General collection information
This collection comprises a comprehensive list of British, Commonwealth, Dominion, and Allied European air service members who lost their lives in service during the Second World War. More than 129,000 air service members are recorded in this index-only collection, which includes valuable personal information, such as aircraft serial numbers, details that may be hard to find in other collections.
Using the collection
The collection may include the following information:
- Service number
- Which branch of service
- Role while in service
- Date of death
- Age at death
- Cause of death
- Place of burial/memorial
- Honours and awards
- Aircraft type
- Aircraft serial number
The service members in this collection represent anyone who died while aiding the Royal Air Force and the following locations are all represented:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
The information in this collection is very detailed; however, having background information about your family member will greatly aid your search. It may be helpful to search other records from Ancestry’s UK World War II military collections.
Collection in context
The Allied Airmen played a major role in defeating the Axis powers during the Second World War. Primarily led by Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF), the allied airmen came from all over the world. Many were trained by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), a joint program between the UK and the Dominions designed to boost the number of allied pilots. In 1940, thousands more airmen from the European continent would flee to the UK. Further support came from the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and Air Transport Auxiliary, a civilian volunteer group that ferried inactive airplanes. Throughout the course of the Second World War, allied airmen fought in every theatre of war; including the Battle of Britain.
BBC. “WW2 People’s War - Timeline.” Last modified 2005. https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6649248.shtml?sectionId=0&articleId=6649248.
Devitt, Peter. “Poles and Czechoslovaks in the Battle of Britain.” Royal Air Force Museum. Last modified 21 September 2020. https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/blog/poles-and-czechoslovaks-in-the-battle-of-britain/.
History.com. “The Bombing Offensive.” Last modified 2021. https://www.history.co.uk/history-of-ww2/the-bombing-offensive.
The National Archives. “Deaths in the First and Second World Wars.” Accessed 22 July 2021. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/deaths-first-and-second-world-wars.