Majestic Class Aircraft Carrier






DND/RCN photo

Courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum

Click on the above photo to view a larger image


Laid Down: 27 Nov 1943

Launched: 27 Feb 1945

Commissioned: 17 Jan 1957

Paid off: 03 Jul 1970


Battle honours: Lowestoff  1665,   Four days Battle  1666,   Orfordness  1666,   Sole bay  1672 Schooneveld  1673,   Texel  1673,   Barfleur  1892,   Malta Convoys  1941


Built by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast, Ireland, she was originally laid down as HMS POWERFUL. Construction on her had been suspended in 1946, but was restarted on 15 Jul 1952 and she was renamed HMCS BONAVENTURE after the bird sanctuary in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Work on this ship had stopped three months after her launching in Feb 1945, with the result that when construction resumed in 1952, improvements could be built into her. The most notable of these was the angled flight deck, which provided a longer landing run without sacrificing forward parking space, and permitted the removal of the unpopular crash barrier. Also noteworthy were a steam catapult and a mirror landing sight, the latter going far toward eliminating human error in landing.


"Bonnie" was commissioned at Belfast on 17 Jan 1957, and arrived at Halifax on 26 Jun 1957, carrying on deck an experimental hydrofoil craft that was to serve in the development of HMCS BRAS D'OR. Unlike her predecessors, BONAVENTURE had Banshee jet fighters and Tracker A/S aircraft as her complement. Like them, she enjoyed a busy career of flying training and participating in A/S and tactical exercises with ships of other NATO nations.


In Nov/Dec 1959, during a 6-week deployment that included a NATO Exercise, HMCS BONAVENTURE, in company with HMCS ALGONQUIN, HMCS IROQUOIS, HMCS SIOUX and HMCS ATHABASKAN encounter a major storm that battered the squadron on their return to Halifax. One day out of Halifax, a tracker crashed into the sea shortly after take-off with a loss of all 4 crew. 



Four newspaper articles on the Nov/Dec 1959 deployment during which 5 RCN sailors died.


On 11 Jun 1963, a Tracker from 880 Squadron, while performing operational training several miles from the aircraft carrier, inadvertently flew too low allowing the port wingtip to strike the ocean below. The aircraft immediately and violently cart wheeled over the surface of the water. The co-pilot managed to escape through the shattered cockpit side window and one of the crewmen exited using his overhead hatch. Although SIKORSKY 55877 quickly recovered the two survivors from the water there was no trace of the remaining two crew members. A search continued throughout the morning but was unsuccessful.  (Click here to read news article on the lost tracker)


In the summer of 1963, BONAVENTURE was conducting exercises in the North Atlantic with ATHABASKAN as her plane guard. One one occasion, while conducting a RAS with ATHABASKAN, the two ships collided. The BONAVENTURE received some minor damage, while ATHABASKAN'S was more serious.


The following write-up on the collision was submitted by Donald (Bud) Rose, RCN(R): In 1962 when ships of the Destroyer Escort Squadrons were being re-assigned, HMCS ATHABASKAN proceeded to Marine Industries Ltd. at Sorel Quebec. There she would undergo a major refit which was completed by midsummer 1963, but her radar system was not. ATHABASKAN was one of only two ships with this type Radar System, (Cayuga was the other) and any repairs had to be carried out at Portsmouth England. Following her work-ups, ATHABASKAN was assigned as "plane guard' for the aircraft carrier HMCS BONAVENTURE, exercising in the North Atlantic. From there, ATHABASKAN was to proceed to Portsmouth England for radar refitting. During a refueling operation in mid Atlantic, the two ships struck each other with the ATHABASKAN receiving serious damage.


Following the collision, HMCS BONAVENTURE proceeded to Invergordon, Scotland to the former WW II Royal Naval Base and ship refueling facility. While damage to the Carrier's Hull was minimal, her fuel supply was below the accepted permissible level. Invergordon, Scotland was the nearest docking facility capable of docking an air craft carrier. HMCS ATHABASKAN received considerably more damage to her super structure and communication aerials than the "Bonnie". Without the required fuel she was to receive from the Carrier, ATHABASKAN had to make way to the nearest port which could facilitate her requirements. This port was the shipyards of Hartland and Wolff in Belfast - Northern Ireland. Having received temporary repairs, HMCS ATHABASKAN proceeded on her mission which was the overhaul of her radar system at Portsmouth England - a service not available in Canada. Permanent repairs necessitated by the collision with HMCS BONAVENTURE at sea, would now be carried out at Portsmouth. (click here to view 4 photos taken during the collision)


On 08 Aug 1963, during flash-up in preparation for sailing, HMCS BONAVENTURE suffered an explosion which damaged the funnel uptakes and the top of one of the boilers resulting in 6-weeks repairs.  The following is from "The Bonnie" by J. Allan Snowie. Quoted by Captain R.W. Timbrell. Pages 165 &166 - In flashing up the boilers in preparation for sailing, the engineering staff, unfortunately, had allowed sufficient gases to get up the uptakes towards the funnel, and they failed to carry out the procedures to clear it. An explosion took place and a fair amount of damage was done. It was all contained within the uptakes, but we were delayed sailing. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the engine-room accident, but extensive damage had been done to the top of the boilers and the funnel uptakes. Repair work kept BONAVENTURE out of action for some six weeks and necessitated the withdrawal from Exercise "Unison" in United Kingdom waters."


