At Woodside Barracks on Saturday 20 October 2018, 602 Squadron hosted the Combined Annual Parade of 602 and 622 Squadrons.
CAPTION: The blessing of the new 622 Squadron Banner by the 6 Wing Chaplain, Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) John Bennett. Photos by Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig.
This parade included a special ceremony for the Banner Blessing and Presentation of the new Banner of No 622 (Rural City of Murray Bridge) Squadron, Australian Air Force Cadets.
Based in Murray Bridge, No 622 Squadron provides learning, leadership and development opportunities for youth from the Murraylands, mid-Murray, Mallee, Bremer and Strathalbyn regions.
Once the parade had marched on, the cased Banner of No 622 Squadron was marched on by Cadet Warrant Officer Walter Harris, and placed in position on a drum pile, in preparation for the blessing and presentation.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Tyler Willis was the Banner Warrant Officer.
The drum pile is a significant and traditional part of a banner blessing, representing the way in which an impromptu ‘altar’ was made during wartime to conduct religious ceremonies.
In late 2017, 622 Squadron was granted the Freedom of Entry to the Rural City of Murray Bridge, a rare honour.
A Banner was commissioned bearing this new title, based on the existing approved emblem.
622 Squadron derives its insignia – a long-eared owl carrying in its claws a flash of lightning – from the heraldry of No 622 Squadron (Heavy Bomber), a unit of RAF Bomber Command.
Commanding Officer of 622 Squadron, Squadron Leader (AAFC) Lawrence Ng said, “The Banner is a solemn symbol of loyalty, service and allegiance to the Sovereign and nation”.
“This blessing ceremony encourages those who serve under the Banner to follow, protect and guard its honour with pride.”
Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig, 6 Wing Public Affairs & Communication Officer, said, “A special congratulations goes to the 622 Squadron 2018 Cadet of the Year, Cadet Sergeant Tegan Thomas – this award recognising a solid year of professional commitment to 622 Squadron and to the AAFC”.
Cadet Sergeant Thomas received a perpetual shield trophy donated by the RSL Mannum Sub Branch.
She has been a member of the AAFC for four years, and currently serves as the Assistant Training Officer and Assistant Administration Officer 622 Squadron.
In a significant connection, CSGT Thomas is the great-grand-daughter of Bomber Command veteran Flight Lieutenant Cyril Kroemer DFC, from Wilmington, SA.
Cyril Kroemer served in the RAAF from 24 May 1941 to 12 October 1945.
He flew his first operational missions with No 12 Squadron (as a Flight Sergeant pilot) based at RAF Wickenby.
From October 1943 he was captain of a Lancaster with No 625 Squadron RAF (Bomber Command), conducting mostly night raids over Europe from RAF Kelstern in Lincolnshire, UK.
Cyril Kroemer was also involved in Operation ‘Manna’ and Operation ‘Exodus’ missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his bravery.
No 622 Squadron parades at the Murray Bridge Multi-User Depot in Caroline Street, Murray Bridge on Friday nights during school terms, between 6.30 and 10pm.