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Thread: RAF Casualty Packs 1939-45 Public Access

  1. #31
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    Gents, is there any news when we might expect to see the next tranche of files released?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  2. #32
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    Default AIR81 - Jan 2016 update

    Hello all

    I thought you might be interested to read this reply from TNA to my request for more information regarding release of AIR81 files.

    "You are right to point out that there have not been any transfers into the AIR 81 series for some time and both The National Archives (TNA) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) are aware that the next transfers are overdue. Work is proceeding on further transfers but these transfers have taken longer to process than originally anticipated because of ongoing discussions between TNA and MoD over the cataloguing of the records. I am informed however that the next batch (AIR 81/1489-1779) are ready for transfer and we are hopeful that this transfer will have taken place by the end of next month. May I suggest therefore that you check Discovery for updates.

    As regards the records for 1944 [my specific time frame of interest], these are still held by the Ministry of Defence and I am unable at present to estimate when they will be transferred to The National Archives.
    I am sorry not to be able to give a more helpful response."


    Such valuable information - just out of reach!

    regards

    Mike

  3. #33
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    If a specific Casualty Pack has not yet been released to the TNA cataloging system then, within the normal MOD 25 years after death etc etc etc you can apply to the RAFAHB at Northolt for a transcript.

    Fee is the same as for service records and depending on criteria are open to NoK or General Enquiry.

    See the RAFAHB web site for the rules and relevant forms.

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/ahb/rafcasualties/

    You pays your money now or wait - your choice.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015 to 2023 - All rights reserved.

  4. #34
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    There are several (almost standard) phrases within that TNA reply which would indicate - to those of us who have actually worked in Air Min/MoD(Air)/MoD, and written the same sorts of replies - what is really happening! Obfuscation! I could lecture on this! But don't expect anything to happen very quickly, or - even - at all! Pity. It is a valuable resource. I contrast this approach to the Australian Archives. I recently had a file digitised - it was painless, relatively cheap, and the imagery was excellent. They, Oz TNA, wanted to help. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of their UK counterparts.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  5. #35
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    Hi Ross
    Would you say that the transcript could more accurately
    be described as an extraction of some basic information from the file?

    In the one file that I have seen at Kew, I photographed around 25 documents and
    about a dozen very well preserved photographs.
    The number of documents was, at the most, half the number in the file.
    I would be very surprised if AHB would transcribe much more than that listed in the link
    that you provided.

    Hi Peter
    What would you say is the motivation for the obfuscation?
    They surely can't be using the 'duty of care of personal information' dodge.
    The nature of some of the photographs and documents that I viewed was very personal
    and potentially distressing to a relative.
    Might it simply be costs and resources that are causing such long lead times in these disclosures?


    I know that the RAF museum's research department hold photocopies of a small number of MRES case files,
    e.g. object No. X004-2400/001/043 LL797 Feb 1944.
    "Not to be produced without permission of senior keeper"
    Permission was politely refused during my visit in December 2014.
    This does continue to baffle, bearing in mind that less than 24 hours later I viewed a case file (not LL797)
    in its entirety at TNA, having no kin connection and having gained no permission of any sort.
    Also, with LL797 having two Canadians on board, copies of MRES documentation (including exhumation reports)
    have been obtained from the Canadian archives by another researcher and passed to me.

    Best regards

    Mike

  6. #36
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    Mike,

    The extent of information in the transcript depends on the relationship of the person signing for the enquiry.

    For general enquiry the form lists the possible return, for NoK or consent of NoK no list of possible return is defined.

    All that is said is that photocopies will not be given.

    However much is returned to an enquiry it will always be something and so all is not "just out of reach!" only parts.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015 to 2023 - All rights reserved.

  7. #37
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    Hello

    I've accessed several tens of casualty packs in the AIR 81 series at Kew and I've not seen any kind of censorship or edited documents. They are numbered, and I think the numbers are "old", and not just done, so to me there's no missing pages.

    I'm obviously interested in a new batch of documents being released, it will mostly cover the period from mid-August 1940 up to maybe December 1940, but I already have a very large number of files to check for the French campaign, and these documents are really interesting and useful. One file from a Blenheim crew recently enabled us to find the family of the fiancée of the observer. Without the casualty pack, I would have never known he had one, and no name and no address to start.

    Those who know, keep us posted about the release

    Joss

  8. #38
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    Having visited TNA last week I submitted a formal request about these records as none of the staff on duty were able to give any further information. Today I received the following reply:

    "I have been informed that work is proceeding on further transfers but these transfers have taken longer to process than originally anticipated because of ongoing discussions between The National Archives and Ministry of Defence over the cataloguing of the records. The next set of records due for transfer from MoD are AIR 81/1489-1779 (covering the period 4 September 1939 to 8 January 1940) and we are hopeful that this transfer will have taken place by the end of the month.

    So not really any different to the reply that Mike received.


    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 8th February 2016 at 20:13.

  9. #39
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    So they would be the none operational casualties then, I have heard that a btch of those was going to be transferred.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

  10. #40
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    Now that we are into April I was wondering if anyone had any updates from the NA, no further AIR 81 references have appeared on Discovery and we are now well over a month beyond their target date for the next batch.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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