1940 - 1984        

Royal Air Force Aberporth

Recording the History  -  Recalling the Memories.

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RAF Slang and Acronyms - Memories are made of this.

An A to Z of RAF Acronyms and Slang.

 48   A 48 hour leave pass, A 24,    A 36 ,   0r A 72 also applied

A.M.O's       Air Ministry Orders

Ace    Accumulator trolley, also someone who was good or an expert (normally applied to successful fighter pilots)

Adj  A Corruption of adjutant

Air raid    get a haircut

Airmens comforts    reference to waaf and wraf personnel

 alakeefic or alekeefic    Indifferent or apathetic. Thought to be from Arabic

Albert, or Fat Albert     A C-130 Hercules.

Ami     American (GAF)

Angels    Altitude in 1,000's of feet. One angel was 1,000ft thus 'Angels 13' was 13,000ft.

Annie   Fond nickname given to the Avro Anson twin engined maid of all work

Apron   aircraft movement or parking area

Archie    general term for anti-aircraft fire

Arse end charlie  Rear turret gunner in bombers and other types of aircraft.

                                Rear aircraft in a formation.

Auggies     Pronounced oggies. Members of the RAuxAF.

Augured in    Crashed (USAAF, USAF, USN)

AWOL   absent without leave


Balbo  A large formation of aircraft.

Bale Out    To take to one's parachute. To abandon the aircraft.

Bandit    Enemy Aircraft

Bang On   to be correct

Bang Out   Eject. Also used of getting out of a situation, eg It was a boring party, so I banged out at 9.

Bang Seat    Ejection seat

Baron   An officer

Barrack room lawyer    An individual who thought that they knew all the answers to Kings/Queens regulations and disciplinary matters and how to avoid/get out of any air force/military legal problem

Battle bowlers   Protective steel helmet

Bean stealer  Married Man living in single quarters. (Not paying for food or accommadation. Stealing the single mans food)

Bearer   used to describe the servant/batman employed by other ranks in tropical/semi tropical climates

Beat up   A low level pass over an airfield or other point usually frowned upon

Beer Lever  Joystick

BEngO  Baby Engineer Officer. An officer of the Engineer Branch about to join, undergoing or just out of engineering training. By comparison with JEngO and Sengo.

Best blues  reference to the best or number one uniform for parades and walking out

Bimble   A walk, stroll or amble.

Binding   Whining about conditions

Binding like the clappers     Being unspeakably boring

Bint    Young girl (from arabic)

Black   A poor show or something done badly. To put up a black - to do something badly.

Black Outs    WAAF knickers, navy-blue winter weights

Blighty   The UK

Blitz, A solid lump of    A large formation of enemy aircraft

Blonde Job   A Young woman with fair hair.

Blood wagon   ambulance

Blood Chit

Bod   Body or person

Body Snatcher   Stretcher bearer

Boffs  Term for the scientists used by aircrew of the Experimental Flying Dept. at the RAE Farnborough.

Bogey   Unidentified aircraft

Boggies   Term used for those who did National Service

Bogus   Sham, spurious

Bolshie  Someone who had a chip on their shoulder

Bomphleteers   Airmen engaged on early leaflet raids. See also 'Nickels'

Bondu   General term in MEAF for any area of desert.


Bone dome   air crew crash/safety helmet

Boomerang (To)  To return to base with an unservicable aircraft

Bought it  killed in action, crashed, shot down, gone for a burton. See also 'Bought the Farm'

Bought the farm  Crashed. Originated when USAAF pilots were obliged to pay for damages caused after crashing on private property.

Brain On A Chain  RAF Police Dog, said to be more intelligent than their handlers!

Brassed Off  Unhappy - diminutive of 'Browned Off' Fed up, cheesed off etc. ?derivation from the brass cleaning practice?

Brasses  Refering to all brass buttons, badges, buckles and fittings on webbing and equipment. "Clean your brass", polish your buttons badges etc

Brat  Specifically, an Apprentice at RAF Halton or RAF  Locking.  Generaly Apprentice or Boy Entrant. (from Trenchard Brat after MRAF Lord Trenchard whose idea the apprenticeship scheme was).

Breathing licence  ference to the official identity card without which you could be up the creek!

Brolly   A parachute

Brown Job  Army Soldier

Browned Off     Unhappy, Fed up

Buckshee    Something for nothing, free

Bull   anything related to cleaning, polishing, eg buttons, boots, webbing, accomodation, or such

Bull night   weekly evening cleaning of barrack blocks and ablutions etc

Bullshit   any form of cleaning/polishing. rubbish, evasion, lies, subterfuge, etc. Etc

Bumper,     the heavy metal brush on the end of a pole, swung back and forth to polish barrack room floors. Bumper from what it did, Bump.

Bumph           Useless paperwork or form filling

Bundoo           The desert

Burton, Gone for A Burton....  The phrase 'Gone for a Burton' probably came from a pre-war advert for Burton beer; if someone was missing from a group, they had gone 'for a Burton'.

Dead, killed, crashed, gone in the drink.

Bus Driver          Bomber pilot

Buttoned up       Job properly completed.

Button Stick  Special flat slotted “tool” used for cleaning brass uniform buttons, until the general issue of anodised buttons in the 1960’s.


Cab      A helicopter. Also an aircraft, used a lot on the Phantom fleet (might be a navy term).

Canteen Cowboy         Ladies' man

Cattle boat        a troopship

cement poisoning       Description of a terminal ground impact

Char and a wad          The cup of tea and the bun/cake often purchased from mobile NAAFI or WVS, Salvation Army canteens or the NAFFI Club itself

Chai     Tea...from Indian or Arabic derivation. Shouts from billets could be heard of CHAI! to the bearers (servants) indicating tea was wanted. Nobody indicated who they were, the bearer always seemed to know who had done the shouting!

Charp   To take a nap. From Indian Charpoy - a small bed. See http://xbrat47.chatrifleclub.org/teeemm.html

Chicks        fighter escort of bomber. fighters waiting for airborne tanker

Chiefie   originally applied to a Flight Sergeant, but now also used for a Chief Technician

Chitty, Chit    any paper/document that allowed or excused something. Excused Boots chit for example. Also used when a stores request was put in

Chop - To get the,    shot down or killed in action

Chopped       Removed from a course of training. Failed to make the grade.

Chopper      helicopter

chuff chart   A chart indicating - days done in the RAF divided by days to do - ie the greater the number the more enthusiastic the chuff chart holder would become .

Circuits and Bumps    Practice circuits and landings.

Clampers  Weather unfit for flying

Clapped Out    Nearing end of useful life

Cloud & Clonk   Weather/Ground (airborne) Radar

Colonel, The   The Naafi, as in Colonel Gaddafi

Come the old soldier  From army derivation. To come the old soldier, or Don't come the old soldier with me. To use experience, knowledge, service time etc to make excuses, avoid the issue, argue without insubordination etc

Completely Cheesed   No hope at all.

Compo  short for composite rations, tinned and field food

Controlled crash   a successful and safe landing

Cope   To accomplish, to deal with.

Crabbing along  Flying near the ground or water

Crab, Crabs    a member of the Navy, Navy Personnel.

Crate   Aircraft

Crow   used at the RAF Regt Depot for people invalided off the Junior Regt Officer Cse; abbreviation for Crippled Regiment Officer Wannabe


D. I.   Drill Instructor. Usually found on schools of recruit training.

Deck, Crack down on   To 'pancake' an aircraft

Deck, the    The ground or surface of the sea.

Desert Lily  Urinal made from a tin can

Dhobi   Laundry, washing - I had to do my dhobying in cold water or in Egypt we had a dhobi wallah - a boy who did the washing. From Arabic, dhobi, to wash

Dhobi dust    washing powder

Dicey   Dangerous

Dicey do   A hair raising or dangerous situation or operation, a close thing

Dicke autos   Luftwaffe code for allied bombers "fat cars"

Dicky seat   Usually refering to the second or co-pilots seat

Dim as a NAAFI candle    Not too bright !

Dim as a Toc-H lamp    Not too bright

Ditch, To  To land an aircraft in the sea

Dog fight   Aerial Combat.

Dope    Information (USMC).

Drill, The right   Correct method of doing anything

Drink  An ocean, river or lake. The sea

Drink, In the  To come down in the sea

Dud   Applied to weather when unfit to fly.

Duff gen  Dud or useless information

Dunlops dangling, Dunlops:- As in "Dunlops dangling", or gear down (undercarriage)

Dust bin.    Rear gunner's lower position in aircraft

Duty dog    orderly officer or snco also orderly dog


Egg beater/ whisk   Helicopter

Erk  Ground crew. A beginner in any job.

Egyptian PT   To laze on ones bed  or pit.


Fairy   A Member of the Radio/Radar trades.

Fan   Propeller

Fang Farrier    Dentist

Fat Albert   C130 Hercules

FFI   Free From Infection, usually applicable to venereal problems

Fifteen years of undetected crime  The award of the Long Service and Good conduct Medal

File 13   The waste paper basket

Finger, To remove one's   To hurry or pay attention (Get your finger out)

Fish   Torpedo

Fish head    A Member of the Royal Navy

Fish Heads    The Navy

Fizzer    A disciplinary charge. On a fizzer.

Flak Anti-aircraft fire: acronym from the german FlugAbwehrKanonen.

Flaming Onions  Anti-aircraft tracer

Flannel  To avoid telling the truth

Flap  A chaotic event. A disturbance or general excitement. (In a flap)

Flying Tadpole  WW2 Handley Page Hampden Bomber also 'Flying suitcase', 'Flying panhandle'

Fox, To  To do something clever or cunning

Fruit Salad   medal ribbons

FUBAR    USAF -     F****d up beyond all recognition.

Gardening   Sowing mines in water from low level.

Garry    Motorized vehicle ( transportation) RAF India dirivative?

Gash   Spare, available item (usually for free). Not to be confused with the Royal Navy "gash" which means "rubbish" ie "ditch the gash" meaning throw the rubbish overboard

Gen   General information of any kind. (pronounced jen)

George    Automatic pilot

Get Cracking   Get going

Get some in   applied to someone who has done very little service time

Get your ink dry.  applied to someone who has not yet done any long length of service.

Get your knees brown   applied to someone who still has white skin in hot climates, new arrival

Gin clear  Description of cloudless sky. Applied much more frequently in the desert than in the UK, for obvious reasons... possible derivation. Submariners removed diesel oil from periscope lenses with gin - hence they were 'gin clear'.

gin palace   Electronics Centre on an airfield

Ginger beer    Engineeer

Gippy Tummy   Gastroenteritis

Gizzit   A freeby, free gift (Gizzit here)

GO Bag   A V Force term for the nav bag containing the secret target and other information which went everywhere with a crew on QRA.

God Botherer   Chaplain

Golden Eagle Day     Pay day

Gone for a Burton    Missing in action or killed

Gong    A medal

Gong, To collect a    To get a medal

Goolie Chit   A scrap of paper issued when flying over hostile territory offering a reward to the natives to return you to the nearest Allied unit unharmed

Grease Monkey  short for composite rations, tinned and field food

Greenhouse   Cockpit canopy

Gremlins  WW2 expression for any malfunction in an aircraft which was not readily identifiable or was of an intermittent nature. From Gremlins being of a mischeivious nature and getting into the works

Ground Wallah  An officer who did not fly

Groupie   The rank of group captain

Gubbins  Equipment


Hairy Mary   No 2 dress - Battle dress - from WW2 until about 1976

Halibag   Halifax Bomber

Handbrake house   Station Headquarters


Hedge hopping   Flying extremely low over countryside so as to seem to be hopping over hedges, power lines and telephone lines were always a hazard, as were railway bridges

Hedge-hopping    Flying very low.

