About Us

1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron provides the young people of Ilkley and Wharfedale with opportunities in a military based environment which include flying, gliding, target shooting, drill, first aid training, leadership training and much more.
It's important to know that we're not a recruiting organisation for the Services (but it's great if you decide you want to join later on). We're not interested in anything but you and your potential, and will help you get the most from your experience as a cadet.

The Squadron parades twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays from 1845-2115.

Worried about fitting in? Equality is a central part of the Air Cadets’ ethic. The cadet experience is open to everyone, so whatever your nationality, background or ability, whether you're male or female, if you're between 13, or at age 12 when beginning school year 8 and 17 years old you can join us.

Uniform is provided for you and almost all activities such as Flying, Gliding and Shooting are free. The cost of joining our Squadron is £10 a month which is very reasonably priced for what you get. For more information on what we get up to inside the Corps check out the 'Activities' page. The Air Cadets is an excellent way of meeting new people and getting involved in activities you would not get the chance to experience anywhere else. If you are interested please get in touch!

Meet The Team

Fg Off Smith

Officer Commanding & Wing STEM Officer
Flt Lt Tom Smith

Fg Off Lee

Fg Off Cheryl Lee

Born 1948 and raised on a farm at Draughton. He attended Skipton Parish Church School and later Keighley Secondary Technical School. On leaving school he worked on the home farm where he stayed until 1971 when he became a farm milk collection driver with the Milk Marketing Board eventually leaving to set up a general maintenance business.

Always having had a strong interest in all aspects of transport, he joined the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust becoming its board secretary after a few years. Work and family commitments meant he could no longer keep this up and David took a lesser role and still keeps contacts to date.

In 1988, after his children joined 1224 and being fed up with the double trip each parade night, a year later he offered his services, albeit with some reticence from his wife Jan. He was rapidly appointed as a Civilian Instructor.

Early in 1992 he was appointed Warrant Officer and worked hard with the then OC Flt Lt John Hitchen to raise the Squadron strength from 15 to a healthy 45 in a few months and a level which has generally been steady since, though we did get to 60 briefly.

A stalwart member of Squadron Staff, WO Wood is still in post as the Squadron’s Warrant Officer after 28 years having gathered a few awards along the way. A Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate in April 2013, an AOC 22 Group Commendation in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2016 and a Presidential Certificate from the Royal Air Forces Association in the Honours list for 2019 for Services to RAFA.

Squadron Warrant Officer
WO David Wood

WO Russ Melton

Drill & Discipline
WO Russ Melton

FS Luke Dowling

Shooting Officer
FS Luke Dowling

FS White

Training and Media & Communications Officer
FS Sam White

FS Watson Cropped

Advenure Training Officer
FS Scott Watson

Sgt St John Cropped

Sports Officer
FS Tom St John


Civilian Instructor
CI Tim Fawdry


Civilian Instructor
CI Max Franks


Civilian Instructor
CI Claire Giffen

Squadron History

Our Squadron first paraded on 14th March 1941 as 1224 (Ilkley) Squadron and has remained a viable unit for almost 80 years.

Originally based at Ilkley Grammar School on Cowpasture Road, The Squadron was later housed in premises at the rear of Kings Hall.

Ilkley Squadron was eventually merged with 279 (Otley) Squadron in the 1970's to form 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadon and now has premises on Ashlands Road.

Squadron Commanders

1941 - 1943 - Flt Lt Frank Dixon Marshall

1943 - ???? - Flt Lt J.C. Findlay

1950's/60's - Flt Lt Wally Holmes

Circa 1966 - Flt Lt John T. Waterhouse

1968 - 1972 - Flt Lt Brian A. Andrews

1972 - ???? - Flt Lt Richard E. Griffiths

Circa 1976 - 1980 Flt Lt R. Henley

Circa 1982 - 1988 - Flt Lt Trevor Jones

1988 - 1991 - Flt Lt Malcolm Bates

1991 - 2010 - Flt Lt John Hitchen

2010 - 2013 - Flt Lt Sue Leighton

2013 - 2015 - WO (ATC) David Wood

2015 - 2020 - Sqn Ldr Wayne Yeadon

2020- Present - Flt Lt Tom Smith