About

Dolphin Lane School is the first headquarters for 489 which was only used on Sundays. Tuesday parades were spent at Hartfield Crescent School and Thursdays parades were spent at Sparkhill Commercial School. The first Commanding Officer, Flt Lt Toy RAFVR(T) was the headmaster of Sparkhill Commercial School, his staff consisted of Fg Off Millington RAFVR(T), Fg Off Oliver RAFVR(T), Fg Off Owen RAFVR(T), WO H Lester (Discipline), WO Wheeler (Band) and Civilian Instructors Mr C A Remfry and Mr K B Haskins.

By 1942 the squadron numbers were that considerable, the Committee took the decision to form another Squadron to deal with the number of cadets. The new Squadron was formed in Yardley with Fg Off Millington promoted to Flt Lt and given command of the newly numbered, 2030 (Yardley) Sqn.

In 1944 the Committee raised funds to purchase a private house in Station Road, Acocks Green. This was to be 489 Sqn’s new headquarters and was officially opened by Gp Cpt J A C Wright AFC TD DL MP and Sir Patrick Hannon MP. To the rear of the Squadron, 3 huts were erected, one was a games room, one was used to house an engine and the third was for general use.

1947 was the year in which Cdt Cpl Colin Taylor took part in the very first International Air cadet Exchange to America .

1951 the Squadron won the Wing Drill Competition at RAF Castle Bromwich. After the war, like most other squadrons, numbers declined. Numbers improved when a detached flight was formed at Sparkhill Commercial School but was forced to close in 1954.

The fifties saw Tri-Service efforts being made. 489, Sea Cadet Unit TS Dolphin and the Army Cadet Force Unit at Stockfield Road formed the Acocks Green Inter-Cadet Forces Association under the Chairmanship of Councillor E K Palmer. Many exercises and sporting activities were organised for the cadets of all three groups including a number of weekend camps at the TA Training centre based at Walton Hall, Wellesbourne. the joint expertise of the staff of all three units were used to the benefit of all the cadets. The Squadron still retains the Chairman’s Cup for athletics although the organization has now been abandoned.

In 1954 at the annual Wing Parade held at RAF Castle Bromwich, Cdt FD Tannock took over as Parade Commander with other senior cadets as supernumeraries and marched past the Reviewing Officer Air Commodore Merton watched by his Wing Officers. He was the first cadet NCO to be given this opportunity.

During the 1960s the unit excelled in sports and won Wing Athletics Trophy no less than three times. Cadet Fitzpatrick who was Corps, Region and Wing Champion at 400 metres also represented the Wing at all three levels of cross country running.

The Squadron represented the Wing in the Lees Trophy in 1968. In the same year Flt Lt G R Forward was selected as assistant escorting officer in the “21st Anniversary” International Air Cadet Exchange – again to the United States.

In 1975 the Headquarters were sold to a private buyer and the proceeds were put into Trust. The unit moved to a new site in Scott Road, Olton in the same year but the new Headquarters were not officially opened until 1977. Gp Capt J A C Wright AFC TD DL MP together with Gp Capt R Reece DSO OBE DFC MBIM RAFRO performed the ceremony. Sometime later a second building was purchased by the trustees on the Scott Road site and through the Trust income provisions have been made to continue to add to the buildings facilities. Much later the trust helped to provide a Squadron vehicle. The principle trustee was Mr K B Haskins. The nose section of a English Electric Canberra WT 534 was delivered to the premises on 29th march 1982 but being surplus to their requirements was transferred to 492 (Solihull) Squadron on 29th January 1985.

Notable cadets and staff by this point included Fg Off M J Stubbs RAFVR(T) who later became the Wing Commander of Surry Wing receiving OBE in 1992, Flt Lt J H Roberts RAFVR(T) who later became Wing Commander of Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing. Cdt Harvey Fox who after doing wartime service in the Royal Navy “took the cloth” and became the reverend Harvey Fox in due course officiating as both the Regional and Wing Chaplain.

After the departure of Flt Lt Dodd to Canada for work reasons, the Squadron struggled to retain a permanent Commanding Officer, This left the Squadron, after the temporary posting of Flt Lt Borthwick to Officer Commanding, with no official CO. During this time Sqn Ldr Isles (an ex cadet of 489 and ex CO of 492) stepped in to assist the running of the Squadron whilst the rest of the staff continued with the cadets training. In 2006 Flt Lt Sam Collins was posted as Commanding Officer.

The squadron took a bit of a hit as far as cadet numbers go during the years before Flt Lt Collins, but the numbers started to return back to normal. There was an increase in camps and the use of new locations for activities such as Duke of Edinburgh. One such area was Elan Valley, mid Wales, a small plot of land bought by Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing from the West Midlands Police which had accommodation blocks and a cooking block on site. This site was sold by the Wing a couple of years later.

In 2008 Flt Lt Collins fell pregnant and left the Corps to be a full time mother, so ex 489 cadet Flt Lt Jo Coles took the seat and became the Squadrons new Commanding Officer. March of 2008 saw the welcome arrival of a new Squadron Padre, the Rev Neil Bayliss, who himself is an ex cadet of the Corps and also an ex Squadron Commanding Officer.

Since the Squadron Head Quarters has been at Scott Road, we have been lucky enough to have the Haskins Building which has been Squadron owned. Due to the nature of some of the repairs required, it was decided to have the building ownership to be changed to the Air Cadets and maintenance to be in the charge of West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association. The building was remodelled inside and re-opened by Wing Commander Ladwa (Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Commanding Officer) and the Squadron Padre Rev Neil Bayliss on the 19th March 2009.

In the April of 2009 Rev Bayliss was asked to extend his duties from the Squadron to the Wing as Deputy Wing Padre which he duly accepted. Due to successful fund raising by the cadets, the squadron was able to purchase it’s third minibus allowing easier access to facilities and more flexible training.

November of 2010 saw the Squadron appear on Sky Sports TV as the representation of the Air Training Corps as thousands of people watched their tellies at home. On Remembrance Sunday 489 attended Aston Villa Football Ground to collect on behalf of the Poppy Appeal. After this the Squadron was asked to form the guard of honour on the pitch in front of a full capacity game between Aston Villa and Manchester United when the players came on the pitch. The Wing Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Sinfield was also able to assist us on the day. This activity was posted in the Wing Media Competition and was put into the last 4 of the Corps media competition.

As the Squadron was formed in March of 1941, March of 2011 saw the celebrations of 489’s 70th year of operations. This was celebrated by a church service at St Ambrose Barlow Church with current and ex cadets, with the service taken by the Sqn Padre.

Due to our continuous success in the media area, the Squadron was awarded most improved Media Award at Wing Training Day of 2011.
August of 2012 sees ex 489 Cadet and ex CO of 492 become the new Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing Commanding Officer. He received the Wing Banner from his predecessor Wing Commander Ladwa at HMS Bristol annual camp.

New appointment of Fg Off Alan Tillman as squadron adjutant in March of 2014. He transferred in from 2438sqn which closed.

Wing Field Day 2015 saw 489 Sqn drill team impress the crowd, however the team’s commander, Sgt Malik, impressed even more and won the Drill Cane at his first attempt.