Awarded: December 1929
Blazon: Shield: Azure on a Chevron between three Cranes Volant all Argent as many Torteaux each charged with a Lion’s face Or.
Crest: On a Helm with a Wreath of the colours a figure representing Daedelus proper winged and crined Or. Mantled Azure doubled Argent.
Supporters: On either side standing upon a Scroll Or bearing the motto “Superna Petimus” in letters Azure two Eagles wings addorsed and inverted Argent beaked and legged Gules langued and armed Azure gorged with an Astral Crown Or charged with a Fleur-de-Lys Or the dexter fimbriated Vert the sinister fimbriated Gules.
Link: The Arms of the College were granted on 19 December 1929 and are based on the Arms of the de Cranewell family which were discovered in the village Church in the 17th Century. They feature three cranes with wings spread, emblematic of long distance flight. The background of the shield is blue, symbolising the sky and the three lion’s faces in red and gold on a chevron represent the College’s royal connections. The crest shows Daedelus, the mythical first aviator, and after whom the station was initially named when it was first established by the RNAS during the First World War.
The College was further granted the right to bear supporters on its existing Armorial Bearings in May 1972. Eagles were chosen to represent modern birds of the air, silver aircraft. Their red legs and beaks establish a link with Lord Trenchard whose own Coat of Arms bore red eagles as supporters. The astral crowns indicate that the RAF College is the world’s first Military Air Academy. The two Fleur-de-Lys are edged in green to show the College’s close association with Lincolnshire and red to indicate the College’s ties with Bedfordshire, the home of the RAF Technical College Henlow which merged with Cranwell in 1966.
Motto: Latin: Superna Petimus – We strive for higher things
History: The Royal Naval Air Service Central Training Establishment Cranwell was commissioned on 1 April 1916 and later became known as HMS Daedelus. Upon the amalgamation of the RNAS and RFC on 1 April 1918, control of the station passed to the Royal Air Force and the former Naval base title was replaced by RAF Station Cranwell. Following WWI, Chief of Air Staff, Sir Hugh Trenchard, determined to consolidate the RAF’s position as a single independent Service, established the RAF College at Cranwell which opened as the first Military Air Academy in the world on 5 February 1920 to provide basic and flying training for the RAF’s future leaders. Building of the College Hall Building was completed in September 1933 and was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII on 11 October 1934.
On the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the RAF, King George VI announced his intention to award Sovereign’s Colours to the Service. The first of these was to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell on 6 July 1948. After a distinguished history, as long as that of the RAF itself, Cranwell has become the single gate of entry for all officers entering the RAF and remains current.
Sponsored by Just Wood and dedicated to all who served at RAF College Cranwell.