- Fine art
- Medals & uniforms
- Film & sound
- Other aircraft & exhibits
- Library collection
- Archive collection
- RAF Historical Society Journals
- Donate an Artefact
- Acquisitions and Disposals
- The Royal Air Force Museum At Home
- Battle of Britain Groundcrew 7 to 13 September
- Battle of Britain Aircrew 31 Aug to 6 Sep
- Our Lockdown Highlights
- Conservation Week 15 to 21 June
- Spitfire Week 8 to 12 June
- Spitfire Creations Weekend
- D-Day76 1 to 5 June
- Lucky Mascots Weekend
- Dunkirk Week 25 to 29 May
- Competition Weekend Part 2
- Hidden Heroes 18 to 22 May
- Competition Weekend Part 1
- Bomber Week 11 to 15 May
- Create Your Own Museum Weekend
- Countdown to VE Day 75
- Jet Week 27 April to 1 May
- Jet Weekend
- Early Aviators Week 20 – 24 April
- Research enquiries
- Visit our reading room
- Online exhibitions
- Falklands 40
- Never Forgotten: The RAF in the Far East
- Pilots of the Caribbean
- Czechoslovak Squadrons in RAF
- Pre-War Czechoslovakia
- Pre-War Czechoslovakia (Czech)
- Escape to Poland
- Escape to Poland (Czech)
- Departure Abroad – via the USSR and France
- Departure Abroad – via the USSR and France (Czech)
- Leaving for exile – the so-called southern route and the Middle East
- Leaving for exile – the so-called southern route and the Middle East (Czech)
- 68 Night Fighter Squadron
- 68 Night Fighter Squadron (Czech)
- 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron
- 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron (Czech)
- 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron
- 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron (Czech)
- Czechoslovak Women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
- Czechoslovak Women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) (Czech)
- Lidice tragedy
- Lidice tragedy (Czech)
- Osudy- Life stories
- Osudy- Life stories (Czech)
- Osudy- Life stories 2
- Osudy- Life stories 2 (Czech)
- Osudy – Life stories 3
- Osudy- Life stories 3 (Czech)
- Return to a Liberated Country
- Return to a Liberated Country (Czech)
- Victims of the communist regime
- Victims of the communist regime (Czech)
- Rehabilitation and Commemoration of Former RAF Airmen
- Rehabilitation and Commemoration of Former RAF Airmen( Czech)
- Living History Group
- Living History Group (Czech)
- Air Transport Auxiliary
- Civil flyers
- On the verge of war
- Sir Gerard d’Erlanger
- A lack of work
- Birth of the ATA
- Stewart Keith-Jopp
- First female pilot
- Pauline Gower
- The first eight women
- ATA expansion
- Legion of the air
- Annette Mahon
- The Battle of France
- The Battle of Britain
- Women fly fighter aircraft
- Anything to anywhere
- The taxi service
- John Gulson
- Alison King
- The support network
- Women fly bombers
- Joan Hughes
- Return to France
- The reach of the ATA
- The death of a service
- A final act of progress
- ATA closure
- Sir Alan Cobham ; A Life of a Pioneering Aviator
- An Enduring Relationship : A History of Friendship between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman
- 617 Squadron and the Dams Raid
- Model Dams Projects
- Barnes Wallis’ Papers
- Wing Commander Winterbotham’s Letter
- Group Captain Conrad Verity’s Memoirs
- Lancaster Modifications
- Bouncing Bomb Diagram
- Bouncing Bomb Tests
- Barnes Wallis’ Pass
- Designing the UPKEEP Mine
- Guy Gibson’s Log Book
- Spotlights – Low Altitude Flying Modification
- Target Map and Photo of the Eder Dam
- Target Photos of the Ruhr Dams
- Flight Lieutenant H.B. ‘Mick’ Martin’s Log Book
- Sergeant Charles Brennan’s Papers
- Aircraftwoman Morfydd Gronland’s Memoir
- Reconnaissance Photos of the Damaged Dams
- Letter from Air Commodore S.O. Bufton
- Herr Clemens Mols’ Memoir
- Casualties of the Dams Raid
- Media Reports
- Messages of Congratulation
- Signed Menu from A.V. Roe Celebratory Dinner
- Dambusters Podcasts
- Royal Flying Corps Centenary
- The Polish Air Force in WWII
- Taking Flight
- History of the Battle of Britain
- From world power to colonial policeman
- Churchill’s Warnings
- Expansion at last
- The Rise of the Nazi Party
- The Rise of the Luftwaffe
- Young Nazis
- Poland – The Catalyst
- Phoney Air War in France
- The Battle of France
- The Home Front
- Air Raid Shelter Protection
- Operation Sealion
- British Defences
- Bomber Command
- Other Commands
- The New Tactics
- RADAR – The Battle Winner?
