Coastal Command and Maritime Air Asociation.
Royal Air Force Service Records - Personnel Records
As the years progress we receive an increasing amount of requests from individuals concerning either family or friends "Service History" requests.  

As an Association we do not have copies of these records.


The following is an extract from the MOD RAF Website:

"Personnel Records

Royal Air Force personnel records are held at RAF Cranwell. If service number and details are known, please quote it in correspondence. Cranwell will only divulge information to the person to whom it refers or, if he or she has died, to his or her immediate next of kin. Anyone else must obtain written permission from the person about whom they are enquiring, or from his or her next of kin, before any information will be given to them.

Cranwell make a charge of 30.00 for any information they provide; cheques made payable to 'MOD Funds'. The only people exempt from charge are the person to whom the records refer or their widow or widower."

For further details : www.raf.mod.uk/links/contacts.cfm

Tracing the Service History of a Relative

Apart from the "On line" information available on the internet all the other information provided here is based on experience, and I (webmaster) must stipulate it may be different on a visit to the PRO Kew now.  The information is provided as a background to research and is a result of years of pain staking trawling through written documents.. Nothing is easy, be prepared for conflicting or a lack of information.

PRO, Public Records Office.


http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm

All commissioned ranks are listed in the Air Force List, these are in printed volumes and used to be available off the shelf in the microfilm room (It is some time since my last visit!!)

Individual Squadron Operational Record Books, F540 or ORBs (held on microfilm under section AIR27) provide in general a summary of the units operations month by month, occasionally you will see personnel movements listed too. Sometimes there will be a round up of the weather experienced at the base and on operations if pertinent. Details of the Targets, aircraft involved might be listed, but see F541.

In some of the Bomber Command information I have read it listed sorties carried out, crew lists, bomb load, routing, target, some times this was referenced in an Annex.

A great deal of units also used a Form 541 which listed Operational Flying, and in the case of the bigger aircraft could be where you will find crew lists of each sortie. I have a small snapshot on my No 19 OTU website. www.19otu.org.uk  in the "Despatch" (of an Operation) section

RAF Station Record Books (SRBs) are listed in AIR28.  In the past you may have been given the actual document.  These sometimes provide invaluable information on the aerodrome itself however, 
both the SRB and the F540/ORB must be crossed referenced so as not to miss anything.

The PRO's Catalogue is searchable on line. AIR27 covers the Operational Record Books; AIR28 contains the Station Record Books; AIR29 is for the Operational Training Units ORBs.

The PRO Index written Index at one stage was the most chaotic thing known to man. It is some time since I have used it, however, be prepared to look at annexes referenced in any document, sometimes the annex to a monthly summary might be found under another AIR/27 document.

You also have to rely on the capabilities of the Squadron Adjutant of the time, some units kept meticulous records, some very basic.  Good Luck. 
Webmaster

Ordering On Line from the PRO
It is possible to get microfilm copies or photocopies, but you need to know what you are buying, it is very expensive and you could order pages/film that does not mention your relative. It is something I have done blind (Not seen the actual book and ordered it over the net!) and regretted it.

Finally, you could wait till Ross McNeil gets his further volumes of "RAF Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War" published.  Volume One covers 1939-41, but since Ian Allan took over the work of Midland Counties Publishing everything has come to a dead stop.

Sitemap |  | Connect to Frames  |  Copyright Information