In Oct 1963, BONAVENTURE, ALGONQUIN, CAYUGA, MICMAC and SASKATCHEWAN took part in a NATO exercise in which all participating ships were battered by a severe North Atlantic storm.


What was expected to be her mid-life-refit, carried out from 1966 to 1967, took 16 months and cost over 11 million.


On Thursday, 30 Nov 1967, while operating in the North Atlantic, Sea King 402 off HMCS BONAVENTURE, crashed into the Atlantic. While the two pilots were ejected on impact and survived, 2 air crew died. Click here to read more on the crash of Sea King CHSS-12402


On 16 Feb 1969 a Grumman Tracker stalled on take-off and crashed.  The following is from Chuck MacDonald who was the Nav Yeoman onboard BONAVENTURE at the time:  I was LS NavYeoman for LCdr Scott-Montcrief the Navigator and had been stood down early for lunch.  BONAVENTURE, in company with other ships for Exercise Maple Spring '69, was operating out of Roosevelt Road PR and in transit to Wilmsted Curaçao. We had ongoing air operations with catapult launches scheduled for 1100 hrs. Coincidentally, rum ration began on the cable at the same time. While standing around savouring my Tot and chatting in the background we could hear the normal activity from the flight deck. Suddenly the catapult accelerated and crashed into the stops. The noise immediately got everyone’s attention toward the stop which had us looking at the bow only to see the undercarriage of a tracker appear. The engine noises from the Tracker had the distinctive wallowing sound of a stall and it was clear it wasn’t gaining altitude. At that point I dropped my tot mug over the side as I left the cable deck on the way to my emergency station on the bridge. While I was running the aircraft had landed upright on the sea surface only to be immediately run over by BONAVENTURE with impact right on the bow. By the time I reached the Command Platform the impact site was astern of us. Above the site of the impact was the rescue helicopter Pedro hovering at about 75 feet. The Rescue Diver had already jumped into the water and fortunately landed in close proximity to the pilot Lt(N) Jack Flanagan. The pilot had lost a portion of one lower leg and was bleeding profusely into shark infested waters. The diver took quick action applying a tourniquet, Pedro hoisted the pilot and delivered him to the waiting medical staff on the flight deck , in two and a half minutes. By this time a destroyer in company had launched rescue boat and I believe BONAVENTURE had as well. The remaining crew were all safely returned to BONAVENTURE with their flight suits adorned with rust red of boot topping. Many stories of how they saw the various parts of the hull impact them and most notably the propellers slowing down but they had not stopped. All crew members survived and Lt(N) Flanagan continue to serve as a pilot.


On 23 Oct 1969, while operating in European waters off England, HMCS BONAVENTURE'S crew came to the aid of HMCS KOOTENAY which has suffered a catastrophic gear box failure and explosion - flying over  fire fighters, medical staff, equipment and evacuating casualties.


On 03 Dec 1969, during her paying-off cruise, the aviation fuel tanks (AVGAS) on HMCS BONAVENTURE were required to be emptied and cleaned. Tragically, one fuel tank did not vent properly, and the first two sailors who entered the fuel tank were overcome by deadly fumes. A second pair of sailors lost their lives during the rescue attempt.


Only 3 years after her mid-life refit, she was incomprehensibly paid off on 03 July 1970, and sold for scrap.



From the notes of Heinz Gohlish, Lt, RCN / C.A.F. ret'd - BONAVENTURE was removed  from operational duties in Dec 1969 and her compliment was reduced to about 800 consisting of the Engineer Dept, Deck Dept, Supply Dept and a much reduced Operations and Air Department. With that, there was a brief further life as a supply ship during Maple Spring 1970 as PROVIDER was transferred to the West Coast and PROTECTEUR was delayed, and also as a heavy equipment transporter for two army exercises - to Jamaica (Nimrod Capers) and to Northern Norway (Arctic Express). Between January and April 1970, BONAVENTURE had significant sea time.


A brief word on the Deck Department over the last year: This was led by LCdr Jim Murwin (who was succeeded by Lcdr Jim Bowen and became BONAVENTURE'S last XO), a gentleman who directed with a light touch and a paternal manner. This was appropriate for the mainly young boatswains. The Petty Officers however were very experienced indeed, one of whom was a WWII veteran. They were led by the estimable CPO John Newton, the carrier's last Buffer. Overall, it was a great team.


BONAVENTURE was officially decommissioned on 3rd July 1970 with VAdm J.C. O'Brien presiding. For the final three months, BONAVENTURE was banished from Jetty 4 to Pier 8 and only the Deck Dept remained to prepare the ship for final disposal. This was actually hard work with much equipment being shifted, immobilized or made safe. It fell to Slt Richard Neveu to turn off the last light.



What caused Sea King 4002 to crash? The following was submitted by David Wolfe, son of Lt L.M. Wolfe, pilot of Sea King 402 from information he told his wife.


As recalled by Mrs. Carole Wolfe to her son:  I believe the Sea King was doing a strange yaw-kick on its previous flight, and I believe your Dad said he had taken the chopper out right away again. I don't know that it was approved by the CO, or whether the previous crew okayed it. On the carrier they didn't necessarily shut the blades down as the crews changed, so it might even have still been running.


