Featured Squadron of the Month
59 Vancouver Squadron
Chartered: October 15, 2014
Increasing cadet enrolment numbers at 759 Falcon RCACS in 2012, made it very difficult for the Air Cadets to parade out of their Local Headquarters. This condition convinced the 759 Falcon Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) and Squadron staff to agree to be the host squadron for a new Air Cadet squadron in neighbouring East Vancouver. With 12 cadets transferring from 759 Falcon Squadron and a group of parent Volunteers, and squadron Staff, this was the start of the process that resulted in the birth of 59 Vancouver Air Cadet Squadron two years later.
The resurrection of the 59 Squadron number came about through the efforts of the 759 Squadron Sponsoring Committee. The wish to use the old “59” number was in reverence to the original Squadron established in December of 1941 and also the “59” has a tie to the new parent Squadron 759.
On October 15th 2014, with 39 Cadets on parade and 67 cadets registered, 59 Vancouver Squadron was officially presented with its Squadron Charter and Banner.
59 Vancouver Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron now identifies as the newest Air Cadet Squadron in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
More pictures and details about the activities and community involvement of 59 Vancouver Squadron can be found on their website at: https://59vancouver.ca/
The key contributing factor to this entire process was the support the squadron received from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179. They provided the squadron with their LHQ along with the financial resources needed to start the new squadron. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179 has continued to be a very appreciated corporate sponsor for the squadron over the past nine years.
Since 2014 the following cadets from 59 Vancouver Squadron received National scholarships and awards.
|Cadet||Aircraft Maintenance||Airport Operations||Glider Pilot Scholarship||Power Pilot Scholarship|
As of May 2023, there are 91 Air Cadets registered at 59 Vancouver Squadron. The squadron staff and SSC at 59 Vancouver Squadron are working diligently to rebound the squadron numbers to its pre pandemic level.
A pictorial journey through the history of 59 Vancouver Squadron
Pictures provided by Capt. H. Li
September 2011 – April 2013
May 2013 – June 2017
July 2017 – Oct 2022
Oct 2022 – Present
Figure 1: 59 Vancouver Rotary Squadron being inspected by
Chinese Council Chao Li at Cambie Street Grounds
Approval to form the original 59 Air Cadet Squadron was given by the RCAF on November 21st, 1941 and 59 RCAC Squadron (sponsored by the Vancouver Rotary Club) adopted the name, Vancouver Rotary Squadron. It received its Charter on December 29th, 1941. The application to form the squadron stated that the first Commanding Officer was to be Mr. S.B. Plummer and the first Chair of the Sponsoring Committee was to be Mr. A.P. Allison.
In its early years the Squadron paraded out of King George High School and on December 29th, 1941 the Squadron strength was 80 Cadets. Sponsorship of the Squadron remained with the Rotary Club until October 1946 when it was taken over by Branch 176 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Air Force Association. It should be noted that in October of 1942 the Squadron formed a drum and trumpet band with 15 trumpets.
It should also be noted that both 57 and 59 Squadrons were part of the Vancouver High School Air Cadet Wing even though they were both formed before the Wing was approved. (An application to form this Wing was made on September 15th, 1941). The Wing was to be made up of the Vancouver High School Air Cadet Squadrons and to be known as The Vancouver High Schools Air Cadet Wing. The original Squadrons that were to be part of the Wing were: 57 (Jaeger) Squadron from Vancouver Technical School; 59 Squadron; 364 Squadron from McGee High School; 365 Squadron from Kitsilano High School; 366 Squadron from John Oliver High School; 367 Squadron from King George High School; 368 Squadron from Britannia High School; 369 Squadron from Lord Byng High School and 370 Squadron from Prince of Wales High School, the final school listed on the application is King Edward High School but no record of a Squadron has been found to date. Each Squadron was to continue parading at its own school but would gather for Wing Parades and activities as deemed necessary.
Records indicate that the number of cadets on strength ranged from 80 in December of 1941 to 65 in December of 1943 and then to a high of 94 in October of 1944.
With the cessation of hostilities at the end of the Second World War many of the High School Squadrons disbanded and the remaining Squadrons 57, 59, 111 and 135 Squadrons banded together and formed what was to become 1 Wing on December 16th, 1946. At this time 59 Squadron paraded at Jericho Beach. At some point between 1946 and 1964 No 1 Wing was disbanded and the Squadrons became their own entities once again.
With the impending closure of Jericho Beach Air Station, 59 Squadron was forced to move once again. An application to amalgamate the 57 and 59 squadrons was prepared for submission to the Air Cadet League office.
On October 15th, 1964 the application was received by the Air Cadet League of Canada to merge 57 and 59 Squadrons under the new number 753 Squadron. Approval for this merger was granted on December 7th 1964. The new Squadron paraded out of the Beatty Street Armoury until the Squadron was disbanded on October 3rd, 1972.