1.5M RAF Operations Record Books for the Dambusters squadron go online at TheGenealogist

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17 May 2021
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Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his crew boarding their Lancaster bomber
TheGenealogist has released a large tranche of searchable RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) including those ORBs for the famous No 617 Squadron, giving an insight into their lives.

With a release of 1,550,018 records, bringing the total to 6,748,021, these diary-like RAF documents paint a picture of the goings on in a squadron on a day-to-day basis for those units under British control.

These are uniquely fully searchable by:-

  • Forename and surname
  • Squadron
  • Date range

Using keywords, users can also search for Service Number, Rank, and Duty, Aircraft type and location where the fields appear in the record. This makes it possible to easily find your Royal Air Force ancestors and discover more about their war time activities on the base and in the air.


QUICK LINK: How to identify a military medal


See the usefulness of these contemporary daily diary entries in a short video that spotlights the famous leader of No 617 Squadron, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., D.F.C. and Bar, D.S.O. and Bar as he and his unit prepare for their mission to drop the bouncing bombs on the German dam targets:

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Operations Record Books for family history research

The Operations Record Books are for squadrons primarily from after the First World War, although there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918. These ORBs follow the daily happenings in the air and on the base, and frequently name the aircrew who battled against the odds.

You can use the collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences from these Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, Dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher an insight into their relatives serving in a number of wartime air force units.

Find out more about the AIR27 recordset at TheGenealogist.