The years fly by...

April 5, 2018

 

The baby British force, the RAF, was founded on April 1st 1918 and celebrated it's centenary over the Easter weekend.

 

Although the Royal Auxiliary Air Corp and Royal Naval Air Service operated during World War I, they were merged to form the RAF in the last months of that conflict. Aircraft were used mostly for reconnaissance and the first examples of air combat involved nothing more than acerbic smiles and waves. This escalated to pilots shooting at each other with handguns before machine guns were fixed to planes. The RAF was the first air force in the world to be independent of the other services, and numbered over 20,000 aircraft and 300,000 personnel.

 

After the end of World War I the relatively new, and still temporary, air force had to wait for nine months to find out if officers would be granted permanent commissions. The Government sanctioned 6,500 officers