About 200 Air Cadets and staff from six squadrons marched through Dunstable town centre for a thanksgiving service on Sunday.
The parade from Ashton Middle School to the Priory Church celebrated the anniversary of the Air Training Corps being founded on February 5, 1941.
The event incorporated the laying up of the 460 Dunstable Squadron banner. The squadron was this year hosting the Beds & Cambs Wing Southern Sector annual parade, which wasalso attended by units from Henlow, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard, Luton and Cranfield.
Cadets marched along the High Street to the church as they have done for more than 40 years, only this time the banner made its final journey.
The salute was taken by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Air Commodore Peter C. Ayee (Ret’d), Air Commodore Gordon Moulds (Ret’d) and the Town Mayor of Dunstable, Cllr Terry Stock
The service was conducted by the Rev Richard Andrews.
Commanding Officer Flt Lt Mick Bell presented the banner “for safe lodging in the House of God until such a time as it shall pass to dust”.
Readings were by Flt Sgt Amy Stevens and Warrant Officer Aaron Harvey.
The new banner was processed to the Sanctuary where it was uncased, with Cadet Sgt Jason Lee asking: “Reverend Sir, on behalf of 460 (Dunstable) Squadron Air Training Corps we ask you to bid God’s blessing on this banner.”
After the service the new banner was taken to Grove House Gardens and refreshments were provided at the Grove Theatre.
The Air Cadets are open to young people aged 13-17. Dunstable Squadron parades every Monday and Thursday between 7pm and 9.45pm. Their contact number is 01582 606794 on those evenings, or email 460Sqn@BedsCambsWgATC.org