Hen House  waaf or wraf quarters see also Waafery

Hit the silk   Take to one's parachute. Bale out.

Hog Dangler   RAF Police dog handler.

Homeplate    A pilot's home airfield (USAAF, USAF, USN)

Housewife    sewing kit

Hun  Germans

Hurriback  A Hurricane fighter


Ice Cream Man    Ice Cream Man- member of the SP division.

Imshi    go away, from the Arabic

In the saddle   Immediately behind a target and ready to attack. (USAAF, USAF)

Indianer   Luftwaffe slang for American fighters - literally 'Indians'

Irons    knife,fork and spoon:- part of O.R. issue kit. Had a mug to go with it

Iron Fairy  A small mechanical crane


Janker wallah  someone on jankers

Jankers   Punishment for minor offence

JEngO   Junior Engineer Officer. Strictly only on a flying squadron, but somtimes used of any junior officer of the Engineer Branch.

Jerry    a German, esp.German soldier.

Jerry Can Petrol container (USA origin)

Jink away    Sharp manoeuvre. Evasive action of aircraft

Joystick, joystick jockey    Reference to the aircraft control column, and a pilot


Katschmarek   Luftwaffe slang for wingman, the trailing aircraft in a two plane Rotte; required to stick with leader, following his lead.

Kipper Fleet   The Nimrod fleet

Kipper Kite   A Coastal Command aircraft protecting fishing fleets in the North and Irish seas.

Krs   King's Regulations


Last three  the last three figures of a service number, usually required at pay parades and other occasions

Leaping Heap   Harrier Jump Jet

Liberty Gharri    Transport from camp to town

Line Book   Collection of amusing gaffes or slips of the tongue on a squadron or Mess.

Line shoot  Exaggeration - usually about oneself. Telling a tall tale. Also 'Shooting a line'.

Liney   An Aircraft Mechanic.

LMF   Lack of moral fibre

Lumpy Jumpers   WAAF or airwoman; orig. from difference in profile of issue "woolly pully" when worn by female personnel

Mae West   Life jacket which inflates if wearer falls into the sea.

Mahleesh   Never mind, or indifferent. From Arabic

Mahogany Spitfire    Desk 'flown' by penguins and ground wallahs

Mechanical Humming Bird   name given to HS Harrier GR1 aircraft by Harrier groundcrews of No 1 Fighter Squadron - anologious to the Harriers capability of flying backwards

milk bottle   Someone who has just arrived overseas and has yet to get a tan

milk run    A mission to an easy target with little opposition

Minging   Something that is not very nice or dirty

Mixmaster   helicopter

Mooney   A new arrival from UK to warmer climes like Singapore, (because their pale skin is a moon tan not a sun tan)

Mother hen  senior waaf or wraf officer, see mother superior and queen bee also

Mother Superior   senior wraf or waaf officer, see Queen bee also

Mudmover   Ground Attack aircraft pilot

Muscle in   To take advantage of a good thing


NATO standard   Tea or coffee with milk and sugar. Usually a response to, "How do you want your tea/coffee?"

NBG      NBG....no bloody good

NFI    Not F***king interested!

NFL    Not F***king  likely!

Nickels    Propaganda leaflets.

Nimrod  Someone who has the look of respectability but is both ethically and morally destitute

No joy   Failure, unsuccessful

Nunnery   WAAF and WRAF quarters, see mother superior


OC Bogs and Drains   OC Works Services Flight, or the equivalent. Responsible for the upkeep of the Station infrastructure.

Office   Cockpit of an aircraft

Oggin   The sea

Old lag    Cockpit canopy

Old Man   The squadron CO

Ombasha  Corporal, derived from Arabic

Organise   To 'win' an article. Blag.

Oxbox   Airspeed Oxford aircraft.


Pack up, to    Cease to function

Packet, to catch a    To be on the receiving end of offensive fire

Pan   The airfield

Pancake   To land an Aeroplane

Peanut  Term usually applied to members of the now obsolete Trade Group 11, Telecommunication Operator/Controllers branch.

Pebble Monkey   Pebble Monkey- Trainee Rock Ape, not yet received his "Flashes". .

Peel off, To   Break formation to engage enemy

Penguin   Ground officers with no operational experience.

Piece of Cake   An easy target with little opposition

Pig  Varsity [ or Valletta ] aircraft

Pig (A)    The Valetta transport a/c

Pink chit    Permission to do something -- normally from wife or girl freind!

Pit     Pit or pit time means bed or time spent in bed

Pit practice   going to bed or taking a snooze or lay down

Play pussy    Hide in clouds

Pleep  A squeak.

Plonk   AC2, the lowest rank in the RAF

Plug away   Continue to fire. Keep after target.

Plumber    A member of the Armourer trades

Pongo   A member of the British Army viz - everywhere the Army goes the pongos!!

Poodle pusher    RAF Police Dog Handler .

Popsie    Girl friend

POSB  Pronounced Posbie. Someone who is tight with their money. Originated from those who oversubscribed to their Post Office Savings Book.

Someone who had a deduction at source to their Post Office account so they never had the money to stand their round

Prang  To crash

prang wagon     crash or fire tender

Press on regardless     unofficial motto of the RAF

Prune    Inexperienced Pilot Officer from WWII cartoon character

Pukka gen    Accurate or useful information.

Pulpit    Cockpit of an aircraft

Pusser Duck   Supermarine Walrus amphibian aircraft see also Shagbat and Steam Pigeon

Pyard squared   Corned beef


Quack  medical officer, or orderly, nurse, or anyone in medical branch

Queen bee     senior wraf or waaf officer, see mother superior also

Queen Mary   A low loader articulated trailer for transporting a/c fuselage and wings

Quick Squirt    Short sharp burst of machine gun fire

Rang the Bell    Got good results

REMF    Rear Eschelon MotherF*cker

Rhubarb    Short cross channel seek/destroy sortie (WW2)

Rigger  Member of the Airframes trade

Rigger Blood   Hydraulic fluid

Rings   Rank designation on an officer's sleeve

ROAD   USAF - Retired On Active Duty. Used to describe an idler.

Rock ape  term applied to, and used by members of RAF Regiment

Rodeo   Fighter sweep

Ropey   Uncomplimentary adjective - A ropey landing, A ropey type, A ropey evening, etc.

RUMBLES  This was the sound made at nightime when a trainee from one board-floored hut about midnight raced thru another upsetting beds,then disappeared thru a third and into the darkness,causing those from hut 2 to upend beds in hut 3. If the upsetter was caught by the upsetees his testicles were painted with black bootpolish.

R.Os  Station Routine Orders


Sabrinas   The name for the external bulges added to the Hunter for collecting the 30mm Aden cannon shell links which, when ejected from the aircraft, were found to disrupt the airflow into the engine on the original Hunter

Scaley   A married man on full allowances. Derived from the time when marriage allowance was paid and the recipients were known as Scaley because they received the Scale A level of pay.

Scopie  Person employed within the Aerospace Operator trade or Fighter Control branch. AKA Scope Dope

Scrambled Egg  Gold braid on officer's caps

Scran    Food.

Scraper  Thin ring worn with two thicker ones on uniform sleeve or shoulder identifying a Squadron Leader. From a scraper ring on a piston in a piston engine

Screamed downhill    Executed a power dive

Screaming hab dabs   Gastroenteritis

Screaming Tit   slang for the Argosy Freighter from its engine noise and the small black radar dome on its nose

Scuffer   RAF Policeman (or woman).

Self-loading freight    Soldiers boarding a transport plane. Air passengers generally.

SEngO   Senior Engineer Officer. Strictly only on a flying squadron, but somtimes used of any squadron leader of the Engineer Branch.

Shack  Avro Shackleton

Shagbat   Supermarine Walrus Seaplane use in air sea rescue duties.

Shiny/Shiney   A member of the admin trades (from Shiney a**e because they wore the seats of their trousers shiney by permanently sitting down).

Shitehawk   any representation of the raf eagle on shoulder, uniform badge etc.

Shooting a Line    See Line shoot

Shot down in flames    Crossed in love. Given a severe reprimand

Shreddies    Male underwear

Shufti    To look.

shufti kite   Reconnaisance aircraft

Shufti-blanket    Burka

Shufti-scope   Torch. or An underwater face-mask

Skirt patrol, On On the lookout for a popsie

Sky pilot   A chaplain

SLOps  Squadron Leader Ops. Why such an important personage on a station got lumbered with such an amusing abbreviation is a minor mystery.

Snafu   Situation Normal All Fouled (inoffensive alternative). Up

Snag  1.A defect, particularly technical. 2. A Leading Aircraft Apprentice at Halton.

Snake about   Operational aerobatics

Snowdrop   RAF Policeman (or woman) by virtue of his/her wearing a white covered cap

Soggies   Breakfast cereal soaked in milk and allowed to go - soggy!

Sooty   Member of the Propulsion Trade

Spacies    Air Cadets (by comparison to space cadets).

Spam Can   B24 Liberator Bomber

Sparks/sparkie   reference to those who wore the signals badge on their sleeve or aircrew who wore the signallers brevet

Spoof A diversionary raid or operation

Sprog  an inexperienced young officer, or a child or A 'new boy' fresh from training

Spun In  A bad mistake. Analagous of an aircraft spinning out of control into the ground.

SqIntO  pronounceed squint-o. Squadron Intellingence Officer.

Squabbling bleeder     The rank of Squadron Leader

Square bashing   The period of recruit training in basic drill or any form of parade

Squirt A short machine gun burst

Pukka gen Accurate or useful information.

Station Rock  OC Station Regiment (or Ground Defence Training) Flight

Stationmaster   Commanding officer of a Station

steam pigeon   Supermarine Walrus amphibian aircraft see also Shagbat


Stooge   Deputy, Second pilot or any assistant

Stooging about  Delayed landing for various reasons. Flying slowly over and area. Patrolling.

subsonic lawnmowers  Name adopted by joint 15/16 sqdn Buccaneers det to Lossiemouth

Sweep    Fly over enemy territory looking for targets

SWO   Term for the Station Warrant Officer responsible for all discipline etc

SWO Man   A description for the Station Warrant Officer.

Synthetic   Not the real thing. Also applied to ground training.

Tail End Charlie   Rear Gunner in a bomber or rear aircraft in a formation.

Tally ho!   RAF) Am about to attack / Have sighted enemy

Tank   Aircraft Apprentice NAAFI at RAF Halton

Target for Tonight   Girlfriend

Tear off a strip   Reprimand, take down a peg

Tee up   To prepare a job, to get ready.

Tentpeg   To crash like that implies

The Camp Bicycle  This referred to a service or civilian female on a station who put it around a bit.

Thunderbox   Chemical toilet. Any form of field toilet requiring emptying!

Tiffy  Typhoon fighter/bomber, fighter/ground attack

Tin Basher  An Airframe Fitter.

TIT    firing button on a control stick, the tit the button, press the tit to fire

Tits Up   Refers to an equipment unserviceability - going 'tits up' infers that it has fallen on its back.  To land with wheels up - a mistake or cock-up! (appeared in the Daily Telegraph!)

Tommy  German slang for Englishman

Tonka  Panavia Tornado

Top brass  Senior Officer (normally of Air Rank)

Touch bottom   Crash

Toys   Training equipment

Train, Driving the    Leading more than one squadron into battle

Trenchard Brat    An apprentice at Halton

Trog   RAF Police slang for walking the wire on SSA, ESA etc

Trucky, Truckies  Transport aircraft pilots

Twilights   WAAF underwear, light coloured summer-weights.

