History of the Air Training Corps
The Air Cadet Organisation was the brainchild of Commodore J A Chamier. He served in the army, the Royal Flying Corps and the RAF in 1919 (not long after it formed). With his love for aviation, he was determined to get British people aware of the RAF and its vital role in any future war. He wanted to establish an air cadet corps, encouraging young people to consider a career in aviation.
In 1938 the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) was founded. Demand for places was high and squadrons were set up in as many towns around the UK as possible. Local people ran them and each squadron aimed to prepare cadets for joining the RAF or the Fleet Air Arm
During The Second World War, many instructors were conscripted into the RAF and squadron buildings were used by the military. Cadets were sent to work on RAF stations. They carried messages, handled aircraft and moved equipment. They filled thousands of sandbags and loaded miles of belts of ammunition. They were invaluable to the beleaguered forces of the RAF. By the end of the war, in just 7 years since the formation of the ADCC, almost 100,000 cadets had joined the RAF.
Towards the end of 1940, the government realised the value of the cadet force and took control of the ADCC. It reorganised and renamed it, and on the 5th February 1941 the Air Training Corps was officially established with King George VI as the Air Commodore-in-Chief.
In 1948, the Officer Training Corps (OTC) was renamed the Combined Cadet Force and most of the original OTC Air Sections became CCF (RAF) units. This is the structure that exists today with some CCF (RAF) sections boasting a history of nearly 150 years of service. In the 1980’s the Organisation opened its ranks to female cadets, helping bring even more people together and enjoy the activities that the cadet’s offers.