- Fine art
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- Library collection
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- 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 1945
Operation Bodenplatte: the Luftwaffe’s last major attack attempts to destroy the maximum number of Allied aircraft on the ground. 800 Luftwaffe aircraft are involved in this surprise attack and a total of 465 Allied aircraft are destroyed or damaged. More than 220 Luftwaffe aircraft are lost during the operation.
Allied air and ground operations force the German bulge forces in the Ardennes to retreat.
Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Army Air Force (USAAF) night and day bombers attack Dresden in Germany. These attacks create a fire storm which virtually destroys the city. Estimates of the dead vary from 35,000 to 220,000.
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) C47s drop more than 2,000 paratroopers on Corregidor. The island has already been ‘softened up’ by a major bombardment of Japanese positions.
Softening up operations begin against Iwo Jima. United States Navy (USN) carrier aircraft and naval guns combine with the 7th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Consolidated B24 Liberators to pound Japanese positions.
United States Marines, with massive air and sea bombardment support, begin landing on Iwo Jima.
The American carrier USS Saratoga is hit and badly damaged by a Kamikaze attack.
The German Air Force sinks its last ship of the Second World War; the Henry Bacon belonging to convoy RA64.
The first manned flight of the Bachem Ba349 Natter kills the pilot, Oberleutnant Lothar Siebert. Three subsequent manned launches are successful and the aircraft is approved for operational use, although it will not see service.
German forces, including air units, continue to attack the bridge at Remagen in an effort to eliminate this allied bridgehead over the Rhine.
279 Marianas-based Boeing B29s begin a new campaign of low-altitude incendiary night attacks against Japanese cities with an attack on Tokyo.
Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends, but is a costly victory, with 6,891 Marines killed and another 18,070 injured. It proves a very useful emergency landing ground with 2251 Boeing B29s finding refuge here before the war ends.
307 Boeing B29s drop 2,300 tons of incendiaries on Kobe in Japan.
The largest United States Army Air Force (USAAF) daylight raid on Berlin takes place, with 1,250 bombers and an escort of 670 fighters.
The Luftwaffe mounts its last manned aircraft attack on the United Kingdom.
The first, unsuccessful, sortie is made by Japanese Yokosuka Ohka suicide aircraft.
A combined effort by Allied air forces in Europe is mounted against the Luftwaffe and its bases and virtually destroys the Luftwaffe as an effective force.
Allied forces make large scale crossings of the Rhine in Operation Varsity, which sees a large scale Allied airborne landing take advanced positions.
The last V2 rocket to fall on the United Kingdom lands at Orpington in Kent at 1654hrs, killing one person and injuring 23 others.
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan officially ends. 137,739 trainees have passed through, of which 54,098 are pilots. In addition, over 155,000 air crew members were trained in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. Over 14,000 British air crew members were trained in the United States.
Japanese Ohka suicide aircraft score their first major successes, when they severely damage the battleship USS West Virginia and three other vessels. One of those other vessels is the British carrier HMS Indefatigable.
The 71,000 ton Japanese battleship ‘Yamato’, a cruiser, and four of eight destroyers are sunk by endless air attacks from United States Navy (USN) carrier aircraft as they fruitlessly attempt to disrupt the United States landings on Okinawa.
United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Boeing B29s receive fighter escort for all future missions against the Japanese Home Islands.
The last wartime sortie over the United Kingdom is made by an Arado Ar234B reconnaissance aircraft operating from Norway.
In an attack on targets in the Berlin area the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) loses 19 bombers and 8 fighters to German Messerschmitt Me262 jet fighters.
The destroyer USS Mannert L. Abele is sunk by a Japanese Ohka suicide aircraft off Okinawa.
At the request of the United States, Spain prohibits the landing of all German aircraft on Spanish territory.
The International Air Transport Associaition (IATA) is formed at Havana in Cuba.
Boeing B29 ‘Enola Gay’ of the 509th Composite Group, piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr, drops the world’s first operational atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The bomb is dropped at 0815hrs local time at a height of 1,900 feet and generates a yield equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT.
Of the 76,000 buildings in Hiroshima, 48,000 were destroyed and 22,000 damaged. The bomb destroyed 4.7 square miles of the city and over 80% of its buildings. Japanese estimates put casualties at 71,379 killed or missing and 68,023 wounded.
Lieutenant Robet H. Gray of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) is killed attacking a Japanese destroyer. Attached to the Fleet Air Arm and flying a Corsair, he is posthumously awarded the last air force Victoria Cross to be won.
A second atomic bomb is dropped over Nagasaki from Major Charles W. Sweeney’s Boeing B29 ‘Bock’s Car’. The primary target is Kokura but weather over this city forces a diversion to the secondary target.
Due to the topography of Nagasaki with its hills and rivers, damage was far less than Hiroshima. However, 1.4 square miles of a built up area of 3.8 square miles was destroyed. Japanese estimates, which were comparatively low, put the casualties at 25,680 killed and 23,345 wounded.
754 Boeing B29s and 169 fighters are sent on the last wartime mission of the 20th United States Army Air Force (USAAF).
The unconditional surrender of Japan is announced.
Seven Japanese suicide aircraft make the last Kamikaze attack of the war.
Andrei G. Kochetkov, Head of NII-VVS Fighter Testsection, becomes the first Soviet pilot to fly a jet powered aircraft, a captured Messerschmitt Me262A, at Shcholkovo near Moscow.
Two Mitsubishi G4M ‘Betty’ transports carry the Japanese surrender delegation to Ie Shima.
All existing United States Lend-Lease contacts are cancelled.
A captured Focke Achgelis Fa223 ‘Drache’ helicopter, flown by an ex-Luftwaffe crew, becomes the first helicopter to cross the English Channel.
Surrounded by the United States Pacific Fleet, the Japanese sign surrender documents aboard the battleship USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
USS Midway, the first of the United States Navy’s 45,000 ton class carriers is commissioned at Newport News in Virginia.
Flying the mixed power plant Ryan FR1 Fireball, which has a conventional piston engine and a turbojet engine in the rear fuselage, Ensign J.C. West uses the jet engine only to make the world’s first turbojet-powered landing on an aircraft carrier, the USS Wake Island.
The first air-sea rescue by helicopter takes place when seamen are rescued from an oil barge by a Sikorsky R5 at Long Island Sound.
The United Kingdom government agrees to supply military equipment to the French Air Force and Navy.