HMCS Bonaventure - CVL 22

A Majestic-class aircraft carrier originally laid down as HMS Powerful, the Bonaventure is named after Bonaventure Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a bird sanctuary. Nicknamed the “Bonnie,” she had a busy career in flight training and anti-submarine and tactical exercises with other NATO ships. Work began on the carrier after her launch in February 1945, but ceased after just three months, set to recommence in 1952. She was commissioned in Belfast on 17 January 1957, and arrived in Halifax on 26 June 1957. She had F2H-3 Banshee jet fighters and CSF-2 Tracker anti-submarine aircraft as her complement.

In the summer of 1963, the Bonaventure collided with HMCS Athabaskan (219) during an exercise in the North Atlantic, receiving minor damage and more seriously damaging the Athabaskan. Shortly after, on 8 August 1963, during a flash-up in preparation to sail, Bonaventure suffered an explosion which damaged ger funnel uptakes and the top of a boiler, necessitating 6 weeks of repairs and their withdrawal from Exercise Unison in the UK. In October, she was battered again by a severe North Atlantic storm during a NATO exercise alongside several other Canadian ships.

From 1966 to 1967, she went under a “mid-life” refit which took 16 months and cost over $11 million. 

On 30 November 1967, Bonaventure’s Sea King 402 helicopter crashed into the North Atlantic; while the two pilots were ejected on impact and survived, two air crew members were lost. Four more members would be lost during her decommissioning cruise two years later, on 23 October 1969, when the aviation fuel tanks were not vented properly during cleaning and both the working sailors, and their two would-be rescuers succumbed to the deadly fumes.

The following summer in 1970, only three years after her extensive refit, she was paid off just three years later on 3 July 1970 and sold for scrap.

Reference Links:
Government of Canada - HMCS Bonaventure
For Posterity's Sake - HMCS Bonaventure
Youtube - HMCS Bonaventure- Canada's Largest Aircraft Carrier
Naval and Military Museum - HMCS Bonaventure