The origins of 148 (Barnsley) Squadron began in 1938, when a group of former Royal Flying Corps officers looked into the possibility of a cadet unit in Barnsley under the auspices of the Air League of the British Empire. Their efforts were rewarded when they were granted an Air Defence Cadet Corps Squadron numbered 148 on the 16th July 1939.
Accommodation was found in an old large hut situated on Racecommon Road on the current site. The first Officer Commanding (OC) was Flt Lt E H Umbers who ran the unit until it was absorbed into the Air Training Corps in February 1941. On the formation of Wings, Flt Lt Umbers was appointed OC South Yorkshire Wing, a position subsequently occupied by another four 148 Commanding Officers.
In the years of the war, the Squadron strength was over 250 cadets with detached flights (DF’s) in Royston, Hoyland, Holgate and Wombwell. These units were subsequently disbanded after the war. The Squadron operated with some success prior to being absorbed into the Air Training Corps in February 1941.
When Flt Lt Umbers was appointed into OC South Yorkshire Wing, his position as OC Squadron was taken by Flt Lt W J Taylor who was the brother of Under Secretary of State for Air, Sir W J Taylor. The Corps was administered by HQ Home Command with 64 Northern Group who were responsible for the northern units. In the mid 1960s, the unit detached to the TA centre to allow the old hut to be demolished and the current hut to be built. The annex and projects building were added later.
148 (Barnsley) Squadron has an excellent track record and has been one of the top Squadrons for more than 70 years with many awards including nominations for the Sir Alan Lees Trophy (the best Squadron in the Corps). The Squadron has the distinction of being the first unit in the Wing to adopt the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and subsequently the first to attain a Gold Award.
Currently, we have a number of of ex-cadets who are pilots flying civil airliners and others who are in the Royal Air Force flying Tornado’s, Hercules’ and Chinook’s. We also have ex cadets who have served in other roles across all branches of the Armed Forces. Since the merger of South Yorkshire and West Riding Wings into South and West Yorkshire Wing, the Squadron has still maintained its status as one of the best in the wing.