Rolls of Honour and other sources may list those who served as well as those who died or were killed in action. IWM holds a large collection of published rolls of honour for localities, schools, institutions and other organisations. Rolls may also be found in Squadron histories and periodicals. For more information about prisoners of war see our Tracing Prisoners of War guide.
- Airmen Died in the Great War 1914–1918: The Roll of Honour of the British and Commonwealth Air Services of the First World War compiled by Chris Hobson (Suffolk: JB Hayward, 1995).
- The Sky their Battlefield II: Air Fighting and the Complete List of Allied Air Casualties from Enemy Action in the First War: British, Commonwealth, and United States Air Services 1914 to 1918 by Trevor Henshaw (Fetubi Books, 2014).
- RAF officers deceased from 1916 to 1920 – pensions paid to relatives (PMG 44) at The National Archives.
- RAF officers invalided from 1917 to 1920 – Officers’ pension records (PMG 42/13) at The National Archives.
- RFC, RNAS and RAF casualties 1915 to 1928 - cards record deaths, injuries and illness. Together with a roll of honour and other records they can be searched and viewed online - RAF Museum
- Second World War Bomber Command aircraft that failed to return from an operational flight - cards normally showing the names of the crew, their fate, the route taken and bomb load - available in the RAF Museum Reading Room
- RAF personnel missing in combat (aircraft losses) - RAF Casualty Files are gradually transferred and opened to the public at The National Archives(TNA) under the Public Records Act
Up to August 1940 - (AIR 81) at The National Archives
- From 1940 to the present day - applications can be made to the RAF Air Historical Branch subject to the same restrictions and fees as for service records. The amount of information contained in the records varies and copies may not be made due to the fragile nature of the originals.
- Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War by WR Chorley (Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, 1992–2007). Several volumes with online amendments and additions.
- Royal Air Force Fighter Command Losses of the Second World War by Norman LR Franks (Leicester: Midland Publications, 1997–2000)
- Service personnel who died between 4 August 1914 and 31 August 1921 and between 3 September 1939 and 31 December 1947 - the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) are responsible for the graves or official memorials to those with no known grave. Search the details under Find War Dead or Find Cemeteries & Memorials. IWM has a complete set of the CWGC’s original published memorial and cemetery registers.
- Military personnel who died in service after 1 January 1948 may have had either a private or a service funeral and headstone. Details of service personnel buried in ‘non-World War’ graves are available by writing to the Commemorations team at the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre.
- Personnel who have died whilst on duty or as the result of terrorist activity since 1 January 1948 are commemorated on the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. Search the roll of honour
- IWM’s War Memorials Register records UK war memorials.
Other things to look for:
- Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force service records
- Medal records
- Unit and operational histories
- Other sources
- Contact addresses
Download our guide to tracing your Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force ancestry