Two-six  command to begin moving equipment,vis: ground handling of aircraft ( in all probability had its beginning in RAF India) (two Sikhs)


U/S  Unservicable.

Ulu  The jungle

Undercart    Undercarriage (or u/c Gear) of an aircraft


Vegetables   Accoustic or magnetic mines

Vic  Formation of aircraft in a v shape

Vim Tin  English Electric Lightning in its original silver colour looked like a tin of Vim


Waafery   waaf or wraf quarters see also henhouse

Wallah  suffix applied to all local labour, for instance donkey wallah, water wallah, dhobi wallah, of Indian derivation

Whipper In  A single aircraft used to fly around a large flypast formation during rehearsals, giving corrective guidance to any aircraft which is not quite in the right position.

Whirlybird   helicopter

Whistleing Wheelbarrow   Argosy

Whistling Tit  Argosy, Radome on the nose plus the engine noise

Whizzo   Jolly good show

Wiggly Amps  What you find in electronic equipment going through the wires. From the appearance of oscilloscope displays, which measure the wiggly amps, and the unit of current. Also used more generally of electronic equipment itself.

Wimpie  Fond nickname given to the Vickers Wellington bomber. Prabably derived from a newspaper cartoon character of the same name

Window   Strips of metallic paper cut to the length of the frequency of a radar site when dropped gave a false radar echo

Wingco Wing Commander

Wingless wonder  derogatory term applied to mainly to officers who did not wear the flying brevet and were over officious

Wiring  Extremely low level flying. Has been in use for the last 41 years in the RED ARROWS.

Wizard  First class, attractive, ingenious, superlative

Wizard Prang  To hit a target well

Wizzo  First Class

Wokka wokka  Chinook helicopter. Derives from the distinctive sound of the twin rotors.

Wonders and Blunders Air Ministry Works Department, also known as works and bricks.

Working your ticket  Trying to get out of the services


Yonks  A long Long time ago

Yug and Yugging  A Yug is a wobble in the vertical plane during formation flying. Hence to yug and yugging.


Zobbit   A commissioned officer - normally a snooty one! Possibly derived from the Arabic 'dhabit' - literally officer.

Zot An Arrows word for a verbal de-brief given by an observer of formation aeros. Probably now defunct with the advent of video etc.

AA - Air Attache: Anti Aircraft Fire

AAC - Army Air Corps:

AAC - Anti Aircraft Co-operation

AACC - Army Air Corps Center

AACF - Anti-aircraft Co-operation Flight

AACTDC - Army Air Corpse Tactical Development Center

AACU - Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit

AAEE - Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment

A&AEE - Aero plane& Armament Experimental/Evaluation Establishment

AAF - Auxiliary Air Force/Anti Aircraft Flight

AAFCE - Allied Air Forces Central Europe

AAFNE - Allied Air Forces Northern Europe

AAFSE - Allied Air Forces Southern Europe

AAGS - Air Armament & Gas School

AAITS - Airmen Aircrew Initial Training school

AAP - Air to air Missile

AAP - Aircraft acceptance Park (during WW1)/ Army Aircraft Park

AAPC - Anti Aircraft Practice Camp

AAR - Air-to Air Refueling

AAS - Air Armament School

AASF - Advanced Air Striking Force (1939/40)

AATE - Air Armament trials Establishment

AATT&DC - Army Air Transport Training & Development Center

AAU - Air Ambulance Unit/Aircraft Acceptance Unit/ Aircraft Assembly Unit

ABGS(ME) Air Bombing & Gunnery School (Middle East)

AFEE - Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment

AATTF - Anti-Aircraft and Target Towing Flight

ABC - Airborne Cigar - transmitter aboard aircraft which jammed German fighter control frequencies

ABTF - Air Bombing Training Flight

A/C - Aircraft

AC - Aircraftman

AC1 Aircraftman First Class

AC2 Aircraftman Second Class

ACAC - Aircrew Allocation Center - Brackla (1944)

ACATC - Air Cadets Adventure Training Center (Llanbeder and Windermere)

A/Cdre - Air Commodore

ACC - Army Co-operation Command

ACC - Allied Control Commission

ACC - Air Control Center

ACC - armoured car company

ACCF - Army Co-operation Command Communication Flight

ACDC - Aircrew Despatch Center (Heaton Park)

ACDW - Air Crew Disposal Wing

ACGFSOC - Air Cadet Gliding Flight Safety Officer's Course

ACCGS - Air Cadet Central Gliding School (RAF Syerston)

ACDU - Army Co-operation Development Unit

ACDU (ME) - Air Combat Development Unit (Middle East)

ACF - Air Command Far East

ACFAWF - Air Command Fare East All Weather Flight

ACFSS - Air Cadets Flying Scholarship Scheme

ACGS(OR) - Assistant Chief of the General Staff (Operational Requirements)

ACH Air Craft Hand

ACH - Advanced Chain Home

ACHU - Aircrew Holding Unit (No 1 Kidlington, No2 Penhros, No3 Pembray, No4 Grange, No7 Blyton, No8 Rufforth, No9 Gamston, No10 Burn, No11 Bruntingthorpe, No14 Millom. No15 Beccles, No 21 Filey No 22 Kirkham, No25 Aldermaston, No26 Market Harborough, No29 Witchford)

ACIs - Air Council Instructions

ACO - Advanced Chain Overseas (radar)

ACO - Air Cadet Organisation

ACM - Air Chief Marshal

ACP - Air Cadet Publication (derived from APs)

ACPNTS - Air Cadets Pilot Navigation Training Scheme

ACR - Airfield Control Radar

ACRC - Air Crew Reception Centre - (No3 ACRC St John's Wood, London - Regent's Park, London) (1 ACRC - Babbacombe)

ACRC (ME) - Air Crew Reception Centre Middle East (No. 1 ACRC (M.E.), Jerusalem (No. 5 ACRC (M.E.), Helipolis

A.C.R.C - (No 1 ACRC Babbacombe, No 2. ACRC, RAF Sale, No 6 ACRC Scarborough)

A.C.R.C - Aircrew Receiving Centre (No 4 Filey, No 7 Torquay)

ACRS - Air Crew Refresher School

ACS - Airfield Construction Squadron

ACSB - Air Crew Selection Board (No 7 ACSB Cardington)

ACSEA - Air Command South East Asia

ACSEA/ASS - Air Command South East Asia Air Service Squadron ACTC - Air Cadet Training Centre (at RAFC Cranwell)

ACU - Air Conditioning Unit

AD - Aircraft Depot

AD - Air Defence

AD - After duty (used on F259 for start of leave period.)

ADC - Air Defence Centre/Aide de Camp

ADCC - Air Defence Cadet Corps (established 1938, see ATC)

ADCS - Air Defence Cooperation Squadron

ADEM - Air Defences Eastern Mediterranean

ADF(U) - Aircraft Delivery Flight (Unit)

ADGB - Air Defence of Great Britain

ADGE - Air Defence Ground Environment

ADLS - Air Despatch Letter Service

ADM - Air Defence Missile

ADRU - Air Despatch& Reception Unit

ADU - Aircraft Delivery Unit

AE - Air Efficiency award

AEAES - Air Electronics& Air Engineers School

AEAF - Allied Expeditionary Air Forces

AEC - Assessment& Evaluation Centre

AED - Aircraft Equipment Depot

AEF - Air Experience Flight

AES - Air Electronics School/Armament Experimental Station

AEW - Airborne Early Warning

AFC - Air Force Cross

AFC - Australian Flying Corps

AFDE - Air Fighting Development Establishment

AFDS - Air Fighting Development Squadron, part of CFE

AFDU (S)- Air Fighting Development Unit/Squadron

AFE - Airborne Forces Establishment

AFEE - Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment

AFG - Air Forces Gulf

AFHQ - Airfield Headquarters

AFM - Air Force Medal

AFRU - Advance Flying & Refresher Unit

AFS - Advanced Flying School - No.201 Swinderby (1948)

AFS - Auxiliary Fighter Squadron

AFSI(I) - Advanced Flying School (India)

AFS(ME) - Advanced Flying School (Middle East)

AFTCC - Air Force Troop Carrier Command

AFTDU - Airborne Forces Tactical Development Unit

AFTS - Advanced Flying Training School

AFTU - Advanced Flying Training Unit/Air Firing Training Unit

AFU - Advanced Flying Unit (No 2 AFU RAF Millom)

AFWE - Air Forces Western Europe

AG - Air Gunner

AGBS - Air Gunnery & Bombing School

AGL - Air Gun Laying

AGME - Aircraft Gun Mounting Establishment

AGRS - Advanced Ground Radio School (No. 2 RS, Yatesbury)

AGRS - Air & Ground Radio School

A&GS -Armament & Gunnery School

AGS - Aircrew Grading School

AGS - Air Gunners School (1 AGS = RAF Pembrey 2AGS = RAF Dalcross 3 AGS = RAF Castle Kennedy from June1941 to dec 1942 then moved to RAF Mona then back to Castle Kennedy10/43, 7 AGS =

Stormy Down 8 AGS = Evanton 9AGS = Llandwrog 10AGS = Castle Kennedy (moved to Barrow - date not known)

11 AGS = Andreas, Isle of Man (moved to Jurby - date not known ) 12 AGS = Bishop's Court)

AGS(ME/I) Air Gunners School (Middle East/India)

AGT - Air work& General Trading (part of the CRO)

AGT - Advanced Gliding Training (Air Cadets)

AGU - Air work Grading Unit

AHQ - Air Headquarters

AHQ(I) - Air Headquarters (India)

A&IEU - Armament & Instrument Experimental Unit

AI - Airborne Interception - night fighter radar equipment

AICF - AI Conversion Flight

AIEU - Armament and Instrument Experimental Unit

AIS - Air Interception School

AITF - AI Training Flight

ALG - Advance Landing Ground

ALS - Air Landing School (India)

ALO - Air Liaison Officer

AM - Air Marshal

AM - Air Ministry

AMDP - Air member for development & Production

AMES - Air Ministry Experimental Station

AMESS - Air Ministry Experimental Station (ground Radar Station)

AMMF - Air Ministry Meteorological Flight

AMO - Air Ministry Order/ Air Movement Order

AMSDU - Air Ministry Servicing Development Unit

AMWD - Air Ministry Works Department

ANBS - Air Navigation & Bombing School

ANS - Air Navigation School

AOC - Air Officer Commanding

AOCU - Andover Operational Conversion Unit

AOG - Aircraft On the Ground (unfit to fly)

AONS - Air Observers Navigation School

AOP - Air Observation Post

AORG - Army Operational Research Group

AOS - Air Observers School (No 4 AOS West Freugh)

AOTS - Aircrew Officers Training School

AP - Aircraft Park

AP - Air Publication

APC (S) - Armament Practice Camp (Station)

APCS - Aden Protectorate Communication Squadron

APCS & SS- Aden Protectorate Control & Support Squadron

APDU - Air Photography Development Unit

AP&DU - Aircraft Preparation& Development Unit

APF - Air Pilotage Flight

APS - Air Pilotage School/Armament Practice Station

APSF - Aden Protectorate Support Flight

APU - Aircraft Preparation Unit

ARC - Aircrew Recruiting Centre/Aircrew Reception Centre

ARD - Aircraft Repair Depot

ARF - Aircraft Repair Flight

ARF - Air Radar Fitter

ARP - Aircraft Repair Park

ARS - Aircraft Repair Section

ARU - Aircraft Repair Unit

ARWF/S - Advanced Rotary Wing Flight/Squadron

A/S - Anti Submarine

ASC - Aircrew Selection Centre

ASC - Air Support Command

ASD - Aeroplane Supply Depot

ASF - Air Survey Flight

ASF - Aircraft Servicing Flight

ASI - Air Speed Indicator

ASM - Anti Submarine Missile

ASP - Air Stores Park

ASR - Air Sea Rescue

ASR&CF - Air Sear Rescue & Communication Flight

ASRF - Air Sea Rescue Flight

ASRTU - Air Sea Rescue Training Unit

AS&RU - Aircraft Salvage & Repair Unit

AS - Air School

ASS - Air Signals School

AST - Air Service Training (CRO)

