- 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 1944
United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe is activated.
Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz assumes command of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe and Major Generaa James H. Doolittle takes command of the 8th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) in the United Kingdom.
United States Navy (USN) Consolidated Catalinas, equipped with Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) equipment, begin to patrol the Straits of Gibraltar. This action is intended to prevent German submarines from entering the Mediterranean.
During Ango-American landings at Anzio, 50,000 troops are put ashore with massive air support and without opposition.
The Japanese launch a new offensive in Burma, with a plan to capture the port of Chittagong and then the Allied bases of Imphal and Dimapur in Assam, and then to invade India.
222 allied bombers attack the monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy. The Germans had not occupied the monastery buildings but immediately after the raid they turn the ruins into a bastion. Successive attempts to take the monastery fail and it is not until 18 May that Polish forces succeed in occupying the heights.
Twelve radar equipped United States Navy (USN) Grumman TBF1C Avengers, from the USS Enterprise, attack Truk by night. This is the first night bombing attack launched by an American aircraft carrier.
5th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft support landings in the Admiralty Islands.
Brigadier General Orde Wingate’s special force lands at ‘Broadway’ in North Burma, in a night glider (sailplane) operation.
During the first United States Army Air Force (USAAF) attack on Berlin, 69 of the 660 heavy bombers deployed are lost and 11 escort fighters are shot down.
The 15th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) makes the first operational use of the VB1 Azon bomb, a general purpose bomb with a pair of radio controlled rudders in the tail.
Prior to the Allied Invasion of Northern France, a programme of air attacks on all forms of enemy transport is given priority.
A major allied offensive against the rail transportation system in Europe begins.
A major engineering task to construct bomber and fighter airfields in China, the Chengtu Project, is completed. The project used over 400,000 Chinese coolies, often using the most primitive of equipment, to finish the task.
A United States Navy (USN) airship crosses from South Weymouth in Massachusetts to Port Lyautey in Morocco via the Azores, to complete the first Atlantic crossing by a non-rigid airship. .
A Luftwaffe Junkers Ju290A transport lands in Greenland to evacuate 26 men of the Bassgeiger weather station who have been based there for 10 months.
The Allied invasion of Normandy begins. The amphibious landings, which are the largest in history, are preceded by airdrops. The whole operation is supported by massive air operations, with the allied air forces flying 14,674 sorties in the 24 hours up to midnight on the 6 June.
The first allied airstrip in Normandy at Asnelles north east of Bayeux, is completed and becomes operational.
Allied aircraft begin to operate from airstrips in the Normandy beachhead.
United States Navy (USN) Task Force 58, comprising seven heavy and eight light carriers, is assembled and begins the opening phase of the Mariana Island campaign.
The first German V1 to be launched against British targets falls at Swanscombe near Gravesend and a few minutes later, another drops at Cuckfield in Essex.
With massive air support from Task Force 58 carrier aircraft, United States forces begin landings on Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
Boeing B29 Superfortress aircraft of the 20th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) carry out their first raid against Japan from airfields near Chengtu in China. The raid is a night attack on the iron and steel mills at Yawata, Kyushu.
The Luftwaffe uses the Mistel composite aircraft for the first time. This initial night operation sees five composite aircraft, combining the Messerschmitt Bf109F and Junkers Ju-88A deployed against Allied shipping in the Seine Bay.
2,400 Allied bombers make a saturation raid on German positions at St Lo in France. The operation occurs in front of the American positions, in an attempt to ‘soften up’ the enemy prior to an allied breakout.
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Lockheed P38 Lightnings use napalm for the first time, during attacks on a fuel depot at Coutances, south-west of St Lo in France.
The first jet aircraft combat takes place, when a German Messerschmitt Me262 from the experimental unit Ek262 intercepts a Royal Air Force (RAF) Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft from No.544 Squadron over Munich. The British plane managed to survive the encounter.
