This summer some long anticipated renovations have been occurring at the Armouries (which are over 100 years old themselves) that shelters my Air Cadet Squadron. With very little notice, no time in command to prepare (although the people running the show before me had 10 months to get ready, but I'm not bitter) and most of my staff being not available (three of them working at summer training centres) I've had to clear my offices for painting and new floors and then two weeks later, move everything back. Fortunately the Army Cadet corps next door had more staff available and they helped me move my furniture and piles of crap. Everything got basically dumped back in the offices. I tried to get admin stuff in my office and get all the training stuff in the other office, but basically things were dumped in piles. Now renovations have moved to the QM Stores area, and everyone is back from summer postings, so we can get down to sorting out the offices.
My Squadron is 75 years old! It was the 3rd squadron stood up in 1941 when the Royal Canadian Air Cadets were formed.
Plus for about 20 years the same three captains ran the unit and never threw anything out.
Lots of old files, old training materials, old awards and cadet projects. Broken training aides. VHS tapes. CDs for old operating systems. 3 1/2 inch floppy disks!
But I have found some treasures too; the certificate authorising the formation of the squadron in 1941 signed by the Chief of Air Operations, a plaque with all the COs from 1941 to 1985, and this:
The first Air Cadet training manual.
It has the usual basic military knowledge stuff, and lessons on weather, signalling, navigation and lots of math
I like how interspersed with the text are air recognition pictures of allied and axis aircraft quizzing the reader.
But also lessons on armaments.
Parts of the .303 Browning machine gun
And just what every young cadet wants to learn, how to engage an He111 bomber with your Spitfire
The binding is in bad shape. But given the age and presumably heavy use I'm just happy to have it.
Of course this admonition on the first leaf is heavy with irony
A journey to the Empire
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