800 Squadron Heritage

A Brief History of 800 Squadron:

A more complete history of 800 Squadron's early days in Lahr & Baden, Germany, can be found here (non-affiliated site).
Follow these links for more details on the history of former Canadian Forces Bases (CFBs) Baden-Soellingen and Lahr (Wikipedia).
  • CFB Lahr and CFB Baden were formed in the 'Black Forest' region of Germany during the mid-1960s during a rush for Canadian and NATO forces to exit France following the country's 1966 withdrawal of military forces from NATO.
  • The two bases housed a variety of Canadian Forces units and aircraft, whose names continue to be assigned to flights in the present unit.
  • The squadron was first formed at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Lahr, in Germany, September 1969.  The squadron's first Annual Inspection took place in spring of 1970.
  • The squadron's cadets consisted mainly of the sons of Canadian service personnel living at CFB Lahr and Baden.
  • As was the case throughout the remainder of the Canadian Cadet Movement, 800 started parading female cadets in 1975.
  • The squadron had many cadets attend summer camps at Trenton and other Canadian camp locations.
  • Following the re-unification of Germany and the dissolution of the USSR, NATO forces were no longer needed in Germany by the early 1990s.
  • The squadron celebrated its 24th, and final, Annual Inspection in Germany on June 30th, 1993. The Squadron was disbanded when the base in Lahr was closed.
  • In the late 1990s, a new squadron being formed in Mississauga was given permission to 're-activate' the 800 number.
  • The current squadron was reformed on 01 August 1997, and the unit celebrated its first Annual Review in Canada in May, 1998.


LOCAL AWARDS

Do you have what it takes to be an award winner at 800?

Click Here for information on some of the awards available to be won, and those who've made the grade.

Most awards are handed out at the end of the Training Year, during the Squadron's Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR).

Some awards, such as the Cadet Long-Service medal and its accouterments can be awarded throughout the training year.

SQUADRON HONOURS

800 Squadron has a proud record of awards and honours.

Click Here to see some items from our trophy cabinet.



FLIGHT & SQUADRON NAMES

Each flight at 800 Sqn is named in honour of an element related to the history of former Canadian Forces Bases (CFBs) Baden-Soellingen and Lahr.  Some of the units belonged to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Canadian Forces.

BADEN ("A") SQUADRON


A-1: "Auster" Flight
Named after the Auster AOP.6, flown by 422 Sqn RCAF stationed at CFB Baden from 1977 to 1980.

A-2: "Kiowa" Flight
Named after the CH-136 Kiowa helicopter, flown by 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, stationed at CFB Baden.

A-3: "Rhine River" Flight
Named after the Rhine River, the most notable geographic feature near the Black Forest region of Germany.


LAHR ("B") SQUADRON


B-1: "Hussars" Flight
Named after the 8th Canadian Hussars, stationed at CFB Lahr from 1987-1993

B-2: "Dragoons" Flight
Named after the Royal Canadian Dragoons, stationed at CFB Lahr from 1970-1987.

B-3: "Canucks" Flight
Named after the CF-100 Canuck, flown by 414 Sqn.



SQUADRON COLOURS

Although no cadet unit is entitled to official colours, it is not uncommon for units to identify with a set of unofficial colours.  The unofficial colours of 800 Squadron are, in order of precedence:
Black, Gold, and Red.

These colours were chosen for a variety of reasons.  First, these are most noticeably the colours of the present-day German Flag - representing the squadron's origins on Canadian Forces Bases in Germany from 1969 to 1993.  Second, when used on parade, they contrast well with other air cadet units, whose colours tend towards the inverse White, Silver, and Blue combination, giving 800 Sqn a visible identity as a parading unit.  Although opinions vary, and colours can have many different symbolic meanings, 800 Squadron's stance is that Black is often associated with determination; Gold can be seen to represent fairness and prosperity; and Red often symbolizes valour and courage - all values held by the unit and its members.




MARCH PASTS & TUNES

The official march past for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets is the "RCAF March Past" by Sir Walfred Davies, 1918.

