Air Historical Branch

About

We are a small department within the RAF with the responsibility of providing the Air Staff, the wider RAF and MOD, and other government departments with RAF related historical support on operational and other matters. We have a specialist staff of historians and researchers who use material held within AHB or other official repositories as sources through which to provide this support.

What we do

  • Members of our specialist staff regularly contribute to RAF/air power publications and conferences.
  • Our historians produce official narratives for the RAF, the most recent of which are, at present, classified. Unclassified narratives produced by AHB are available to the public in the National Archives or through the RAF CAPS website.
  • The AHB sponsors books on RAF subjects which are available to members of the public.
  • We provide images of RAF badges when authority for their commercial/public use has been granted by the Ministry of Defence Directorate of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • We have the responsibility within the RAF to respond to historical RAF casualty enquiries made by members of the public.
  • We offer advice and guidance to members of the public on sources of information on RAF matters in the public domain where possible sources are not already identified on our website.
  • We provide information on RAF historical subjects, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, when the information requested is held but is not already accessible to the public.
  • We assist members of the public with understanding of the content of RAF Records of Service.
  • We provide information on RAF aircraft accidents which occurred over 15 years ago to members of the public in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
  • We respond to requests from the media which are passed to us by the MOD News Desk, Defence Public Relations and Air Command Media and Communications officers. All media requests should be submitted through these channels.
  • We assist with the process of clearing presentations, articles, and books written by members of the RAF for release or publication in the public domain. Former RAF personnel pursuing similar projects based upon their Service experience, including memoirs and web pages, can seek guidance from Publications Clearance Branch (Air) located within the Air Historical Branch.

What we don't do

  • We are unable to assist with information on Royal Naval Air Service, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Flying Corps or Army Air Corps enquiries.
  • We are 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 can not provide contact details of former service personnel or their next of kin.

Location

Located at RAF Northolt, admission is by appointment only.

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