Squadron History


The Air Training Corps was formed in 1941 as a successor to an already thriving Air Cadet movement called the Air Defence Cadet Corps which had itself been formed to promote air-mindedness amongst young men and to prepare them for service in the Royal Air Force. 1148 Squadron itself was formed on 19/3/1941 by amalgamating two smaller units, one that met at the ‘Red Triangle’ boy’s club and the other from the Penarth County School.


During the Second World War, many buildings in Penarth were used by the RAF and used as kit issuing stations and all cadets assisted the RAF in this role. In addition, the proximity of the local docks meant that there were numerous air defence sites in the area and cadets also assisted in manning searchlight and barrage balloon positions.


After the war, the ATC was no longer required to train young men specifically for service in the RAF and instead returned to its earlier, ADCC, aims of promoting and encouraging a practical interest in aviation among young men and providing training which would be useful in both service and civilian life. 1148 Squadron was no exception to this and trained young men in Drill, Physical Fitness Training, Map Reading and First Aid in addition to teaching Aircraft Engineering and Electrical subjects. In 1980, Girls were admitted to the Corps and the aims of the Corps were again changed slightly:


a. To promote and encourage among young people a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force.

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

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


Since 1977, 1148 (Penarth) Squadron has also been involved in fundraising for the Royal Air Forces Association. Each year, an award is made for the ATC squadron achieving the highest amount raised per capita, i.e. per cadet. 1148 Squadron have won the trophy four times and been runners up four times, raising in excess of £36,000 in the process.


The name Penarth has ambiguous origins and many townspeople are divided on its true origins. However, it can be freely translated into English from the Welsh language as Head (Pen) of Bear (Arth) and it is largely for this reason that the Squadron adopted the bears head as its badge. The Squadron motto ‘Experientia Docet’ means Experience Teaches’ - our cadets learn from their own experience of a particular event and also gain from the experience of others.