RAAF formation and unit records

The archival series AWM64 consists of Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] formation and unit records.  They are the records of the daily and operational activities of the Royal Australian Air Force from 1925 to 1958.  The content largely relates to the period between 1933 and 1946, but extends to Malaya, Korea and the Vietnam War. It also includes reports from Germany covering the period of the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

The series largely comprises of Operational Records Books, Form A.50, that were to be kept by all formation headquarters and by each branch of the staff in large headquarters, all unit commanders including the commanding officers of depots and parks, Commanders of detachments of a unit, Base Personnel Staff Officer and Heads of Services, including the Chief Signal Officer and Chief Maintenance Officer.

The purpose was to provide a complete and accurate historical record of the headquarters or unit from the time of its formation and include each operation carried out.  They were also designed to collect information for future reference with a view to improving the organisation, training, equipment and administration of the Royal Australian Air Force. The records were completed by the officer detailed for the duty and were submitted on a monthly basis.

The operational summaries contained in form A.50 (which form the bulk of the series) were supplemented by a range of other logs and record books, covering the range of activity undertaken by a military formation. Bombing Analysis reports – produced using a combination of bomb camera evidence and post raid reconnaissance to analyse the performance of each unit participating in a raid. These reports were important not only for assessing unit competency, but as feedback into Operational Research.

Access

Digitised RAAF formation and unit records are available on this site here: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1424600

Further information

The National Archives of Australia’s collection database, RecordSearch, has a more detailed description in the series notes.