View Single Post
Old 6th December 2021, 05:05
Edward Edward is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 257
Edward is on a distinguished road
Re: RAF WWII Operational and Flying Accident Casualty Files in the NA

RAF WWII Operational and Flying Accident Casualty Files in The National Archives: Exploring their Contents
(Air World, an imprint of Pen & Sword Books Ltd - December 15, 2020)
by Mary Hudson
256 pages w/ 16 color & 84 b&w illustrations - hardcover
$15.42 at Amazon
17.99 at Amazon UK

"At its height during the Second World War, the RAF totaled 185,000 personnel. Men and women, from home and overseas, served alongside members of Dominion Air Forces, and those members of the air forces of occupied Europe who had escaped to fight on. All are covered in the RAF casualty files. The heaviest losses were suffered by the aircrews; in Bomber Command alone some 75,000 were killed, wounded or captured. All information concerning casualties was carefully complied at the Air Ministry and now, from these the official records, those covering operational losses (in the air and on the ground), and flying accidents are being made available to the public through The National Archives.

This huge collection of casualty files contains a wealth of contemporary documentation from a variety of sources including captured German records. The fascinating insight into the fate of casualties provided by the Casualty Files includes official documents, examples of which are given, accounts of searches undertaken to establish the fate of the missing, places of burial, copies of information received from the International Red Cross and from sources within enemy occupied lands, as well as letters from family and friends some of which reveal dark secrets of bigamy, adultery, illegitimacy,debt and dishonor [Oh my!].

In this groundbreaking book Mary Hudson has used her expert knowledge to provide an invaluable guide to the understanding of these records for use by researchers and family members alike. She takes the reader on a journey through the files, explaining when and how the RAF Casualty Branch (who opened and maintained the files) was formed, where the information held in the records originated, as well as providing an understanding of the documents themselves and explanation of matters the records refer to."

About the Author
"Brought up in Cambridge, MARY HUDSON’s connection with the RAF began in 1970 when she married an RAF pilot. After attending university as a mature student she joined the WRAF in 1983 and in so doing became the first married WRAF officer with children. In 1994, when the WRAF merged fully with the RAF, she was 'rebranded' as an RAF officer. Whilst with the RAF Mary gained an MA in War Studies from King’s College, London. On leaving the RAF, Mary spent 14 years as specialist civil servant with the MOD’s Air Historical Branch. She was deeply involved with historic RAF casualty enquiries."

Review at British Modern Military History Society website

Amz customer reviews

A useful reference book on aircraft crashes in WWII
"This is a useful source of information for those that can't go down to London to spend days going through records that might hold a clue to helping solve the why, where, and when was able to be found on some particular incident where an aircraft, and possibly its crew were killed, injured, or walked away from. And sometimes it ads to information from elsewhere, plus shows that an entry in another earlier publication had an aircraft number, type, or some other small detail wrong. Definetly a reference book for those trying to find why someone died during WWII, with many trainee pilots and crews dying before they'd even been able to use the training against the enemy."

Too Technical

"I was probably expecting a lot more details from casualty files and instead wasted my money getting technical information about what this and that meant on specific files. Read the whole thing in a few hours. If the title had been how to understand the notations in National Archive files that would have been closer to the actual content."

Last edited by Edward; 7th December 2021 at 02:39.
Reply With Quote