Photograph of RFC officer in plane (Catalogue reference: AIR 1/942/204/5/972)

This is a brief guide to help you with your research. Royal Flying Corps (RFC) records are kept in different places depending on when the officera senior member of staff in the armed forces served. This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists and, if it does, where to find it.

  • What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

    • British army service records (1914-1922)

      Look in the British army service records in WO 339 and WO 374 to find some records of RFC officersofficer - a senior member of staff in the armed forces. Search Discovery, our cataloguea search tool with descriptions of tens of millions of documents from the UK central government, law courts, and other national bodies by the name of the officer if he had an unusual name. Common names are likely to produce too many results.

    • Campaign medal rolls (for 1914-1918 service)

      Locate the campaign medala medal awarded to a person who took part in a particular military campaign roll in WO 329 for an officer who served in the First World War.

       

      If you find the officer's medal index card in WO 372 (see above), make a note of the reference in the 'Roll' column for a particular campaign medal. Search our catalogue using this reference in quotation marks.

       

      Reference examples: "OFF/168", "OFF/229"

  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

    • RAF service records after 1920

      Use the Veterans UK website find out how to obtain information about accessing RAF service records after 1920, which are kept by the Ministry of Defence.

Did you know?

The Royal Flying Corps (RFC), founded in 1912, was the first air service.

In July 1914 the RFC's naval wing was detached to form the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). On 1 April 1918 the two services were merged again to form the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Before 1 April 1918, the RFC was a corps of the British army. If you are looking for an RFC officera senior member of staff in the armed forces, consult both RAF and British army service records.

The service records of RFC/RAF officers who relinquished their commissions after 1920 are still kept by the Ministry of Defence.