Patricia Lake, Jasper, Alberta was the site of Operation Habbakuk, a top-secret WWII military project to build a prototype aircraft carrier out of ice

Patricia Lake, Jasper, Operation Habbakuk plaque © Lucy Izon

Operation Habbakuk plaque, Patricia Lake, Jasper Photo: by Karen Soyka, Travel Alberta

Patricia Lake, Alberta – Take Pyramid Lake Rd out from the town of Jasper and in a few minutes you’ll come to Patricia Lake, the site of a bizarre top-secret military experiment during WWII. ‘Operation Habbakuk’ was charged with building a prototype aircraft carrier out of ice and sawdust. The theory was that ‘ice ships’ might be cheaper and more durable than standard ships, and that they wouldn’t attract magnetic mines. In 1943 fifteen men spent two months building a 1-to-50-scale model prototype. It was considered seaworthy but full-size versions were never built because of the cost, and because the war ended. With spring thaw the ship melted and the wooden forms and refrigeration equipment sank. The lake is now popular with scuba divers, and has both  roadside and submerged commemorative markers. To Patricia Lake from town you travel along a road where you can often spot elk and other wildlife.



Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park, Jasper, Alberta


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