A RETIRED Wing Commander from York has been praised by the Air Chief Marshall after publishing a book detailing the history of the Air Cadets.

Ray Kidd, 81, of Osbaldwick, has spent eight years writing Horizons – History Of The Air Cadets, which spans from the pre-war era to the present day.

Air Chief Marshall Sir Andrew Pulford, Chief of the Air Staff, said in a foreword that the Air Cadet organisation had a 'long and proud' history, but relatively few attempts had been made to capture its story in printed form.

"Wing Commander Kidd's tireless effort, over many years, has created a wonderful record of this world-class uniformed youth organisation which I'm sure cadets, ex-cadets and anyone interested in the Corps will find fascinating," he said.

"I am grateful to Wing Commander Kidd for ensuring this vital piece of Royal Air Force history is not lost to the sands of time."

Mr Kidd said 1,500 copies had been printed and all royalties would be donated to the Air Cadet organisation's funds to help run the international air cadet exchange programme.

He said he had joined the air cadets in Scarborough in 1947, six years after the corps was established. After completing National Service, he returned in 1964 as a trainer and his involvement with the organisation continued over the decades.

“The ATC formed out of the Air Defence Cadet Corps, a privately-funded organisation, on February 5, 1941, to provide training to young men approaching call-up to the rapidly-expanding RAF," he said.

“Yorkshire men have played a major part in the creation and development of the air cadet organisation from the early days, while cadets from local squadrons continue to make good account of themselves, frequently attaining goals of which they can be very proud.”

He said he hoped the book, published by Pen and Sword Books Ltd, which could be bought from bookshops as well as online, would appeal to past and present air cadets and aviation enthusiasts.

He said that being the air cadets helped build young people's confidence and leadership skills which helped develop them into better citizens, and benefitted them in civilian life.