- Fine art
- Medals & uniforms
- Film & sound
- Other aircraft & exhibits
- Library collection
- Archive collection
- RAF Historical Society Journals
- 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
- Early Aviators Weekend
- Research enquiries
- Visit our reading room
- Online exhibitions
- 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 1943
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) North West African Air Forces are activated under the command of Major General Carl Spaatz.
The Casablanca Conference in Morocco. Churchill, Roosevelt and their Chiefs of Staff reach an important decision to step up round-the-clock bombing of targets in Germany and also to begin an invasion of Sicily, the ‘soft underbelly’ of Europe. A cross-Channel invasion is deferred until 1944.
The first United States Army Air Force (USAAF) heavy bomber attack on Germany. Boeing B17 Flying Fortresses of the 1st Bombardment Wing, 8th USAAF, attack Emden and Wilhelmhaven
Marine Fighter Squadron 124 makes the first operational use of the Vought F4U Corsair aircraft during an escort mission of Navy Consolidated PB4Y Liberators attacking Bougainville.
Major General Iran C. Eaker is appointed as Commanding General of the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) in the United Kingdom, in succession to Major General Carl Spaatz.
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea: a major attempt by the Japanese to re-enforce Lae is foiled by United States Southwest Pacific Air Forces. 40,000 tons of Japanese shipping is sunk and almost 60 aircraft are destroyed.
The 14th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is activated with Major General Clair Chennault in command.
On Eastern Front, the first operational trails of an anti tank version of the Junkers Ju87G take place. The aircraft is fitted with two 37mm Flak guns.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is killed when his Mitsubishi G4M ‘Betty’ is shot down over Bougainville. The attack is made by Lockheed P-38 Lightnings of 339th Fighter Squadron flying 885 kilometres (550 miles) from their bases.
Axis troops in North Africa surrender.
The Messerschmitt Me262 is ordered into production.
The Italian garrison on the island of Pantellaria surrenders after an intensive air bombardment by allied aircraft. This is the first time that a large defended area has been conquered by air power alone.
Following a month of air bombardment on Sicily, Sardinia and Italy an Anglo-American force invades Sicily. The amphibious landings are preceded with an assault by paratroopers and a large number of cargo carrying gliders (sailplanes). This operation is not a resounding success, with 69 gliders of the 137 released, coming down in the sea. A further 56 land at various points on the Sicilian coast and only twelve alight on their intended targets. The paratroop drop is also dispersed and is far less effective than had been intended.
The United States Navy (USN) airship K74 is shot down off the Florida coast by a German submarine. This is the only United States airship to be destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War.
Benito Mussolini is overthrow and King Victor Emmanuel takes over command of the Italian Armed Forces.
A female Russian fighter pilot, Junior Lieutenant Lydia Litvak of the 73rd Guards Fighter Air Regiment, is killed in action.
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Consolidated B24 Liberators based in the Mediterranean make a low level attack on the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania. This is the first low level mission against this vital Axis target and is the longest bombing raid to date. 177 aircraft are despatched, 164 reach their targets, 49 are shot down and a further 7 are interned in Turkey.
Northwest African Air Force aircraft attack Wiener Neustadt. This is the first attack on Austria by United States Army Air Force (USAAF) forces based in the Mediterranean.
During daylight attacks on Regensburg and Schweinfurt the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) loses 59 heavy bombers.
The first operational use of the Henschel HS293 remotely-controlled glide bomb. German Dornier Do217Es of II/KG100 carry out an anti-shipping strike against British ships in the Bay of Biscay.
The first use of a guided missile in warfare. HMS Egret, a corvette, is sunk by an air-launched Henschel Hs293 remotely-controlled glide bomb while on patrol in the Bay of Biscay.
United States Navy (USN) squadron VF5, operating off USS Yorktown makes the first operational use of the Grumman F6F Hellcat, in an attack on Japanese positions on Marcus Island.
Peace negotiations between the Allies and Italy are concluded in secret. An Armistice will become effective on the 8 September.
British and Canadian troops cross the Straits of Messina and land on the mainland of southern Italy.
The 46,200 ton Italian battleship Roma is sunk by two Ruhrstahl/Kramer Fritz X1 radio controlled bombs launched from Luftwaffe Dornier Do217s.
Benito Mussolini is rescued by German glider (sailplane) troops from a hotel in the Gran Sasso mountains where he is being held prisoner. He is airlifted to safety in a Fieseler Fi156 Storch aircraft.
Italy declares war on Germany, but there are in fact two Italian factions in the war. Those in Northern Italy continue to fight alongside the Germans.
A second United States Army Air Force (USAAF) attack is made on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories. The Americans lose 60 of the 288 heavy bombers despatched.
The 9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is reorganised in the United Kingdom to act as a tactical air arm of the USAAF in North-west Europe.
In order to evaluate the capability of the helicopter, the United States Navy (USN) acquires a single example of the Sikorsky YR4B from the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).
The United States Navy (USN) achieves the first aerial victory with the use of airborne interception (AI) radar, when an AI equipped Vought F4U2 Corsair destroys a Japanese aircraft in New Guinea.
The newly formed 15th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) takes on its first mission, when twelve heavy bombers attack aircraft factories at Wiener Neustadt in Austria.
Japanese cruisers and destroyers steaming between Truk and Rabaul are attacked and damaged by United States carrier aircraft operating off USS Princeton and USS Saratoga.
Further attacks by United States aircraft operating from the USS Bunker Hill, Essex and Independence cause severe damage to Japanese naval vessels off Rabaul.
Aircraft of the 5th and 13th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) co-ordinate their attacks with the United States carrier forces.
Lockheed P38 Lightnings, North American B25 Mitchells and North American P51 Mustangs of the 14th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) make their first attack on Formosa from their bases in China.
German aircraft drop bombs and parachute mines at Bari in Italy. An ammunition ship explodes and seventeen vessels are set on fire or sunk. Nearly 1,000 people are killed. The Germans drop, for the first time, metallised paper strips to confuse radar stations. Known as ‘Window’ in Bomber Command, it had been first used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the 24-25 July raid on Hamburg.
Japanese bombers make their first daylight raid on Calcutta and 500 people are killed or injured in the attack.
The 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) begins long range fighter escort missions.
Orville Wright, on the 40th Anniversary of making his first flight, presents the Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in aviation to his former pupil General H.H. ‘Hap’ Arnold.
Intensive pre-invasion bombing of Cape Gloucester in New Britain by the 5th United States Army Air Force (USAAF).