WW1 Service Records for British Air Personnel

Depending on which arm of the Service an airman served with before the Royal Air Force was created on 1st April 1918, that is, if he was with the Royal Flying Corps or the Royal Naval Air Service, and also if he continued service after 1922, the records may currently be held in different archives.

Information and guidance to look for Service Records of airmen who served in the Royal Flying Corps (R.F.C.), Royal Naval Air Service (R.N.A.S.) and Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) after it was formed on 1st April 1918, can be found on the National Archives' website at the following links.

Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Records

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Looking for Records of an Airman in the Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air Force (RAF) Personnel Records

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Research Guide for Royal Air Force Personnel

Royal Air Force Officers' Service Records

Over 99,000 Service Records for Royal Air Force officers who served during the First World War are currently held at the National Archives in Kew, Surrey, England. The records also include the service of officers who served in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. They are held in the series AIR 76.

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Royal Air Force Officers' Service Records 1918-1919

Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) Service Records

Website: www.nationalarchives Women's Royal Air Force Service Records 1918-1920

Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) Rating Records

Register records for RNAS Ratings who served before 1st April 1918 can be searched and downloaded online from the National Archives collection in Registers of Seamen's Services (1853-1923). They are held in the series category ADM 188.

See the page on the National Archives website for information:

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Looking for Records of a Rating in the Royal Naval Air Service

Online Air Personnel Records

If you are looking for the Service Records of an airman who served during the First World War they are now available online (accessible with pay as you go credits or by subscription) on the findmypast family history website.

Website: www.findmypast.co.uk

Further Reading

Cover of Tracing Air Force Ancestors book by Phil Tomaselli

Tracing Your Air Force Ancestors (Paperback)

by Phil Tomaselli

Guide for family historians to point you in the right direction for air service records, medals, archives to visit or find online. 192 pages. Published by Pen & Sword Aviation (19 July 2007). ISBN-10: 1844155730; ISBN-13: 978-1844155736

Cover of Air Force Records book by William Spencer

Air Force Records: A Guide for Family Historians (Paperback)

by William Spencer

Guide for family historians wanting to find out about a person who served in the Royal Air Force. 162 pages. Published by The National Archives. 2 Revised Edition (30 Jun 2008). ISBN-10: 1905615256; ISBN-13: 978-1905615254

Cover of Tracing your First World War Ancestors by Simon Fowler

Tracing Your First World War Ancestors (Family History) (Paperback)

by Simon Fowler

Easy to use guide for novice researchers. Published by Countryside Books, New edition (13 Nov 2008), 192 pages, ISBN-10: 1846741300 and ISBN-13: 978-1846741302

Useful Links

The National Archives, Kew, Surrey

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Ancestry.co.uk

Website: www.ancestry.co.uk

Findmypast.co.uk

Website: www.findmypast.co.uk

Forces War Records

Website: www.forces-war-records.co.uk

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