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WW1 Airmen of the RNAS, RFC & RAF

My interest in Aviation started with a story of a family member who as an inventor designed & built an early flying machine which prompted me to take a course studying early aviation.

We had always known that my Great Uncle had served with the Royal Flying Corps during WW1, but it wasn't until a newspaper article appeared in the local paper long after his death that we discovered he had actually been one of the Aces of World War One!  The research into his service then lead me onto researching some of the men he had served with along with others that I have come across during my research as a Professional Genealogist.

World War 1 broke out just over a generation after the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903 & the British Government saw the potential that Aircrafts could bring during a time of war.   


The Royal Flying Corps, the air arm of the British Army was created in 1912 with the Royal Naval Air Service following in 1914. 

In the early years of the War aircraft were mainly used for reconnaissance operations tracking enemy troops & often taking images of the events unfolding below them.  But, as war progressed the value of these men & their machines in a time of war was recognised & would see them materialise as not only Fighters in the Air but Bombers too.   Perfectly positioned they could fight off enemy aircraft therefore hiding battlefield activity & learning more about enemy activity.

Both services would later become independent of Army & Navy control when they merged on the 1st April 1918 to create the Royal Air Force.

The stories of some of these early Airmen are told here


 'Lest We Forget'

World War 1 Airmen Project

Index of Names

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