Squadron History

 

Formation

395 Squadron Edmonton was formed on the 11th of April 1946 and received its Charter on the 3rd of July 1946 after operating for four months. This makes it one of a handful of squadrons formed right after the war had ended and the only one still active. Since then many changes in training, facilities, sponsors, and staff have been made. The Squadron strength built up to over 200 cadets during the 50’s and between 1968 and 1979 making it the largest in Alberta and Western Canada for quite a few years.


Parading as a Wing

The first hanger/facility for 395 was the WW2 hanger on the former site of the Edmonton Flying Club. The second facility that 395 Squadron used was a hanger near the present day N.A.I.T. In 1958 the hangar was destroyed by fire and temporary accommodation was later established in a WWII HHut close to where the Edmonton Inn is now located.

As the Squadron had over 200 cadets parading as a wing with two complete squadrons, the new facility was not large enough. So in 1959, 395 Squadron created a sister squadron, 699 Jasper Place, by moving one whole squadron complete with staff to the west end. The Squadron made its third move to the now demolished Northwest Air Command Communication Building just across the street from the Hhut on Kingsway Ave. From these cramped quarters, the Squadron moved in 1962 to its present facility, known at that time as Building 42, Kingsway Recreation Centre and is known today as HMCS Nonsuch.


Recognition of Females

During all these moves and while 395 Squadron was still part of # 9 Wing, the Wing offices seemed to follow the Squadron around.


395 Squadron unofficially had female cadets (cadettes) in 1952 and by the late 50’s they formed a separate flight in # 9 Wing. The female uniforms were sewn by the girls and the parents of 395 Squadron. One of these female cadets, F/Sgt Dianne Jamieson received her pilot wings in 1959. Later in 1975, the females were officially recognized by the military, subsequently by the cadet movement as part of the cadet organizations, land, sea and air.

The Squadron has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Edmonton West since the early 80’s. Before that, 395 Squadron as well as 12, 504, 570, & 699 Squadrons (# 9 Wing) were sponsored by # 700 City of Edmonton Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force Association. Prior to that a group of civilian citizen minded people sponsored 395 Squadron. This was quite an accomplishment since most other squadrons were sponsored by some type of organization or club. Today, the Squadron has a Parent’s Committee working with the sponsor to provide additional financial and moral support. The Squadron Banner was purchased by Hazel Dyer, a member of the 700 Wing Ladies Auxiliary, in memory of her son, Ryan. She presented the banner to 395 Squadron on November 30, 1982.


395 Squadron is very active throughout the training year participating in many extra activities such as the Battle of Britain, Remembrance Day, Church parades, they worked at the Airshows held every two years, community activities like the Edmonton Food Bank Airlift, Poppy Sales and numerous Band Concerts. Other activities are tours of CFB Edmonton, Cold Lake, the City Centre Airport, the Police Department, the U of A Observatory, the Reynolds Museum to name a few and the ever popular weekend Bush Camps at Camp Wright, Camp Worthington and the Wright property. Familiarization glider flights at Namao then Villeneuve, twice a year and power flying flights in small fixed wing planes, which have included such aircraft as: the RCMP & 440 Squadron Twin Otters, the C130 Hercules of 435 Squadron, 408 Squadron Twin Hueys and the new Griffon helicopter of 417 Sqn. are always extremely popular.

The Squadron has always been successful in earning special awards and scholarship. 395 Sqn. was presented Top Squadron in # 9 Wing several times and numerous times attained a rating in the top ten in the province. In 1973 and 2009 the Squadron won the award for Top Squadron in Alberta. Twenty years later 395 won the Most Improved Squadron in Alberta and the following year won the award for the Highest Proficiency in Alberta. In drill and particularly sports the Squadron has won many awards. See the last page for a list of some of the achievements.

Over the years 395 Squadron cadets have earned hundreds of scholarships, with over 80 Power Flying Scholarships and a dozen Exchange Visits. In 1995 the squadron was awarded 11 Scholarships and the tradition continues.

Community Opportunities


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Major F.H. Mathew, OMM, CD2


Major Frank Hubert Mathew deserves special mention for his long and distinguished career with Air Cadets. As a member of the Edmonton School Boys Band, which joined enmasse in 1939 a newly formed Air Cadet Unit (to become in 1941 #12 Edmonton Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron), he was one of the very first air cadets in Canada. He like many other air cadets went on to join the wartime RCAF as aircrew in 1942. He was trained as a bombardier and was one of three on his course to receive his commission on graduation. Though he was slated for overseas, the war ended before he made it over. In 1947 he joined 12 Squadron as an instructor for a short time before he moved to the newly formed 504 Squadron as Equipment (Supply) Officer. In 1948 he was asked to take over another fairly new squadron which had only 15 cadets parading. Major Mathew was Commanding Officer of 395 Squadron for 31 years during which time he made the Squadron the biggest and most progressive in western Canada. This educated man also worked at summer camps in Gimli, Man., Sea Island, B.C., Namao and Penhold, Alta. every year from 1948 to 1981. After 34 years of dedicated service as a CIL Officer, Major Frank Mathew was made an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 1983.


