Whilst the Air Training Corps was formed by Royal Warrant on 5th February 1941, the actual date of the formation of 287 Squadron is unknown. Due the Squadron's status as one of the earlist in the country, it is estimated that the Squadron was formed at some point in 1938, as part of the Air Defence Cadet Corps (ADCC),which was the organisation which would eventually giveway for the Air Training Corps.
However, sources accessed during external research suggest that the only original Squadron in Edinburgh was 35F (1st Edinburgh) and the other Edinburgh Squadrons (2nd-8th Edinburgh) were first formed as Detached Flights of 35F, parading in both Learmonth Terrace and Boroughmuir High School. The Operations record book for Edinburgh and South Scotland Wing 1953 confirms this. (For more details on the original 8 Edinburgh Squadrons, please follow the link on the history home page.)
287 Squadron moved from Learmonth Terrace to 114 Stenhouse Drive on 14th November 1953. Statistical documents show at this time the Squadron had an average strength of 35 Cadets, a modest sized Squadron at this time.
The Squadron won the Drill competition year after year from the late 50s until well into the late 60s; so much so that other Squadrons did not enter. This was under W/O J Drysdale and W/O A J Carter.
Throughout the 60's, 287 Squadron was parent to two Detached Flights. The first of these gained independent Squadron status in 1964 and was registered as 2463 (Currie and Balerno) Squadron, and the other, the present day 870 (Dreghorn) Squadron gained Squadron status in the early 70's.
The Squadron has produced 4 Wing Commanders viz Wing Commander Wilson, Wing Commander Neish, Wing Commander Ireland and the last acting Wing Commander of the previous Edinburgh and South Scotland Wing, Squadron Leader B. McAdam. No other Squadron in the Wing can claim that. In addition the Squadron has produced cadets who have gone on to command at least 5 other Squadrons. Not a bad record.
Throughout the 80's and 90's, the Squadron also performed exceptionally in the drill stakes, winning the Edinburgh Wing and Scotland and Northern Ireland Region Drill Cups every year under the leadership of the late Warrant Officer Lenny Sclater. This is a reputation we are keen to reestablish.
In 2007, notice was given to the Squadron Commander, Flt Lt Raymond Smart, that the Squadron's home in Stenhouse Drive was to be demolished to make way for the Edinburgh Trams Initiative. As such, in 2008, 287 Squadron was temporarily relocated with 870 (Dreghorn) Squadron in Colinton. Although during this time Squadron membership fell to an all time low (mainly due to travel difficulties and staffing setbacks), friendships and links with 870 Squadron were forged, and we benefitted greatly from the collaboration with another Squadron. These links will last for years to come.
In 2010, after 2 years of displacement, the Air Cadet Organisation rewarded us with brand new premises in Stevenson Drive, Edinburgh. These premises are much closer to our original home, and the move allowed us to resume recruitment drives in a normal fashion. Very soon after moving into our new premises, the Squadron began to flourish once again,with the Squadron roll doubling within a year of the move.
2010 saw one of the Squadron's proudest moments when our Cadets were invited to take part in a march through the Edinburgh Royal Mile as part of the Armed Forces Day parade. This is a role we reprised in 2011.
In 2012, the Squadron name was changed from 4th Edinburgh to Stenhouse, reflecting the particular area of Edinburgh in which the Squadron has it's HQ.
It is our belief that the only way from here is UP!
Photo below ©Google 2008
Photo below courtesy of Flg Off A McDonald, OC 2463 Squadron.