Royal Air Force airmen’s records are now searchable through the online catalogue of The National Archives (TNA) of the UK.
TNA says: “The service records of the first 320,000 airmen to serve with the RAF and its predecessors are now searchable by name following the conclusion of a successful cataloguing project. Staff and volunteers at The National Archives have added full names to the service numbers listed in the AIR 79 series, containing the records of airmen who served in the First World War. Previously, it was only possible to search the index of airmen on microfilm in the reading rooms at TNA, Kew.
“The Royal Air Force was formed in April 1918 but the records include men who had previously served with its predecessors, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, as well as those recruited directly into the new RAF.
“The records themselves, which are orderable at Kew, are rich in detail and contain everything from hair colour to marital status, as well as details of service. The cataloguing of the series is a vital step towards any future digitisation.
“Among the men featured in the series are gunner ace Leslie Simpson Court, credited with eight aerial victories, and Henry Allingham, who was the oldest surviving British First World War veteran when he died in 2009.