They had completed their mission and were coming in for their landing and had descended to 200 ft. with the Bonnie in sight. That was the last your Dad said he remembered. Radar said they just disappeared from the screen.  Brian (co-pilot SLt B.E. Roberts) had told your father he remembered falling a long way down into the water and that he was no longer in his seat. I have never spoken to Brian, or the wives of his crew but I know that your Dad said they put themselves on his flight as they trusted him as a pilot who was as safe as any of them on board. There were some comments to me personally from other pilots in the squadron afterwards who said if this could happen to Leo, then they didn't trust the helicopter.


Your Dad did come to in the water, and when he realized he was still in his seat, he snapped out of his harness and got to the surface. Brian had already got the dinghy inflated and helped pull your Dad into it. Your Dad had blood all over his face from a slash across the bridge of his nose, which they later determined probably came from flying through the windshield and hitting the wiper arm. His appearance gave Brian quite a scare. When he was airlifted to Bermuda, they dropped him out of the sling onto the deck of the DDH. So, he wasn't too happy about that either. 


When I picked him up at the airport when he came home, he was quite snippy. The CO was there to greet him, but Leo had already discovered that they were not going to support his claim that the chopper disintegrated through no fault of theirs. So he was less than happy to see him.  I obviously wasn't there, so can only repeat what Leo told me. I don't think he ever forgave the investigation team, and he was certainly happy to move onto other aircraft.


Webmaster's Note: The official report mentions pilot distraction, however, the memories of Lt Wolfe seem to provide info to the contrary.



Engineering trivia:  Due to size, HMCS BONAVENTURE'S propulsion machinery was divided into two major compartments located fore and aft, each having two boilers and one steam turbine engine. Each was configured with two boilers facing one another on one side of the ship and their associated main engine located on the other. Apparently, during builder's trials, excessive vibration was noted in the starboard shaft even though it was adequately supported with bearings (plummer blocks) throughout its length. The solution was to fit a four-bladed propeller on the shaft to dampen out over-all shaft harmonics. It worked!



Photos and Documents          Ship's Books and Booklets          Ship's company photos          The Ship's Bell



External Links:    Bonnie's Storm          The Invisible Giant - The BONAVENTURE          HMCS BONAVENTURE (Youtube video)





Commanding Officers


Capt. Harold Victor W. Groos, RCN - 17 Jan 1957 - 14 Jan 1958

Capt. William Moss Landymore, RCN - 15 Jan 1958 - 11 Sep 1959

Capt. J.C. O'Brien, RCN - 12 Sep 1959 - 29 Aug 1961

Capt. Frederick Charsley Frewer, RCN - 30 Aug 1961 - 06 Aug 1963

Capt. Robert Walker Timbrell, RCN - 07 Aug 1963 - 01 Apr 1965

Capt. Henry Allan Porter, RCN - 02 Apr 1965 - 31 July 1966

Cdr. A.T. Bice, RCN - 01 Aug 1966 - 20 Nov 1966

Capt. R.H. Falls, RCN - 21 Nov 1966 - 08 Apr 1969

Capt. James Mortimer Cutts - 09 Apr 1969 - 08 Jan 1970

Cdr. Henry William (Hank) Vondette - 09 Jan 1970 - 01 Jul 1970



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     



LCdr (P), RCN

died - 04 Mar 1958



died - 12 Dec 1959



died - 03 Dec 1969



died - 02 Apr 1959

DAWSON, Francis R.


died - 12 Dec 1959

HAMMER, Robert A.


died - 11 Jun 1963

HARRIS, Roger S.


died - 12 Dec 1959



died - 13 Dec 1960

KNOX, John C.


died - 22 Mar 1966

LOGAN, Gary E.


died - 02 Apr 1959

MANDER, Douglas N.


died - 01 Dec 1967

Moore, DAVID M. L.


died - 20 May 1957

MORRELL, Gordon H.


died - 03 Dec 1969

MOWAT, Gordon G.


died - 12 Dec 1959



died - 03 Dec 1969

QUINN, William J.


died - 10 Aug 1967

SLASOR, Robert H.


died - 31 Oct 1965

SWIM, Gary L.


died - 03 Dec 1969

TULLY, Claire G.

Cd Officer, RCN

died - 01 Dec 1967

VICZKO, Larry A.


died - 25 Aug 1962



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten












Caie, Douglas I.

Cairney, John D.

Cameron, George D.

Cameron, John E.I.

Cardiff, William

Carless, George A.

Carroll, James D.

Carter, Frederick T.

Cassidy, Charles H.

Cassidy, Gerald

Caudle, Douglas A.

Caudle, Ronald H.

Chamberlain, Allan H.

Chambers, Ronald J.

Charbonneau, Joseph

Chase, George W.

Choat, Russell F.

Christie, William B.

Chura, Bud

Churchill, Michael F.

Clark, Donald S.

Clark, F. Gordon

Clarke, William M

Coade, V. Paul

Coady, Francis E. M.

 Coakley, Daniel J.

Collins, D. Alan

Collins, James E.

Collyer, Rodger W.

Conroy, Francis D.

Cook, D. Glenn

Cook, Geoffrey R.

Cooper, David B.

Cooper, Ronald E.

