Hove air cadets mark 75th anniversary with parade and reunion

Posted On 15 Jun 2014 at 11:48 pm

Hove air cadets past and present celebrated the 75th anniversary of their squadron with a prize-giving parade and reunion.

Dozens of former members of 176 (Hove) Squadron Air Training Corps gathered at the unit’s headquarters in the Nevill Playing Fields off Eridge Road, Hove, yesterday (Saturday 14 June).

Three original members of the squadron were among those attending. It was formed as an Air Defence Cadet Corps unit in 1938, becoming an ATC squadron three years later.

Former squadron chairman Wing Commander Norman Wilkins was among a number of Bomber Command veterans to turn out.

They were joined by members of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and the Royal British Legion.

Others present were former members of 2278 (Knoll School) Squadron which merged with 176 in the 1960s and the 1078 (Hove) Girls Venture Corps (GVC) unit.

Old photographs on display pictured some of those at the reunion as teenagers when the squadron won the Sir Alan Lees Trophy for being the best squadron in the Air Training Corps.

Two years later, in 1978, the squadron almost repeated its triumph, finishing second.

Former members of the squadron band, which once appeared on Opportunity Knocks, played tunes from the past.

The Mayor of Brighton and Hove Councillor Brian Fitch and Wing Commander Kevin Tucker, the Officer Commanding Sussex Wing, presented awards to the current generation of 13 to 20-year-old cadets.

Flight Lieutenant Jeremy Bodner, the squadron’s commanding officer, paid tribute to one of his predecessors, Flight Lieutenant Frank le Duc, who ran the squadron from the 1960s to the 1990s. Flt Lt le Duc had hoped to attend but suffered a stroke in April.

Flt Lt Bodner said that the squadron was recruiting . It offers a range of activities for teenagers, including flying, gliding, shooting, adventure training and membership of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

The squadron meets on Monday and Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

For more information, visit http://www.176hoveatc.co.uk.

176 (Hove) Squadron ATC 75th anniversary reunion

Some of the former 176 (Hove) ATC cadets who attended the squadron’s 75th anniversary reunion

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