Air Cadets in Canada
The Air Cadet League of Canada (ACLC) began during WWII. During this time it seemed a good idea to take a group of teen-aged youths who would devote some of their time to prepare for the possible eventuality of being aircrew in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On November 11, 1940, an Order-in-Council was passed that authorized the formation of the ACLC. On April 9, 1941, the ACLC was granted a Dominion Charter, which authorized it to operate as a charitable, non-profit corporation.
By the end of 1941, there were 79 squadrons across the country. By May 1942 there were 135 squadrons, and by May of 1943 there were 23,000 cadets involved in 315 squadrons across our nation. The Peak of the ACLC was reached in September 1944 when there were 29,000 cadets in 374 squadrons. There are also 1,750 officers and instructors, as well as 2,000 civilians who supplied support.
In 1946, RCAF introduced Flying Scholarship courses for senior cadets. Since then, 13,853 Air Cadets have become pilots.
Since the beginning of the gliding program, there are more than 60,000 glider flights each year. This program also turns out 320 licensed Air Cadet glider pilots annually.
581 Squadron – Castlegar Air Cadets
The 581 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets received its charter on October 29th, 1952 and continues to serve our area.
The Squadron has had many homes throughout this period. The first was the Castlegar Elementary School which stood where the Courthouse now stands. This headquarters was followed by Stanley Humphries High School, The Kinnaird Hall and the old Airport Terminal Building. We now reside in the Kiwanis Hall and have been since 1994.
Literally thousands of young women and men have paraded with us wearing our uniform in our 65 years in Castlegar. The cadets throughout all these years have received guidance and direction from numerous Officers and Civilian Instructors. As well, our Sponsoring Committee has served alongside the squadron since before the first parade night, spending countless hours fundraising for our facilities and activities.
Commanding Officers who have served our Squadron include: Captain Jean Lundquist, Captain Bill Reid, Major Bob MacBain CD, Captain John Lang, Captain Vivian Murphy, Captain Trevor Smith CD, Captain Mike Power CD, Captain Gerry Rempel CD and Captain Terry Klapper.
The squadron is located at 216 8th Avenue, Castlegar BC.
Current Squadron Staff
- Capt. G. Rempel, CD (Commanding Officer)
- OCdt. K. Smith (Training Officer)
- 2Lt B. Makortoff, CD (Administration Officer)
- CI V. Brown (Assistant Administration Officer)
- CI J. Lundquist (Supply Officer)
- VI T. Visona (Assistant Training Officer)
- VI H. Anderson (Assistant Training Officer)