Women’s Royal Air Force Recruitment Posters

When the Royal Air Force was formed on April 1st 1918 the new service inherited the female air elements of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). The Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) survived until 1920 by which time the level of disarmament meant that the trades the women undertook were now replaced by the surplus of men who had become available.

Women were called back to serve in the RAF as war loomed once again in 1939 in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). The WAAF served throughout World War II and briefly beyond until 1949 when the service was renamed back to the Women’s Royal Air Force on February 1st 1949. It was the passing of the Army and Air Force (Women’s Service) Act in 1948 that created the opportunity for a permanent peacetime role for women in the Armed Forces, in recognition of their invaluable wartime contribution. Around 80% of RAF trades in 1949 were open to members of the WRAF and this would rise over time.

On April 1st 1994, in recognition of the increasing number of roles women undertook in the RAF, the WRAF was disbanded and its members formally merged with the full-time RAF. In the 21st century, there are no boundaries on gender in the RAF with female aircrew having served in combat over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

 

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Aircraft at the Royal Air Force Museum London

A collection of images of aircraft on display at the Royal Air Force Museum London located on the site of Hendon Aerodrome. Click here to visit the official website.

All photos kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles.



For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.

Gloster Javelin FAW.9R XH892 at Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum

Gloster Javelin FAW.9R XH892 was built in 1958 and served with Nos.23 and 64 Squadrons. Upon retirement the aircraft joined the historic aircraft collection at RAF Colerne before eventually being moved to Duxford. After Duxford, it became the property of the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum where it was restored to static condition and put on display where it remains today. The aircraft carries an “R” in its designation indicating that it was once capable of air-to-air refuelling but the probe is no longer in place.

All photos taken in November 2016 and kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles


Douglas Dakota ZA947 flypast during No.29 Squadron Families Day 2015

A collection of images of Douglas Dakota ZA947 from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performing a flypast of the crowd during No.29 Squadron’s Families Day in 2015.

All photos kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles.


For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa EB-G P7350 of the BBMF

A collection of images of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa EB-G P7350 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight taken at RAF Coningsby in July 2016. Spitfire P7350 is the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world and the only Spitfire still flying to have actually fought in the Battle of Britain.

All photos kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles.


Alongside Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC LF363

Eurofighter Typhoon ZK349 GN-A Display

A collection of images showing Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 ZK349 adorned in special markings to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2015.

ZK349 has been painted in the colours of Flight Lieutenant Nicolson’s No.249 Squadron Hawker Hurricane Mk.I P3576/GN-A. On August 16th 1940, whilst attempting to bale out of the burning Hurricane after a battle with a number of Messerschmitts over Southampton, Nicolson saw a Bf 110 pass in front of his aircraft and immediately climbed back into his seat to fire on the German twin-engine fighter causing it to dive away and crash in to the ground. Only then did Nicolson bale out but not before sustaining significant injuries.

All photos kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles.


For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.

Supermarine Spitfire Vb AB910 SH-F of the BBMF

A collection of images of Supermarine Spitfire Vb AB910 SH-F of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight taken at RAF Coningsby in July 2016.

Built in 1941, Spitfire Mk Vb AB910 flew 143 operational missions in a remarkable wartime ‘career’ that spanned almost 3 years on ‘ops’. On 14 February 1945, whilst at Hibaldstow, ‘AB’ famously flew with a girl on the tail! LACW Margaret Horton, a WAAF ground-crew fitter, was sitting on the tail whilst the aircraft taxied out to the take-off point (as was standard practice in rough weather) without the pilot, Flt Lt Neil Cox DFC, realising her presence. He then took off with Margaret still there. The combination of her weight on the tail and her grip on the elevator very nearly had disastrous results but fortunately Neil was able to maintain control and one circuit later he landed with a considerably shaken WAAF still wrapped around the fin! (Source BBMF)

All photos kindly contributed to Defence of the Realm by Jim Knowles.


For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.