In 1993, under CO Maj Stephen Wakeman, 395 Squadron entered into an affiliation with the newly reformed 417 Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake. 417 Squadron was formed from Cold Lake Base Flight flying T33 jets and Iroquois helicopters. The Squadron has replaced the Iroquois with three new Griffon helicopters.  With the kind permission of the then CO of 417 Squadron, Maj Wregget, 395 Squadron adopted the badge and motto of 417 Squadron. The Badge:

In front of a palm tree eradicated a sword and fasces in saltire. The motto: Supporting Liberty and Justice.  Formed in England on 27 November 1941, 417 Fighter Squadron, flying Hurricanes and later Spitfire aircraft was the only Canadian squadron in the Desert Air Force. The squadron operated with the 8th Army in North Africa, in the Sicilian landings, and in Italy in close support of the army. The palm tree suggests the desert, the sword air support to the army, and the fasces the fighting in Italy. The squadron was disbanded in Italy on 30 June 1945. Battle Honours:

  • Defence of Britain 1942

  • Egypt and Libya 1942-43

  • North Africa 1943

  • Sicily 1943

  • Italy 1943-45:Salerno, Anzio and Nettuno, Gustav Line, Gothic Line

Squadron Affiliation With 417 Squadron, CFB COLD LAKE


395 Squadron is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Edmonton West. They provide financial and moral support during our training year (September-June). Rotary Club started its sponsorship in September 1980.

Sponsor


The Squadron has an active Parent’s Committee involved primarily in fundraising activities. The committee raises funds to help subsidize equipment, flying, and transportation for the betterment of cadets. The major fundraising activities such as Casinos and Bingo’s where we encourage parent involvement. The Parents’ Association started in 1980 with its founding members: Michael Zukiwski Sr., Larry Scott and Brian Andrus. Sylvia Loewen, Erwin Loewen and Rob Delplanque. The alumni membership consists of former cadets, staff and officers from 395 Air Cadet Squadron as well as a few honorary members from the community who have contributed and supported the Squadron and/or cadets in general. In 2011, in anticipation of the Alumni’s first reunion to celebrate the Squadron’s 65 anniversary, we reached out to former members of the squadron and achieved an alumni membership list of just over 100 members. Today, our membership list has reached a total of 163 members. To assist in growing our membership numbers, we have an Alumni member attend the aging out celebrations at the squadron to present the cadet with an Alumni Pin and a letter inviting them to join the Alumni Association.

Parents’ Committee


The squadron has had many cadets and staff join the unit and over the years when they have aged out, retired or moved on. It is estimated that over 3,000 former cadets, officers and staff have been through the unit since 1946. In 2009, two commanding officers, Major Andrus and Major Ste-Croix decided that a legacy of the unit would be to create an alumni organization. On Oct 8, 2010 at the Chateau Louis Lounge, the Alumni had their first meeting which was attended by Brian Andrus, Don Ste-Croix, Karen Butkowski, John Larsen,

In the 6 years of the Alumni’s existence we have accomplished quite a few things including, fundraising (family hypnosis shows, silent auctions and selling jet plane ride raffle tickets, organized two reunions in celebration of the squadron’s major anniversaries, organized several member meet and greets, and organized a camping trip weekend near Barrhead). On an ongoing basis, we support the squadron financially and morally and are actively involved with the squadron assisting with mock selection boards and effective speaking competitions. We annually attend the 395 Griffon coin parade and the Annual Cadet Parade (ACR).

