Featured Squadron of the Month

222 Shuswap RCACS Squadron Crest

222 Shuswap Squadron

Squadron Name:  222 Shuswap Squadron
Chartered:  November 1, 1993 
Status:  Active
Community:  Salmon Arm, BC

Squadron History

Historic records show us that the 222 Shuswap Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron was officially chartered on November 1, 1993 through the hard work of Capt. Don Cann, Maye Cann, Barry and Rhonda Henry, and Jim Hall. The squadron derived its name from the ‘Royal Air Force (RAF) 222 (Natal) Squadron’, created in April 1918. The 222 Shuswap Squadron was formed after money was left from the estate of J.B. Millar’s to “stand up” a Squadron in Salmon Arm.

For the start up of the squadron and during its first year of operation there were thirty cadets enrolled. Among these were a few senior cadets transferring in from 223 Red Lion Squadron in Vernon because a number of Salmon Arm youth had been travelling to Vernon weekly for Air Cadets.

To facilitate and expedite its formation, the Squadron started parading out of J.L. Jackson School with the administration files stored at Lakeside Printing, and the uniforms and other supplies stored in the Henrys’ basement.  After parading this way for the first two years, the Squadron moved to the old golf course clubhouse after the new one was constructed.  After the clubhouse was demolished, the Squadron was given permission to share the DND Armoury with the Army Cadets.  This was 222’s LHQ starting in September 1996 until the property was sold by DND.  Spring, 2007 saw a move to temporary quarters at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, until larger space was found at South Canoe Centre. Parades began at the school in September, 2007.

Also in 2007, 222 Shuswap Squadron was granted its own crest, which incorporates the Spitfires flown by the RAF 222 Squadron, and their motto, “Pambill Bo”, a Zulu phrase meaning “go straight ahead”.

To coincide with the Stand up of the Squadron in 1993, the J.B. Millar Trophy and Scholarship was also established.

The trophy and money were donated to the squadron by Meg Millar who was Capt Don Cann’s Mother-in-Law, in memory of Maye’s father, James B. Millar. James B. Millar was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWIl and flew as a crewman in Lancaster bombers.
In civilian life, Mr. Millar was a strong supporter of the Air Cadet movement. The trophy was originally intended for the Salmon Arm cadet who scored the top mark on the flying scholarship exam. Mrs. Millar donated $2000 in memory of James B. Millar which is to be held in a restricted account and the interest is to be awarded to the cadet who meets the established criteria.

Figure 1 and 2 Air Gunner Sgt.  J. B. Millar – Receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945

The main purpose for setting up the Royal Canadian Air Cadet 222 Shuswap Squadron endowment was twofold. Firstly, to have the Squadron’s J. B. Millar Flying Scholarship grow to the point where the scholarship would cover the flying costs for our successful power pilot cadets for the first year after obtaining their license. Transport Canada regulations mandate that a pilot must fly at least 10 hours per year. This equates to a cost of approximately $1500 to $2000 for plane rental plus fuel. Secondly, to create a stable source of funding for the Squadron to continue providing the basic program at no charge and to continue providing optional activities for youth in the Shuswap area.

Funding for the Air Cadet program at the Squadron level is administered through a partnership between the Department of National Defense and the Squadron Sponsoring Committee. The Department of National Defense provides uniforms, officer training and pay, summer camps and a training allowance for each squadron. The Squadron Sponsoring Committee is responsible for providing all other costs related to the delivery of the program that DND does not cover. These include the cost of rent, an annual provincial assessment fee to help cover the cost of the gliding program, and citizenship trips.

Over the past thirty years the accomplishments of the 222 Shuswap Air Cadets who participated in the program have been varied and numerous. 222 Cadets have earned numerous Glider and or Power Flying Scholarship camps with several cadets earning both private power pilot and glider pilot licenses. The 222 Salmon Arm Air Cadet Squadron have had award winning biathlon, band, marksmanship, and drill teams. Their cadets have attended numerous summer camps such as: Space Camp, Photography, Survival Instructor, Athletic Instructor, Range Instructor, Service Band, Senior Leaders, Oshkosh Trip, Basic Aviation, Advanced Aviation, and Aviation Technology Training Courses. Many first year cadets have attended the two-week General Training camp. The Squadron has gone on numerous citizenship trips over the years. These trips introduce cadets to different levels of government and how they function as well as military and general Canadian history components. Destinations have included; Victoria/Esquimalt area along with CFB Comox, Spokane and U.S. Air Force Base (AFB) Fairchild, Penticton, Mica Creek, Seattle and the Boeing aircraft plant, CFB Edmonton, Calgary and WestJet headquarters, Moncton, NB, and Ottawa.

The 222 Shuswap Squadron Sponsoring Committee is able to offer these opportunities to the youth of the Shuswap/North Okanagan at no charge due to the dedication and fundraising efforts of the parents and cadets as well as the generosity of organizations in the Shuswap such as: The Shuswap Foundation, City of Salmon Arm, Salmar Association, Knights of Columbus, local Rotary Clubs, Salmon Arm Lions, Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, Salmon Arm Flying Club, and both the Chase and Salmon Arm Legions. There are also numerous individuals who have donated both time and money to help make the program successful.

Cadets who have participated in the program have learned valuable skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork, wilderness survival, and citizenship that they take with them for the rest of their lives as well as lasting friendships.

Our sincere thanks to Don Caan and Karen Huyter for their contributions to our December 2023 Squadron of the Month Feature.

More detailed and current information about 222 Shuswap Squadron can be found on their website at https://222air.com

Season’s Greetings
222 Shuswap Squadron in Salmon Arm, BC

Scroll to Top