Cormack, Bruce

Cormier, Rene G.

Cory, David F.

Cosgrove, Brian F.

Coughlan, John

Coughlin, Floyd P.

Crocker, W. Chaney

Crowe, Gordon W.

Crowe, John R.

Crowley, Michael J. P.

Culligan, Joseph R.

Cunningham, Ronald D.

Curry, Donald G.



































Ma - Mac


























Quick, Fred A.




















Urquhart, Glen C.



















Former Crew Members


Adamthwaite, Dave V., SLt, BWK, Jun 1967 - Aug 1967 (Attach posted from HMCS Restigouche) 


Bakody, David, ER


Banfield, Dave, Naval Air, RCN / C.A.F. 


Barritt, Frank


Bell, John, Naval Air


Bernier, Jean-Claude - Dec 1964 - Jan 1966


Brannen, James


Bunn, Brian (Chuck) (Shotgun), Naval Air


Cantlie, James Stephen Temple, Lt, RCN - 1963


Couvrette, Denis 


Devenney, Thomas G., C2ER


Edison, William GH. (Bill), P2ET


Freeman, Byron, ABRT3 / P2LT3, RCN - 25 Mar 1959 - 03 Feb 1963


Lake, Barry, Lt


Gauthier, Pierre - 1968-03 Jul 170 (paying off crew)


Gohlish, Heinz E., SLt


Haigh, George, LS, Cook - 1968


Hall, Pat


Henry, Ronald, Cook - 1968-1969


Houston, Richard (Shorty) 

Joyce, Geoff


King, Ken - 23 Dec 1962 - 17 Feb 1963


Kloosterman, Jim


Lapierre, Brian, ET


Lapointe, Claude - 1959


Latcham, Garry J. 


Malott, Fred


Masterson, Gerry (Irish) - 1959


Macdonald, John Robert, LS, Electrician - Jul 1956-1958 (pre-commissioning crew / commissioning crew)


McDougall, Keith, ABEM2, Sep 1963 - May 1966 / LSEM2, Oct 1967 - Jul 1970   


McGillivray, Dennis, RP, 42375-H, RCN - Oct 1958 - Nov 1960


McGuire, John


McLean, Bud


Mecredy, Harold C.


Miller, William (Dusty), ABER - May 1967 - Dec 1969


Mundell, Robert, LS


O'Brien, Larry


Olive, Mike, LS, Air Bos',n, 581 Safety Systems, RCN

Penny, Harold, LS, Cook - 1968


Price, Tom, Stoker


Reaume, Wayne, 27146-H


Rodgers, Stu 


Sawatsky, Jack


Sweeny, Earl, Cook - 1969


Tang, John


Thornton, Garry - 1957-1959


Tilleczek, Norbert L.,


Tofflemire, Bob, RP


Vowels, Gerry 


Watkin, Murray, MA, 38440-H -1960 - 1961


Westlake, Jimmy, LS, Cook - 1968


Whattam, Thomas, AB


Wheeler, Paul, Cook - 1969


Wilson, Terry - c1967-1968


Woodward, Robert Leonard



Ship's Books and Booklets


Order of Ceremony

Naming and Commission

Courtesy of John Hayden

Welcome Aboard 

A short history

Courtesy of the Naval Museum of Halifax

Paying Off Ceremony

Courtesy of David Pattison


Carrier Air Traffic Control Procedure



Photos and Documents


Routine Orders

23 Sep 1968

Courtesy of David Pattison

Routine Orders

25 Oct 1969

Routine Orders

26 Oct 1969





The Royal Navy Majestic-class aircraft carriers HMS Magnificent (left) and HMS Powerful under construction at Harland and Wolff's Musgrave shipyard, Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK). Both carriers would serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, Powerful as HMCS Bonaventure. Photographer unknown.

Courtesy of David Shirlaw



HMCS BONAVENTURE - location unknown


From the collection of Robert Norris

Everything is Here


Newspaper article on storeroom with equipment and supplied to be loaded on HMCS BONAVENTURE before commissioning in Belfast, Ireland


The Halifax Mail-Star 11 Aug 1956

Researched by / Courtesy of George Newbury


Sailors in photo:  Lt (S) Young, of Halifax; PO Angus McLeod, of Port Arthur, ON; and AB Bill Smith of Toronto, ON.



Shearwater Aviation Museum

Courtesy of John Knudsen




Two Valentines Cards sent from HMCS BONAVENTURE dated Feb 1957


From the collection of Alfred O. Pinnell, RCN


Courtesy of Terry Pinnell


"I think the bonnie was coming to slackers in this pic from Belfast in 1957. Note the newest car there is a 57 chev."


