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World War 2 RAF Casualty records now available to view

According to the latest news from The National Archives website, a collection of Second World War RAF casualty records has now been released to view. The records were produced by the Air Ministry's casualty branch following the loss of an aircraft or personnel. They include accident reports and correspondence with next of kin. Known as the AIR 81 series, the first tranche  contains 316 packs dating from the beginning of the war in September 1939 to May 1940. However, many of the files contain correspondence which runs into the 1950s and even the 1960s. This first collection of records does include some notable RAF raids from the early years of World War 2, such as the raid on the Albert Canal Bridges in Belgium in May 1940 when five aircraft from RAF No 12 Squadron were lost and the first Victoria Crosses of the war were awarded. There's more details at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/903.htm

New RAF Records released

New RAF casualty records released from the start of World War Two.

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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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