- How RADAR Works
- Introduction to the Phases of the Battle of Britain
- The Battle of Britain Phase One
- The Battle of Britain Phase Two
- The Battle of Britain Phase Three
- The Battle of Britain Phase Four
- The Battle of Britain Phase Five
- The Hardest Day
- The Blitz
- The Blitz – The Hardest Night
- Subordinate German Commanders
- Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe
- Corpo Aero Italiano
- The Few
- Battle of the Nations
- Women of Britain
- Subordinate RAF Commanders
- Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command
- Douglas Bader: Fighter, Pilot
- Women of the Air Force
- Commandant Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan
- Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) 1918 – 1920
- Air Chief Commandant Dame Katherine Trefusis-Forbes
- Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) 1939 – 1949
- All the same buttons
- Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) 1949 – 1994
- WRAF and WAAF Recruitment Posters
- Air Commandant Dame Felicity Peake
- Women in the RAF Today
- Listen to Podcasts
- Your Comments and Stories
- Lest We Forget
- Remembrance Day
- The First World War (1914 – 1918)
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The Cenotaph
- War Memorials
- The Royal British Legion
- The Second World War (1939 – 1945)
- The Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service 1944 – 1952
- St. Clement Danes – The Central Church of the Royal Air Force
- The Royal Air Force Today
- Support Organisations
- Remembrance Podcasts
- Americans in the Royal Air Force
- Archive exhibitions
- Alex Henshaw: Flying Legend, A Life in Art
- Freedom & Liberty
- Wonderful Amy!
- De Havilland – The Man and the Company
- Kings, Queens & Flying Machines
- Photographs of ‘Kings, Queens & Flying Machines’
- The Hendon Pageants
- Prince Albert
- No flying solo for Prince Albert
- de Havilland Moth
- The Royal Flight Vickers Viastra
- Three Kings
- The Royal Family visiting Mildenhall
- The King’s Flight
- King George V prepares for a review
- King George VI visiting Battle squadrons
- The formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
- HM Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Bentley Priory
- The Armed King’s flight
- Duke of Gloucester visiting No. 467 Squadron
- HM King George VI with family
- The first post-war King’s flight
- The Vickers Viking
- Prince Phillip’s training
- The de Havilland Heron
- HM Queen Elizabeth II’s first Royal Review
- Westland Whirlwind HCC12
- Hawker Siddeley Andover
- Long haul flights
- RAF Comet
- Prince Charles in Chipmunk
- The Queen’s Colour Squadron
- Worth a Thousand Words – Air Diagrams
- Me 210
- Ju 87D
- Ju 88
- Layout of kit and method of wearing equipment
- Aids to homing
- Layout of WAAF kit
- Fog dispersal
- Emergency landing service
- Ju 188
- He 177
- Beware of the Hun in the sun
- Pilot’s controls – Stirling I
- Emergency Equipment & Exits – Lancaster I
- …And all this – because of you
- 5 men in a dinghy
- I thought YOU had the dinghy pack!
- Watch that prop…what prop?
- Dammit, chaps – who remembered to bring this thing anyway?
- Seconds Count
- Keep your aircraft to the tarmac
- Prevention of tyre and brake accident
- Danger – watch for tyre creep
- Lancaster I II III standard & Y types dinghy drill
- Jungle survival: Edible tropical plants
- DP/R and D.P.L. functioning (single arming)
- Keep your transparent panels clean (turrets)
- Train how to fit into the post war picture
- BABS Mk1C Still Air
- Not Quite Extinct!
- Battle of Britain Class Locomotive Plates
- Comet – The World’s First Jet Airliner
- The Art of Sergeant Elva Blacker
World Aviation in 1942
January – May
German troops cut off by Soviet forces at Kholm are re-supplied by air by using DFS230 and Go242 transport gliders (sailplanes) in the first large scale air supply of Germany’s own forces behind enemy lines.
The United Nations Declaration is signed. The name United Nations is adopted by the Allied coalition against Axis forces.
The first emergency aircraft ejection is made by the German Major Schenk when ejects from a Heinkel He280 Jet fighter prototype when it crashes at Rechlin following problems with heavy icing. He ejects at 7,875 feet and makes a safe landing.
The first United States carrier offensive is made by the USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown. Their aircraft attack Japanese targets on several of the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
The German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugen leave Brest and escape through the English Channel. They are provided with a strong Luftwaffe air umbrella during the passage.