ASTOR - Airborne Stand-Off Radar

ASU - Aircraft Storage Unit

A/S - Anti Submarine

ASV - Airborne Surface Vessel, radar for maritime patrol aircraft

ASWDU - Air-Sea Warfare Development Unit

ATA - Air Transport Auxiliary

ATAF - Allied Tactical Air Force

ATC - Air Traffic Control

ATC - Armament Training Camp/Air Training Corps (succeeded ADCC, 1941)

ATDC(I) -Air Transport Development Centre (India)

ATDF - Air Transport Development Flight

ATDU - Air Torpedo Development Unit? Air Transport Development Unit

ATF - Autogiro Training Flight

ATFERO - Atlantic Ferry Organisation

ATGU - Aircrew Testing & Grading Unit

ATP - Advanced Training Poll/Aircrew Transit Pool/Air Transit Pool

ATS - Auxiliary Territorial Service (women)

ATS - Armament Training Station/Air Training Squadron

ATTDU - Air Transport Tactical Development Unit/Armament Training Unit/Aircrew Transit Unit/Air Trials Unit

ATREL - Air Transportable Reconnaissance Exploitation Laboratory

ATU - Armament Training Unit/Aircrew Transit Unit/Air Trials Unit/Advanced Training Unit

AUAS - Aberdeen University Air Squadron

AUBDS - Anti U-boat Devices School

AVG - American Volunteer Group

AVM - Air Vice Marshal

AW - Armstrong Whitworth

AWDS - All Weather Development Squadron

AWF - Air Wireless Fitter

AWF - Air Warfare Centre/All weather Flight

AWFCS - All Weather Fighter Conversion Squadron

AWOCU - All Weather Operational Conversion Unit

AWOL - Absent Without Leave

AWRE - Atomic Weapons Research Establishment


BABS - Blind (Beam?) Approach Beacon System

BAC - British Air Commission

B&C - Barrack & Clothing

BACB - British Air Command Berlin

BACF - Beam Approach Calibration Flight

BADU - Blind later, Beam Approach Development Unit

BAe - British Aerospace

BAFF - British Air Forces in France

BAFO - British Air Forces of Occupation

BAFSEA - British Air Force South-East Asia

BANS - Basic Air Navigation School

BARU - British Airways Repair Unit/Base Aircraft Repair Unit

BAS - Beam Approach School

BAS&HEDS Bomber Airborne Support & Heavy Equipment Dropping Squadron

BAT - Beam (originally Blind) Approach

BATDU - Blind Approach Training & Development Unit

BATF - Beam (originally Blind) Approach Training Flight

BATTS - Beam Approach Technical Training School

BBCS - Bengal/Burma Communication Squadron

BB&BLEAU - Bomb Ballistics & Blind Landing Experimental Unit

BBOC Brought Back on Charge

BBU - Bomb Ballistics Unit

BCAir - British Commonwealth Air Component, Japan

BC - Bomber Command

BC - Basic Component (Seen on some USA eqpt. used by RAF, e.g. BC453 part

of SCR274. See SCR.)

BCAS - Bomber Command Armament School

BCATP - British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

BCBS - Bomber Command Bombing School

BCCF(S) - Bomber Command Communication Flight (Squadron)

BCDU - Bomber Command Development Unit

BCFFU - Bomber Command Film Flight Unit

BCHU - Bomber Command Holding Unit

BCIR&EF Bomber Command Instrument Rating & Examining Flight

BCIS - Bomber Command Instructors School

BCJCF - Bomber Command Jet Conversion Unit

BCMC - Bomber Command Modification Centre

BCOF - British Commonwealth Occupation Force

BCRS - Bomber Command Radar School

BCTAE - British Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition

Bde - Brigade

BDR - Battle Damage Repair

BDT - Bomber Defence Training

BDTF - Bomber Defence Training Flight

BDU - Bombing Development Unit/ Bomber Development Unit

BDU - Balloon Development Unit

BDU - Bomb Disposal Unit

BEF - British Expeditionary Force

BER - Beyond Economical Repair

BEM - British Empire Medal

BFTS - British Flying Training School (No.1 Terrell, Texas, No. 3 BFTS Miama Oklahoma)

B&GF - Bombing & Gunnery Flight

B&GS - Bombing & Gunnery School

BGT - Basic Gliding Training (Air Cadets)

BHFU - BloodHound Firing Unit (Aberporth)

BHSU - BloodHound Support Unit (West Raynham)

BLEU - Blind Landing Experimental Unit

BLS - Bombing Leaders School

BMH - British Military Hospital

BoB - Battle of Britain

BobMF - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

BRD - Base Repair Depot

BSDU - Bomber Support Development Unit

BSRU - Base Signal Radar Unit

BSTU - Bomber Support Training Unit

BTF - Bomber Towing/Training Flight

BTU - Bombing Trials Unit

BU - Broken Up

BWF - Bristol Wireless Flight, Yatesbury

(C) - Coastal

C&SM - Sheet metal & Copper Smith

CA - Controller, Aircraft (Air Ministry)

CAACU - Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit

CACS - Central Air Command Section

CACF - Coast Artillery Co-operation Flight

CACU - Coast Artillery Co-operation Unit

CAEU - Casualty Air Evacuation Unit

Cal Flt - Calibration Flight

CF/Unit - Camouflage Flight/Unit

C&M - Care and Maintenance

Cam-ship - Catapult-armed Merchant ship

CAMO - Camouflage Unit

CANS - Civil Air Navigation School

CAP - Captain

CAOS - Combined Air Observers School

CARD - Central Aircraft Repair Depot

CASEVAC - Casualty Evacuation

CASTS - Combined Anti Submarine Tactical School

CAT - Damage Category

CAT - College of Air Training, Hamble

CATCS - Central Air Traffic Control School

CAW - College of Air Ware fare

CBE - Central Bomber Establishment

CBCF - Coastal Battery Cooperation Flight

CBCS - Coastal Battery Cooperation School

CC - Confined to camp

CCAPMF - Coastal Command Aircraft Preparation& Training Unit

CCDU - Coastal Command Development Unit

CCFATU - Coastal Command Fighter Affiliation & Training Unit

CCRC - Combat Crew Replacement Centre

CCSDF - Coastal Command Special Duties Flight

CCF/U - Check and Conversation Flight/Unit

CCGS - Coat sal Command Gunnery School

CC(F)IS - Coastal Command (Flying) Instructors School

CCLPP - Coastal Command Land plane Pilots Pool

CCPP - Coastal Command Preparation Pool

CCTDU - Coastal Command Tactical Development Unit

CCTF - Coastal Command Training Flight/Combat Cairo Task Force Cd - Command

CD - Coast Defence

CDCF - Coastal Command Cooperation Flight

CDDU - Coast Defence Development Unit

CDG - Croix de Guerre

CEDIT - Command Engineering Development & Investigation Unit

CEF - Casualty Defence Flight

CEW - Centimetric Early Warning

CF - Communication Flight

CF - Conversion Flight (number Prefix)

CFCCU - Civilian Fighter Control Cooperation Flight

CFCS - Ventral Fighter Control School

CFE - Central Fighter Establishment

CFF - Combined Forces in France

CFI - Communications Flight Iraq

CFI - Chief Flying Instructor

CFI&P - Communication Flight Iraq & Persia

(C)FPP - Civilian Ferry Pilots Pool

CF(S) - Communications Flight (Squadron)

CFS - Central Flying School

CFWD = Communication Flight Western Desert

CGIS - Central Gliding Instructors School

CGM - Conspicuous Gallantry Medal

CGMF - Central Glider Maintenance Flight (RAF Syerston )

CGS - Central Gunnery School

CGS - Central Gliding School

CH - Chain Home (Radar chain)

CHEL - Chain Home Extra Low (Radar)

CHL - Chain Home Low (Radar chain)

CLE - Central Landing Establishment

CLS - Central Landing School

Cmd - Command

CMF - Central Med Forces

CMU - Civilian Maintenance Unit

CN&CS - Central Navigation & Control School

CNS - Central Navigation School (No 1 CNS Rivers, Manitoba)

CNVTS - Central Night Vision Training School

CO - Commanding Officer (can also be OC)

CO - Chain Overseas (Overseas version of CH)

CO - Chain Overseas Low (CHL)

COD - Command Ordinance Depot

Comm(s) Communication(s)

COTU - Coastal Operational Training Unit

Conv - Conversion

CPE - Central Photographic Establishment

CPF - Coastal Patrol Flight

CRC - Control and reporting center

CRD - Controller of Research & Development

CRDF - Cathode Ray Direction Finding

CRF - Controller of Research & Development

CRE - Central Reconnaissance Establishment

CRO - Central Records Office

CRU - Civilian Repair Unit (Example, 1CRU at the Cowley "shadow"


CPF - Coastal Patrol Flight

Cpl - Corporal

CRO - Civilian Repair Organisation

CRP - Civilian Repair Party

CRS - Control and reporting school

CS(A) - Controller of Supply (Air)

CSDE - Central Servicing Development Establishment

CSE - Central Signals Establishment

CSF - Central Signals Establishment

CSE - Communications and Support Flight

Cse - Course

CSS Communications and Support Squadron

CSU - Communications and Support Unit

CSPDE - Combined services Project Development Unit

CTTS - Communications & Target-towing Squadron

CTTS - Civilian Technical Training School

CTU - Combat Training Unit/Crew Training Unit

CTS - Combat Training School

CTW - Combat Training Wing

CU - Conversion Unit/Camouflage Unit?Communications Unit

Cu - Converted

CV - Common Valve (Tri-service radio valve prefix, e.g., CV1052)

CW - Communication Wing

CWGC - Commonwealth War Graves Commission

CWP - Contractor's Working Party

CzTU - Czechoslovak Training Unit

DAF - Desert Air Force

DAFTF - Desert Air Force Training Flight

DATCO - Deputy Air Traffic Controller

DBF - Destroyed by Fire

DBR - Damaged beyond repair

DCM - Distinguished Conduct Medal

DDR - East Germany Deutsche Democratic Republic - also GDR

Del/Dly - Delivery

Det/Dett - Detachment (detachment to another unit or Squadron)

DEW - Distant Early Warning (The DEW-line radar system)

D/F - Direct Finding (Station)

DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross

DFCS - Day Fighter Combat School, part of CFE

DFLS - Day Fighter Leaders School

DFM - Distinguished Flying Medal

DGA - Director General of Aviation

DGRD - Director General of Research & Development

DHFS - Defence Helicopter Flying School

DI - Drill Instructor

DI - Daily Inspection (This was done every morning on the Aircraft)

Disb - Disbanded

DME - Distance Measuring Equipment

DNCO - Did Not Complete Operation - see Boomerang

DOB - Deployed Operating Base

DSO - Distinguished Service Order

DTC - Descent Through Cloud

DTD - Directorate of Technical Development

DTN - Defence Teleprinter Network

DTD - Director of Technical Development (Air Ministry)

