History of 2403 (Aldermaston) Air Cadets
The squadron was formed by Royal Warrant in September 1963, after a short but illustrious period as a Detached Flight of 211 (Newbury) Squadron.
The Squadron Headquarters has been located the “The Medway Hut” , Tadley, since the Squadron was formed and apart from the odd redecoration plus the recent addition of fencing around the perimeter it has not changed much in all that time.
A former distinguished cadet is Squadron Ldr Paul Rosental, RAF, who gained the Queens commendation for valuable service in the air. This was gained when he was attached to the Hong Kong Defence Force Helicopter Wing, where he was responsible for a courageous rescue from a ship in dangerous seas off Hong Kong harbour. As a cadet Squadron Ldr Rosental also played in the then Berkshire Wing football team which won the then Central & Eastern inter Wing trophy.
Other sporting achievements within the Squadron are CWO Rory Lillington was the Corps rugby team captain, other cadets have previously and currently represent Wing and Region in Hockey, Football, Rugby and Athletics, Cdt Yasmin Hayward recently breaking the Wing record for the Discus in her age group.
In 1986, Aldermaston Squadron was successful in Fullbore shooting, winning the Commonwealth and the Commandants Cup’s in the Pre-Bisley competitions. The squadron has had some notable success at Wing Events in its History, winning Wing Field Day, a drill competition, a ten pin bowling competition to mention a few.
The Squadron has had some noteworthy cadets and members of staff: Wing Staff Officer Squadron Leader Mark Trevena is an ex CI and Squadron Office of 2403 Squadron, AWO Debbie Lowe (now serving at 2211 (Bracknell) Squadron) is an ex cadet of the Squadron. On the cadet front ex CWO Ian Urqhart and Ex CWO Joanne Graham were both Lord Lieutenant Cadets whilst on the Squadron.
Our present Squadron Commander Flt Lt Palmer and Squadron Warrant Officer Jim Palmer have received the Lord Lieutenants certificate in 1999 and 2002 respectively.
Additionally, the Squadron has quite a few ex cadets who have served or are serving in various branches of H M Forces. To mention a few: Cdts Mark Dogget, Dean Paggett, Andrew “Bomber” Harris and Ben Wiggett in the Duke of Edinburgh Royal Regiment, Cdt Nathan Hawthorn in the Royal Marines, Cdt Paul “Sid” Whitehorn joined the Royal Artillery, Cdt Keith Small became a Chef in the RAF and Cdt Andy Glover is a Tornado navigator.
The Squadron celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2013 with a parade and BBQ. Numerous past cadets joined the current cadets for the day, including several cadets who were the first cadets to join the Squadron back in 1963.
The squadron is known locally and on a national basis due to the Model and Craft exhibition which has been organised bi-annually since 1984, drawing in exhibitors from all over the country. It also attracts local and country wide media coverage.
Roll Call of Commanding Officers
1963-67 Flt Lt Charlie Gates
1967-73 Flt Lt Jim A Hedges
1973-78 Flt Lt A Taylor
1978-81 Flt Lt Brian W Toomer
1981-83 Flt Lt Peter L Trask
1983-94 Flt Lt Mike Shaw
1994-2021 Flt Lt Penny Palmer
2021 to date Fg Off Richard Williams