In honour of 800 Squadron's Great Escape of 1972, it is common for the theme from The Great Escape to be played as the final march-off at the squadron's Annual Ceremonial Review.

It is also common for the squadron band to include in its parade repertoire 'La Feuille D'Erable' (Official March Past of the Cadet Instructor's Cadre), and the theme from The Magnificent Seven (in recognition of the squadron's six flights plus a band).

RCAF March Past

The Great Escape



FLAGS & DRUMS

Flag Party
The Squadron Flag Party consists of 2 Flagbearers, 2 Rifle Guards, and a Commander.  Members of the flag party are typically issued white cotton or leather gloves for ceremonial parades or public performances.

The rifle guard uses real, de-activated Lee-Enfield rifles, whose production stamps date back as far as the 1930s.  Restored in December 2009 and refurbished in Spring 2015, the rifles are stained a dark walnut brown, and are marked with a large "DP" on the stock to indicate that they are "Drill Purpose".  They are further identifiable by painted white drill-bands located at the small of the butt and the forestock.  Originally, cotton web slings were built for the rifle fleet, but new leather slings have since replaced these.  All of the squadron's drill-purpose rifles have been permanently disabled from firing.

The unit possesses one National Flag, topped with a brass maple leaf finial; one Air Cadet Ensign, topped with a brass-plated eagle; and one Squadron Banner topped with a small brass eagle finial.  The flag poles carry brass hardware and are stained a dark wood tone.  These are carried on ceremonial parades and public appearances, and are held in a set of white gloss flag slings with gold-coloured buckles.  The unit also possesses a set of flags, poles and slings for routine use.

The Squadron Banner is the prime symbol of the unit's identity.  It is 36x36" with gold and blue frill, featuring the squadron number, name, and the Air Cadet crest.  The flag pole is topped by a small eagle finial.

Drum Major
The drum major's sash is black with two gold bars, representing the two original CF Bases from the squadron's origins in Germany, as well as the two squadrons which the unit typically parades.  The decorations of the sash are, from top to bottom: the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II, the Air Cadet Crest flanked by miniature drum sticks, and the squadron crest.

Although equipped with a simpler mace for routine duties, the drum major's primary badge of office is the Ceremonial Mace.  This mace features a brass-plated headpiece topped with a tudor crown with royal lion on top; a black fibreglass shaft laced with red and gold braid with tassles; and a brass-coloured ferrule.  The Drum Major typically wears leather gauntlets when handling this mace, and it is only brought out for ceremonial parades and public appearances.

Drums
The unit's drums are a fundamental element in establishing the unit's unofficial colours of Black, Gold, and Red.  Although the squadron possesses a fleet of white drums for practice, the main ceremonial fleet is gloss black.  Originally with silver hardware, these were refurbished in January 2013 to carry brass-coloured hoops, tension rods, lugs, plates, strainers, and even snare wire.  The batter heads and resonators are a suede-textured black finish.  The tension rods are cushioned with red nylon washers, and the snare wire is held in place with scarlet red ribbon.

Command History:


Germany:
Maj. R. Cleminson, 1969-70

Maj. C. Kinney, 1970-71

Maj. M. Copeland, 1971-73

Maj. J.R. Brown, 1973

Canada:
Maj. A. Fyfe, CD 1997-99
WO1 J. Chae
WO1 Z. Gerendes
WO1 M. Dorn

Capt. R. Docksteader 1999-01
WO1 P.A. Hamilton Smith
WO1 K. Wood
WO1 N. Chae
WO1 S. Meade

Capt. L. Allison, CD 2001

Capt. C. Luxemburger 2001-04
WO1 J.A. Pankiw-Petty
WO1 R. Zarb

Maj. D. Bryce, CD 2004-2007
WO1 J. Richards
WO1 E. Wright
WO1 G. Yeung

Maj. M. Adamczak 2007-11
WO1 J. Baltus
WO1 L. Rebello
WO1 Hoogsteen
WO1 E. Fernandes

Maj. K.J. Richards 2011-15
WO1 A. Mak
WO1 A. Kim
WO1 R. Badlani

Maj. E. Medina, CD 2015-Present