If your ancestor was one of nearly 129,000 service personnel who died whilst serving under Royal Air Force control or with their own national air services during the Second World War, expect to find their details here
These are records of close to 129,000 airmen and airwomen who died while under Royal Air Force control or with their own national air services during the Second World War. The data has been meticulously collated by our friends at The Naval & Military Press.
Typically expect to find the following information in these records:
Compiled by Chris Hobson, and licensed from The Naval & Military Press, this is the first comprehensive and detailed record to be published of all British, Commonwealth, Dominion and European Allied airmen who died while under Royal Air Force control or with their own national air services during the Second World War.
Nearly 129,000 airmen and airwomen are commemorated in this collection, with details including their unit, base, place of residence, cause of their death where known, and aircraft types and serial numbers.
The casualties range from the newly-recruited airmen who died while still in training to the air marshals; from the Battle of Britain fighter pilots to the veteran bomber crews; and all those who were killed in accidents while training.
Personnel from the British, Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand, Rhodesian and South African air and naval air services are listed together with those from the European Allied air services of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United States and Yugoslavia who served with the Royal Air Force. Also included are locally recruited airmen in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
In 'The Last Enemy', the dashingly good-looking Lieutenant Richard Hope Hillary chronicled his experiences as a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain and the book was published during his lifetime in 1942. Badly burned when he was shot down in September 1940 having just made his fifth ‘kill’, he subsequently underwent months of surgery and went on to become one of the best-known members of Archibald McIndoe’s Guinea Pig Club.
Detailing his time under McIndoe’s care he wrote, “This time when the dressings were taken down I looked exactly like an orang-outang. McIndoe had pinched out two semi-circular ledges of skin under my eyes to allow for contraction of the new lids. What was not absorbed was to be sliced off when I came in for my next operation, a new upper lip.”
Despite his painfully damaged hands, Richard Hillary did succeed in flying again but was killed in a training accident on the 8th January 1943. Notes in the Airmen Died database read, “Spiralled into the ground while circling the Charterhall beacon in bad weather during a night practice flight. Author of ‘The Last Enemy’.