Royal Air Force Nominal Index of Airmen and Airwomen 1918 to 1975

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This collection is a transcription of the nominal roll of other ranks – both male and female who served in the Royal Air Force in the fifty-seven years between its foundation and 1975. The records are available in the National Archives as “AIR 78” and served as an index to the full service records under “AIR 79”. These index cards are the largest source of RAF other ranks names.

The most important field on these records is the service number. There are often dozens of servicemen (and women) with the same name and so this number is the best way to distinguish them. Within the Royal Air Force these numbers were issued from blocks, from which we can deduce a range of information. Certain blocks were issued by a specific location, or to people with a specific trade and in most cases a rough idea of when they joined can be added – this information can be vital in narrowing down possible names – so many of the fields are added to the records.

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • Surname
  • First Name
  • Service Number
  • Maiden Names or Aliases
  • ‘Enlisted after’ date
  • Place of Enlistment
  • Trade
  • Nationality

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.

Original Source: National Archives reference AIR 78 series.

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