RCN Seafire Display Team

Medium: Acrylic on canvas 18 x 24 (2001).
Display: Artist’s collection


The RCN Seafire air display team flies past HMCS WARRIOR. The Seafire was flown from RCN aircraft carriers in the late 1940s. The naval air display team flying these fighters is seen here in a formation flypast. The Seafire team performed for the public in various locations in Canada. In the foreground on deck is an RCN Fairey Firefly naval attack aircraft.

Historical Note

The Battle of the Atlantic proved the value of airpower at sea. While Coastal Command land based and seaplane patrol squadrons played a critical part in the allied victory, the introduction of carrier based aircraft signaled the final defeat of the U-boats as the allies were given the ability to carry airpower at sea and available at all times. This development led to the escort carrier being the hub of the antisubmarine offensive arm. Airpower was used without respite and fought the U-boats from land and sea bases. In the post-war era the lessons of WW II were applied by the RCN and formed the basis of the development of a Canadian Fleet Air Arm. Canadian naval aviators who had served in the RN Fleet Air Arm were the nucleus of carrier expertise serving in carriers obtained from the Royal Navy (RN). Carrier aircraft of both the RN and United States Navy (USN) filled their hangar spaces. Seafires and Fireflies, Sea Furies and Avengers flown by Canadians in the Canadian Naval Air Groups, coupled with the new generation of antisubmarine specialized destroyers, gave Canada a very credible contribution to the security of NATO’s deterrence in Cold War Europe.