A Grimsby Royal Air Force Air Cadet unit last weekend celebrated its 75th birthday, during that time transforming the lives of thousands of Grimsby youngsters. The Unit, 195 (Grimsby) Squadron paraded through the town centre, accompanied by band members’ of neighbouring 866 (Immingham) Squadron.
195 (Grimsby) Squadron was first established as a cadet unit on 28th February 1940, as part of the then Air Defence Cadet Corps. The Corps was set up to ensure a steady stream of avid young airmen, trained and prepared to join the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm, in support of the war effort.
Grimsby originally had two squadrons – 195 Squadron was based on Silver Street, whilst 1914 Squadron was based at Nunsthorpe School. By 1947, these two units became one, relocating to Macaulay Street School.
Since then, the Squadron has had a several homes across the borough, settling in 1958 for purpose built headquarters behind the Westward Ho Territorial Army building on Regents Gardens.
In its 75 year-history, the squadron has attended Remembrance Day parades, Armed Forces Day parades and helped support big local events such as the Humberston Fun Run.
Of the 3,000-plus cadets that the Squadron has trained over the years, many have represented Grimsby at regional and national sporting competitions, some travelling abroad on camps, skydiving, learning to fly an aircraft, and obtaining their gliders wings.
The Air Cadet Organisation is no longer a training arm of the Royal Air Force, though many of its alumni continue to join all branches of the military.
Flight Lieutenant Terance Shird, Officer Commanding 195 Squadron, said: “It is a privilege to command 195 Squadron, and I have been lucky enough to see so many remarkable young people achieve great things through being part of the Air Cadets.
“195 Squadron is quite a large Squadron in comparison to others in the Corps – in many ways owing to our reputation as a successful unit. We have also been lucky enough to have had the support of local figures and businesses in the community along the way.
“I would like to say thank you to all those that have supported us, and continue to do so. Here’s to the next 75 years.”