DTEO - Defence Test & Evaluation Organisation

DUAS - Durham University Air Squadron

DWI - Directional Wireless Installation (Magnetic Minesweepers)


EAAS - Empire Air Armament School

EAC - Eastern Air Command

EAF - East Africa Flight

EANS - Empire Air Navigation School

EAOS - Elementary Air Observer School

EASSU - Enemy Aircraft Storage & Servicing Unit

EATS - Empire Air Training Scheme

EBTS - Elementary and Basic Training School (Coastal Command)

EC - Escadrille de Chasse (Small French Fighter Unit)

EC - Engagement Controller (Bloodhound missile)

ECDU - Electronic Countermeasures Development Unit/Engine Control Demonstration Unit

ECFS - Empire Central Flying School

ECI - Engineer Control Instructors ECM - Electronic Countermeasures

ECU - Electronic Countermeasures Unit

EDD - Equipment Disposal Unit

EFS - Empire Flying School

EFTS - Elementary Flying Training School - (No 1 EFTS RAF Hatfield/Malton Canada, No.18 Fairoaks 1942 - 15 EFTS Regina. 23 EFTS Davidson , Manitoba (moved to Yorkton January 1945)

EGS - Elementary Gliding School

EGTS - Elementary Glider Training School

ELG - Emergency Landing Ground

EMCS - Eastern Mediterranean Communication Flight

EMUAS - East Midlands University Air Squadron

EP - Equipment Park

E&RFTS - Elementary& Reserve Flying Training School

ERS - Empire Radio School/Engine Repair Section

ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival

ETO - European Theatre of Operations

ETPS - Empire Test Pilots School

EOWS - Elementary Observer Wireless School

EU - Equipment Unit

EUAS - Edinburgh University Air Squadron

Evd - Evaded Capture

EWAU - Electronic Ware fare Avionics Unit

EWE&TU - Electronic Ware fare Experimental & Training Unit

E&WS - Electrical & Wireless School

EWS - Emergency Water Supply


F2E - Fitter II (Engines)

FAA - Fleet Air Arm

FAP - First Aid Post

FAGS - Fleet Aerial Gunners School

FATU - Flight Affiliation Training Unit/Fighter Armament Training Unit

FBDF - Flying Boat Development Flight

F-BFTS - France-Belgium Flying Training Unit

FBO - Fixed Base Operations

FBSU - Flying Boat Servicing Unit

FBSU - Flying Boat Servicing Unit

FC - Ferry Control/Fighter Command/Flying Control

FCCRS - Fighter Command Control & Reporting School

FCCS/F Fighter Command Communication Squadron/Flight

FCCU - Fighter Control Cooperation Unit

FCIRS/F - Fighter Command Instrument Rating Squadron/Flight

FCITF/S - Fighter Command Instrument Training Flight .Squadron

FCMPC - Fighter Command Missile Practice Camp

FCPU - Ferry Command Preparation Unit

FCRS - Fighter Command Radar School

FCS - Fighter Command School

FCS - Facility Checking Squadron

FCTU - Fighter Command Trials Unit

FDF - Fighter Defence Unit

F/E - Flight Engineer

FE - Far East

FEAF - Far East Air Force

FEAFES - Far East Air Force Examination Squadron

FECEF - Far East Casualty Evacuation Unit

FEE - Fighter Experimental Establishment

FEFEW - Far East Flying Boat Wing

FETDU - Far East Tactical Development Unit

FETS - Far East Training Squadron

FETW - Far East Training Wing

FF - Fighter Flight/Ferry Flight/Free French

FFAF - Free French Air Force

FFDPF - Free French Desert Patrol Flight

FFFF - Free French Fighter Flight

FFI - Free From Infection

FIDO - Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation

F I DS/U - Fighter Interception Development Squadron/Unit

FIS - Flying Instructors School

F I U - Fighter Interception Unit

F/L - Flight Lieutenant

Flot - Flotille

FLS - Fighter Leaders School

Flt - Flight

F M A -Flight Mechanic Airframes

F M E Flight Mechanic Engines

FMS - Facilities Management Squadron

FMS - Field Maintenance Squadron

FSMO - Full Service Marching Order

F/O - Flying Officer

FP - Ferry Pool

FPP - Ferry Pilots Pool

FPU - Ferry Preparation Unit/Film Production Unit

FR - Fighter - reconnaissance

FRD - Forward Repair Depot

FRS - Flying Refresher School

FRU - Field Repair Unit/Fleet Requirements Unit

F/S - Flight Sergeant

FS - Fighting School

FSAF&G - Fleet School of Aerial Fighting & Gunnery School

FSDS - Fighter Support Development Squadron

FSP - Forward Staging Post

FSS - Ferry Support Squadron/Flying Selection Squadron

FSTS - Fire and Security Training School

FSTU - Fighter Support Training Unit

FTC - Flying Training Command

FTCPF - Flying Training Command Practice Flight

FTF/U - Ferry Training Flight/Unit

FTFlt - Ferry Training Flight

FTLU - French Tactical Liaison Unit

FTR - Failed to Return

FTS - Flying Training School (Prefixed s in wartime { 3FTS = RAF South Cerney 11FTS = RAF Shawbury}

FTU - Ferry Training Unit/Floatplane Training Unit/Flight Trials Unit

FU - Ferry Unit

FWS - Fighter Weapons School

F w - Feldwebel/Focke Wulfe


GATU -Ground Attack Training Unit

G/C Group Captain

GC - Gliding Centre/Groupe de Chasse

GCA - Ground Controlled Approach

GCAOS - Ground Controlled Approach Operation School

GCAS - Ground Controlled Approach Squadron

GCATU - Ground Controlled Approach Training Unit

GCF - Gunnery Co-operation Flight/Group Communication Flight

GCHQ - Government Communications HQ

GCI - Ground Controlled Interception

GCS - Ground Controlled Squadron

GCT - Ground Combat Training

GD - General Duties

GDC - Group Disbandment Centre

GDGS - Group Defence Gunnery School

GE - George Cross

GED - Ground Equipment Depot

GEP - General Equipment Park

GES - Glider Exercise Squadron

GEU - Glider Exercise Unit

GG - Ground Gunnery

GGS - Ground Gunnery School

GI - Ground Instructional

GIC - Gliding Induction Course (Air Cadets)

GIF - Glider Instructors Flight

GIS - Glider Instructors School

GL - Gun Laying (radar)

(G) OTU - Glider operational Training Unit

Gnd - ground

Gnr - Gunner

GOC - General Officer Commanding

Gp - Group

GP - General Purpose

GP CF - Group Conversion Flight

GP/DA - Group Disposal Account (book-keeping exercise for damaged aircraft)

GPEU - Glider Exercise Unit

GPIS - Glider Pilot Instructors School

GPUTF - Glider Pick-up Training Unit

GPR - Glider Pilot Regiment

GR - General reconnaissance

GR&ANS - General Reconnaissance and Air Navigation School

GRF - Ground Radar Fitter

GRICS - Ground Radio Installation Clearance Service (security clearance for visitors)

GRS - General Reconnaissance School (31 GRS Charlote town Price Edward Island)

GRSF - Ground Radio Servicing Flight

GRSS - Ground Radio Servicing Squadron

GRU - General Reconnaissance Unit

GRU/F - General Reconnaissance Unit/Flight

GS - Gliding School

GS - Grading School

GSE - Glider Servicing Echelon

GSF - Glider Servicing Flight

GSU - Group Support Unit

GTF - Gunnery Training Flight

GTPS - Glider & Tug Pilots School

GTS - Glider Training Squadron/Glider Training School

GU - Grading Unit

GUAS - Glasgow University Air Squadron

GWDS - Guided Weapon Development Squadron

GWF - Ground Wireless Fitter

GWTS - Guided Weapon Training Squadron H


H2S Airborne radar navigational and target location aid

H2X - American version of H2S

HAAPC - Heavy antiaircraft Practice Camp

HAD - Home Aircraft Depot

(HB) - Heavy Bomber

(HB)CU - (Heavy Bomber) Conversion Unit

HCCS - Home Command Communications Squadron

HCEU - Home Command Examining Unit

HCF - Helicopter Communications Flight/Home Communications Flight

HCU - Heavy Conversion Unit

HD - Home Defence

Hdlg Sqn - Handling Squadron

HDU - Helicopter Development Unit

HE - High Explosive

HE - (movements) Home Establishment?

HFDF - High Frequency Direction Finding ("Huff-Duff")

HFF - Heavy Freight Flight

HFU - Home Ferry Unit

HGCU - Heavy Glider Conversion Unit

HGMU - Heavy Glider Maintenance Unit

HGSU - Heavy Glider Servicing Unit

HGTU - Heavy Glider Training Unit

HKAAF - Hong KOng Auxiliary Air Force

HKFS - Hong Kong Fighter Squadron

HKVA - Hong Kong Volunteer Air Force

HMS - His/Her Majesty's Ship

HMT - His/Her Majesty's Transport Ship

HOCF = Helicopter Operational Conversion Flight

Hptm - Hauptman

HQ - Headquarters

HQ AC - Headquarters Air Cadets (RAFC Cranwell)

HQ ATA - Head Quarters Air Transport Auxiliary

HQ EFT - Headquarters Elementary Flying Training

HQ FPP - Head Quarters Ferry Pilots Pool

HQ P&SS - Headquarters Provost & Security Services - 'Snowdrops'

HQ PTC - Headquarters Personnel & Training Command (RAF Innsworth)

HQ STC - Headquarters Strike Command

HQ TAF - Head Quarters Tactical Air Force

HQME - Headquarters Middle East

HQTTCPS - Head Quarters Technical Training Command Publicity Section

HS Flt - High Speed Flight

HST - High Speed Telegraphist

HTCU - Heavy Transport Conversion Unit

(HTS)CU - (Heavy Transport Support) Conversion Unit


 (I) - India

IAAD - Inland Area Aircraft Depot

IAAS - Inland Area Aircraft School

IAF - Indian Air Force

IAFVR - Indian Air Force Volunteer Reserve

IAP - Izvidacki Avijacijcki Puk, (Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment)

IAPF - Inland Area Practice Flight

IAvMed - Institution of Aviation Medical CCF Iraq Command Communication Flight

i/c - In charge

ICF/S - Italy Communication Flight/Squadron

IDF - Iraq Defence Flight

IE - Initial Establishment

IFDU - Intensive Flying Development Unit

IFF - Identification Friend or Foe

IFIS - Irish Flying Instructors School

IFS - Instrument Flying Squadron

IFTS - Initial Flying Training School

IFTU - Instrument Flying Training Unit/Intensive Flying Trials Unit

IGT - Initial Gliding Training (Air Cadets)