Courtesy of John P. Mcguire


HMCS BONAVENTURE celebrating the RCN's 50th Anniversary


Courtesy of Dennis McGilivray


DND/RCN photo


HMCS BONAVENTURE circa 1958-60




Courtesy of Dennis McGillivray


DND/RCN photo

HMCS BONAVENTURE RASing with unknown USN ship


Courtesy of Dennis McGillivray

Lt Herb Addison on HMCS Bonavetnure circa 1958-1959


From the collection of Herb Addison


Courtesy of Time Addison

HMCS SWANSEA 305 fuelling from HMCS BONAVENTURE - 18 May 1959


Source: laststandonzombieisland blog


Trooper Bonnie


"In the late 1950's, early 1960's, a friendship had developed between the members of The Royal Canadian Dragoons in CFB Gagetown and the crew of the HMCS BONAVENTURE. On a visit to the Regiment in Gagetown, the crew of the BONAVENTURE transferred to the Regiment a member of their crew. Documents detailing the transfer are in the Regimental Archives, along with photos, of one of the first inter-service Occupational Transfers to take place, prior to Unification. The gaining unit, The Royal Canadian Dragoons now had a new member, 'Tpr Bonnie'; a horse, complete with Dog Tags, Attestation Papers, and Qualifications."


Photo Credit: Royal Canadian Dragoon's Archives


Webmaster's note: This apparently took place in the Jan-Mar 1960 time frame



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(1) Pedro on the port side of HMCS BONAVENTURE  (2) Land on - "Hopefully" - 1960  (3) Launch Time - 1960  (4) Flight deck ops - 1960  (5) Bill McMullen - 1960  (6) unknown sailor by helo on HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1963  (7) possibly the hangar deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE 


From the collection of William McQueen


Courtesy of Robin McQueen



Article from the Trident magazine on "Angel" also known as "Pedro"


(bottom) photo from the above article - Front (L-R) Ab William McMullen, LS David Harding, PO Joseph Carver, AB Sherwood McQueen, AB Noel Black //  Back (L-R) AB Malcolm Marshall, Slt Wallace Morris, Lt Robin Watt, AB Edward Olliffe

Sunday Divisions on HMCS BONAVENTURE circa 1961


"Capt. Fred Frewer inspecting Engineering Division I was an OSEM at time. LSER Danny MacDonld is the sailor that Capt. Frewer is speaking with."


Courtesy of David Bakody

Carrier Group - Jun 1961




Courtesy of Eric Ruff


From Al Snowie's "The Bonnie" page 138 - Bonnie, Sioux and AthaB (Plane guard) joined Essex and 5 USN destroyers in June 1961 for an ASWEX against 2 USN submarines. Bonnie's 12 Trackers flew as many hours as Essex's 36 Trackers!

LS Charles Wilkins is greeted by his family in Halifax after being rescued after a Tracker crash

Newspaper Article on HMCS BONAVENTURE (and the whole Atlantic Fleet of the RCN) taking part in the Cuban Missile Crisis


Courtesy of Byron Freeman

HMCS BONAVENTURE at NAD - circa 1961-63


Courtesy of Claus Mathes





(1) Jackstay between ATHABASKAN and BONAVENTURE


(2) ATHABASKAN receives fueling line from BONAVENTURE


(3) Moments after the collision. Fuel line severed on both end. The haze in the photo is black smoke from ATHABASKAN's funnels


(4) ATHABASKAN pulling away from BONAVENTURE. Haze caused by funnel smoke from ATHABASKAN


Follow Up on collision with HMCS BONAVENTURE


The following account of what happened has been taken from a book by J Alan Snowie published in 1967. This account has now been included in an Internet history of Aircraft Carriers which formally served with the Royal Canadian Navy. It would appear that the information contained there - in, was based on hearsay and the memories of others not acquainted with the facts. A close friend of yours truly [# 49753H] who also served with HMCS Cabot, was serving onboard HMCS BONAVENTURE at the time of the incident, and is one of the sailors seen standing on the deck of the BONAVENTURE in the photos.


Click here to read the excerpt referenced by Bud


Courtesy of Bud Rose

Ted Gibbons, John Thompson, AB Wilton and Larry Washbrook pose for a photo after Exercise Sharpsquall during which, on Oct 15, 1962, they made the 11,000th landing on BONAVENTURE.


From the collection of Ted Gibbons

Courtesy of Charles (Chuck) O'Neill

Article on the Tracker that crashed on 11 Jun 1963

The Halifax Chronicle Herald - 12 Jun 1963

Life on Aircraft Carrier Is Like Living in Small Town With Big Airport

From the Belleville Intelligencer, 27 Nov 1963


Sailors listed in the photo: AB Doug Harvey of Ottawa; AB Les Fraize of St. John's; AB Wayne Sarrel of Hamilton; AB Sal Sarino of Toronto; and AB Wayne Harmer of Niagara Falls.


Source: Belleville Public Library microfilm collection

Researched by / © 2019 John Lyons


From the Belleville Intelligencer, 28 Nov 1963

Source: Belleville Public Library microfilm collection

Researched by / © 2015 John Lyons


From the Belleville Intelligencer, 29 Nov 1963

Source: Belleville Public Library microfilm collection

Researched by / © 2019 John Lyons


NATO's War Languages Are English and French

From the Belleville Intelligencer, 29 Nov 1963

Source: Belleville Public Library microfilm collection

Researched by / © 2015 John Lyons

Article on Seaman Stan Parsons who survived being throw by a wave on HMCS BONAVENTURE

Halifax Mail-Star 24 Jan 1964

Source: Facebook page - Friends of BONAVENTURE

HMCS Provider conducting a RAS with HMCS BONAVENTURE and HMCS Cap de la Madeleine - Spring 1965

Courtesy of Robert Norris

UNTDs take the aircraft elevator down to the hangar deck during a tour of the Bonnie - summer 1965

From the collection of Gary Medford

Courtesy of Gary Medford

HMCS BONAVENTURE, Halifax, summer 1965 - Royal Navy Amphion class submarine in the foreground

From the collection of Gary Medford

Courtesy of Gary Medford












Ship's company of HMCS BONAVENTURE fallen in for the ceremony changing the ship's ensign from the White Ensign to the Canadian flag on 15 Feb 1965 in San Juan harbor.


