HMCS Bonaventure (CVL-1944)


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The Bonaventure (& Halifax) were supposed to be a part of the Centaur class but were transferred to the Canadian Navy prior to launching and the Canadians submitted plans that they wanted implemented for their new ships. The changes to the superstructure and angle deck arrangement added only 3-4 months to the ships building time and made the ship more capable for the useage the Canadian Navy had for the ship.

(Above: Illustrious class carrier with Bonaventure in background. The Bonaventures two hangar height is very apparent in this photo.)

Both ships completed in 1944 (March and June respectively). At that stage they received all jets for the air complement (Meteor. Vampire, Gannet) and were used in helping to mop up the last of the German surface fleet outside the Baltic Sea. Transferring to the Pacific in early 1945 the carriers joined the rest of the Canadian fleet that was in the process of retaking the Kuril Islands from Japanese control.

The Canadians found that leaving the centerline lifts in place had been a mistake and both of the Bonaventure class were reduced to commando / helicopter / ASW duties after the war. Two new Tasman Sea class ships were sourced from Australis when Australis was divesting itself of a lot of the now unrequired ships during the late 1940's.


Displacement 17,800 tons std, 23,500 tons full load
Length 707 ft
Breadth 88 ft hull, 110 ft over sponsons.
Draught 25 ft
Machinery 2 shaft, steam turbines, 50,000shp
Speed 26 knots
Range 12,000 miles at 14 knots
Armour 2.5" over magazines.
Armament 4 x 3" (2x2)

2 x 40mm (2x1)

Aircraft 54
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1400

RCN Ships.

HMCS Bonaventure, HMCS Halifax.

Unlike the Australis Tasman Sea class the Canadian Centaurs retained their centerline lifts. The angled deck is very apparent in this photo.


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