A Brief History of the Air Training Corps

1938 The Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) formed
1939 Special Committee set up by the War Cabinet, proposes the establishment of an Air Training Corps (ATC)
1941 5th February. The ATC established by Royal Warrant with King George VI agreeing to be Air Commodore-in-Chief. This is commemorated each year by "ATC Sunday".
1942 A cadet strength of 210,000 recorded.
1945 Over 400,00 cadets have joined the services since the start of the war. ATC starts to run down, strength settles at 57,000 cadets. Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Lord portal states that 'In maintaining the flow of men to the RAF, the ATC made a decisive contribution towards victory'. Over 800 ex-cadets decorated for gallantry, including one VC.
1947 New Royal Warrant extends the aims of the ATC. First exchange visits organised - with Canadian Air Cadets
1948 ATC Wings established. Corps loses 3,000 cadets to the Combined Cadet Force.
1949 American cadets join the cadets exchange scheme.
1950 Flying Scholarships introduced
1953 HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh become Air Commodore-in-chief, on the death of King George VI
1957 7 Squadrons of the ATC pioneer the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
1958 Formation of Air Experience Flights with a fleet of 50 Chipmunk aircraft. The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) formed
1962 The ATC celebrates 21 years of service. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, present his banner to the ATC
1963 Annual Summer and Easter camps held for the first time in RAF Germany.
1967 Morris Committee - Review of the ATC. Recommended many changes to the administration of the Corps and its training. A further change to the Royal Warrant is made
1973 First ATC camps in Malta - continued until 1978.
1976 First ATC camps in Gibraltar.
1977 Queen's review (Silver Jubilee) RAF Finningley
1979 Presentation of new banner by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The First ATC camps to Cyprus and Berlin.
1981 Girls allowed to join. Initially they were to join 22 selected Squadrons throughout the Corps. Following the success of the initial stage of the trial, the scheme for girls in the ATC was extended to one squadron, in each wing, in 1982. Each squadron was authorised to recruit up to 15 girls each. By April 1983 larger squadrons were authorised to recruit up to one-third of their total strength as girls.
1982 Flt Lt Janet Page WRAFVR(T) is the first female officer to command an ATC Squadron (2500 St Neots).
1985 5 overseas ATC Squadrons formed. HM The Queen, as Patron, present the Royal Aero Club most prestigious award to the Corps.
1990 A further change to the Royal Warrant is made when all restriction on girls in the ATC were lifted
1991 The Golden Jubilee of the ATC.
2001 The Diamond Jubilee of the ATC.
2004 Corps strength:- 35,000 cadets, 10,000 staff and 5000 civilian committee members in 930 Squadrons
2011 The ATC is now 70!
If you would like more information please call us or you can visit the main Air Cadets website






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