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RAF Operations Record Books for the Dambusters squadron go online


TheGenealogist is marking the anniversary of the famous Royal Air Force Dambusters raid on the Ruhr Valley dams in May 1943 by releasing a massive tranche of fully searchable RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) including those ORBs for the famous No 617 Squadron giving an insight into their lives.


Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his crew boarding their Lancaster bomber


With a release of 1,550,018 records, bringing the total to 6,748,021 these new diary-like RAF documents paint a picture of the goings on in a squadron on a day-to-day basis for those units under British control. 


These are uniquely fully searchable by:-

  • Forename and Surname 
  • Squadron
  • Date Range


Using keywords users can also search for Service Number, Rank, and Duty, Aircraft type and location where the fields appear in the record. This makes it possible to easily find your Royal Air Force ancestors and discover more about their war time activities on the base and in the air.


See the usefulness of these contemporary daily diary entries in a short video that spotlights the famous leader of No 617 Squadron, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., D.F.C. and Bar, D.S.O. and Bar as he and his unit prepare for their mission to drop the bouncing bombs on the German dam targets.




The Operations Record Books are for squadrons primarily from after the First World War, although there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918. These ORBs follow the daily happenings in the air and on the base, and frequently name the brave aircrew who battled against the odds. 


You can use the collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences from these fully searchable Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, Dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher a fascinating insight into their relatives serving in a number of wartime air force units, as can be seen in the video and article that shines a light on Wing Commander Gibson and his squadron. 


  • See the wartime operations of air crew
  • Discover pilots, navigators, radio operators and gunners mentioned in the diaries
  • Find airmen receiving an Honour or a Medal
  • Note the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or who did not return
  • Fully search these National Archives records and images


Find out more about the AIR27 recordset here: https://www.TheGenealogist.co.uk/Air27


This release expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection for Diamond subscribers.


To take a deeper look into these records read TheGenealogist’s feature article and see how 617 Squadron recorded the famous Dambuster operation in the ORBs from the time.



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Dambuster records now launched on TheGenealogist

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the famous wartime raid, new online records of the Dambusters Raid are now available on TheGenealogist To coincide with recent commemorations of the RAF raid on the industrialised areas of the German heartland, TheGenealogist has now made available full online records of one of the most daring bomber raids of World War Two.

RAF 617 Squadron, the Dambusters

Aircrew from RAF 617 Squadron, the Dambusters

Prior to the start of the war, the British Air Ministry identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley and especially the dams as important strategic targets. Repeated air strikes with large bombs could be effective but Bomber Command had struggled for accuracy in the face of heavy enemy fire. Finally ‘Operation Chastise’ was devised using a specially designed ‘bouncing bomb’ invented and developed by Barnes Wallis. Full details of the Operation Record Book have now been made available to view online. It provides an in-depth analysis of the mission which went on to achieve legendary recognition. The fascinating information includes an account of each aircraft’s flight, including full crew list and details of the awards made to each of the crew members after the mission. This new resource is ideal if you had a relative involved with 617 Squadron (the famous Dambuster Squadron), or if you are interested in one of the most iconic RAF missions of World War Two. There's more details available here.
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