioning in 1970.

The "Bonnie" was initially equipped with McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee fighters, as well as Grumman CS2F Tracker aircraft for anti-submarine warfare and Sikorsky HO4S helicopters. In 1962, the Banshees were retired and in 1964, the newer Sikorsky CHSS-2 Sea King helicopters were added. In 1967, she underwent a major refit which included improved radar and upgrades to her 76mm antiaircraft guns. The Bonaventure had a displacement of 16,000t and was 192m in length. She had a crew of 1200 and a top speed of 24.5 knots.


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