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HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21)
File:HMCS Magnificent.jpg
HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21)
Career (Canada)
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Laid down: 29 July 1943
Launched: 16 November 1944
Commissioned: 21 March 1948
Decommissioned: 1956
Struck: 1961
Homeport: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nickname: "The Maggie"
Fate: Scrapped in Faslane, Scotland - July 1965
General characteristics
Class & type: Majestic-class aircraft carrier
Displacement: 14,224 long tons (14,452 t; 15,931 short tons)
Length: 695 ft (211.84 m)
Beam: 80 ft (24.38 m)
Draught: 23.5 ft (7.16 m)
Propulsion: 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, Parsons geared steam turbines, 40,000 shp (30,000 kW)
Speed: 25 knots (46.3 km/h)
Complement: 1100 (including air group)
Armament: 24 × 2 pdr AA; 19 × 40 mm guns
Aircraft carried: 37 - Fairey Firefly and Hawker Sea Fury

HMCS Magnificent (CVL 21) was a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier that served the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946–1956.

Operational history

The third ship of the Majestic class, Magnificent was built by Harland and Wolff, laid down 29 July 1943 and launched 16 November 1944. Purchased from the Royal Navy (RN) to replace HMCS Warrior, she served in a variety of roles, operating both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. She was generally referred to as the Maggie. Her aircraft complement included Fairey Fireflies and Hawker Sea Furies, as well as Seafires and Avengers.

1949 'mutiny'

On 20 March 1949, while on fleet manoeuvres in the Caribbean, thirty-two aircraft handlers on the Magnificent briefly refused an order to turn to morning cleaning stations to protest various grievances. The captain acted with great sensitivity to defuse the crisis, holding an informal discussion with the disgruntled crew members and carefully using the term "incident" instead of "mutiny", which could have resulted in severe legal consequences for the handlers. At almost the same time, similar incidents happened on Crescent, at Nanjing, China and on Athabaskan at Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, both of whose captains acted similarly to that of the Magnificent.[1]

In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[2]

Suez Crisis

Her last role was as a transport during the Suez Crisis, carrying a large part of the Canadian peacekeeping force to Egypt, its vehicles parked on her deck.


Magnificent was decommissioned by the RCN in 1956 replaced in RCN service by HMCS Bonaventure, another RN Majestic class carrier (HMS Powerful) that had not been completed at the end of the war. Magnificent was returned to the RN in 1957 and placed in reserve until disposed of. The ship was broken up in Faslane in July 1965.[3]

See also


  1. Dr Richard Gimblett, Research Fellow with Dalhousie University's Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, "Dissension in the Ranks,'Mutinies' in the Royal Canadian Navy" [1]
  2. Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden

External links

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