Shepton Mallet Air Cadets have recently received a visit from their Wing’s Commanding Officer, Wing Commander John Parsons.

During his visit Wing Commander Parsons and the cadets and staff of Shepton Mallet Air Cadets, were given interesting talks by two former RAF officers, Flying Officer Graham Brown and Wing Commander Bill Southcombe.

Graham Brown served as a Wellington bomber pilot during World War 2.  He recounted some of his experiences and told of missions he had flown during operations in Italy, including strategic bombing and later supplying the partisans in Yugoslavia.  Graham also recounted flying Lord Mountbatten to a meeting near the end of the war.

Bill Southcombe was a former navigator who flew in Vulcan bombers during the cold war period.  He gave an interesting account of the development of the V bomber force and operational readiness exercises.

During the evening the Squadron became affiliated to the Pilton branch of the Royal British Legion.  Somerset RBL Chairman, Robert McDonald, presented a certificate to the Squadron.

The evening concluded with Wing Commander Parsons presenting a Regional Commandant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service to Cadet Flight Sergeant Toby Stratford.  Toby was awarded the certificate of merit for his actions in dealing with a missing vulnerable person who police were searching for.  Toby and a group of friends heard a man shouting for help whilst they were out walking.  The man in question was stood on a bridge in a state of distress.  Toby immediately used his first aid training and calmed the man down, keeping him safe and reassuring him until the arrival of the police.  The man was later reunited with his family and the police praised Toby and his friends for their swift and positive action.

Wing Commander Parsons thanked all concerned for an interesting and informative evening and wished the Squadron well with its new affiliation to the Pilton branch of the RBL.

Release written by Sqn Ldr Dave Rolfe MCGI RAF VR(T)