The light blue beret
It was always the intention for the Army Air Corps to have the beret as its headgear when it re-formed in 1957. The Glider Pilot element wished to adopt the maroon beret of the World War Two Army Air Corps however this was prevented by protest from the Parachute Regiment and the Air Observation Post who held the majority and wanted something new.
The founders of the modern Army Air Corps gathered a committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Hugh Stockwell (who was to be the first Colonel Commandant of the Corps) responsible for creating a beret that would distinguish members of the Army Air Corps and Army Aviation from other regiments and corps of the British Army. The final decision was split between the two colours to be adopted by the Corps namely light blue (referred to as Cambridge Blue) and dark blue (referred to as Oxford Blue). The prototype in Oxford Blue was considered to be too close to that of the Royal Air Force Regiment as it faded. As a result the committee took the bold decision to adopt Cambridge Blue as the colour for its beret.
An article originally written by the late Colonel RM Begbie AAC (Retd) for the Silver Jubilee Army Air Corps Journal in 1982 on the selection of the Corps beret can be found in the Documents list on the right. The article was reprinted in the Army Air Corps Journal 2007, pp 140-141.
The Army Air Corps eagle
The Army Air Corps badge design is credited to Colonel Bob Begbie who sketched the first example of the eagle that was to become the badge of the Corps in 1957. In the early days of the Corps only the small permanent cadre wore the badge although all wore the light blue beret as a clear indication of the Corps within which they served.