Cydweithredu Ddyry Cychwyn
Teamwork Leads the Way

1344 (Cardiff) Squadron
Air Training Corps


Teamwork Leads the Way

A Brief History of the ATC in Wales

Formation of the ADCC & ATC

In 1938 the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC) was formed by Air Commodore Chamier to train young men who were destined for the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm in aviation related skills.


By 1940 the Air ministry realised the great potential of the ADCC, which did their job by the grace of local financial support, and plans were made to take it over.


The first Squadron to be registered was City of Leicester and the first 50 Squadrons formed were called Founder Squadrons and were entitled to the letter "F" with the Squadron number. This distinction ended with No. 50F (Lambeth) Squadron. The movement attracted large numbers of eligible youths all over the country.


Some 200 Squadrons were involved in the takeover. With the full backing of the Air Ministry and the Royal Air Force recruiting drives meant further expansion and everywhere new Squadrons were being raised.


In 1941 the government took control of the ADCC making a number of changes and renaming it the Air Training Corps (ATC). This was officially established on the 5th February 1941. Within the first month the number of squadrons in the UK had doubled to over 400.


Within the first year of the ATC the old ADCC had expanded by about 8 times to around 1524 squadrons with 7142 officers, 616 warrant officers, 7048 civilian instructors and 171,407 cadets.


Within 18 months the ATC reached its peak with around:

1753 Squadrons, 8837 Officers, 1103 Warrant Officers, 9962 Civilian Instructors & 220,960 Cadets.


The First of the new ATC squadrons formed was 210 (Newport) Squadron, now known as 210 (1st Monmouth) and still parades in Newport to this day

ADCC / ATC Comes to Wales

One of the very first ADCC squadrons formed in 1938 was 30 (Cardiff) Squadron which was based in Cecil St, Splott. When the ATC was formed it became 30F. It was the only squadron in Wales to receive this honour and rightly boast an unbroken existence from the date of it's Charter to the present day.


The First ever squadron to register as a new ATC Squadron was 210 (Newport) Squadron (now known as 210 (1st Monmouth) Squadron.

 

Another early Welsh Squadron was 175 (Cardiff High School). Both of the above came into being as a result of a scheme sponsored by the Air League of the British Empire, launched to cater for air-minded youth to add to the Naval and Military equivalents which had been in existence for many years.Click to add text, images, and other content

Cardiff Wing

After the formation of 1344 (2nd Cardiff) Squadron in August 1941, further Squadrons were formed to meet local demand. These were 1870 (Cardiff) and 1967 (Cardiff) Squadrons, both based at Cathays High School.


With five Squadrons now operating in Cardiff the formation of the Cardiff Wing followed as a matter of course. The Cardiff Wing was formed early in 1943[1] with Tregelles-Edwards (ex 30F) promoted to Squadron Leader in command. J.R.Taylor (ex 30F) became Wing Adjutant. Sidney Lewis became Wing Commander.


The Cardiff Wing consisted of the following Squadrons:-

30F (Cardiff) Squadron

175 (Cardiff High School) Squadron

1344 (2nd Cardiff) Squadron

1870 (Cardiff) Squadron - based at Cathays High School

1967 (Cardiff) Squadron - also based at Cathays High School


After the war was over all Squadrons from Cardiff except 30F were disbanded. 1344 (Cardiff) Sqn was later on formed from a 30FDF (see History of 1344sqn for more details).


[1] This date looks to be in error due to poster for an event on the 17th October 1942 mentioning Cardiff Wing

Post War Growth & Progress

After the war the ATC continued to expand with many more Squadrons being formed. At some unknown point it was divided up into smaller 6 governing sections known as Regions, which in turn were divided into Wings, with around six in each region. Each Wing would then oversee a number of Squadrons within their localised area.


Wales has three Wings, No.1 Welsh in South East Wales, No.2 Welsh in North Wales and, No.3 Welsh in South West Wales They are part of Wales & West Region, along with StaffordshireWest Mercian & Merseyside Wings. 1344 is part of No.1 Welsh Wing. It is unknown when these Wings were formed.


There are around 80 Squadrons and Detached Flights in Wales (with 960 UK & overseas) parading around 2000 cadets overall. 1344Sqn is the biggest with nearly 120 cadets, 30 volunteer staff, a Civ Com and many other supporters.


In 1980 girls were allowed to join the ATC, and they now make up around a quarter of the Corps which now totals around 45,500 cadets across the UK (and some overseas squadrons)

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