ILF - Independent Liaison Flight

ILS - Instrument Landing System

Int - Interned

IoM - Isle of Man

I/O - Intelligence Officer

IR - Immediate Reserve

IRF - Independent Reconnaissance Flight

IRIS - Inspector of Radio Installation Services

IRRU - Instant Readiness Reserve Unit

IR&SU - Immediate Reserve & Support Unit

ISF - Internal Security Flight

ITF/S - Instrument Raining Flight/Squadron

ITS - Initial Training School

ITW - Initial Training Wing (1 ITW Cambridge and No. 1 Receiving Wing Babacombe 1939 Sept - 1944 Feb, 2 ITW Cambridge 1940 July - 1944 May, 3 ITW. St Leonards on Sea and Torquay 1939 Sept.-1944 Feb, 4 ITW Bexhill on Sea and Paignton 1939 Sept - 1944 Feb, 5 ITW Hastings and Torquay 1939 Nov - 1943 Dec, 6 ITW Aberystwyth 1940 July - 1944 May, 7 ITW Newquay 1940 Sept - 1944 July, 8 ITW Newquay 1940 Nov - 1944 May, 9 ITW Stratford on Avon 1941 June - 1944 may, 10 ITW Scarborough 1940 Dec - 1944 March, 11 ITW Scarborough 1941 March - 1944 Apr, 12 ITW St Andrews 1941 May - 1944 Apr, 13 ITW Torquay 1941 June - 1944 March, 14 ITW St Leonards in Sea and Bridlington 1941 Sept - 1943 Feb, 15 ITW Bridlington 1943 Nov - 1944 Apr, 16 ITW Whitley Bay 1943 Oct - 1944 Jan, 17 ITW Scarborough 1941 Oct - 1944 Feb, 18 ITW Bridgnorth 1943 Jan - 1944 Apr, 19 ITW Bridgnorth and Bridlington 1943 March - 1944 Apr, 20 ITW Bridlington and Usworth 1943 May - 1944 March, 21 ITW Torquay 1943 May - 1944 Feb, 23 ITW Filey/Stormy Down, 50 ITW Bridgnorth 1944 June-1945 June, 70 ITW Bridlington 1944 Apr.-Oct, 81 ITW Bridgnorth 1944 Apr.-July)


JAPIC - Joint Air Photographic Interpretation Centre

JARIC - Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre

JASS - Joint Anti-Submarine School

JATE - Joint Air Transport Establishment

JCU - Jet Conversion Unit (Bomber Command Jet Conversion Unit)

JEFTS - Joint Elementary Flying Training Squadron

JEHU - Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit

JFACT&SU - Joint Forward Air Controllers Training & Standards Unit

JGWTU - Joint Guided Weapons Training Unit

JHDU - Joint Helicopter Development Unit

JNCO - Junior NCO

JPTU - Jet Provost Trials Unit

JTF - Jet Training Flight

JSPI - Joint School of Photographic Interpretation

JSSC - Joint Services Staff College

JSSPT - School for Jungle Self Preservation Training

JSTU - Joint Services Trials Unit

J/T - Junior Technician

JTU - Joint Trials Unit

JWE - Joint Warfare Establishment


KAAU - Kenya Auxiliary Air Unit

KAF - Kenya Air Force

KD - Khaki drill

KF - King's Flight

KLFS - Kula Lumpur Fighter Squadron

KRs - King's Regulations

KUAS - Kent University Air Squadron


LAAGS - Light Anti-Aircraft Gunnery School

LAAPC - Light Anti-Aircraft Practice Camp

LAC - Leading Aircraftman

LACW - Leading Aircraft woman

LAS - Light Aircraft School

LCF - Lincoln Conversion Flight

LCP - Launch Control Post (Bloodhound missile)

LFS - Lancaster Finishing School (1 LFS RAF Hemswell 3 LFS Feltwell)

LG - Landing Ground

LLB - Low Level Bombing

LLF - Light Liaison Flight

LLTU - Leigh Light Training Unit

LMG - Light Machine Gun (Bren)

LNSF - Light Night Striking Force, of Mosquitoes of 8 Group

LRDG - Long Rang Desert Group

LRFU - Long Rang Ferry Unit

LRDF - Long Range Development Flight

LRDU - Long Range Development Unit

LRWRE - Long Range Weapons Research Establishment

LST - Landing Ship, Tank

LTW - Lyneham Transport Wing

LRWE - Long Range Weapons Research Establishment

LW - Light Warning (radar)


MAAF - Mediterranean Allied Forces/Malayan Auxiliary Air Force

MAC - Mediterranean Air Command

MACAF - Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force

MACP - Medic Air Command Post { Tedders's H.Q. La Marsa, Tunis ]

MAD - Marine Acceptance Depot

MAED - Marine Aircraft Experimental Depot

MAEE - Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment

MAEU - Marine Aircraft Experimental Unit

MAFIS - Midlands Area Flying Instructors School

MAP - Ministry of Aircraft Production

MAREL - Moveable Air Reconnaissance Exploitation Unit

MASFS - Midlands area School of Special Flying

MASR&CF - Malta Air Sea Rescue & Communications Flight

MATAF - Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Forces

MATZ - Military Air Traffic Zone

MC - Military Cross

MCA - Ministry of Civil Aviation

MCC&FF - Maintenance Command Communication and Ferry Flight

MCJTF - Maintenance Command Jet Training Flight

MCS - Metropolitan Communication Squadron

MC&TTS - Malta Communication & Target Towing Flight

MCU - Mosquito Conversion Unit/ Meteorological Conversion Unit

MCU - Marine Craft Unit

M&D - Medicine and Duties

Me - Messerschmitt

ME - Middle East

MEAC - Middle East Air Command

MEAF - Middle East Air Force

MEAFITF - Middle East Air Force Instrument Training Flight

MEAFTTU - Middle East Air Force Target Towing Unit

MEAS - Middle East Armament School

MECGS - Middle East Central Gunnery School

MedMe - Mediterranean and Middle East

MEF - Middle East Forces

MEFC - Middle East Ferry Control

MENVTS - Middle East Night Vision Training School

MEP&AP - Middle East Pilot & Aircrew Pool

Met Res - Meteorological Research

METS - Middle East Training School

MEW - Microwave Early Warning (radar)

MFH - Military Field Hospital

MFNU - Malta Night Fighter Unit

MFPU - Mobile Field Photographic Unit

MG - Machine gun/Motor Generator

MGSP - Mobile Glider Servicing Party

MI - Military Intelligence

Min Tech - Ministry of Technology

MID - Mentioned in Dispatches

Mk - Mark

MKV - Mark V fire tender

MMESTF/S - Mediterranean& Middle East Special Transport Flight/Squadron

MO - Medical Officer

MOA - Ministry of Aviation

MOD - Ministry of Defence

MOD(PE) Ministry of Defence (Procurement Executive)

MORU - Mobile Operations Room Unit

MOS - Marine Observation School

MoS - Ministry of Supply

MOTU - Marine Operational Training Unit

MRES - Missing Research and Enquiry Service

MRF - Meteorological Research Flight

MRS - Maritime Recognisance School

MR squadron - Medium Reconnaissance squadron

MRT - Mountain Rescue Team

MRU - Medical Rehabilitation Unit (Collaton Cross, Devon)

MRU - Mobile Radio Unit

MSFU - Merchant Ship Fighter Unit

MSR -- Morse Slip Reader

MSU - Mobile Signals Unit

MSU - Maintenance Sub Unit

MT - Mechanical Transport

MTBD - Mechanical Transport Base Unit

MTD - Mechanical Transport Driver

MTLRU - Mechanical Transport Light Repair Unit

MTO - Mechanical Transport Officer

MTMA - Military Terminal Manoeuvring Area

MTRU - Motor Transport Repair Unit

MTSS - Mechanical Transport Servicing Section

MTU - Mosquito Training Unit

MU - Maintenance Unit

MUG - Mid Upper Gunner


NA - North Africa

NAAFI - Navy, Army, Air Force Institute

NARD - Northern Aircraft Repair Depot

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Nav - Navigator

Navaid - Navigational aid

Navex - Navigation Exercise

NAWW - Night All-weather Wing

NCS - Northern Communication Squadron

NCU - Night Conversion Unit

NCO - Non Commissioned Officer

N/E -Non Effective Used in all cases of loss of life e.g. Posted to No. 1 Depot, Uxbridge N/E missing

NEA - Non effective Airframe

NEAR - Near East Air Force

NEAFIS - North Eastern Air Flying Instructors School

NEI - Netherlands East Indies

NFD - No further Data

NFDS/W/U - Night Fighter development Squadron/Wing/Unit

NFF - Night Fighter Flight

NFLS - Night Fighter Leaders School

NFT - No further trace

NFT - Night Flying Test

NFTS - Night Fighter Training Squadron

NI CF - Night Conversion FlighPilot Training Flight

NT - No Trace

NTB - Norwegian Tt

NMSU - Nimrod Major Servicing Unit

NORAD - North American Air Defence (Command)

NOTAM - Notice To Airmen

NRC - Nuclear Reporting Cell

NSDU - Navigation synthetic Development Unit

NSPTF - Navigators Staff raining Base

NTS - (Night) Training Squadron

NTU - Navigation Training Unit, Pathfinder Force

NTU - No take up

NVITS - Night Vision Instructors Training School

NVTS - Night Vision Training School

NwAAF - North West African Air Forces

NwAASC - North West African Air Service Command

NwACAF - North West African Coastal Air Force

NwASAF - North West African Strategic Air Forces

NwATAF - North West African Tactical air Force

NwATBF - North West African Training Bomber Force

NwATC - North West African Training Command

NZF - New Zealand Flight


OADF/U - Overseas Aircraft Delivery Flight/Unit

(O)AFU - Observers Advanced Flying Unit (No10 (O) AFU - Dumfries.

OANS - Observers Air Navigation School

OAPU - Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit

OAR - Obusna Aeroplansva Radionica, (District Aviation Workshop)

OATS - Officers Advanced Training School

(O)ATU - Observers Advanced Training Unit

Oblt - Oberleutnant

Obs - Observation (USAAF)

OBS - Observer School

OC - Officer Commanding (or CO)

OCTU - Officer Cadet Training Unit

OCU - Operational Conversion Unit

OEU - Operational Evaluation Unit

OIC - Officer's Initial Course (for RAFVR (T) officers, conducted at ACTC)

OO - Orderly Officer

OP: -Operation

OFU - Overseas Ferry Unit

OP - Observation Post

Op - Operator

Opl - Operational

ORB - Operations Record Book (Form 540), monthly summaries: Form 541 for accompanying Appendices containing important details of specific events

ORS - Operational Research Section

ORTU - Operational & Refresher Training Unit

OS - Observers School

(O)SoAG - Observers School of Reconnaissance& Aerial Gunnery

OSC - Officers Senior Course (for RAFVR (T) officers, conducted at ACTC)

OSC - Overseas Staff College

OSR&AP - Observers School of Reconnaissance& Aerial Gunnery

OTSCU - Officer Training School Conversion Unit

OTU - Operational and Refresher Training Unit

OTW - Operational Training Wing

OUAS - Oxford University Air Squadron


PACT - Pre Aircrew Training

PAF - Polish Air Force

(P)AFU - Pilots Advanced Flying Unit (No. 2 Brize Norton, No. 3 South Cerney, No. 5 Ternhill, No. 6 Little Rissington, No. 7 Peterborough)

PAR - Precision Approach Radar

PAS/U - Pilotless Aircraft Section Unit

PATP - Packed Aircraft Transit Pool

PCCS - Protectorate Communication & Support Unit

PD - Packing Depot

PDC - Personnel Despatch Centre (No 1 West Kirby, No2 Wilmslow, No 5 Padgate Dec1941 Sept.-1945, No 5 Blackpool Feb 1946 - Aug 1950 , No 11 Padgate July 1944, No 11 (RAAF Brighton and Charmy Down May 1943 - March 1946, No12 Padgate, No11 RAAF Brighton/Charmy Down, No 101 Kirkham May - Dec 1945, No 102 Cardington May 16945 - Sept 1946, No103 Long Kesh, No 104 Hednesford, No105, Wythall, No121 Ramleh)

PDC - Port Defence Committee

PDRC - Personnel Dispatch and Reception Centre

PDS - Post Design Services

PDU - Personnel Dispersal Unit (No. 5 PDU, Innsworth)

PDU - Photographic Development Unit

PEE - Proof & Experimental Establishment Shoeburyness

PEFTS - Polish Elementary Flying Training School

PES - Parachute Exercise Squadron

PF - Practice Flight

PFF - Pathfinder Force

PFFNTU - Pathfinder Force Navigational Training Unit

PFS - Parachute Flying Section/Primary Flying School

PFTS - Polish Flying Training School

PFU - Practice Flying Unit

PGTF - Polish Grading & Testing Flight

PGTS - Parachute& Glider Training School

PHU - Personnel Holding Unit

PI - Practice Interception

PIU - Photographic Intelligence Unit

PMC -Personnel Management Centre, President of the Messing Committee.