Courtesy of David Upright


HMCS BONAVENTURE leading the Atlantic Fleet into Halifax after a deployment - date unknown

Courtesy of John Gabel

Crossing the Line ceremony on HMCS BONAVENTURE 1966




Courtesy of Keith McDougall

BONAVENTURE Arrives At Rio de Janeiro


Halifax Mail Star, Tue., 08 Feb 1966 pg 26


Researched by George Newbury


HMCS BONAVENTURE in a storm - 1967


Courtesy of John Hawley






(RM05) HMCS BONAVENTURE Aug 1967 in a North Atlantic Hurricane - Force 10  (RM06) Refueling at sea - HMCS TERRA NOVA, HMCS PROVIDER, and HMCS BONAVENTURE  (RM07) HMCS BONAVENTURE arriving in an unknown port  (RM08) Canadian Task Group - Barber pole Squadron with HMCS PROVIDER, HMCS CAPE SCOTT and HMCS BONAVENTURE. Helos and planes from HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Robert Mundell, LS, RCN



Article from the Sentinel magazine on HMCS BONAVENTURE'S 1967 refit


HMCS BONAVENTURE - Maple Spring 1968.  Photo taken from HMCS Gatineau


Courtesy of Ron MacDonald

Fourth Bedford Wolf Cub Pack Visits HMCS BONAVENTURE - LS Samuel Wiscombe gives tour of BONAVENTURE to Anthony Bremner (son of LS Reginald Bremner of HMCS BONAVENTURE) and Timothy Vondette (son of Cdr H. Vondette, CO of HMCS BONAVENTURE)


From the collection of PO2 Samuel Wiscombe

LS.RP Wiscombe (left) on HMCS BONAVENTURE


From the collection of PO2 Samuel Wiscombe


Courtesy of Jean-Marie Marion 

HMCS BONAVENTURE alongside Halifax - 1969

Courtesy of Jean-Marie Marion

HMCS BONAVENTURE, Maple Spring 1970


Photos taken from HMCS Annapolis by Jean Viau, NavSig

Launching a Tracker - HMCS BONAVENTURE

Courtesy of Jack Soble




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(1) Helo landing on HMCS BONAVENTURE  (2) Launching a Tracker  (3) Recovering a helo  (4) HMCS BONAVENTURE at New Orleans  (5 & 6) Crash on Deck  (7) One of Bonnie's Helo's circa 1967 /1968  (8) "Kootenay's Fallen" - The bodies of those who died in the Kootenay Explosion are being placed in a Helicopter to be taken ashore from HMCS BONAVENTURE  (9 & 10)  Landing Tracker 591  (11) Landing Tracker 590  (12) HMCS BONAVENTURE in drydock  (13) Trackers on the deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Jack Soble



Photos on and of HMCS BONAVENTURE


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(1 & 2) Launching a tracker off HMCS BONAVENTURE  (3) Crossing the Line ceremony  (4) Planes secured on deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE in rough seas  (5) Hockey game  (6) Trackers on deck  (7) Bud McLean, John Mcguire, Larry O'Brien and John Tang  (8 - 10) 3 photos of a Tracker launch on HMCS BONAVENTURE.  Unbelievably, the Tracker was not lost and managed to get airborne  (11) Preparing to launch on HMCS BONAVENTURE  (12) HMCS BONAVENTURE  (13) HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of John P. McGuire


"Working the flight deck on the Bonnie"

Courtesy of John Knudsen

Visit to 2 Mess on BONAVENTURE by "the pig of the port"

Courtesy of John Knudsen


Courtesy of Art Moore


Courtesy of Kim Rodgers-Risi

Navy Cap - This is a sailor's Cap identical to the one I wore during my service in the Royal Canadian Navy in the mid. to late 1960's. During a portion of this time, I served on the aircraft carrier HMCS BONAVENTURE.


Credit:  Photo by John Gorman, Halifax, N.S. a former Naval Airman who served at HMCS Shearwater and on HMCS BONAVENTURE during the mid to late 1960’s.

Christmas dinner on HMCS BONAVENTURE circa 1968

(L-R)  LS George Haigh, LS Jimmy Westlake, LS Bob O'Hara , LS Harold Penny

Courtesy of Ronald Henry

How the Bonnie cooks relaxed after long days at sea - on the beach in Trinidad (I think) 1969. Paul Wheeler, Shaky Eddy, myself (Ronald Henry) and Earl Sweeny (first army cook to go to sea). I see we are all having a wet or two: proud diplomats we are.

