Royal Australian Air Force from 1921

RAAF personnel files

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was created in 1921. The main record of service is the personnel file. Other useful records include casualty files, also known as accident reports, and unit records.

Records of members of the Australian Flying Corps are included in the collection of first AIF records. Refer to Army – World War I.

Some of the records we hold are summarised in the table below.

Collection references

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesRAAF officers personnel files*1921–48A9300
SeriesRAAF personnel files of non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and other ranks*1921–48A9301
SeriesRAAF casualty files1922–60A705
SeriesRAAF unit records1937–61AA1969/100

* Main records of service

What’s in a RAAF personnel record?

Royal Australian Air Force records contain an A3 size personal record of service form. It sets out personal details such as:

  • age
  • next of kin
  • marital status
  • postings
  • training and promotions

The records often contain other material such as enlistment forms, conduct sheets and records of leave. Most also contain a head-and-shoulders photograph of the enlistee.

Find and view a RAAF record online

Some online copies of RAAF personnel records are available.

  1. Go to NameSearch.
  2. Enter the family name of the service person – make sure it is the name used at enlistment.
  3. Select 'Air Force personnel records 1921–1976' or 'RAAF accident reports' from the dropdown menu.
  4. Search.
  5. Display the results of your search. If there are too many, you can refine this search result, and then enter the person's given names and/or service number.
  6. Use the link to 'View digital copy'.

Purchase a copy

To purchase an online copy:

  • first locate the item using NameSearch (see above)
  • use the 'Request copy' button
  • complete your order using our secure Ecommerce facility. Copying charges apply.

View an original record

You can view a RAAF personnel record in the National Archives Canberra reading room.

There are still many service records that require clearance before they can be publicly viewed. If you wish to view a service record, please submit an advance request to view records form at least four weeks ahead of your visit. Please remember to indicate whether the service person is living or deceased when making your request.

Other contacts


Inquiries about medal entitlements for service in the Australian Defence forces are handled by Defence Honours and Awards. They can be contacted by phone on 1800 333 362. Alternatively, complete the Defence Medals - Online Application.

Pension information and entitlements

Veterans' Affairs Network
Tel: 133 254 or 1800 555 254

Further information

For more information on RAAF records see:

You can also browse our other fact sheets on defence, armed services and war.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019