Featured Squadron of the Month

259 Panther RCACS Squadron Crest

259 Panther Squadron

Chartered: February 22nd, 1943
Status: Active
Community: Penticton BC

259 Panther RCACS - History - image 2

Squadron History:

Like nearly all Squadrons formed during the war years (1939 to 1945), 259 Panther Squadron can trace its origin back to the local High School.

Late in 1942, 259 Penticton High School Squadron joined an Army Corps and Sea Cadet Squadron to became the third Cadet element parading at Penticton High. The first Commanding Officer for 259 Penticton High School Squadron was F/L Claude O. Bell and his Adjutant was Slim Slyvester. The Squadron officially received its Charter on February 22, 1943.

After WWII, many High Schools stopped supporting the Squadrons. If they continued to operate, name changes had to take place. Though not substantiated with documented records it is believed that in 1945, this was the scenario that resulted in 259 Penticton High School Squadron having to change its name to 259 Penticton Squadron. No recorded information was found to establish the exact date that the Squadron’s name was again later changed to 259 Panther Squadron or the reason behind this last name change.

In 1950, the DND purchased the Gyro Hall at Ellis and Nanaimo in Penticton as a home for the C Squadron Dragoons. This location later became the new home for the three cadet elements that were parading at Penticton High School.

In 1969 the City of Penticton purchased the property from DND designating it for Cadet and Pipe Band use. The Squadron continued parading at this location until the hall was demolished in 2008 to develop a parking lot.

The Squadron’s next move was to the Government Street Baptist Church. This has been the Squadron’s home since this move.

During the Covid years, many squadrons and corps had a difficult time operating virtually. 259 Panther Squadron was not only able stay active but was also able to permit the 778 Army Corps cadets to parade with them at their facility to enable them to stay active.

We invite you to visit the 259 Panther Squadron website at https://www.facebook.com/259air to enjoy a pictorial journey of the training program that is provided to the youth of Penticton by this amazing Squadron and its involvement with the community of Penticton BC.

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Mike Symons the BCPC Historian for providing us with this month’s feature presentation.

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