SAULT STE MARIE, Ont.– Air Cadets from the 155 Borden Gray GC Squadron welcomed one of their own back recently. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Mullins was the Reviewing Officer of this years Annual Review held at the Sault Ste Marie Armoury where he was also an air cadet in the 1980’s. L/Col. Mullins recently served as Commanding Officer of 401 Tactical Squadron in Cold Lake where he flew CF-18’s.
His love of flying began as an Air Cadet when he earned his first set of Wings as a graduate of the Central Region Gliding School in the summer of 1986. He further completed the Power Scholarship program in the summer of 1987 and retired from 155 Squadron in 1988 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
Before the 155 Squadron air cadets took to the parade square they participated in a Dedication Ceremony of a Memorial Cabinet to three Royal Canadian Air Force members who lost their lives while serving Canada and have a connection to the 155 Squadron.
Flying Officer Borden Gray GC who was the Navigator of Wellington Bomber that had been shot down by a German U Boat in 1944 in the Atlantic Ocean. He gave up his place in his personal life raft for other injured members of his crew and ultimately died before the crew was rescued. For this sacrifice he was awarded the George Cross.
Also remembered in the Memorial Cabinet was Captain Cliff Healey who died along with the rest of his crew while on a rescue mission to drop supplies in the Arctic to a downed pilot in 1971. Major Bruce Arnott who was a Flight Commander of B Flight at CFB Moose Jaw and died after an inflight emergency of his CT-144 Tutor Jet in 1972. Both Maj. Arnott and Capt. Healey were 155 Squadron Alumni and their photos are also displayed in the Memorial Cabinet.
Member of Parliament Terry Sheehan who had been responsible for securing a Canadian Flag that flew over the Peace Tower in Ottawa and had presented this flag at last years 75th Annual Review was in attendance.
The Peace Tower Flag in a presentation case was passed from MP Terry Sheehan to family members and representatives of family members of each of the three RCAF members honoured in the cabinet.
Karen Fenchak (nee Healey) daughter of Capt. Healey placed the Peace Tower flag in the Memorial Cabinet to conclude the dedication ceremony. Unfortunately due to high winds in Toronto that cancelled flights, Major Bruce Arnott’s family was unable to attend.
The Air Cadets of the 155 Squadron then presented their Annual Review to invited Dignitaries that included MP Terry Sheehan, L/Col. Lance Knox, 49th Field Regiment Commanding Officer, Rose Burton Spohn, Director of Education, Huron-Superior Catholic School Board among many more and invited guests as well as family members of the cadets.
Awards and Bursaries where presented to the deserving cadets for proficiency and in leadership of their levels of training. MP Terry Sheehan presented three deserving 155 Air Cadets with Parliamentary Certificates of Recognition for their community volunteer work on top of their Air Cadet community citizenship time.
Flight Sergeant Harmony Buzwa, was recognized for her assisting the Girl Guide Program and First Nation Cultural events.
Sergeant Zachary Nott has volunteered at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, ARCH and presenting Robotics programs to younger youth.
Sergeant Ethan Irwin volunteered over 157 hours tree planting and trail building in the Algoma area.
Static displays where on display that demonstrated skills and knowledge learned during weekly Wednesday night training and optional weekly training. These included Flight Simulators, aircraft maintenance, small engine, survival, orienteering and biathlon with many more fun and interesting activities that the cadets participate in.
The combined 155 Air and 2310 Army Pipe and Drum Band preformed Scottish music marches, jigs and reels along with the cadet Highland Dancers. Those gathered where impressed by the skills of the pipers and drummers that moved in chorographer precision in a free style performance. The Highland dancers accompanied the music with traditional Scottish dance.
There are no fees to join or participate in the regular and optional training that the 155 Squadron air cadets take part in. The 155 Squadron is sponsored by the United Way Sault Ste Marie and Districts Work Force Entry program.
As part of Work Force Entry, the 155 Squadron’s training promotes good citizenship, healthy living and physical fitness.
Youth are trained on leadership skills, conflict resolution, and social relations skills. The Cadet program mentors are leaders and volunteers in our community who work hard to ensure that Cadets have every opportunity to develop their potential.
To learn more about the 155 Squadron to join or to see more activities that the air cadets take part in please visit www.155aircadets.com.