Around 360,000 First World War Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Flying Corps (RFC) records are to be made available online.
The family history website Find My Past UK and The National Archives (TNA) have announced a joint project to digitise hundreds of thousands of service records of First World War RAF and RFC airmen. (Officers’ records are already online at TNA’s website.)
Find My Past says: “The contract to digitise this record set, known as AIR 79, was awarded by The National Archives following a competitive tender process. It is estimated that, once digitised, the collection will comprise 360,000 transcripts and 800,000 scanned full-colour images dating back to 1912.
“The handwritten records begin with the creation of the Royal Flying Corps in 1912 and continue into the inter-war period. They provide insight into the lives of the extraordinary RFC and RAF airmen who served during the First World War, including details of medals awarded, discharge dates, promotions and information on the airmen’s families. For the first time these records will be made available and fully searchable online.
“Some of the incredible details include information from the Ministry of Defence of servicemen who enlisted during the First World War and continued to serve during the 1930s and even into the Second World War.”
“Once the records housed at The National Archives have been scanned and transcribed, they will join a growing online resource of military, armed forces and conflict records from the First and Second World Wars including Medal Rolls, Rolls of Honour and Recruitment registers from all three services at Find My Past UK. The records will also be made available on Find My Past’s international sites as part of a World subscription.
“The AIR79 contract is the latest in a number of contracts awarded to Find My Past UK by The National Archives dating back to 2006. Record sets previously digitised include Crime, Prisons and Punishment; outbound passenger lists; [pre-First World War] British Army Service records; Merchant Navy Seamen’s records; Maritime Birth, Marriage and Death indexes and the 1911 census.”