History of the Air Training Corps
Air Cadet Movement_________________________
The Air Cadet Movement owes much of its existence to Air Commodore J A Chamier, known as the father of the Air cadet movement.  The son of a Major-General and himself originally an Army officer, he learned to fly and was loaned to the Royal Flying Corps (the predecessor of the Royal Air Force) during World War 1.  Upon its formation he joined the Royal Air Force in 1919 and eventually retired from service in 1929 when he became Secretary-General of the Air League - an organisation made up of people who could see a strong future for aviation.
Air Commodore Chamier decided to start an aviation cadet corps and in 1938 the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) was formed.  The idea was to recruit and train young men from throughout the country in aviation skills.  There was a huge recruitment for highly skilled aviators and support personnel if air combat power was going to be used as a military resource.
The ADCC was organised and run by local people in many towns and cities and Air Commodore Chamier's idea seemed to capture the mood of the British people.  In their eagerness to help the nation preparation for war, young men rushed to join the corps in their thousands.  The cadets were asked to pay a weekly subscription of 3d (old pennies) which today is equivalent to 1 pence.  Each subscription's aim was to prepare cadets for joining the RAF or the Fleet Air Arm.  They provided training in flying, military skills and instructed them in drill, dress and discipline .  Physical fitness was very actively promoted.  Cadets undertook PT, team sports and athletics.  Long route marches, shooting practice, camping skills all soon became standard squadron activities too.
At this time, however, ADCC activities were severely restricted because of the approach of World War II.  Many ADCC instructors and squadron officers were called up into regular service.  Buildings were also commandeered by either the Service or local government for war work.  Cadets were used to carry messages, they helped with clerical duties, in providing extra muscle in handling aircraft  and in the movement of stores equipment.  In 1940 the British Government took over control of the ADCC.  This resulted in a number of changes to the Corps, and brought about the birth of a completely new organisation, called The Air Training Corps.
On the 5th February 1941, the Air Training Corps was officially established, with King George VI agreeing to be the Air-Commodore-in-Chief, and issuing a Royal Warrant setting out the Corps' aims.  The number of young men responsible to the formation of the ATC was spectacular.  Within the first month the size of the old ADCC had virtually doubled to more than 400 squadrons and after 12 months it was as about 8 times as big.
Duke of Edinburgh
Adventure Training
Parade & Drill

air cadets magazine

Read it

Home Go To Top Copyright 3 Welsh Wing Site Map Website Disclaimer
RSS Air Cadets