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What is the Air Training Corps
The origin of the ATC (Air Training Corp) goes back many years and owes its formation to Air Commodore J. A. Chamier who is affectionately known as the father of the air cadet movement. He retired from the Royal Air Force in 1929, at the age of 50. However, his love of aviation and his tremendous capacity for hard work was such that following his retirement he became the Secretary-General of the Air League - an organisation made up of people who could see a bright future for aviation, who wanted to make the British public aware of its potential. With the clouds of war beginning to form over Europe, Air Commodore Chamier thought of the idea of starting an aviation cadet corps.

So in 1938 Air Commodore Chamier came up with a plan to form an Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC). His idea was to attract and train young men who had an interest in aviation, from all over the country. His plan was to set up Squadrons of young cadets, in as many towns and cities as possible, and ask local people to organise and run them.

It was never easy in the early days of the Corps, to find people to set up and run these new squadrons. So, soon after their own formation the ADCC HQ announced that the first 50 Squadrons registered would be known as Founder Squadrons and be entitled to put the letter F after their squadron number.

By 1939 the activities of the ADCC were severely restricted because of the approach of World War II. Many ADCC instructors and squadron officers were called up into the regular Service. Buildings were commandeered by either the Service or by local government for war work.

Towards the end of 1940 the government realised the true value of the work done by the ADCC and agreed to take over its control. This meant a large number changes to the corps, and in fact brought about the birth of a completely new organisation. So on the 5 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:
  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force
  • To provide training which will be useful both in the services and in civil life
  • To foster the spirit of adventure
  • To develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship

Within the first month the size of the old ADCC had virtually doubled to more than 400 squadrons. Subsequently an ATC badge was designed which incorporated the motto VENTURE ADVENTURE (devised by Air Commodore Chamier) and after approval by George VI, it was published in August 1941.

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