Obtaining RAF service records - The Rules....

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Peter Clare, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    A little while ago there was a thread related to obtaining RAF service records, there didn't seem to be a consensus of opinion as to the rules so I phoned the relevant department at Cranwell for their advice and they very kindly sent the following details both forms are of current use.

    Request for Service Details of Deceased Ex-service Personnel (including information held on casualty records)
    Disclosure to General Enquirers
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Request for Service Records of Deceased Ex-Service Personnel Disclosure to Next of Kin or with Consent of Next of Kin
    Certificate of Kinship.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Savo

    Savo Senior Member

    PC. This is great information to the uneducated like myself. The first three attachments printed off well but the second batch in your second attachment come out very blurred. Maybe my compturer or the size if the attachment is too small. Will be using these forms to request further details on two late Uncles who where with Bomber Command and Coastal Command. My dad who brother was with BC is very keen to find out more about this big bro even though he spoke in detail about what he did. It would be nice to have the facts on paper.
     
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  5. beakytzw

    beakytzw Junior Member

  6. Keith_H

    Keith_H Junior Member

    I've had a negative and a positive experience with the RAF, and I want to share this with fellow genealogists.

    The negative:
    I sent a cheque for £30, along with the full name, address at conscription, date of birth, his squadron and non-commissioned rank to Cranwell. They asked if I was aware of his service number (which I wasn't). They said they did not have a service record for this man, according to their records.

    After this, I went to Kew, and consulted the list of RAF service numbers in AIR 78. There was only one man with this name and surname on the list. This man's son's birth certificate was ordered, and the same service number was on the certificate.

    The positive:
    Although WW2 campaign medal rolls are not in the public domain (unlike those of WW1), I applied for the campaign medals for the above airman. (MOD Medals Office - SPVA, Gloucester.) My assumption was that even if the medals had been issued, they could confirm when the issue had taken place, and confirm the service number. There is no cost incurred in applying for medals.

    Within 3 weeks of having received the application, they sent the campaign medals, and advised that his service record had survived; they had referred to this when considering the application.

    If you get the brush-off from Cranwell, it is still worth applying for the medals, as this is likely to confirm whether the service record still survives, and should be able to confirm (or even advise) of the service number.
     
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Keith welcome to the forum
    glad you had a positive result
     
  8. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    I'm not sure I would refer to Keith's experience as a "positive" result. It seems that the RAF couldn't be bothered to look for the man's service file, judging that SPVA found it and seemingly with no problem. No doubt the RAF cashed the 30 quid cheque as well.

    Wonder how many times this has happened?
     
  9. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I had an interesting conversation with the Grandson of a surviving Bomber Command Vet a week ago. The Vet applied for his own records and was told they had been destroyed as per MOD standard procedure. Luckily the Vet had his Flying Log Books, so could look back on his war time service.

    It makes you wonder what the hell is going on at their archives and worth asking what the hell is going on.
     
  10. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    they had been destroyed as per MOD standard procedure.
    Thought that was the Luftwaffe's job :D

    It makes you wonder what the hell is going on at their archives and worth asking what the hell is going on.
    sounds worrying, worth finding out about :(
     
  11. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Originally Posted by ramacal [​IMG]
    they had been destroyed as per MOD standard procedure.


    If I get the chance, I'll give records a call tomorrow morning and see what they have to say re the above statement. In my experience they have always been very helpful.
     
  12. Keith_H

    Keith_H Junior Member

    I'm not sure I would refer to Keith's experience as a "positive" result. It seems that the RAF couldn't be bothered to look for the man's service file, judging that SPVA found it and seemingly with no problem. No doubt the RAF cashed the 30 quid cheque as well.

    Wonder how many times this has happened?

    Yes, this is a concern of mine. I think it is outrageous that RAF Disclosures say they are unable to find the record, and willingly process the £30 cheque. yet their colleagues in Gloucester are able to use the same details to find the record, despite there being no fee for this service.

    So, if anyone out there does get the same treatment from Cranwell, don't forget to apply for the campaign medals.
     
  13. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Just phoned RAF records and they told me that some personnel records were destroyed in the 1970s - 1980s as per MOD procedure, the young lady I spoke to could not give me a reason for this happening as she didn't have that information but she did say that the MOD held the administration files for airmen but that they were not in the public domain.

    Sorry can't more helpful
     
  14. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    I have a question about RAF records - this relates to the long running plaque thread.

    Doug Pegrums brother received his service history years ago, but not a Form 280? Apparently this form would contain his address at joining?

    Would the form 280 normally be included in a disclosure - if so I will ask his brother to contact them and ask for it.

    Cheers

    Pete
     
  15. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    I have a question about RAF records - this relates to the long running plaque thread.

    Doug Pegrums brother received his service history years ago, but not a Form 280? Apparently this form would contain his address at joining?

    Would the form 280 normally be included in a disclosure - if so I will ask his brother to contact them and ask for it.

    Cheers

    Pete


    Likewise, I applied for my fathers service record some years ago. I got Form 543 and not Form 280, maybe I should phone them again? If the Form 208 is the Administration Form then as I have said, they are not in the public domain.


    Regards

    Peter
     
  16. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    I would appreciate it if you could, I think I have found the geographical connection between Doug Pegrum and the others, the form 280 may confirm it - although in my case his brother will have to enquire I suppose.

    Cheers

    Pete
     
  17. Tab

    Tab Senior Member

    I sent of all the certificates and the £30.00 cheque in December and I am still waiting, they have acknowledged that they have received my request and are dealing with it, so don't expect any thing to happen to quickly.


    Well the documents turned up about a week ago and they were quite interesting. They also sent me three pages of information so that I could work out what all the code letters stood for on the records. Guess what they have stopped using the ones concerning my father and I am still trying to sort that out.
     
  18. fmills

    fmills Junior Member

    My father trained allied pilots to fly B-17's in Alabama in 1943. We're trying to find an RAF pilot named ANGUS WATSON who became a family friend while he was in training there. Over the years we've lost track of him and would like to know more about him and where he was from. I was a young lad at the time and over the years we lost track of him. I'm sure he's deceased by now but would like to find out more.

    I don't remember the name of the unit in Alabama and am researching that separately. Perhaps someone could help by telling me how to access RAF records to find those pilots who trained here in the U.S.

    Thanks,

    Fred
     
  19. sambsmorgan

    sambsmorgan Junior Member

    Yes, this is a concern of mine. I think it is outrageous that RAF Disclosures say they are unable to find the record, and willingly process the £30 cheque. yet their colleagues in Gloucester are able to use the same details to find the record, despite there being no fee for this service.

    So, if anyone out there does get the same treatment from Cranwell, don't forget to apply for the campaign medals.
    Hi Keith

    I just joined this forum tonight and am on verge of sending cheque and docs off for my fathers RAF Service records - but on reading all these posts it would seem I'm probably going to waste my money. Can you provide address for the place in Gloucester you mention - perhaps I'll try them 1st! I have little information about his time in the war other than that he served in Port Said, Rhodesia and Malta and that he flew Defiants and I believe sea-planes, but not Sunderlands. His name was Tom Scott and yes he was scottish! I believe he also cheekily used to call himself Thomas Campbell-McPherson Scott, which were not his given names!
    Shirley.
     
  20. Keith_H

    Keith_H Junior Member

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