What's in a RAAF service record?
You will find a record of service form. This sets out details such as:
- next of kin
- marital status
- training and promotions
The records often contain other material, such as:
- enlistment forms
- conduct sheets
- records of leave
- head-and-shoulders photograph of the enlistee
Find and view a RAAF record online
Digital copies of more than 40,000 RAAF service records are available to view and download, with more added each week. Visit RecordSearch. Use the NameSearch function to search for the member.
You will find RAAF records under 'Air Force personnel records' or 'RAAF accident reports'. There's a 'help' tab if you have any questions.
Buy a copy
If the record you're after is not already digitised on RecordSearch, you can pay to have a digital copy made.
Find the record using NameSearch. On the 'item details' screen, select 'request copy' and follow the instructions. Copying charges apply.
View an original record
You can view a RAAF personnel record in the National Archives' Canberra Research Centre.
If you wish to view a service record, submit a request to view records form before your visit. Please advise us if the service person is living or deceased.
If the record is 'open', your request can be processed in 5 business days. Many records are 'not yet examined' and need clearance before they can be publicly viewed. This can take up to 90 business days, so please submit your request well in advance of your visit.
You can also ask us a question about accessing records.
Other RAAF personnel information
Every member killed or severely wounded will have a casualty file.
The file contains details of the incident, along with reports from:
- Squadron personnel
- war graves investigators
- the Red Cross
You can find casualty files from 1922 to 1960 in RecordSearch. Go to the NameSearch tab and enter the surname of the person whose record you are looking for. On the drop down 'category' menu, select RAAF accident reports.
We also hold later casualty files covering the period 1949 to 1975. You can search RecordSearch using the service member's name. If you can't find what you are looking for, you can ask us a question.
Court of Inquiry files
Courts of Inquiry investigate the cause of accidents and incidents. This includes the loss of aircraft during air operations or through enemy action. As well as a report with the findings, the file may contain reports from:
- Squadron personnel
The RAAF has destroyed many files with straightforward or minor inquiries, as they were of no ongoing use. Most of those that remain are unusual cases, such as:
- those involving experimental aircraft
- incidents where members of the public have been killed
- cases which attracted publicity in the press
- incidents when many lives were lost
Court of Inquiry files can be found in series A705 and A703. You can search RecordSearch using the service members' name or type of aircraft.
If you can't find what you are looking for, you can ask us a question.
Service records may include reference to service medals.
However, service records may not include information about which service medals a person was entitled to, or if they were ever issued.
Defence Honours and Awards can help with such enquiries:
Department of Defence
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
Phone: 1800 333 362
Medals are generally only 'reissued' to a service person or their next-of-kin if the medal has never been issued.
You can buy replicas of medals that have been issued from medal makers. Look for medal makers in your local Yellow Pages, or online, under 'Medals'.
Pension information and entitlements
For information on pensions and entitlements, contact the Veterans' Affairs Network
Phone: 133 254 or 1800 555 254