A battle damaged Boeing B29 Superfortress of the 20th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) lands at Vladivostok and is immediately seized by the Soviets, followed by another three, seized later in the year. The aircraft are carefully dismantled, examined and serve as pattern aircraft for the construction of the Tupolev Tu4 ‘Bull’ aircraft.
The 1st Allied Airborne Army is formed under the command of Lieutenant General Lewis H. Brereton.
The first ‘Aphrodite’ mission is undertaken by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). Radio-controlled Boeing B17 Flying Fortresses, packed with 9,072 kilos (20,000 pounds) of TNT, are launched against German V2 sites under constructionin the Par de Calais in France.
United States Carrier Division 11 is commissioned. This is the first division intended for night operations and consists of the carriers USS Ranger and USS Saratoga.
Mediterranean Air Forces begin dropping arms and supplies to the Polish Home Army in Warsaw.
Mediterranean Air Forces, with 2,000 aircraft based in Corsica, begin the invasion of southern France This is the start of over 4,000 operational sorties and the transport of more than 9,000 airborne troops. 400 gliders (sailplanes) are used in the landings.
Messerschmitt Me163 rocket interceptor fighters are used operationally for the first time, to make attacks on Boeing B17 Flying Fortresses of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) .
The 78th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) claims the destruction of the first Messerschmitt Me262 to be shot down in combat.
Germany begins the launch of V1 rockets against targets in Europe.
An unsuccessful German attempt to assassinate Stalin, Operation Zeppelin, begins. A task force flies from near Riga in Latvia to a point near Moscow where the Arado Ar232B transport aircraft they were using crash lands. The assassins drive off by motorcycle but are soon caught by Soviet security authorities.
Two German V2 ballistic rockets land in Paris and, later in the day, the first V2 launched against England lands at Chiswick in West London. Two people are killed and several injured.
In an attempt to secure bridges over the Maas, Waal and Lek, Allied paratroopers land at Arnhem, Eindhoven and Nijmegen. The operation is only a partial success as the British 1st Airborne Division is defeated at Arnhem. 2,200 survivors are evacuated but 7,000 are left dead or prisoners.
A Messerschmitt Me262 is shot down by the 32nd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).
The Battle of Leyte Gulf begins and the Japanese introduce Kamikaze suicide attacks, which sink the light carrier USS St Lo.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf ends, marking the end of the Japanese fleet as an effective fighting force. Japan lost 3 battleships, 4 aircraft carriers, 10 cruisers and 11 destroyers during the battle and the Americans lost 3 aircraft carriers, 3 destroyers and a submarine.
The 9th Fighter Squadron of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) operates from Tacloban airstrip, in first American air operations from the Philippines since 1942.
A United States Army Air Force (USAAF) F13 reconnaissance variant of the Boeing B29 Superfortress aircraft becomes the first American aircraft to fly over Tokyo since the Doolittle raid of 1942.
The Japanese ‘Fu-Go Weapon’ (balloon bomb) offensive against the USA begins.
88 Boeing B29 Superfortresses of the 21st United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Bomber Command make the first major bombing attack on Tokyo from the Mariana Islands.
The first Soviet turbo-jet TR1 (VDR3) completes its official bench running tests.
USS Chourre is commissioned as the first United States Navy (USN) aviation repair ship.
The Convention on International Civil Aviation is signed in Chicago.
The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) is formed in Utah, to carry out United States atom bomb operations.
Major Richard Ira Bong, the United States Army Air Force’s most successful fighter pilot of the Second World War, scores his 40th and final victory.
The first vertical launch of the German Bachem Ba349 Natter takes place. The aircraft is intended for operational use as a manned, vertically-launched rocket-powered interceptor, but this first flight is un-manned.
General Henry H. Arnold becomes General of the Army. He was the first American air officer to hold this five star rank, which had only been created by legislation signed on 15 December by the United States President Roosevelt.