Squadron History

The Squadron was formed early in 1941 and based its headquarters at the High Street School in Harborne. The first Commanding Officer was Flt Lt A H Dutton RAFVR(T). His Adjutant was Fg Off K Jackson RAFVR(T).  When the time came for reorganization of the units in the Wing the Squadron was amalgamated with No 486 (Quinton) Squadron and was re-designated as No 485 (Harborne & Quinton) Squadron. In 1962 the Squadron moved to the TA Centre, at Tennal Grange, Tennal Road, Harborne.

In later years the Squadron secured the services of an excellent radio officer in WO P Short and it was only natural that they should become heavily involved in Radio. They still have an extremely good communication `set-up' as well as a new Flight simulator, which has replaced the old simulator of a Canberra.

Unit activities included the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, sport in which they have several `Blues' at both Wing and Regional level and shooting. They won the Collins Trophy three years running - 1988 to 1990. Support was always given to the local community, helping the Central Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association and the Royal British Legion. They have also taken part in a sponsored twenty four hour drill competition to raise money for charity.
During 1990 they helped the local police to clean the War Memorial in Harborne as part of this community support.

The present accommodation comprises a `Spooner' hut for administration and classroom work which was extended in May 2001, now also contains the radio room and simulator room. In the main building there is a wooden propeller (origin unknown) and a plaque dedicated to the memory of past members of Nos 485 and 486 Squadrons who gave their lives in the Second World War.

There is a further plaque dedicated to the memory of a former cadet CWO Mark Drewell. He was killed in a car accident in 1986 when serving with the Royal Air Force Regiment.

In September 2015 the squadron replaced its aged minibus with the support from the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the civilian committee, submitted a bid to the charity for funding a new minibus to help provide ongoing transportation for cadet activities. In May 2015 we were visited by a RAFCT trustee, Mr. Smith. The trust later approved a grant towards a nearly new bus, which was purchased and delivered in the September 2015.

The motto of the Squadron is "Non Sine Pulvere Palma" which translated means "No success without effort"


Commanding Officers:

1941-1965 Flt Lt A. H. Dutton RAFVR(T) 

1965-1968 Flt Lt W. Ogborne RAFVR(T) 

1968-1969 Flt Lt J. Muldoon RAFVR(T) 

1969-1976 Flt Lt K. Blunn RAFVR(T)

1976-1979 Flt Lt B. Barnes RAFVR(T) 

1979-1983 Flt Lt P. G. Clarke RAFVR(T) 

1983-1996 Flt Lt A. Healey RAFVR(T) 

1996-2001 Flt Lt C. G. Bell RAFVR(T) 

2001- 2004 Flt Lt P. Smith RAFVR(T)

2004 -  May 2011 Flt Lt P. Coates RAFVR(T)

May 2011 - Aug 2013 Flt Lt S. Jennings RAFVR(T)

Sept 2013 - Dec 2015 WO R. Coates ATC

Jan 2016 - Present  Flt Lt K. Aldridge RAFVR(T)  

June 2007 - Contact from another Ex Member Mr. Peter Rolfe an ex Flt/Sgt of 485 Squadron at the unit between April 1941 to August 1944.


485 squadron at the Blue Coat School HQ

March 2008 - More information thanks to Ex Flt/Sgt Roger.J.Burgess 485 Sqn a member of the Sqn from 1956 until 1959.

485 Squadron HQ was at Tennal Grange in two long old wooden huts raised from the ground by masonry bricks - some considerable time before I joined it in 1956.

Hut 1 was the main parade hut,and contained a small canteen at the far end,with a small uniform store next to it. There was also a three quarter length snooker table positioned in front of the same, on which many a good break was made by myself and Cadet David A.JONES. (15years) David was tragically killed whilst cycling down Mucklows Hill on his way to School. The whole Sqdn turned out for his funeral,to take David on his final journey.(He really was a very popular young chap - liked by all on the Sqdn)

Hut 2 contained two class rooms, the C,O's office, a 'Morse Signal/operation room. and at the far end a Link Trainer room. I remember a Summer Camp 27th July to 3rd August 1957 at R.A.F. Hendon. The C.O.'s name - I cannot recall. A second Summer Camp 1958 at R.A.F.Chivenor. Our C.O. at this time was Flt Lt Tony WICKHAM.

This Photo taken in 1958, appeared in the Birmingham Evening Mail newspaper in 2005.  It was seen by John Brindley's grandson who instantly recognised his grandad in the photo.  The photograph was sent into the newspaper by Vic Cobden another ex cadet of 485 squadron. From the article the two ex cadets got back in touch with each by phone.  "It was 45 years since they had last spoken and lost contact". In 2006 the squadron held a sponsored 24 hour drill fundraising event which was published in the Birmingham Evening Mail newspaper from this Vic Cobden contacted the squadron and also let us know about John Brindley.  We arranged for the two ex cadets to meet at the squadron Headquarters, where they first met each other many years early, this was the first time that they had seen each other in person in 45 years.

They commented on how much the Squadron building had changed and glad to see two items which have remained in the HQ for a number of years, a large propeller in the Cadets Mess which is of unknown origin and the retired 485 Standard which was replaced in 1998.

485 Squadron Summer Camp Royal Air Force Hendon 27th July to 3rd August 1957.


 Summer Camp Royal Air Force Chivenor
  485 Squadron Summer Camp Royal Air Force Chivenor Summer of 1958.
Two photos above kindly submitted by Roger Burgess ex 485 Sqn A.T.C.(1957 to 1959)
Above a photo of an annual camp at RAF Odiham in 1976.
The photo was kindly sent to the squadron from a former member,  Alan Moulsdale (Flt Sgt) of 485 Squadron between 1975 to 1981.
He remembered the people on this photo as the follwing.
Rear rank, left to right W/O Short, F/Sgt B O'Neil, Sgt P Griffiths, Unknown, Cpl Yates, Myself, W/O Healey & Flt Lt Barnes (CO).
Front rank, left to right Cpl Payne, Cdt Reeve, Cdt Pullen, Cdt O'Brien, Cdt Phipps.
I was at 399su for two tours ,one in 1965 to 66 then out to 264su in Cyprus returning again in 1969.
In 1972 I along with 11 others were sent out to 276su at short notice for 9 months returning in mid 1973.
Ending my service there in 1977,isnt it a small world !
Any how to get back to the original purpose of the e mail will now attach the photo to this reply .
Incidently since the other day a couple of names have come to me , the WO was Sid Warwick  and the cadet sgt was Ron Harrison, the names suddenly came to me at 3 am this morning.
On the photograph I am in the centre of the back row . Dereck Baldwin is 2nd from left in centre row and Dennis Olivier is 4th in from the left.  I was looking on the net again yesterday and fell across another website concerning the squadron and was surprise to see a paper cutting referring to a trip to RAF Brize Norton , this I do recall attending it was fairly early in my time with 485 and was quite exciting for all of us to see B47 bombers at close hand.


A picture of Tennal Grange being built, featured in a news story on the Birmingham mail website from September 2014. Copyright and reference of the photo is owned by the Birmingham mail (The photo is theirs).

Link to the news article     http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/nostalgia/nostalgia-see-how-much-harborne-7709787