The 172 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron was formed originally in 1942 as the 172 York RCACS. The squadron was based at the Royal Canadian Air Force College at 1107 Avenue Road in Toronto.
The squadron’s Commanding Officer was Squadron Leader Glen Kessler. In the midst of the Second World War, Kessler wrote to the British Ministry of Defense to inquire about the existence of a 172 Squadron within the British RAF. There was one that was active during WW2; an anti-submarine unit based in South West England, which was credited with the sinking of the German U-boat U-502 on July 6th, 1942.
The squadron would continue its function as a regular cadet squadron after the war. Cadets would participate in many different activities like we do now; such as cadet international exchanges, summer camps, and flying.
Notable events include a summer exchange to the UK in 1956, with Warrant Officer 2nd class Donald Miller and Warrant Officer 1st class John Hodskins touring the United Kingdom, and participation in the opening of an Etobicoke Municipal Centre in 1958. On October 23rd, 1979 172 York squadron would be officially disbanded.
The squadron number 172 would come into service again with the creation of the 172 Clarington Squadron. Which was formed on October 1st, 2005. Captain Jason Bell, the CO from 2008, adopted the same cadet motto as York’s and developed a crest emulating 172’s history, but unique to the Clarington area by the inclusion of an osprey in the squadron crest. To this day, the squadron still continues to function within the Clarington region, helping youth to become better citizens.