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Our Story

On 5 February 1941 the Air Training Corps (ATC) 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.

The Aims of the Air Training Corps, as set out in the Royal Warrant and approved by HM the Queen, the British sovereign, are:

  • To promote and encourage among young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

  • To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life.

  • To foster a spirit of adventure and to develop the qualities of leadership and good citizenship.


The Air Training Corp's motto is "Venture, Adventure".


In 1953 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh HRH took up the role as Honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps, this was a position he held until 2016.  At which point Catherine, Princess of Wales took over the mantle and is now a firm favourite with Cadets.

Following the creation of the Air Training Corp on 5 February 1941, 423 (Elgin) Squadron was officially established on 19 February 1941.  The original headquarters was located in the old Elgin townhall where the present Police Station is housed.

Unfortunately, the Squadron disbanded on 13 December 1946, with no recorded reason.

On 1 October 1947, the squadron re-formed in an old Nissen hut in the Bishopmill area of Elgin.  During 1968 the Squadron had to re-locate to Bishopmill Primary school, Morriston Road, Elgin.


Flt Lt John Bailey took control of the Squadron, during his time he petitioned for girls to join the Squadron, however this was against the rules of the day.  Sadly, Flt Lt John Bailey died whilst in Command of the Squadron.

Following the death of the previous Officer Commanding, Flt Lt Murray Webster took up the reigns, ably assisted by Fg Off’s Innes Thomson, Ronny Loughton and Eric Pert.


In 1980 during the command of Flt Lt Innes Thomson, Headquarters Air Training Corps change the recruiting rules and for the first time Girls were allowed into the ATC!!!


Flt Lt Thomson discovered that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) operates a Squadron with the same Number.  After contacting them 423 (Elgin) Air Training Corps began an affiliation with the RCAF, during the initial stages of creating links a request was submitted to unofficially use the 423 Squadron RCAF crest as the Squadron crest.  This request was graciously accepted by the then Officer Commanding 423 Squadron RCAF. 


Since then, 423 (Elgin) Squadron Air Training Corps has been using this crest.  The crest bares a bald eagle at its centre.  The eagle is a powerful bird of prey from the Canadian side of the Atlantic.

In 1990, the Squadron undertook another move this time to the other side of Elgin and they took up residence within the TA Centre, which remains our Headquarters to this day.

With this move the Officer Commanding of the time looked to strengthen the Squadrons Values, these values are still at the heart of the Squadron today.


At the turn of the millennium the Squadron started its most successful period winning multiple Wing and Regional competitions.

In 2007 Command fell to Flt Lt Max Woolfson, following his retirement from the Royal Air Force after 37 years’ Service.  During Flt Lt Woolfson time in the Service, he re-invigorated the squadrons links with 423 Squadron RCAF, whilst visiting with his Nimrod Crew on Exercise.

Flt Lt Woolfson was promoted to Sqn Ldr in 20** and remains in Command of 423 (Elgin) Squadron RAFAC to this day, with little sign of letting go.

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