Courtesy of Ronald Henry

LSEM2 Keith McDougall during the final shutdown of the BONAVENTURE

Courtesy of Keith McDougall

Newspaper article on HMCS BONAVENTURE coming out of refit

Courtesy of Mike Reynolds


Photos on and of HMCS BONAVENTURE


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7


(1-4) Flight deck operations on HMCS BONAVENTURE circa 1966  (5) HMCS BONAVENTURE post 1966-67 refit  (6) Divisions on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE - circa 1966  (7) HMCS BONAVENTURE with HMCS Skeena 207 astern - circa 1966


From the collection of Eugene Miller

Courtesy of Rene Miller



(1) Tracker landing on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE -1967  (2) A Tracker taking off from HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1967  (3) A Huey and Sea King helicopter landing on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1967  (4) Sea King helicopters on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1967  (5) A Tracker being lowered on the elevator on HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1967  (6) Sea King 4002 on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE not long before she crashed into the Atlantic resulting in the loss of two air crew personnel


Courtesy of Brian Lapierre

© Brian Lapierre 1967


HMCS BONAVENTURE Arctic Circle Crossing the Line Certificate for Francis Dowdall - 21 Sep 1968


Courtesy of Francis Dowdall

HMCS BONAVENTURE undergoing inclination trials


Courtesy of the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum



Photo taken from HMCS OTTAWA 229


Courtesy of / Photographer: Raymond Cumby

OM’s Course nineteen…

I'm thinking back to fifty-nine, Observer's Mates nineteen.

I hoped to wear those wings so fine, those wings you need not preen.

At any cost, with fingers crossed, I hoped to make the grade.

There’s something new to learn about, and flight pay; rightly paid.

A bunch of men from different trades, were gathered in the cinema,

And what's in store, would be no bore; but rather, an enigma.

So while we wait, contemplate our fate, we’re looking at the screen,

at Yankee planes that crash in flames, some faces turned quite-green.

I'm thinking it’s their likely ploy, for separating man from boy.

Some they'd lose, and some they’ll choose; those that they would employ.

As luck would have it, from force of habit, I answered honestly.

I hoped I’d passed, be accepted fast, to that great fraternity.

It seems I did, found myself amid, a class with eleven others,

My life it changed, was rearranged, when i joined that “Band of Brothers.”

I spout no guff, the course was tough, ‘twas not an easy road,

for me; when I found; I had to pound, that bloody Morse’s code.

I persevered, and even cheered, with those wings on my left cuff,

wore them with a pride I couldn’t hide, eventually sure enough,

at eight-eighty fixed wing, I did my thing, and then to “ H.S. fifty”

When I got my hand in, I got to land on, those bouncing seaborne aeries.


Author: John Thompson

Courtesy of Gerald Sullivan

Vice Admiral J.C. O’Brien inspecting Guard on HMCS BONAVENTURE


DND / RCN photo - Negative # BV-69-405


From the collection of Robert Bramwell

Courtesy of Brian Lapierre


photo 1

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(1-2) Article on Bonnie Crossing the Arctic Circle. Pers in both articles:  Lt Bingham, 1st Queen's Own Rifles of Canada (being initiated);  Trusty Seals: AB R. Bramwell, AB Ouelette, and LS S. Wiscombe  (3) Original photo used in the articles  (4) Another initiate from the Queen's Own (name unknown)


From the collection of Robert Bramwell

Courtesy of Brian Lapierre


Sea King on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE - 1970


Photo taken from HMCS SKEENA 207


Courtesy of / © John Hawley 1970



Note that Fraser does not yet have her distinctive TACAN mast

Farewell is bid to the Bonnie as she pulls away from the jetty bound for Cyprus


Courtesy of Tom Price

HMCS BONAVENTURE leaving for Cyprus. Armament laid out in from of aircraft


Courtesy of Tom Price

HMCS BONAVENTURE anchored off Cyprus


"We were in Cyprus anchored off and only had a few hours ashore split in two watches as the crew unloaded all the army gear .... the boys topped up big time and many could not climb back up the scramble nets so the Master at Arms ordered the cargo net lowered to the barge. That is a P2VS you see in the net I once knew his name but it has long been forgotten ..... those were days"


Courtesy of David Bakody



This was the flight deck of the BONAVENTURE on way to Cyprus. I worked arrestor gear so it was not too bad of a trip. We even had a few Army stowaways who just wanted out of C.F.B Gagetown - they were found hiding in trucks, very seasick, and hungry.

Courtesy of Tom Price

Helo operations on HMCS BONAVENTURE. Front helo being refueled


Courtesy of Tom Price



Courtesy of Tim Price

USN jet ready for launching


Loaded with weapons, bridle gear hooked up for shot of deck, destroyer in back ground as plane guard, one of the few times ever had jet on deck


Courtesy of Tom Price

Surg-Lt James Fraser, RCN - HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Alison Fraser

Helo rescues the pilot from a Tracker the ditched near the BONAVENTURE


From the collection of the late LCdr Larry Zbitnew, RCN


Courtesy of Dennis Cardy

Two unknown sailors on HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Brian Lapierre



From the collection of Donald Hunter

Courtesy of Jean Haverkate

HMCS BONAVENTURE - date unknown


Courtesy of Jim Brannen

HMCS BONAVENTURE, Halifax, Apr 1970




Courtesy of Richard Larcheveque

HMCS BONAVENTURE flies her paying off pennant as she passes under the Angus L MacDonald Bridge in Halifax harbour.


