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Sources Used for Researching the RAF

Personnel Records etc.:

Ministry of Defence, RAF Personnel Management Centre, INNSWORTH, Gloucester, GL3 1EZ

Air Historical Branch, Lacon House, Theobalds Road, LONDON, WC1X 8RU

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 2 Marlow Road, MAIDENHEAD, Berks, 5L6 7DX (address to 'The Information Officer)

National Archives KEW Documents

  • AIR10 Air Publications e.g. AIR10/403B and 4039 contain des-criptions, photographs and plans of Airfields during WW2
  • AIR24 Command Record Books e.g. AIR24/1268 HQ Reserve Command 1939
  • AIR25 Group Record Books
  • AIR26 Wing Record Books
  • AIR27 Squadron Record Books e.g.
    • /681 82 Squadron 1937
    • /592 65 Squadron 1940 (Many AIR27 are now on microfilm)
  • AIR28 Station Record Books e.g.
    • /32 Andover 1936-7
    • /384 Hornchurch 1940
    • /512 Manston 1940
  • AIR29 Miscellaneous Units Record Books e.g.
    • /9 71 Training Depot Squadron 1935
    • /632 3 Initial Training Wing Hastings 1939
    • /588 No.2 Air Armament School 1937
    • /568 10 FTS 1939
  • AIR50 Individual Combat Reports and Intelligence Assessments (several of these have been stolen) e.g.
    • /25 65 Squadron


Background Reading (only a few from a vast selection)

Battle of Britain: The Hardest Day by Alfred Price

Battle of Britain - Then and Now Ed. Winston Ramsay (probably the 'definitive' book BUT costs £40)

Bombers - The Weapon of Total War by Brian Johnson and H.I. Cozens

Fighter Command by Chaz Bowyer

Fighter Pilots of World War II by ?

Nine Lives by Alan C Deere (54 Squadron)

Spitfire - A Test Pilot's Story by Jeffrey Quill

Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Other Units by Robertson Colson & Cook (published 1935)

The RAF - a Pictorial History by Bruce Robertson

The Royal Air Force - the First Fifty Years by Charles Sims

War Illustrated Magazine

The Second World War (esp. Volume 2) by Winston Churchill

The Spitfire 50 Years On by Michael J F Bowyer


For Research Sources

The Records of the Royal Air Force - How to find The Few by Eunice Wilson (FFHS Publication)

The National Archives, Kew, Research Guides, especially

PRO Readers' Guide No 8 "RAF Records in the PRO" by Simon Fowler, Peter Elliott, Roy Conyers Nesbit and Christina Goulter.

The Internet

Entering key words such as "65 Squadron", "Battle of Britain", "Spitfire" etc into a search engine such as Google which produce a large amount of useful information.

Worth a Visit

The RAF Museum at Hendon

Tangmere Airfield, Sussex

The Web Site of the Spitfire and Hurricane Museum, Manston


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