P/O - Pilot Officer

POR Personnel Occurrence Records

POTU - Polish Operational Training Unit

POW - Prisoner of War

PPF - Parachute Practice Flight

PPI - Plan Position Indicator (Rotating radar display)

PPP - Pupils Pilots Pool

PR - Photographic Reconnaissance

PRC - Personnel Reception Centre (No3 Bournemouth, No7 Harrogate/Market Harborough 1942/46, No 29 Drigh Road, Sind 1942 Mar.-1945 July, No30 Ambala, No106 Cosford, No108 Cosford)

PRDU/E - Photographic Reconnaissance Development Unit/ Establishment

PRFU/S - Pilots Refresher Flying Unit/School

PRTU - Pilot Refresher Training Unit

PRRP - Pilots Reserve & Reinforcement Poll (Middle East)

PSI - President of the Service(s?) Institute, hence PSI Funds

PRU - Photographic Reconnaissance Unit/Pilot Replacement Unit

PRU - Personnel Reception Unit (29 PRU Drigh Road)

PS - Parachute School

PSP - Perforated Steel Planking (for runways)

PTC - Parachute Training Centre/Personnel Transit Camp

PTC - Personnel Transit Centre (No 4PTC - Liverpool July 1941 - Feb 1946, No 6 PTC - Endsleigh Hotel, London 1942 Sept.-1947 Feb, No7 PTC - Chittagong 1944 Apr.-1945 Sept, No 8 PTC - Ratmalana 1946 Feb.-June, No 10 PTC - Glasgow 1942 Sept.-1946 Apr, No 14 PTC - 2nd T.A.F. 1944 Feb.-1945 Oct, No16 PTC - Nyetimber 1944 Mar.-July, No 17 PTC - 2nd T.A.F. 1944 Jan.-1945 Nov, No19 PTC - R.A.F. Station, Hethel 1948 Jan.-Apr, No 20 PTC - H.M.S. GOSLING, Warrington 1945 Apr.-Oct, 21 PTC - Kasfareet 1942 July-1945 Dec, 22 PTC - Almaza 1941 Dec.-1945 Dec, No23 PTC - Helwan 1941 Nov.-1943 Aug, No 24 PTC - Aboukir 1942 July-1945 Dec, No 25 PTC - C.M.F. 1942 July-1945 Jan, No26 PTC - Habbaniya later Rangoon 1942 Mar.-1946 Nov, No27 PTC - Shaibah and Margil, Basrah 1942 Sept.-1944 June, No28 PTC - Hadera 1942 Sept.-1944 July, No36 PTC - Hastings, West Africa 1943 Mar.-1945 July, No37 PTC - Accra, West Africa 1943 Aug.-1944 Mar, No 38 PTC - C.M.F. 1943 Apr.-1946 June, No39 PTC - Shallufa 1943 Mar.-1945 June, No40 PTC - Almaza and Aleppo, C.M.F. 1943 July-1945 Oct, No53 PTC - Santo Spirito, Bari 1944 Sept.-1946 Mar, No54 PTC - Taranto 1944 Sept.-1946 Jan, No55 PTC - Fort De L'eau 1944 Nov.-1946 Apr, No 60 PTC - Trichinopoly 1945 Aug.-1948 June, No64 PTC - Madras 1945 Nov.-1948 Apr)

PTF - Parachute Test Flight

PTI - Physical Training Instructor

PTS - Parachute Training school/Squadron/ Section

PTU - Parachute Test Unit/ Parachute Training Unit

PTURP - Pilots Training Unit & Reinforcement Pool (see also TURP)

PV - Positive Vetting

PWF - Psychological Warfare Unit

PWR - Personnel Warning Roster


QCS - Queen's Colour Squadron (RAF Regiment)

QF - Queens Flight

QFI - Qualified Flying Instructor

QRs - Queen's Regulations


(R) Reserve

R - Receiver

RAAF - Royal Australian Air Force / Royal Auxiliary Air Force

RAuxAF - Royal Auxiliary Air Force

RACON - Radar beacon

R&D - Research & Development

RAE - Royal Aircraft/Aerospace Establishment

RAF - Royal Air Force

RAF(B)ITS - Royal air Force (Belgium) Initial Training School

RAFA - RAF Association

RAFALO - RAFA Liaison Officer

RAFARS - Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society

RAFASU - RAF Armament Support Unit (formerly BCAS)

RAFBF - RAF Benevolent Fund

RAFC - Royal Air Force College

RAFD - RAF Depot - No.1 Uxbridge 1939

RAFFC - Royal Air Force Flying College

RAFG - Royal Air Force Germany

RAFM - RAF Mission

RAFM - Royal Air Force Mesopotamia

RAFMB - Royal Air Force Maintenance Base

RAFMS - Royal Air Force Music Services

RAFNI - Royal Air Force Northern Ireland

RAFO - Reserve of Air Force Officers

RAFRS - Royal Air Force Regiment School

RAFSAA - RAF Small Arms Assn.

RAFSC - Royal Air Force Staff College

RAFSCOCF - Royal Air Force Staff College Overseas Communication Flight

RAFTC - Royal Air Force Technical College

RAFVR - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

RAP - Reserve Aircraft Pool

RAP - Recognised Air Picture

RAPDS - Recognised Air Picture Display System

RAPO - Records And Pay Office

RAS - Reserve Aeroplane School

RAT Flight - Radio Aids Training Flight

RATG - Rhodesian Air Training Group

RATW - Rhodesian Air Training Wing

RC - Recruiting Centre (No1 Penarth/Melksham, No2 Cardington, No3 Padgate, No4 Bridgnorth, No5 West Kirby, No6 Wlmslow, No7 Morecambe, No8 Arbroath, No9 Blackpool, No11 Skegness, No12 Bournemouth, No13 Greenham Common, No 14 Weston-super-mare, No 15 Blackpool (1941-43, No16Grtat Yarmouth1941/46, No22 Whitley Bay )

RCAF - Royal Canadian Air Force

RCASU - Radar Controlled Air Survey Unit

RCFS - Rhodesian Central Flying School

RCGIS - Reserve Command Gliding Instructors School

RCIFF - Reserve Command Intensive Flying Flight

RCITF - Reserve Command Instrument Training Flight

RCTF - Reserve Command Training Flight

RCM Squadron Flight - Radio Counter Measures Squadron Flight

RDAF - Royal Danish Air Force

RDF - Radio Direction Finder

RDFCF - Radio Direction Finding Calibration Flight

RDFS - Radio Direction Finding School

RDU - Radar Development Unit

RDUK - Repairable at Depot in UK

REAF - Royal Egyptian Air Force

Recce - Reconnaissance

REU - Radio Engineering Unit

Revd - Reverend

RFF - Refresher Flying Flight

RFS - Reserve Flying School

RFTS - Refresher Flying Training School

RFU - Refresher Flying Unit

R/G - Rear Gunner

RHAF - Royal Hellenic Air Force

RIAF - Royal Indian Air Force

RIMU - Radio Installation Maintenance Unit

RLF - Rapid Landing Flight

RLG - Relief Landing Ground

RM - Royal Marine

RMAF - Royal Malaysian Air Force

RMF - Radar (Radio) Meteorological Flight

RMS - Royal Mail Ship

RMU - Radio Maintenance Unit

RN - Royal Navy

RNAF - Royal Norwegian Air Force

RNAS - Royal Naval Air Station/Service

RNAW - Radar Navigation Aids Wing

RNCU - Radar Navigation Conversion Unit

RNEFTS - Royal Navy Elementary Flying Training School

RNethAF - Royal Netherlands Air Force

RNFS - (Royal Naval Fighter Squadron

RNZAF - Royal New Zealand Air Force

ROC - Royal Observer Corps

ROS - Repairable on Site

RP - Regimental Police

RPAF - Royal Pakistan Air Force

RPDS - Radar Photographic Display System

RRE - Radar Research Establishment

RRF(U) - Radio Reconnaissance Flight (Unit)

RRFU - Radar Research Flight

RRH - Remote Radar Head

RRU - Raid Reporting Unit

RS - Radio School (No.10 Carew Cheriton)/Reserve School/Reserve Squadron

RS&RE - Royal Signals & Radar Establishment

R&SS - Repair & Salvage Section

R&SU - Repair & Salvage Unit

RSS - Radio Servicing Section

RSO - Range Safety Officer

RSU - Repair & Servicing Unit /Repair and Salvage Unit

R/T radio telegraphy/ Radio Telephony

RTD - Return To Depot

RTO - Rail Transport Officer

RTP - Recruit Training Pool (No1 RTP - Catfoss (sept 1940 - May 1940), No2 RTP - North Coates (sept 1939 - Nov 1942) , No3 RTP Sutton Bridge (sept 1939 - Nov 1940) , No5 RTP Finningley (July 1938 - March 1940), No6 RTP Upwood (Aug 1938 - May 1940), No7 RTP Dishforth (Aug 1938 - April 1940))

RTU - Return To Unit

RU - Reception Unit (No. 2 RU, Cardington)

RU - Repair Unit

RW - Receiving Wing (1 RW Torquay - 9RW Stratford upon Avon)

RWE - Radio Warfare Establishment

RYAFTU - Royal Yugoslav Air Force Technical Unit


SAA - Small Arms Assn.

SAAF - South African air Force

SAC - Senior Aircraftman

SACEUR - Supreme Allied Commander Europe

SAOEU - Strike Aircraft Operational Evaluation Unit

SAFU - South Atlantic Ferry Unit

SAGM - Surface to Air Guided Missile

SAGW - Surface to Air Guided Weapon

SAM - Surface to Air Missile

SAN - School of Air? Navigation

SAP - School of Air Pilotage

SAPI - semi armour piercing ..incendiary (?)

