Here at 473 Squadron, we aim to provide a service to young people who’re keen to have adventures, make new friends and learn new things.

New ‘recruit’ cadets are given an induction, telling them all about the Air Cadets (or Air Training Corps) and what’s involved and expected of them. They are then placed into classes and taught the various ins-and-outs of flying and aviation. Up to once a month, this training can culminate in a flying or gliding lesson at RAF Leeming or RAF Topcliffe respectively. Cadets are given a logbook that logs hours of training, flights and other event attendance.

From the age of 16, cadets can apply to take part in a Gliding Scholarship, and from 17, can also apply for Flying Scholarships. This can lead into an RAF career or the continuation of a voluntary career with in the squadron. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us using the details available on the Contact Us page.

While true in some cases, you do not have to be wanting to pursue a career in the Royal Air Force or Armed Forces, and there is absolutely no obligation for you to do so – we are not a recruitment organisation.  We offer young people the opportunity to better themselves, learn new things, make new friends, have adventures and make the most of whatever is presented to them. Skills and qualifications gained through the Air Cadets are applicable not only to those pursuing careers in the RAF, Armed Forces or Civil Aviation sector, but to those hoping to work in virtually any industry.

Recently, one of our Cadet Flight Sergeants moved to the USA to study toward becoming a Commercial Airline Pilot. Cadets who’ve passed through our doors in the last 70 years have gone on to join the RAF, Army and Royal Navy, have gone on to study at Universities across the country and have established successful careers building on the leadership, team-working and disciplinary skills gained through their time at our Squadron.

Squadron History

473 Sqn18th February 1941

473 (Hartlepool’s) Squadron ATC & 635 (West Hartlepool Technical College) Detached Flight

1941 – 1944 Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Edward Barlow

1949 – Reformed As 473 (Hartlepool) Squadron in the amalgamation of 473 Sqn & 635 DF.

Commanding Officers through the Years:

  • 1949 – 1951 : Flight Lieutenant Carter
  • 1952 – 1958 : Flight Lieutenant Tom Pickering
  • 1959 – 1970 : Flight Lieutenant Bill Paton
  • 1971 – 1972 : Flight Lieutenant V S Patton
  • 1973 – 1979 : Flight Lieutenant Harry Bertram
  • 1980 – 1982 : Flight Lieutenant Ricky Nunn
  • 1983 – 1985 : Flight Lieutenant Barrie Jackson
  • 1986 – 1997 : Flight Lieutenant Richard Mekins
  • 1998 – 2001 : Flight Lieutenant Anthony Moy
  • 2002 – 2003 : Flight Lieutenant Barrie Jackson
  • 2003 – 2005 : Flight Lieutenant Iain Jenkins
  • 2005 – 2012 : Flight Lieutenant Andy Pygott
  • 2012 – 2015 : Flight Lieutenant Anthony Moy
  • 2015 – 2016 : Flight Lieutenant Karin Scott
  • 2016 – Present : Flying Officer Deborah Fairbotham

Civilian Committee

Our Civilian Committee comprises of the friends and family of cadets and staff who volunteer their time to meet up regularly and help to raise funds for the squadron. Examples of their work includes working on grant applications, obtaining sponsorships, organising social events (such as barbecues, quiz nights and film nights) and arranging fundraisers (such as supermarket bag-packs).