(CVL) light fleet carrier

This was the last aircraft carrier to serve in the RCN. Construction was stopped in 1946 when the war ended, but began anew in 1952. At this late date, certain improvements had been developed and were incorporated. Originally to be named HMS POWERFUL, the RCN renamed her after a bird sanctuary in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She was bought outright, unlike her predecessors, and served until 1970. During 1967-68, she underwent an extensive refit to see her through the latter half of her service life; however, she was paid off just two years later and sold for scrap.

Modified MAJESTIC Class


Displacement: 20,000 tons full load 
Dimensions: 192.02 x 24.38 x 7.62 meters (630 x 80 x 25 feet) 
Propulsion: Parsons single-reduction geared steam turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum type 350 psi boilers, 
                    2 shafts, 40,000 hp, 24.5 knots 
Crew: 1,200 / 1,370 (war) 
Aviation: 214.58 x  34.29 metres (704 x 112.5 feet) flightdeck, 34 aircraft: McDonnel Banshee jets, 
                Grumman Tracker ASW patrol aircraft, Sikorsky H04-S-3 helos (standard airwing consisted 
                of 8 Banshee, 12 Tracker, + several helos) 
Radar: SPS 12 air search, SPS 8 height finding, 
Fire Control:
EW: none 
Armament: 4 3"/50 twin mounts, 3 6 Pdr. saluting guns. 

After 1967 refit:

Aviation: 214.58 x  34.29 metres (704 x 112.5 feet) flightdeck, 21 aircraft:  Grumman Tracker 
                ASW patrol aircraft, Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King helos, 1 Sikorsky H04-S-3 helo (plane guard) 
                      *(Banshees absent after 1961 role-change to ASW carrier) 
Fire Control:
EW: none 
Armament: 2 3"/50 twin mounts, 3 6 Pdr. saluting guns. 

Paid Off


 (click on thumbnail for bigger image) 
HMCS BONAVENTURE, fresh from her 1967-68 refit. Note the presence of the Sea Kings at the stern, and the absence of Banshees or the forward 3"/50 guns and their sponsons. ('68) DND photo.
Bonaventure BONAVENTURE after her 1961 role change to ASW carrier, but before her 1967 refit.. The aircraft on deck are all Trackers; note the forward 3"/50 is present in this photo as opposed to the previous photo. The Sea Kings had not yet entered the fleet at this point in time. DND photo, Courtesy of Bill Croshaw.
A painting of BONAVENTURE during the early period when she carried Banshees. The starboard 3"/50 forward gun is visible just ahead of the bridge, and a Sikorsky H04-S is flying off the port side as a plane guard. Painting by Graham Wragg.
A photo of BONAVENTURE taken during the same period as the painting above. Again, note the appearance of Banshees and the forward 3"/50 guns and the associated sponsons. DND photo.
HMS POWERFUL, as she appeared when laid up after the Second World War. Courtesy of Paul Silverstone.
BONAVENTURE with a deck load of Sea Kings and Trackers, after her 1967 refit. DND photo, Courtesy of Dave Shirlaw.

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