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Hands to Flying Stations: Volume 2
A Recollective History of Canadian Naval Aviation, 1955-1969

Hands to Flying Stations
Table of Contents
.
Dedication
vii
Introduction
ix
Foreword
vi
Prologue
1
Acknowledgements
7
Chapter 1: Re-Equipping 1955-1957
9
Chapter 2: Working Up 1958-1959
131
Chapter 3: Flying High 1960-1962
221
Chapter 4: Into the Storm 1963-1966
315
Chapter 5: Forced Down 1967-1969
393
Epilogue
445
Abbreviations
467
Appendices
.
A: Senior Officers for Naval Aviation
473
B: Directors of Naval Aviation
474
C: Commanding Officers of Aircraft Carriers and Air Stations
475
D: Commanding Officers of Air Squadrons
476
E: Specifications of Aircraft Carriers
480
F: Details of RCN Aircraft 1955-1969
481
G: Safe Flying Trophy Awards
485
Index
487

Period:

Post World War 2
.
.
Author/Editor: Stuart E. Soward
Pages: 497(aprox)
Published: Neptune Developments 1995
(Other Dates &
Publishers Possible)
ISBN: 0969722915
(Other Numbers Possible)
Book Source: CanadaAtWar Collection

By 1955, the RCN Naval Aviation Branch was well established. Delivery of the new carrier Bonaventure to replace Magnificent was scheduled for 1957. Although far from ideal as an aircraft carrier, she was modernized and fitted with the latest equipment and was able to accommodate the new ASW Tracker aircraft and the Banshee jet fighters scheduled to replace the existing Avenger and Sea Fury squadron aircraft.
The formation of an ASW helicopter squadron for service aboard Magnificent and Bonaventure greatly increased the overall capability of the fleet, which was further enhanced as Destroyer escorts were converted to carry and operate A/S helicopters. For the first time, this provided the RCN with a balanced aviation component operating at sea, thereby ensuring adequate resources for the conduct of anti-submarine operations during the cold war.
Once Bonaventure entered service and the initial operating problems associated with a new carrier had been overcome, the RCN A/S carrier group developed a high degree of operational efficiency, which was clearly demonstrated in NATO combined exercises. Carrier operations with Banshees were unfortunately not as successful. It was soon apparent that the carrier was inadequate to operate jet fighters in the air defence role and simultaneously meet the requirement to conduct all-weather ASW Tracker operations.
The great progress and successes of Naval Aviation over the years sadly was not achieved without cost, as 43 members of the Branch were killed while serving between 1955 and 1969. These tragic losses unfortunately, are in part, a reflection of the high level of hazards encountered when involved in operational naval flying.
The destructive policy and poorly conceived implementation of unification seriously threatened the very existence of Canadian Naval Aviation. Then new defence cutbacks, coupled with the negative publicity resulting from the cost over-run of the mid-life refit of Bonaventure, sounded the death knell for Canada's carrier flying.
In December 1969, the last fixed-wing carrier operations ceased when Bonaventure was arbitrarily withdrawn from service. So ended, 23 years of RCN carrier aviation, which, over the years had developed into internationally recognized first class operational force. As unification continued, the Branch subsequently lost all identity, and was systematically dismembered.
(From jacket liner)

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