About the Air Training Corps
The Air Training Corps
The Air Training Corps (ATC) was originally formed in 1938 by Air Commodore Chamier as the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC). The original idea was to set up a nation-wide organisation for the training of young men in aviation matters, ready to join either the RAF or the Fleet Air Arm.
The original aim was to form around 200 squadrons in the first three years, training a total of 20,000 cadets. The organisation proved to be far more successful than many had imagined, and towards the end of the three year trial period, the ADCC had well over 10 times the number of cadets originally planned.
The ADCC, although a huge organisation, was still privately controlled. Towards the end of 1940, the British government agreed to take over the control of the ADCC. This hand-over caused a large number of changes to the corps, but on 5th February 1941, a new organisation, the Air Training Corps, was born, with King George VI as its first Air Commodore-in-Chief.
Within the first month of the ATC forming, the organsation doubled in size to over 400 Squadrons, and after the first year, there there were around 1,524 Squadrons with a total of 171,407 cadets. The ATC peaked within 18 months at 1,753 Squadrons and 220,960 cadets. However, at this time the intake of new cadets was far lower than the amount leaving to join the RAF and Fleet Air Arm, and so the numbers began to drop.
Now, nearly 60 years on, the ATC is a very different organisation than that formed by Air Commodore Chamier. The ATC is no longer just a training facility for the RAF and Fleet Air Arm, but is a sister organisation to the RAF encouraging an interest in aviation. Female cadets are now permitted and have become an integral part of most Squadrons. The size of the organisation has had to be more strictly controlled, and the Corps now has a total of 928 Squadrons across the country, with somewhere in the region of 40,000 cadets and 10,000 staff.
How to join the ATC as a cadet
To join the ATC as a cadet, you must be aged between 13 and 18 years of age. You will need to find out your nearest Squadron's location, which you should be able to find out from your local Wing HQ.
How to join the ATC as adult staff
If you are interested in volunteering your services as an adult staff member, you should contact your local squadron's commanding officer.
How to join 722 Squadron
If you live in the North Devon area and are interested in finding out more about the ATC, there are 3 Squadrons and 1 Detached Flight you can attend.
722 Chivenor Squadron is based at RMB Chivenor, near Braunton. We parade most Mondays and Thursdays between 7pm and 9.30pm. If you would like to attend a few cadet evenings to see whether you'd like to join, email us and we'll send you more details about us (please allow up to 2 weeks for a response).
If Braunton is too far for you to travel, the other North Devon units are based in Hartland, Barnstaple and Bideford. Email us if you want contact details for these other units.