That's a very accurate observation Kroenit44.That genuinely looks like a happy a Squadron.
Many people extended for an extra year, as it was such a good place to be. I'm not just saying it because of the sad news about John, but through his big character he was able to create a superb spirit in the Sqn. I can't really pinpoint what he specifically did to make it so, other than his raw enthusiasm and the feeling of privilege he felt at being a SSM. It seems just a step on the ladder these days, but seeing him as a SSM, it felt like he saw it as the pinnacle of his career. I remember when he was first appointed he had the seniors form up the entire Sqn in the lines and his first booming words were "the King is dead. Long live the King." Not is a self-important "look at me" way, but in a light-hearted way which suggested the next two years was going to be a hoot. And it was.