423 Squadron History

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 2013, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is honorary Air Commodore-in-Chief and has served in this role since 1953. However in 2016 The Duchess of Cambridge took over the mantle and is now a firm favourite with Cadets.


1941Date unknown 423sqn was born.


First CO was Dr McLaren housed in the old Elgin townhall where

the present Police station

until 1945end of the war and

423sqn disbanded for

no recorded reason.



September 1947 Sqn Ldr George Garvock
re-formed the squadron in a old
Nissen hut in Bishopmill on the Lossiemouth

Road and was CO till 1953


                       Flt Lt Ken Green took over till 1968 assisted for a short while by
                       FO Bernard Woolfson                     
                                                                               and another move this time to
                                                                                Bishopmill Primary school.
                       Flt Lt John Bailey was now the CO and although we wanted girls in
                       the squadron it was against the rules of the day.
                       Oh how times have changed.
                       Sadly John died whilst in charge and so......
                        Flt Lt Mrray Webster took the reigns, ably assisted by FO Innes
                        Thomson, FO Ronny loughton and FO Eric Pert


                       Flt Lt Innes Thomson was the next CO and during his time GIRLS
                       were allowed unto the ATC!!! Innes also started the
                       affiliation with 423sqn Royal Canadian Air Force                          
                       who fly Sea King anti submarine aircraft. They kindly
                       allowed 423sqn  Elgin to use their eagle in our badge.
                       Our Motto is Semper Procedens "Always Try"


                        About 1990
                        Flt Lt Gerry Marley was the CO and a move to the TA centre was
                        made.Gerrys leadership provided the squadron with it organisation
                        and  ethos which are still valuable today.







                        Flt Lt Dave Parry took command and had a successful time in
                         wing and regional competitions.


                         Flt Sgt Kim Reid ran the squadron for a short time.


                     Flt Lt Max Woolfson took the reigns in 2007 when he retired from the
                      Royal Air Force after 37 years, 27 of them flying as crew on the
                      Nimrod  aircraft. He is still in charge now.