RAAF formation and unit records

Accession Number AWM64
Collection type Official Record
Object type Official Record
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


The bulk of this series consists of large volumes containing A50 and A51 Operations Record forms or Unit History Sheet forms. Some of the forms which measure 33cm x 28cm have been folded and placed in folio sized folders.

RAAF Form A50, Operations Record Book or Unit History Sheet. This form kept in duplicate by "the commanding officer of every unit and by an officer or officers detailed for the purpose in each headquarters" (AFO 18/F/5) records the detail of a unit's formation, its strength in personnel and aircraft, operations and movements. Sometimes background information on the daily life of the unit was also recorded. The form was originally entitled ‘Operations Record Book’ but changed its name to ‘Unit History Sheet’ while retaining its A50 number. Units which served with RAF units sometimes used the equivalent RAF stationery, RAF form 540 or 765A. Unit History Sheets were accompanied by various appendices giving further details of events and another RAAF form the A51 which gives particular details of various operations.

RAAF Form A51, Operations Record Book - Detail of the Work Carried Out or Unit History Sheet - Details of Operations. As noted above these forms accompany A50 forms and provide details of operations carried out by a unit. Information recorded on these forms should include the number, rank and name of each member of an aircraft's crew, details of the aircraft itself, the number, date and purpose of the operation, details of the flight and results of the operation including casualties. Sometimes additional information is provided in appendices rather than on the actual A51 form, so if the form refers to an appendix, or annex, it should also be checked for further details. This form also undertook a name change similar to the A50 form.

Other items in the series include bombing sortie reports, captain’s sortie sheets, log books, unit diaries and unit histories. There is also some variation in the titles of records amongst different units and formations.

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