DND Photo. Courtesy Moe Beere

HMCS BONAVENTURE flying her paying-off pennant


Courtesy of David Pattison

Flight deck mirror landing system on the starboard side of HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Hugh Muir

Flight Deck diagram from HMCS BONAVENTURE


Courtesy of Hugh Muir








(HG26) HMCS BONAVENTURE at Jetty 4, Halifax - Aug 1969  (HG27) Working on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE  (HG28) Forward El and Bridge - Flyco  (HG29) Bridge of HMCS BONAVENTURE  (HG30) VS-880 Last Carrier Deployment - 1969







(HG31) Passage to Europe - 9-17 Sep 1969  (HG32) HMCS BONAVENTURE conducting a RAS with HMCS PROVIDER  (HG33) HMCS BONAVENTURE conducting a RAS with USS NEOSHO. HMS OLNA on stbd side of USS NEOSHO  (HG35) Tracker on flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE during Exercise Peacekeeper 17-24 Sep 1969  (HG35) Tracker 540 taking off from HMCS BONAVENTURE during Exercise Peacekeeper 17-24 Sep 1969.  Photo taken from the bridge







(HG36) Aircraft on the flight deck of HMCS BONAVENTURE during Exercise Peacekeeper 17-24 Sep 1969  (HG37) HMCS BONAVENTURE port visit Rotterdam - Oct 1969  (HG38) HMCS BONAVENTURE arriving for port visit in Oslo, Norway - 01 Oct 1969  (HG39-HG40) HMCS BONAVENTURE, Oslo Norway - 01-05 Oct 1969 







(HG41-HG42) HMCS BONAVENTURE, Oslo Norway - 01-05 Oct 1969   (HG43) HMCS BONAVENTURE at the Shearwater Jetty - 30 Nov 1969  (HG44) HMCS OTTAWA 229 fueling from HMCS BONAVENTURE - 02 Dec 1969  (HG45) HMCS BONAVENTURE -  operational entry into Halifax Harbour - 09 Dec 1969







(HG46) At Jetty 4 in Halifax - Army vehicles to be loaded on HMCS BONAVENTURE for Exercise Nimrod Capers in Jamaica - 13 Jan 1970  (HG47) Craning a duce and a half aboard HMCS BONAVENTURE - 13 Jan 1970  (HG48) HMCS ASSINIBOINE fueling from HMCS BONAVENTURE 24 Jan 1970 during passage south 21-25 Jan 1970  (HG49) Unloading in Kingston, Jamaica - 26-28 Jan 1970  (HG50) HMCS BONAVENTURE piping Diamond Rock, Island of Martinique. Pipers led by PO "Cappy" Shaw







(HG51) Day off in Roosevelt Road, Puerto Rico. Clockwise from left: Phil Kenny, Jerry Tannous, Rich Neveu, Dennis Jackson, John Anderson, Bill Colls  (HG52) HMCS BONAVENTURE"S final departure San Juan. Taken from El Morro Castle by the ship's photographer (who rejoined by helo) - 27 Feb 1970  (HG53) HMCS BONAVENTURE alongside in Kingston, Jamaica - 06-08 Mar 1970  (HG54) Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Hugh Campbell, inspects the crew of HMCS BONAVENTURE - 06 Mar 1970  (HG55) HMCS SKEENA 207 fueling from HMCS BONAVENTURE during Exercise Maple Spring 1970







(HG56) HMCS ANNAPOLIS 265 fueling from HMCS BONAVENTURE during Exercise Maple Spring 1970  (HG57) HMCS MARGAREE 230, HMCS SKEENA 207 and HMCS ANNAPOLIS 265 conducting personnel transfers during Exercise Maple Spring 1970 while HMCS ANNAPOLIS was fueling from HMCS BONAVENTURE at the same time  (HG58) HMCS BONAVENTURE at anchor off Narvik, Norway - 07-09 Apr 1970 during Exercise Arctic Express  (HG59) A Soviet Riga Class Frigate - 11 Apr 1970  (HG60) HMCS BONAVENTURE loaded with Army vehicles for transit to Halifax - 23 Apr 1970




HMCS BONAVENTURE Final Sail Past - 03 Jul 1970






(HG63-66) Paying off ceremony on HMCS BONAVENTURE - 03 Jul 1970


(HG66) The ship's ensign lowered for the final time




(HG67) Former HMCS BONAVENTURE languishing at Pier 8, Halifax from Jul to Oct 1970 - photo taken 26 Jul 1970  (HG68) Former HMCS BONAVENTURE at pier 8 - Last day in Halifax - 28 Oct 1970. Photo taken from Citadel Hill just before the tugs arrives to tow her to the breaker's yard





Courtesy of Heinz Gohlish, Lt, RCN / C.A.F.






HMCS BONAVENTURE'S Final Sail past - 1970

Photos taken from HMCS Onondaga


Courtesy of Brian Lapierre

© Brian Lapierre 1970



Article on the urban legend of HMCS BONAVENTURE becoming INS VIKRANT


Ottawa Citizen Feb 1997

Commissioned Officer Tully and PO1 Mander remembered 50 years later


   Trident Newspaper Nov 2017


Courtesy of Brian Lapierre

The HMCS. BONAVENTURE anchor memorial in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park


Credit:  Photo by John Gorman, Halifax, N.S., a former Naval Airman who served at HMCS Shearwater and on HMCS BONAVENTURE during the mid to late 1960’s