The 739 Scarborough squadron is just one of a thousand Air Cadet squadrons in the UK and part of the 60,000 strong Air Cadet Organisation. 

Every year their cadets have the extraordinary chance to take part in a wide-range of activities, including flying & gliding, target shooting, sport, adventure training, camps, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, overseas visits and more.

739’s past meets its future

Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid OBE, AOC 11 Group, was at RAF Boulmer in 2019 for a formal parade to mark the School of Aerospace Battle Management leaving RAF Boulmer and moving to RAF Shawbury.

AVM Duguid is a former cadet at the 739 Scarborough Squadron. He joined at the end of January 1982 and served until he joined the Royal Air Force in 1986 as a pilot on Harriers and later as Typhoon Force Commander, thus far their highest achieving ex-cadet serving in the military.

He is seen in the image below talking to one of Scarborough’s current Cadets, Corporal Boddy, who desires to become a pilot and has also been taking private gliding lessons in addition to RAFAC flying to build up towards this goal. Cpl Boddy was there as a member of the combined bands of Central & East Yorkshire and Durham & Northumberland Wings performing at the ceremonial parade.

Flight Lieutenant Steven Lewis RAFAC greets new recruits

At the time of publishing the original story on social media we didn’t know that AVM Duguid was a former 739 cadet. Flt Lt Stanley Shimmin RAFVRT was an Officer at the time and later OC, saw the post and let me know who he was so we dug into our records to find him. He was our 1251st cadet since formation on 5th February 1941. I am grateful to him for informing us – he was also my OC when I was a cadet in the 1990s.

Flight Lieutenant Steven Lewis RAFAC

Squadron 739 History

The 739 Scarborough High School Squadron was formed on 31st January 1941. Ready for when the Air Training Corps was founded 6 days later to assist in training young men for future service in the Royal Air Force as part of the war effort. After the end of WWII the two town units merged to form the 739 Scarborough Squadron.

The unit moved from the High School in 1959 to St Johns Road where it resided until a purpose built cadet centre opened in 1993 – where they reside today with the Army Cadets. Girls were allowed to join in the early 1980’s and now make up over 1/3 of all cadets. Our training has changed over the years but we still aim to:

  • Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
  • Provide training that is useful in service and civilian life
  • Foster a spirit of adventure and develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship

We are a well equipped unit with a state of the art flight simulator, a full Archery suite, excellent first aid training equipment and our own air rifles amongst other activities. Our training is progressive so there is always something to challenge cadets, both new and older.