Squadron History

WS-Hopper-Building

513 Squadron was formed on November 10th 1949.

Our name, Hornet Squadron, was adopted from two predecessor Squadrons.  The original ’Hornet’ Squadron was formed in 1942.  It flew Spitfires, served in Europe from April 1944 to March 1946 and took part in the D Day invasion in 1944.  The squadron was disbanded in 1946. In 1951 the City of New Westminster Squadron (Vancouver) of the Air Force Auxiliary was formed and it also used the name Hornet Squadron.  The auxiliary squadron flew the North American P-51 Mustang, Harvard and Expeditor out of RCAF Sea Island. The squadron again disbanded on 31 March 1964.

Our Squadron adopted the name ‘HORNET’ from the New Westminster Air Force Auxiliary Squadron.  Today we are officially known as 513 Hornet Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

The Squadron has had several training locations since its inception.  For the first 7 years we used the School Board offices.  Later, we paraded in the basement of City Hall, the Legion’s auditorium and then the Arenex in Queen’s Park.  For many years, we had classrooms and offices both upstairs and downstairs in the Arenex.  The Squadron moved to the WS Hopper building in 1975.

The cadet building is named after Major W.S. (Rusty) Hopper who was the Squadron’s Commanding Officer from 1971 to 1977.  The building was constructed primarily by the parents, officers and cadets of the Squadron – only the outer shell of the building was contracted out.  

Permission from the Parks Board to build the building within Queen’s Park was obtained through the many efforts of Major Rusty Hopper (CO) and Mr. Budd Kurtz (former chairman of the Parent Sponsoring Committee).  It was through these same two gentlemen’s perseverance that Branch #2 of the Royal Canadian Legion agreed to finance a major portion of the construction.

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