104 Starfighter Squadron was originally formed in 1942 as 104 Optimist Squadron. Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Brantford, and under the command of Flying Officer C.G. Blundell, the squadron was created to train young men aged 15 to 17 for service with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. In 1943, command of the squadron passed to Wing Commander E.T. Randle under whom the squadron operated until disbanding in 1948.
The Interim Years
A new air cadet squadron, 616 Pauline Johnson Collegiate Squadron, was established in 1955 with students from the newly built Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational school forming the basis of the unit. The squadron gained acclaim a scant two years into its existence when, in 1957, it was awarded the Strathcona Trophy for being the top school cadet unit. Suffering the same fate as its predecessor, 616 Squadron was disbanded in 1966.
Brantford remained without air cadet representation until October 1st, 1977, when the squadron once again reformed as 104 Brant Squadron under the leadership of Lieutenant Ray Howells. Starting in 1993, the squadron began to incorporate the word ‘Starfighter’ into its name and in 1999 it was officially designated ‘104 Starfighter Squadron.'
Today, 104 "Starfighter" Squadron carries on the tradition of empowering the youth of Brant County with responsibility and initiative. The courageous and skilled leaders of tomorrow are educated and put to the test weekly, with many still aspiring to become pilots. Are you ready for your challenge?
The squadron’s motto is “Laborare Ut Persequatur,” which is Latin for ”Striving To Achieve.”
The CF-104 Starfighter entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in March of 1962. A modified version of the American Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, the CF-104 was a supersonic, single-seat, interceptor aircraft designed to fulfill nuclear strike and reconnaissance roles. It was built in Canada by Canadair under licence from the Lockheed Corporation. A two-seat variant, the CF-104D, was created for use as a training aircraft. The CF-104 remained in Canadian service until 1987 at which time it was replaced by the CF-18 Hornet.