Former Shoreham air cadet returns to squadron after 60 years

Former cadet Terry Kelly with two current members

Former cadet Terry Kelly with two current members

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SHOREHAM Air Cadets welcomed the chance to hear from a former member, returning to the area for the first time in more than 60 years.

Terry Kelly attended his first parade night with 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron 66 years ago.

He was back last week and spoke at length to the current cadet cadre about his time in the Air Training Corps between 1948 and 1952.

Terry, who now lives in Worthing, served in the Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller for the majority of his working life.

He recounted many stories and memories and the cadets found it particularly amusing to hear, while the wind was blowing outside, that during his cadet career, jumpers were not provided as part of the uniform, only shirts.

Flight Lieutenant Rich Sage, the squadron’s commanding officer, said: “It’s a great privilege for the whole squadron to be able to welcome back what is arguably our oldest ex-cadet, to hear details about his time in the cadets, and be able to compare facilities Terry had then with our current set-up.”

Cadet Flight Sergeant William Bruce, the squadron’s most senior cadet, said the talk had been inspirational and one all the cadets had enjoyed.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to get to speak to Mr Kelly and get an insight into what it was like to be a cadet when he was a member of the ATC,” he said.

“It was also a great honour to speak to both a very successful cadet and a very successful member of the RAF when he served.”

The squadron is planning to maintain contact with Mr Kelly and would be interested to hear from any other ex-cadets, to help build up a more thorough history.

The 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron is run by adult volunteers who are keen to recruit new cadets from school year eight onwards. More adults are also needed to assist the running of the squadron. Call 01273 464382 or email at 1440@aircadets.org for more information.