Photograph of ground crew of 617 Squadron, the Dambusters (Catalogue reference: INF 2/43)

This is a brief guide to researching records of Royal Air Force squadronssquadron - an airborne unit in the RAF. RAF squadron records are largely complete and fairly detailed. They are held in a variety of places, but the majority of relevant records can be found at The National Archives.

This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists, and if it does where to find it or more information about it. This guide is for people interested in RAF squadrons themselves as opposed to those interested in finding a specific person.

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

    • Non-operational crashes and casualties (1918-present)

      Browse the Ministry of Defence Air Historical Branch website for information on tracing records of crashes and casualties which occurred on non-operational flights from 1918 onwards. These do not usually contain personal details.

  • What other resources will help me find information?

Did you know?

The Royal Air Force was formed in 1918, towards the end of the First World War. Most operational records of its predecessors can be found in AIR 1 and AIR 2. Early squadronan airborne unit in the RAF operation record books can be found in AIR 27.

"Summary of events" forms, also known as form 540, and "detail of work carried out" forms, also known as form 541, can be found in record operation books. These forms are records of the daily events of all RAF units.