Our history

Born on 1 June 1971, as an integral part of the RAF Air Cadets, our squadron has evolved into a beacon of excellence for over 2,300 cadets. Explore our defining milestones, honouring our past as we shape an enduring future.

Formation and early years

On 1st June 1971, 2497 (Cosford) Squadron took its inaugural flight into existence, with Flight Lieutenant Pybus RAF VR(T) assuming the role of Officer Commanding, ushering in an era that has defined our legacy. The squadron's origins trace back to a Detached Flight of 1130 (Wrekin) Squadron, established in April 1958 under the leadership of Flight Lieutenant Pybus.

Before the formation of 2497 (Cosford) Squadron and its preceding Detached Flight, an Air Training Corps Squadron operated at Cosford just after World War II. Meetings were held in the old guardroom, now utilised by the Wrekin Gliding Club, although little is known about this early squadron due to a lack of documentation.

The squadron embarked on its journey in various locations, from B lines on the camp to the families club, the museum site, and finally, its present home. Since its inception, the squadron has carried a musical legacy, taking over from the RAF Apprentice Band, which moved to RAF Halton but left behind some of its original instruments.

Notable Commanding Officers

The squadron has been under the leadership of remarkable individuals, each leaving a lasting impact on its history. Flight Lieutenant Pybus, who led the squadron during its formative years, set the standard for excellence. Flight Lieutenant Rhodes, with a tenure spanning 15 years, significantly shaped the squadron's character. Flight Lieutenant Woodcock, guiding the squadron from 1999 to 2011, continued this tradition of dedicated service.

In 2011, Flight Lieutenant Vince assumed command, leading the squadron into a new era. Each of these notable Commanding Officers contributed significantly to the squadron's success through their length of service, dedication, and commitment.

Notable events

  1. 1941 Air Training Corps formed
  2. 1958 1130 (Cosford) Detached Flight formed
  3. 1958 Flt Lt Pybus appointed OC
  4. 1971 2497 (Cosford) Squadron formed
  5. 1972 Flt Lt Rhodes appointed OC
  6. 1987 Flt Lt Wishart appointed OC
  7. 1992 Flt Lt Burgess appointed OC
  8. 1994 Flt Lt Williams appointed OC
  9. 1996 Flt Lt Jackson appointed OC
  10. 1999 Flt Lt Woodcock appointed OC
  11. 2009 Moved to our current building
  12. 2011 Flt Lt Vince appointed OC
  13. 2021 Celebrated 50 years of formation

A proud legacy of cadets and volunteers

The squadron has been a nurturing ground for over 2,300 cadets, each passing through its ranks, leaving with valuable experiences and skills. Many of these cadets have gone on to pursue successful careers in both civilian and military sectors, embodying the squadron's commitment to fostering future leaders.

Beyond cadets, the squadron has welcomed over 330 volunteers, with some former cadets returning to contribute their time and expertise. This cycle of service and dedication is a testament to the squadron's enduring impact on the lives of those who pass through its doors.

Don Rhodes

The legacy of Don Rhodes

Notably, Don Rhodes stands out as a stalwart figure in the squadron's history, dedicating over 60 years of service to the RAF Air Cadets. His impact on the squadron was immeasurable, with service as an Officer Commanding, followed by years of dedicated commitment as a trustee on the squadron's Civilian Welfare Committee, including 29 years as Chairperson.

In 2018, Mr. Rhodes was appointed President. In 2022, a room at the squadron headquarters was named in his honour to mark 60 years of service. Sadly, Mr. Rhodes passed away in 2023, leaving behind a legacy of duty and dedication.