- has a fascinating Second World War
naval story to tell. Believe It!!
As you stand before Patricia Lake it is hard to imagine the incredible top-secret project that was started here in September 1942.
German U-boats were sinking hundreds of allied ships that were trying to get supplies across to Great Britain. There was no plausible defence against the submarine marauders at the time. Aircraft Carriers were in short supply and were needed to fight Japanese, Italian and German naval forces. Mr Geoffrey Pike, Combined Operations advisor to Lord Mountbatten, suggested that new warships could be made from ice.
Someone came up with the craziest of ideas, build an unsinkable aircraft carrier out of ice. In other words build a gigantic, flat-topped iceberg hundreds of yards long. Just add a runway, guns, propulsion, crew quarters and an enormous refrigeration unit to keep the ice from melting and it is done.
A prototype was built on Patricia Lake in the Canadian Rockies and tested and it was determined that it would be expensive but entirely possible to build the iceberg ship! Breakthroughs in technology/strategy that destroyed many U-boats made the carrier unnecessary. Today scuba divers dive down onto the remains of the test facility that was built here.