On Your Marks.. AIR81 Casualty Packs

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The next tranche of AIR81 casualty packs is out at the National Archive
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Mods, can you rename this as I am not sure the few people who have been waiting for this for years have noticed..
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What does it mean Beermat?
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What happened was when RAF aircrew were reported missing, a file would be opened. Any and all information that then came to light concerning the whereabouts of the aircraft and the crew, including investigations into the causes and nature of incidents, would be recorded meticulously in this file. These files have not been available to researchers, being held by the RAF Historical Branch (who would release parts of files on request, normally only to relatives) and then completely unavailable for several years while being transferred to the National Archive in Kew, and prepared for public access. The first batch, up to September 1940, were released years ago now, and there has been a very long delay before the second, September 1940 to December 1941, which was released and made available to the public last week. There are a number of 'unsolved cases' among those interested in this history - one example is the 'Spitfire in a tree' on which there is a thread here somewhere. Another is something I have been working on for years involving a rare aircraft type and a certain moor in South West England.. These packs will answer a lot of these questions. Of course, it is in the nature of such things that they will probably pose more.

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This is welcome news and grateful thanks are due to those whose diligent work made this possible.
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Absolutely - thanks to the people who did this. Thanks Reckless Rat for the tip-off, too :-)

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My time spent researching for AAA members threw up a challenge. Map refs given in wartime used a different grid for the UK. Is there anywhere on line where the uk maps with mil grid refs are available? I suppose the next step would be to find original maps.
It was the OS Casini Grid system. Still possible to pick up period maps from EBay or book/map dealers.

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Which piece numbers are these, do you know?
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Piece numbers - the NA reference numbers? AIR81/1 to AIR81/5746 Couple of amendments - these records include files opened for all casualties, whether missing or not. Also, these only run up to April, 1941 - not December 31st 1941. Sorry. Misleading information on the site.
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Just a point some files maybe listed but that does not mean they are “open” some are still closed and this fact is listed on the National Archives reference You can petition closed files to be “opened” I have been successful on this on 2 occasions and I know of others who have also been successful going down his route but it may not be the case each time Closed files which are subsequently opened will have personal info of possible living people redacted. I am unsure of the process of identifcation of this but may be based on assumption adults were at least 18 in year of age in say 1939 so info closed 2021 at the earliest as that is when 100 year old rule would cut in
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Thanks for the change, Mods

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Hi I have a full set of the southwest maps in storage if anyone needs a photo of a map ref let me know and i will dig them out in a few days or so they used to be quite a common find in the 70/80's cheers jerry

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Hi All Just received the AIR81 Casualty Report for my aircraft of interest, N6012. While containing minimal medical information about the actual injuries of the crew, there was a relative mountain of information about the accident itself. If you are researching a crash in the UK then do check to see if there is a Casualty Report. For me it was very worthwhile and just 10 years after starting my research! Cheers James
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Sometimes they can be great, other times devoid of information. The two Whirlwinds? Nothing. They just say 'Dartmoor'. We kind of knew that. Has anyone done the 'Spitfire in a tree' yet?

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Hi Beermat, Was one of the two whirlwinds being flown by H H Kitchener of 263 squadron? If so I have information that I can share with you Regards Gerry
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Hi Gerry HH Kitchener was the third pilot in the flight of three, He survived the incident which occurred in cloud and reported it at the time as happening 'near Bovey Tracey'. He wasn't navigating the flight, and depending upon one's definition of 'near' was inaccurate. The other two aircraft impacted somewhere else, and I am sorry if I am being cagey. It wasn't Foxtor Mire, though, that is rapidly becoming a Dartmoor legend but it's a little off. I would be very happy indeed to hear any more on this. I know that Kitchener was interviewed shortly before he died and I have heard his account of the accident second hand - do you have the transcript? Just to give context, I have been researching this for seven years, including visits to Dartmoor, talking to witnesses and unearthing diaries that record the wreckage. I have a pretty good idea of the location (within about 2 square KM) and have even field walked the area, with other WFP folk. Nothing yet.
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geburke3, PM sent.