RAF Casualties

RAF Casualties

Information on Royal Flying Corps casualties is held by the RAF Museum at Hendon. The Air Historical Branch holds information on RAF casualties although, prior to 1939, the amount is very limited. The AHB has the responsibility for responding to requests from members of the public enquiring about historic RAF casualties.

Current Operational Casualties

We can not assist with enquiries about RAF casualties suffered in current operations.

Enquiries about current operational casualties should be addressed to:

SPVA JCCC
Innsworth House
Imjin Barracks
Innsworth
Gloucester
GL3 1HW

To visit the SPVA JCCC website, click here.

Making a Request for Historical Casualty Information

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) - Air Historical Branch (AHB) - is the custodian of the RAF Casualty Files. These historical records include details of aircraft losses from 1940 to the present day and are held in MOD archives until they are transferred and opened to the general public at The National Archives as historical records under the Public Records Act.

Subject to certain conditions - as specified below - information in these files is available on request from members of the public under MOD's publication scheme.

What's Held?

Casualty files contain varying amounts of information, depending on the incident and the amount of information collected at the time. Generally the record may contain some of the following information:

  • Aircraft Type
  • Squadron
  • Take-off time and date
  • Target
  • Bomb load
  • Special equipment carried (if any)
  • Names of crew members
  • Details of burial(s) (if not in a field grave)
  • Cause of loss (where known)
  • Crash location (where known)

Some of this information will already be in the public domain. Details of 2nd World War burials relating to aircrew losses may be held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). (Visit the CWGC website)

Limitations on disclosure

Under the publication scheme, and in recognition of MOD's duty of care to the next of kin, for a period of 25 years following the death of any person involved in an incident, personal information relating to that person will only be released to the next of kin or those who provide evidence of their consent to disclosure. If you are the next of kin (or can obtain their consent) you can obtain information before the 25 year period by completing the Certificate of Kinship. Unless an individual's death occured in the incident, proof of death is required before any personal information contained within a casualty file can be disclosed to any person, although other non-personal information will normally be releasable.

Reproduction of Information

It should be noted that, for conservation reasons, the AHB does not routinely provide photocopies of information held on the casualty records where the original copies are fragile or in poor condition. Information about 2nd World War losses is recorded on poor quality wartime paper and may be partially or wholly illegible. The original copies are susceptible to damage by modern reproduction processes such as photocopying. Information in these cases will be extracted from the files and provided to the requestor. Should you wish to use this service to obtain information held on the RAF Air Casualty Files, please complete the appropriate search form as detailed below:

Next of kin or enquirers with the permission of the next of kin should download and complete this form.

General enquirers should download and complete this form.

Search Fee

There is an administration charge of £30 per record for the provision of this service. Cheques should be made payable to "The Accounting Officer, Ministry of Defence". These records relate primarily to aircraft losses which frequently involved sacrifice by the crew and their families as a result of injury or loss of life. In recognition of this, charges are waived for information made by survivors, the spouse of a crew member, or their children (or parent and sibling where there is no spouse or children).

Until the search has been undertaken there is no way of knowing what information is held. In some cases little or no information will be held. If a search is unsuccessful we are unable to refund payment.

Completed applications should be sent to:

The Air Historical Branch
RAF Northolt
West End Road
Ruislip
Middlesex
HA4 6NG

Text size:
medium|
larger|
largest