SAR - Search & Rescue

SAR - Sanostacna Aeroplansva Radionica, (Independent Aviation Workshop)

SARD - Southern Aircraft Repair Depot

SARTU/S - Search and Rescue Training Unit/Squadron

SAS - Servicing Aircraft Section

SASO - Senior Air Staff Officer

SATCO - Senior Air Traffic Controller

Satt - Satellite

SBA - Standard Beam Approach

S/C Sergeant Chef

SC - Salvage Centre

SC - Strike Command

SCBS - Strike Command Bombing School

SCCS - Strike Command Communication Squadron

SCDU - Strike Command Development Unit

SCF - Squadron Conversion Flight

SCR - School of Control & Reporting

SCR - Signal Corps Radio (Seen on some USA eqpt. used by RAF, e.g. SCR274)

SCS - Southern Communication Squadron/Special Communication Squadron

SD - Special Duty/Special Duties/Stores Depot

SD155. - Operational Memorandum

SDF - Special Duties Flight

SD(R)DU - Special Duties (Radio) Development Unit

SDU - Signals Development Unit

SEAAC - South East asia Air Command

SEAC - South East Asia Command

SEACF - South Eastern Area Communication Flight

SEAFIS - South Eastern Area Flying Instructors School

SEASI - South Eastern Area School of Instruction

SEF - Special Experimental Flight

SEP - Special Erection Party (Gibraltar)

SEngO - Senior Engineering Officer/Station Engineering Officer

SF - Station Flight

SFC - School of Flying Control

SFCS - Squadron & Flight Commanders School

SFF - Service Ferry Flight/Special Forces Flight

(S)FPP - (Service) Ferry Pilots Pool

SFT - School of Flying Training

SFTS - Service Flying Training School (2 SFTS, Brize Norton[1941],

5 SFTS Brantford Canada, 18 SFTS Gimli, Manitoba 36 SFTS - Penhold Canada

37 SFTS - Calgary 38 SFTS - Estevan, Sask.)

SFU - Signal Flying Unit

Sgt - Sergeant

SGR - School of General Reconnaissance

SGR&AN - School of General Reconnaissance & Air Navigation (India)

SHAEF - Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force

SHQ - Station Head Quarters

SIF - Special Instruction Flight

SIF/U - Special Installation Flight/Unit

SIGINT - Signals Intelligence

Sigs - Signals

SITF - Station Instrument Training Flight

SIU - Signals Intelligence Unit

SIS - Secret Intelligence Service

S/L or S/Ldr - Squadron Leader

SL - Sick leave

SLAIS - Specialised Low Attack Instructors School

SLAW - School of Land/Air Warfare

SLC - Search-Light Control

SLG - Satellite Landing Ground

SMR - School of Maritime Reconnaissance

SN-2 - German night fighter radar

SNC - School of Naval Cooperation

SNCO - Senior None Commissioned Officer

S of AN - School of Air Navigation

SofRT - School of Recruit Training

S of TT - or STT -School of Technical Training (1 S of TT = RAF Halton 2S of TT = Cosford (Flight mechanic & Engines), 4S of TT = RAF St. Athan 5 Sof TT =RAF Locking)

SoAC - School of Army Co-operation

SoAF - School of Air Fighting

SoAF&G - School of Air Fighting and Gunnery

SOAF&BD - School of Air Fighting & Bomb Dropping

SoAFTT(1) - School of Air Force Technical Training (India)

SoAG - School of Air Gunnery

SoAN&BD - School of Aerial Navigation & Bomb Dropping

SoASR - School of Air Sea Rescue

SoAS - School of Air Navigation

SoAT - School of Air Transport

SoATC - School of Air Traffic Control

SOC - Struck off Charge

SOC - Sector Operations Control

SOE - Special Operations executive

SOF - Special Operations Flight

SoFP - School of Fighter Plotting

SofP - School of Photography

Soi - School of Instruction

SoN&BD - School of Navigation & Bomb Dropping

SoNC&AN - School of Naval Cooperation & Aerial Navigation

SoMA - School of Military Aeronautics

SoPT - School of Parachute Training

SoSF - School of Special Flying

SoWT - School of Wireless Telephony

SP - Staging Post

SP - Service Police

SPTU - Staff Pilots Training Unit

Sq/Sqn/Sqd - Squadron

SR - Strategic Reconnaissance

SRAF - Southern Rhodesian Air Force

SRCU - Short Range Conversion Unit

SRF - School of Refresher Flying/Sea Rescue Flight/Search& Rescue Flight

SROs - Station Routine Orders

SRTS - Short Range Transport Squadron

SRTU - Survival& Rescue Training Unit

SRU - Strategic Reconnaissance Unit

SRW - Strategic Reconnaissance Wing

S/S - Staff Sergeant

SS - Signals School/Salvage Section

SSC - Senior Supervisor's Course (for senior QGI's, conducted at

ACCGS - similar to regular Flying Supervisors Course)

SSOs - Station Standing Orders

SSF - Special Service Flight/Special Survey Flight

SSQ - Station Sick Quarters

SSTT - Supplementary School of Technical Training

SSU - Sentry Standards Unit

SSVAF - Straight Settlement Volunteer Air Force

STDU - Synthetic Training development Unit

STDU - Special Torpedoe Development Unit

STF - Seaplane Training Flight/Special Training Flight

Stn - Station

STS - Seaplane Training Squadron/Special Transport Flight

STT - School of Technical Training

S&TT - Station & Target Towing

SU - Support Unit/Servicing Unit

Supy - Supernumery

SWAFIS - South Western Areas Flying Instructors School

SWTS - Supplementary Wireless Telegraphy School

SWO - Station Warrant Officer

SWUAS - South Wales University Air Squadron


T - Transmitter

TACEVAL - Tactical Evaluation

TADU - Target Aircraft Development Unit/Training Aids Development Unit

TAF - Tactical Air Force

TAFSU - Tactical Air Force Support Unit

TAG - Telegraphist Air Gunner (Fleet Air Arm)

TAMU - Transport Aircraft Maintenance/Modification Unit

TARU - Transport Aircraft Repair Unit

TB - Torpedo Bomber

TBF - Torpedo Bomber Fighter

TBS - Torpedo & Bombing School

TC - Training Command (Later Transport Command)

TCAEU - Transport Command Aircrew Examining Unit

TCASF - Transport Command Air Support Flight

TCBU - Transport Command Base Unit

TCDU/F - Transport Command Development Unit

TCEU - Transport Command Examining Unit

TCFCS - Transport Command Flight Commanders School

TCICU - Transport Command Initial Conversion Unit

TCMF - Transport Command Meteorological Flight

TCNVTS - Transport Command Night Vision Training School

TCPS - Transport Command Practice Flight

TCU - Transport Conversion Unit

TDS - Training Depot Station

TDU/F/S - Torpedo Development Unit/Flight/Section

TDU - Tactical Development Unit

TEE - Test & Evaluation Establishment

TEU - Tactical Exercise Unit

TF - Training Flight/Task Force

TFF - Target Facilities Flight

TFPP - Temporary Ferry Pilots School/ Training Ferry Pilots Pool

TFP - Training Ferry Pool

TQF - The Queens Flight

TFS/F - Target Facilities Squadron

T/F/Sgt. Temporary Flight Sergeant

TFU - Telecommunications Flying Unit - Defford 1941-57

TPS - Test Pilots School

TI - Target Indicator

TI - Trial Installation

TIMEX - Time-expired

T/O - Take off

Tourex - Tour-Expired

TPO - Teleprinter Operator

T/R - Transmitter/Receiver

TRE - Telecommunications Research Establishment

Trg - Training

TRS - Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron/Torpedo Refresher School

Tru - Transportable Radar Unit

TS - Training School/Training Squadron

TSCU - Transport Support Conversion Unit

T/Sgnt. - Temporary Sergeant

TSPC - Transport Support Practice Camp

TSR - Torpedo Spotter reconnaissance

TSTU - Transport Support Training Unit

TT - Target Towing

T.T.- Trade Training

TTC - Technical Training Command

TTF - Target Towing Flight/Towed Target Flight/Tanker Training Flight/Torpedo Training Flight/Transport Training Flight

TSTS - Trade Selection Test Section

TT&G - Target Towing & Gunnery

TTS = Torpedo Training School/Squadron

TTU - Torpedo Training Unit/ Target Towing Unit

TU - Training Unit

TURP - Training Unit & Reserve School

TWDU - Tactical weapons Development Unit

T/W/O - Temporary Warrant Officer

TWU - Tactical Weapons Unit


U/C Undercarriage

UHF - Ultra High Frequency (radio)

u/i - Unidentified

us - unserviceable

USAAC - United States Army Air corps

USAAF - United States Army Air Force

UAS - University Air Squadron

UED - Universal Equipment Depot

UKADGE - UK Air Defence Ground Environment

UKADR - UK Air Defence Region

UOR - Urgent Operational Requirement

USAAC/F United States Army Air Corpse/Flight

u/t - under training


VC - Victoria Cross

VCAS - Vice Chief of the Air Staff

VCR - Valve, Cathode-Ray (cathode-ray tube)

VGS - Volunteer Gliding School

VHF - Very High Frequency (radio)

VISTRE - Visual Inter-service Training & Research Establishment

VOR - VHF Omnidirectional Range (Radio navigation aid)

VOS - Vazdvhoplovna Oficirsva Skola, (Aviation Officers School)

VR - Vazovhoplovna Radionica, (Aviation Repair Workshop)

VTB Vazdvhoplovna-Tehnicki Battalion, (Aviation Technical Battalion)


WAAF - Women's Auxiliary Air Force

WACS - West Africa Communication Squadron

WARD - WEstern Aircraft Repair Depot

W/Cdr - Wing Commander

WCAD - War Casualty Accounts Department

WCS - Western Communication Squadron

WDCF/U - Western Desert Communication Flight/Unit

WDU - Wireless Development unit

WEE - Wireless Experimental Establishment

Wef - With Effect From

WEM - Wireless Electrical Mechanic

Wg - Wing

WIDU - Wireless Intelligence Development Unit

WL - Wing Leader

W/O - Warrant Officer

WO1 - Warrant Officer First Class

WO2 - Warrant Officer Second Class

W/Op - Wireless Operator

WOp/AG - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

WOS - Wireless & Observers School/Wireless operators School

WOT1 War Office Type 1 fire tender

WOU - Wireless Operators Unit

WRAF - Women's Royal Air Force

WRAFVR (T) - Women's Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training branch) (disbanded with WRAF)

WS - Wireless School

WT - Wireless Telegraphy

WTt - Wireless Telephony

WTP - Wireless Testing Park

WTS - Wireless Telephony School/WEapons Training Squadron

         Bloodhound  specific Acronyms and RAF Slang

Bloodhound: surface-to-air guided weapon produced by Bristol Aircraft and Ferranti, originally against a War Office requirement, later against a number of Air Ministryrequirements for the RAF. MoS codename was Red Duster. Suggestion of a nuclear warhead was made as early as 1955; Indigo Hammer and Pixie were both considered. Decision taken in 1958 that only a new command-guidance version of Bloodhound, to meet Air Ministry requirement OR.1166, would have a nuclear warhead. The warhead requirement OR.1167, also of 1958, would have been met by Indigo Hammer or later Tony (in RO106). The nuclear commandguidance weapon was cancelled in 1961 but conventional versions of Bloodhound  saw many years’ service with the RAF. (Manufacturer’ trade name).

GWRU Guided Weapons Research Unit

Specific to Bloodhound and  BHFU Aberporth

BHFU  BloodHound Firing Unit (Aberporth Trials Unit)

M.O.T.E  Missile Overall Test Equipment.

T.86    Target illuminating radar Type 86 code name Firelight

T.87 Target illuminating radar Type 87code name Scorpion

L.C.P Launch Control Post

P.I.P Pressurised Instrumentation Package. (Telemetry Equipment)

W.R.E.B.U.S Weapons Research Establishment Break Up System (Range Safety- Missile Destruction from the ground)

RAF Form 700. This was an Aircraft Servicing Form. The Bloodhound missile was considered an “aircraft”, so Form 700 was used in all servicng aspects on the Bloodhound Missile system until computers came into general service.


   I make no claim to be the hard working collector or author of the following acronyms and phrases. I came across them some years ago, but cannot now trace their on-line origin.

   However, this sometimes humorous collection is so nostalgic to most ex RAF servicemen that it seems a shame not to give them more general exposure.

Should the author come to light I will give him the publicity he deserves, or remove them from this site if requested to do do.

    If you  are ex-RAF long retired, this list WILL bring back memories.

For example.

  In the four  decades since I left the “mob”, I never again came across the term “Shreddies”,  RAF slang for underpants, or “Drawers Cellular” as they were officially called.  

                Ie “My Shreddies were lost in the laundry sir.”


I think the few I told this fact over the years did not  really believe me but now at last I find it here  on this list : “Shreddies”........”    Confirmed!