Bob retires after 20 years with Air Cadets

Flt Lt Bob Donothey, right, was presented with his Wing Commendation by Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Major Eric Ingram.

Flt Lt Bob Donothey, right, was presented with his Wing Commendation by Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Major Eric Ingram.

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An Air Cadet officer who helped hundreds of young people in Morpeth to develop useful skills is retiring.

Flight Lieutenant Bob Donothey joined 242 (Cramlington) Squadron in 1996 as a civilian instructor and four years later was commissioned into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (training branch).

He took over as Officer Commanding 404 (Morpeth) Squadron in February 2002 – a position that he held for 14 years.

In that time, he has ably led the squadron through significant development, ensuring his cadets and staff have had access to exciting opportunities and challenging training.

The opportunities offered to the cadets by Flt Lt Donothey and his team included overseas trips to Crete, where they were able to undertake challenging expeditions in unfamiliar surroundings, and France, where cadets helped to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

He handed over to his successor, Flight Sergeant Paul Davies, at a special evening put together by the Morpeth cadets and staff.

In attendance was Deputy Officer Commanding Durham/Northumberland Wing of the Air Training Corps (ATC), Squadron Leader John Scott, who said: “Flt Lt Donothey has given many years of dedicated service to the organisation, providing a vast range of opportunities for the young people under his command.

“The respect and high regard in which he is held is clearly demonstrated by the number of people who turned out to celebrate his final parade.

“He retires leaving behind a legacy in the local community that will endure for many generations to come, marked by the continuing service and achievements of all those young people on whose lives he has had such a positive influence.”

Flt Lt Donothey’s commitment to the organisation and to his cadets has been recognised through the award he has received.

It includes a Cadet Forces Medal, a Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service and a Good Service accolade from the Commandant Air Cadets.

One of the highlights of Flt Lt Donothey’s career was undoubtedly the selection in 2014 of one of his cadets as the best female cadet in the ATC.

Bridget Donaldson, who was 18 at the time, was presented with the prestigious Dacre Brooch.

Flt Lt Donothey’s efforts to encourage his cadets to achieve at the very highest level in all areas of the air cadets was a key factor in her success. At the time of winning the award, Bridget had already racked up a gliding scholarship, flying scholarship and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.