ABOUT 800 RCAirCS
"Per Silvam ad Astra Incedimus"
We Walk Through the Forest, to the Stars.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF 800 SQUADRON
800 Squadron is one of many local air cadet squadrons located across Canada, belonging to, and carrying out training for, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (RCAirCS). The squadron's primary function is to provide training during the school year for its roughly 200 members.
CANADA'S FIRST OVERSEAS CADET SQUADRON
800 RCAirCS was the first squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets to be formed and operated outside of Canada. It was first approved to begin training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Lahr in Germany on 18 November 1969. Much of the effort to form the squadron is attributed to George Thomas, the son of Warrant Officer G.F. Thomas, stationed at the base. The squadron's first annual inspection took place in spring of 1970. At the time, the squadron's cadets consisted of the sons of Canadian service personnel living at CFB Lahr and CFB Baden nearby. In 1973, the cadet program, and 800 squadron with it, opened its doors to female cadets as well. During its time in Germany from 1969 to 1993, 800 was eventually joined by 856 squadron located at CFB Baden-Sollingen (856 is now located in Pickering, ON).
SEE FOR YOURSELF!
Following the re-unification of Germany, 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 CFB Lahr was closed.
Four years later, a new squadron being formed in Mississauga was given permission to re-activate the 800 squadron number. The current squadron was formed 01 August 1997, and the unit celebrated its first Annual Review in Canada on 07 June 1998.
A PROUD PARTNERSHIP
In 2009, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 in Streetsville became the official sponsor of 800 RCAirCS. RCL 139 also sponsors 105 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, and 136 'Haida', Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. All three units work together with the Legion each year, providing support for various Legion activities, including the RCL's annual Poppy Drive, Remembrance Day parades, and other events.
WHO WE ARE
In 2021, the squadron adopted its motto, "Per Silvam ad Astra Incedimus" (We Walk Through the Forest to the Stars), a combination of its longstanding rallying call, "Walk In the Forest", with the RCAF's "Per Ardua ad Astra" (Through Adversity to the Stars).
Today, 800 RCAirCS remains one of the largest cadet units in the City of Mississauga, and prides itself on holding strong values of personal excellence, comradeship, diversity, teamwork, challenge, and fun.
FLIGHT 1 - "AUSTER"
Named after the Auster AOP.6, flown by 422 Sqn RCAF stationed at CFB Baden from 1977 to 1980.
FLIGHT 2 - "KIOWA"
Named after the CH-136 Kiowa helicopter, flown by 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, stationed at CFB Baden.
FLIGHT 3 - "RHINE RIVER"
Named after the Rhine River, the most notable geographic feature near the Black Forest region of Germany.
FLIGHT 4 - "HUSSARS"
Named after the 8th Canadian Hussars, stationed at CFB Lahr from 1987 to 1993.
FLIGHT 5 - "DRAGOONS"
Named after the Royal Canadian Dragoons, stationed at CFB Lahr from 1970 to 1987.
FLIGHT 6 - "CANUCKS"
Named after the CF-100 Canuck, flown by 414 Sqn RCAF.
MARCH PASTS & TUNES
The official march past for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets is the RCAF March Past by Sir Walfred Davies, 1918.
As a nod to the squadron's founding on Canadian Forces bases in Germany, the Aces High march from the classic film The Battle of Britain is a perennial favourite.
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).
SQUADRON COLOURS & ACCOUTREMENTS
The unofficial colours of 800 Squadron are, in order of precedence: Black (sometimes substituted for a dark wood tone), Gold, and Red.
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. Although opinions vary, and colours can have many different symbolic meanings, Black is associated with determination; Gold represents fairness and prosperity; and Red symbolizes valour and courage.
SQUADRON BANNER & FLAGS
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 emblem.
The unit possesses one National Flag; one Air Cadet Ensign; and one Squadron Banner, each topped with a brass maple leaf 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 drum major's sash is black with two gold bars, representing the two original CF Bases from the squadron's origins in Germany. The decorations of the sash are, from top to bottom: the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II, the Canadian Coat of Arms flanked by miniature drum sticks, the Air Cadet emblem, and the squadron badge.
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 fiberglass shaft laced with red and yellow braid with tassels, 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.
The unit's drums are a fundamental element in establishing the unit's unofficial colours of Black, Gold, and Red. The batter heads and resonators are a suede-textured black finish. All metal hardware on the drums is of a gold lacquer finish. The tension rod washers and snare ribbons are scarlet red.
Past commanding officers and those cadets who have succeeded to the rank of Cdt WO1 are as follows:
Maj. R. Cleminson, 1969-70
Maj. C. Kinney, 1970-71
Maj. M. Copeland, 1971-73
Maj. J.R. Brown, 1973
Capt. A. Fyfe, 1997-99WO1 J. ChaeWO1 Z. GerendesWO1 M. Dorn
Capt. R. Docksteader 1999-01WO1 P.A. Hamilton SmithWO1 K. WoodWO1 N. ChaeWO1 S. Meade
Capt. C. Luxemburger 2001-04WO1 J.A. Pankiw-PettyWO1 R. Zarb
Maj. D. Bryce, 2004-2007WO1 J. RichardsWO1 E. WrightWO1 G. Yeung
Capt. M. Adamczak 2007-11WO1 J. BaltusWO1 G. MendesWO1 L. RebelloWO1 HoogsteenWO1 E. Fernandes
Capt. K.J. Richards 2011-15WO1 A. MakWO1 A. KimWO1 R. Badlani
Maj. E. Medina, 2015-2018WO1 D. KwongWO1 P. Ward
Capt. M. Royal, 2018-2021WO1 P. Krahn
Capt. E. Wright, 2021-PresentWO1 T. Shahzadeh