One of the original 155 Squadron air cadets from the 1940’s presented 75th Anniversary Pins that will be worn with pride on the local air cadets uniforms. Major (Retired) Vern Harden presented pins to the cadets on parade at a recent Wednesday training night. The 155 Squadron Borden Gray GC was formed in 1942 at a time when Canada was in the Second World War and 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the 155. In 1944, Mr Harnden joined the 155 Squadron Sault Ste Marie as it was called then and eventually joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1947 for a career that lasted 23 years. He later came back and worked again with the 155 Squadron rising to the position of Commanding Officer in the mid 1980’s.
During the 75 years of the 155 Squadron there were over 95 pilots trained who earning either glider or power pilot’s licences and in many cases both. Several went onto civilian and military aviation careers as pilots or related aviation trades. These include L.Col. Joe Mullins who has been flying CF-18’s and Major Kirk Baltussen who pilots CH-148 Cyclone helicopters and Capt (Retired) Paul Ness who pilots Boeing 777’s for Air Emirates just to name a few.
Throughout 2017 and until June of 2018 the 155 Squadron will continue to celebrate the 75th Anniversary highlighting memories from alumni with photos and other memorabilia that is posted on the squadron’s web site.
Also on hand to present 75th Anniversary pins was Capt. (Retired) Peter Petainen who is a 155 Squadron Alumni from the 1980’s. He also returned as a staff member and is a past Commanding Officer. He currently is the Air Cadet League Representative and his civilian job is General Manager of the International Bridge.
The 155 Squadron is currently recruiting for just a couple more week’s boys and girls who have an interest in aviation and would like to make new friends while having fun in a hands on learning experience that builds life skills useful in their future. The minimum age to join is 12 years of age where they will learn the basics of aviation. As they progress in the training they will learn how to instruct classes and then as a senior cadet their role will be to instruct the newer cadets.
The 155 Squadron meets on Wednesday nights at Sault Ste Armoury on Pine Street from 6:30pm to 9:30 pm. Other optional training is available in Pipe and Drum Band, highland dancing, flight simulator training, hands on aircraft maintenance and small engine. There is no cost to join or for the uniform as well as regular training activities which include weekend field exercises and gliding familiarization flight weekends. The 155 Squadron is a Community Partner of the Sault Ste Marie and District United Way.
Air cadets of 155 Squadron will be able to wear the 75th Anniversary pins on their uniforms for the entire training year until the end June of 2018. For more information about the 155 Squadron Borden Gray GC please visit our web page, www.155aircadets.ca .