View Full Version : Did the RAF take Photos of all their A/C during WW2

RAPA Pilot
7th Sep 2009, 14:14
The reason I ask is I would like to find out if any pictures exist of the Vickers Wellingtons my Grandad flew in during the war. I have the tail numbers and the Squadrons but no pictures. Any ideas of where to start?

7th Sep 2009, 14:37
This place is a good start, and the Flypast site might also be worth a post with serial, etc.

Liffy 1M
7th Sep 2009, 22:37
I think you can take it that only a fraction of the aircraft that served were captured on film at all. Some would have featured in official or publicity material and some others would have been photographed unofficially by military personnel (even though film was probably not easy to get and I think photography would have been subject to restrictions anyway). However you never know your luck. At least it's more likely that aircraft in the UK itself may have been photographed as opposed to those close to the front line in Europe or in other theatres of operations.

8th Sep 2009, 00:50
Some, maybe all, the squadrons had an official photographer or at least an officer responsible for getting PR pictures. I think a lot of the pictures though, passed into private hands or were filed away in some deep archive somewhere.

When I inquired on here I woke up the next morning to find pictures of my father waiting in my email!

Recently my wife was browsing on the internet and had left her Skype open. She got a window asking if she was related to someone in 193 Squadron. That led to more pictures and contact with a couple of pilots who knew my father during the war!

NEVER underestimate the power of Pprune or the internet.

8th Sep 2009, 14:00
I'd agree with what's been said before. Pre- and early-war aircraft stood a reasonable chance of getting recorded but many never were.

The Air Ministry's stock of publicity photos are lodged with the Imperial War Museum which makes it perhaps the most extensive collection. Look on-line at: Imperial War Museum Collections Online Database (http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/qryMain.php) but be aware that they only have a small fraction of their collection on-line. If you can manage a visit to their London Photo Library it is recommended.

RAF Museum have a good collection but, again, it may involve actually visiting and trawling through their records. I'm not sure if they are selling copies of images or not - phone to check.

There are some images scattered in Squadron records (at the National Archives, Kew) but those are mostly on microfilm so good quality copies are unlikely.

I don't know what happened to the Vickers archive - did much survive? But failing that make some appeals on the internet and see what happens.

I have one pic of Z8345 (EP/S) - which aircraft are you looking for?

9th Sep 2009, 19:34
And if the Squadron is still in existence (slim but not impossible chance), then that would be a good place to ask ....

9th Sep 2009, 21:49
Have a trawl through any related books on Amazon. Many let you have a browse through some of the content. I found a picture of my late uncle and his damaged Mossie there ... got in contact with the publishers, which led to the author who sent me a high res copy - the only picture I have of him in uniform - he was killed 3 days after the photo was taken.