The first air attack on Australia takes place when Japanese bombers attack shipping in the harbour at Port Darwin.
The first United States Army Air Force (USAAF) headquarters in Europe are established in the United Kingdom with Brigadier General I.C. Eaker commanding.
Japanese aircraft bomb targets at Port Darwin in Australia.
The United States Navy (USN) is given sole charge of anti-submarine warfare off the United States coastline.
The 10th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) makes its first combat operation when heavy bombers attack shipping in the Andaman Islands.
Japanese carrier aircraft operate off the coast of Ceylon and India.
Japanese carrier aircraft make the first air attack on India.
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Boeing B17 Flying Fortresses and North American B25 Mitchells based in Australia make the first attack against Japanese shipping and installations in the Philippines.
In a one-way attack on Tokyo, sixteen North American B25 Mitchells led by Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Doolittle are flown off the carrier USS Hornet, some 400 miles off the Japanese mainland. Following the attack, the aircraft are forced land in China.
Assam, Burma, China Ferry Command is established to air ferry supplies into China over the Himalayas (The Hump).
The Battle of Coral Sea is fought. This is the first naval action to be fought by opposing carrier-based aircraft where the surface ships on both sides never sight the enemy. The United States Navy (USN) loses USS Lexington and 69 aircraft and the Japanese lose Shoho and 85 aircraft and Shokaku is also damaged.
USS Ranger, operating off the west African Gold Coast flies off sixty United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Curtiss P40 aircraft to Accra. They are then flown on by stages, to 10th USAAF in India.
2 June – 4 July
A costly but successful German assault on Sevastopol takes place, supported by concentrated German Air Force bombing attacks.
The Battle of Midway is fought. The Japanese carriers Akagi, Hiryu, Kaga and Soryu are sunk by United States carrier-based aircraft and the United States Navy (USN) loses the carrier USS Yorktown. This is one of the decisive battles of the Second World War. as the Japanese Navy is deprived of much of its carrier force and, prevented from taking the initiative, it is forced back onto the defensive.
Twelve United States Air Force (USAF) Consolidated B24 Liberator bombers make an unsuccessful attack on the Romanian oil refineries at Ploesti.
Major General Carl Spaatz is appointed to command the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) in the United Kingdom.
The first Boeing B17 Flying Fortress for the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) lands at Prestwick in Scotland.
With considerable early air cover United States Marines begin landings on Guadalcanal.
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) makes its first European heavy bomber raid of the Second World War. Boeing B17 Flying Fortresses of the 97th Bombardment Group attack Rouen-Scotteville marshalling yards in occupied France.
The 12th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is activated at Bolling Field in Washington DC in preparation for the invasion of North Africa.
A Yokosuka E14Y1 (Glen) light submarine-borne reconnaissance floatplane is launched from the Japanese submarine I25. It makes two overflights of the wooded Oregon coast and drops four incendiary bombs. This is the only time Japanese fixed wing aircraft attack the USA during the Second World War.
Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Navy (USN) Consolidated Catalina flying boats disperse a German U-boat ‘wolf pack’ attacking a west bound North Atlantic convoy and one U-boat is sunk.
The 89th Bombardment Squadron of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) makes the first use of para-fragmentation bombs, during sweeps over Buna airstrip in New Guinea.
Brigadier General J.H. Doolittle is appointed to command the 12th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) .
The first fully successful launch of a German A4 (V2) rocket takes place and reaches 56 miles from Peenemünde in 296 seconds.
German Air Force night harassment units are formed as a direct copy of the Soviet practice.
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) 8th Bomber Command flies its first operation, attacking German submarine bases in occupied France.
United States and British aircraft provide air cover for the invasion of North Africa and during the early days, Vichy French units put up a spirited resistance. Large numbers of Luftwaffe aircraft are flown into Tunis and troops are flown in by both sea and air.
The 9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is formed in the Middle East.
A Soviet counter attack north of Stalingrad begins and in just three weeks, supported by four Air Armies, the German troops fighting in the city are cut off from their colleagues and their fate is sealed.
Luftwaffe supply flights into the Stalingrad pocket begin.
9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Consolidated B24 Liberators make the first American attack on Italy by bombing Naples.
Japanese bombers make the first night attack on Calcutta in India.
The Germans lose their last remaining landing ground in the Stalingrad pocket, when Tatsinskaya is over run by Soviet tanks.
Australian and United States forces recapture Buna airstrip in New Guinea.
The first launch of Germany’s V1 surface-to-surface pilotless plane.