Royal Air Force

pilotinspitfireThe youngest of the three armed services, the Royal Air Force was formed in 1918 from the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

Unfortunately there is a paucity of online records for the RAF at this point in time, although many records are available for viewing by visiting The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

However, you can search the Air Ministry Combat Reports (1939 – 1945) online at the National Archives website, either by squadron number or surname. These online records comprise of either combat reports or personal reports.

There are few British Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) records available for World War 2 because they are still classified documents held by the Ministry of Defence. Records of those who served in the RAF during World War Two can be requested by ex-servicemen or their next of kin.

Apply to:
RAF Disclosures
Room 221b
Trenchard Hall
RAF Cranwell
NG34 8HB

The RAF research guides on The National Archives website may also help with searching for earlier records.

Useful links

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919
Contains biographies of over 26,000 Great war casualties including those of the Air Force. Some biographies include photographs.

Old RAF Records
Webite publishing online the RAF operational record books of The National Archives series: AIR 27

The National Archives

Royal Air Force Museum Website

Royal Air Force Air Historical Branch

Please note that the Air Historical Branch is unable to assist members of the public with tracing former members of the RAF/ WAAF/WRAF or next of kin of former members. In accordance with the Data Protection Act the Ministry of Defence cannot provide contact details of former service personnel or their next of kin.