Alumni Website: http://www.395alumni.ca

395 Squadron Alumni Association


Former Commanding Officers of 395 Squadron

 
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1946 J. A. Reilly
1946-1947 Squadron Leader Frank J. Edwards
1947-1948 Acting Squadron Leader George Chelmick 1948-1979 Squadron Leader / Major Frank H. Mathew, OMM, CD2 1979-1986 Major Brian Andrus, CD
1986-1989 Captain Dan Sereda
1989-1992 Captain Tom Lawrence
1992-1994 Major Stephen Wakeman, CD
1994-1997 Acting Major Jim Speed, CD
1997-1999 Acting Major Bob Bogovics
1999-2002 Major Brian Andrus, CD
2002-2006 Major Imre Bogovics, CD2
2006-2010 Major Don Ste Croix, CD2
2010-2013 Acting Major John Breen, CD
2013-2016 Acting Major Andrew McLellan
2016-2018 Major Chris Duncan, CD

2018 -  Acting Major Graham Pilkington, CD


Special Activity Trips

 

Extra fundraising activities by the Parent’s Committee and the Squadron have made possible many special activity trips. The major ones are listed below:
1964 – 15 cadets to Vancouver
1966 – 20 cadets to Los Angeles, USA
1967 – 20 cadets to England and France
1968-98 Annual Banff/Jasper Trip held during the first week in February.
1970 – 20 cadets to Los Angeles, USA
1977 – 20 cadets to Comox, BC and N.W. United States
1979 – 40 cadets exchange trip (562 Cabot N. Sydney) to Nova Scotia 1982 – 31 cadets to Fairchild and McChord Airforce Bases in the USA
1983 – 7 cadets exchange trip to Scotland
1986 – 39 cadets to Abbotsford Airshow, Expo 86 in Vancouver, and Victoria 1988 – 38 cadets to 4 US Air Force and Navy bases in Washington State 1992 – 55 cadets to Vancouver and the N.W. United States
1993 – 15 cadets exchange trip to England and Scotland
1995 – hosted exchange cadets from East Essex Wing, Air Training Corps, GB 1996 – 37 cadets to Vancouver, Esquimalt and Vancouver Island
1999 – 40 cadets to Seattle, McChord AFB, Fairchild AFB, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station 2001 – 40 cadets to California, Edwards AFB
2003 – 40 cadets to Seattle, McChord AFB, Fairchild AFB, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station
2005 – 40 cadets to Seattle, McChord AFB, Fairchild AFB, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station
2007 – 39 cadets on Banff/Calgary area Trip during Family Day Long Weekend
2008 – 40 cadets to Victoria and Vancouver Island during Spring Break
2009 – 40 cadets Banff/Calgary area trip during Spring Break
2009 – 40 cadets to Cold Lake AFB during Spring Break
2010 – 39 cadets to Montreal and Quebec City during Spring Break
2011 – 50 cadets to CFB Cold Lake during Spring Break
2012 – 37 Cadets to Ottawa and CFB Trenton during Spring Break 2014 – 38 Cadets to San Diego, California, USA, Spring break
2015 – 40 Cadets to 4 Wing Cold Lake during Spring Break
2016 – 40 Cadets to Nova Scotia during Spring Break

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Sports And Drill Achievements

 

1974 Provincial Jr. Drill Team
1989 City Sr. Basketball
1990 Central Zone Sr. Basketball
1991 Provincial Sr. Basketball
1992 Provincial Jr. Basketball 2nd place
1993 City Sr. 8 Jr. Volleyball
1994 City Jr. Basketball
1996 Central Zone Jr. Basketball & Provincial Jr. Volleyball
1997 2nd in Central Zone Sr. Volleyball
1998 2nd in Central Zone Sr. Volleyball
1999 2nd in Central Zone Sr. Volleyball
2001 1st in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2002 1st in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2003 1st in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2004 2nd in NE Zone Jr. Volleyball
2004 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Volleyball
2004 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Basketball
2005 2nd in NE Zone Jr. Volleyball
2005 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Volleyball
2005 1st in NE Zone Precision Drill Competition
2006 3rd in NE Zone Jr. Basketball
2006 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Basketball
2006 2nd in NE Zone Jr. Volleyball
2006 1st in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2007 1st in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2007 1st in NE Zone Sr. Volleyball
2007 2nd in NE Zone Jr. Volleyball
2007 3rd in NE Zone Sr. Basketball
2007 3rd in NE Zone Jr. Basketball
2008 2nd in NE Zone Jr. Volleyball
2008 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Volleyball
2008 2nd in NE Zone Sr. Basketball
2008 2nd in NE Zone Compulsory Drill Competition
2011 – 2nd in Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Drill Competition: Edmonton (Group A)
2012 2nd in Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Drill Competition: Edmonton NW
2012 2nd in Basketball at the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Sports Competition: Edmonton NW
2012 2nd in Volleyball at the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Sports Competition: Edmonton NW
2014 1st in Volleyball at the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Sports Competition: Edmonton NW
2014 1st in Junior Basketball at the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Sports Competition: Edmonton NW
2014 3rd in Senior Basketball at the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Sports Competition: Edmonton NW