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Marine Art Gallery

"Grey Ghost Flypast "

 

Description: Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Banshees conduct a low-level pass over H.M.C.S BONAVENTURE, Canada’s last aircraft carrier, during a precision flying display at sea. The RCN aerial display team, named the “Grey Ghosts”, earned an enviable reputation for their flying skills during the 1960’s. The Banshee was Canada’s only operational naval jet fighter and served in that capacity in the RCN Fleet Air Arm. In the painting, the carrier has just turned into the wind and aircraft are being prepared for flying operations on deck. A Banshee is being keyed up for launch while a Tracker, anti-submarine patrol aircraft, is unfolding its wings in preparation for its turn. Other Trackers are ranged on the after flight deck with the ever-present rescue helicopter, “Pedro”, having just launched and taking up position in the carrier’s wake – ready for any mishap requiring a quick rescue of a ditched aviator.

Medium: Acrylic on 24x36 canvas (1997)
Display: Canada Aviation Museum Artflight show, Ottawa, 1997. CAAA TAAE (Alberta) shows (2003). Selected for inclusion "Tradition of Excellence" by Dan Dempsey a book on Canada’s Air Demonstration teams. Artist's collection.

Historical note:

THE CANADIAN CARRIER FLEET
In the immediate post-war era the Canadian Navy acquired carriers from the Royal Navy. These ships were carriers carried over from wartime production. The first, HMCS WARRIOR entered service with the RCN in the late forties. In the fifties, HMCS MAGNIFICENT served in the fleet and she was replaced by Canada's last fleet carrier the BONAVENTURE. By the 1960s, a changing defence policy, fiscal environment and the cost of maintaining a modern carrier led to the government decision to decommission the "Bonnie". Hence, an naval era was consigned to the past.

For more information go to the following recommended website:
Canadian Aircraft Carriers

 

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