History: Alumni

These are articles and pictures by former members of 27 Squadron. Any alumni are invited to submit a short article and relevant pictures via email directly to: admin@27aircadets.org. We are interested in knowing when you were a member, and some of the things you enjoyed most as an Air Cadet.

Click on any of the blue bars with a name of an alumnus to read his/her article.

Ron Lawrence

Member of 27 Squadron during World War II and now lives in South Carolina

I was a member of 27 Air Cadet Squadron that was started at Sir Adam Beck Collegiate during WWII. As I remember it now, F/O Harvey Stewart, a physical education instructor and teacher at Beck was our first commanding officer; followed by the phys. Ed. instructor, Dunc Hoople, who later became a principal at one of London- area high schools. We were one of several Air Cadet Squadrons (London South had a squadron, Beal Tech had one, Central High had one, and De La Salle--the Catholic High had a squadron). Later, when the other squadrons were disbanded, #27 was the official squadron that met at one of the old RCAF buildings at the Crumlin Air Station.

I worked my way up the ranks, and finally became WO1. At some point, I arranged a flight through the RCAF from the London Airport to take a group of Air Cadets from 27 Squadron to fly to Selfridge Air Base in Michigan. The London Free Press published a picture of this group posed in front of the RCAF plane that flew us to and from Selfridge.

One other thing that was given to me was a pilot's training. They sent me to learn to fly at the old Kitchener-Waterloo Airport where several cadets from Southwestern Ontario also came to learn to fly. These were preliminary flight lessons and I went on to earn my pilot's licence in 1947.

Flight to Selfridge Air Base
Air Cadet Manual
F/Sgt Ron Lawrence
London Squadrons at Hagersville

Collin Erickson

Member of 27 Squadron from 1989 to 1995

I was a member of the squadron from September 1989, serving 6 years until my "mugging out" graduation in April 1995, as a Warrant Officer 2nd-Class followed by 3 months as a volunteer civilian instructor. The Commanding Officer at the time was Capt. Perry Bast, followed by Capt. Shawn McManus in 1993. My first Flight Commander was F/Sgt. Lisa Tordoff of Flight #2 which, in fact, was labelled Top Flight at the time as I recall the gold tassles tied to the flight flag to indicate such. Oh yeah and not to mention my first drill instructor, Sgt. CJ Gregory, who KNEW how to talk you down if you were a real "screw-up"! I also remember very well the General Knowledge classes taught by the late CI McKegney who, in fact, was the first person ever in which I was ordered to refer to as "Ma'am". There was also Lt. McManus (before he became Captain), 2Lt. Lemesurier and the RSO, CI Chris Devine, who always did his best to make sure those .22-calibre rifles were always pointed in the right direction and at the right target!

During my time in Cadets I often participated regularly in the weekend training exercises at Camp Kee-Mo-Kee and CFB Ipperwash. My favourite exercises were gliding at Huron Air Park in Centralia and the All-Air Weekends at Ipperwash where we got to go flying around the base and coastal areas of Lake Huron in one of the Canadian Forces JetRanger helicopters. In fact, there was one weekend in which we were given a ground-only tour of a Westland Sea King rescue helicopter, which landed at the base for the weekend.

In the summer of 1992, I also attended a 3-week Air Studies course at CFB Trenton which included 3 sessions of gliding plus a 90-minute ride in a Lockheed CC-130 Hercules that even included a relatively low pass over Niagara Falls with the rear loading ramp fully open and the wingtip vortices churning up the mist from the falls!

During all this training, I also participated in the Flag Party for a year followed by a few years in the Drill Team. Although we never won any competitions during my time on that team, it was still a real challenge next to the rest of the training. Eventually, I worked my way up as a flight 2IC, then Flight Commander and finally a WO2, which was my graduating rank. In fact, I still have the pewter mug I received from that day in 1995.

Today, I work in a Customer Service position and, although I never graduated with a pilot's license, I still have many memories and have been able to apply much of that training even to both my personal and professional life. After all, that famous motto will always stick with me: "To learn...to serve...to advance".