Born under the Wings of the Vulcan
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By Air Cadets Website
Cadets from the freshly formed 1053DF take part in the biggest enrolment in memory under the wings of the Vulvan XH558.
An enrolment is a key moment in any cadet career and this was no exception with over 400 people attending the event, the cadets made their promise to the organisation in front of family and friends and the iconic British aircraft.
In February 2015, 1053 (Finningley) Detached Flight, Royal Air Force Air Cadets was officially born and in short six months has become the biggest detached flight in the country. Set up with help from 1053 (Armthorpe) Squadron, they hope to become a Squadron in their own right in the near future.
As well as the enrolment presentation, the history making event also included performances from the band of 148 (Barnsley) Squadron, a drill demonstration, Padre blessing and a welcome address from Air Commodore McCafferty, Commandant Air Cadets.
The detached flight have developed a unique relationship with the Vulcan to the Sky trust and assisted with fundraising events and once established fully they will be named 558 (Finningley) Squadron in honour of her tail plate registration number.
Flight Lieutenant John Dale, Officer Commanding of 1053DF said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response from pupils wanting to join and this has meant our numbers have grown to 68 on our books.
“Soon after we formed we wanted something very unique for us and we set about trying to locate the ideal Squadron Number. As we are located in the former Officers Mess building of RAF Finningley, and only a stone’s throw away from the Hangar housing the last airworthy Vulcan, we crossed our fingers and enquired whether 558 was available for us and we learnt it was.
“This has now been highlighted as our number once we are established as a Squadron and to mark this and foster strong bonds with the Vulcan to the Sky, we approached them to see if we could use their facilities and have the aircraft in the hangar for the enrolment ceremony. Since then our connections have grown and Cadets have helped at numerous events now in the hangar around Vulcan XH558.”
The last airworthy Vulcan currently operates at Doncaster Airport and is in her final season of taking to the skies making this special occasion even more memorable as the youth of today begin their cadet experience alongside the much loved veteran RAF aircraft.
Cadet Nathan D’Rozrio, 14, who was enrolled this evening said: “It’s been a great evening, everyone that has put work into it has worked extremely hard. We’ve put a lot of hours into making this event a good one and I think it’s gone swimmingly.”
Cadet Sergeant Frazer Dale, 14, who has been helping the new cadets at the DF said: ‘I think it’s been a great experience teaching all these cadets. It’s been an honour to be part of this new DF and I look forward to future roles here.”