Following the tribute to the Royal Navy, the ‘Royal
Air Force Number’
(Appendix List No. 127) was issued on June
10th, 1939 to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the RAF as a separate
The expansion of the RAF had started four years earlier and had grown
to match the increasing responsibilities of air defence. Strengths of
officers and airmen had been almost quadrupled, new classes of personnel
had been called into being and new training systems inaugurated. The balloon
barrage of the Auxiliary Air Force had been created for the better defence
of London and other areas, and the RAF Volunteer Reserve had been developed
to strengthen the reserves behind the regular squadrons. Both new and
older squadrons were being rapidly equipped with aircraft which, in speed,
range and fighting power, were matchless.
Through the pages of the magazine we see the evolution of modern fighters
and bombers since 1918; the Cadet College at Cranwell; aircraft armaments;
the training of the A.A.F.; the RAF overseas and a four page panorama
of 37 types of machine ranging from the great ‘Sunderland’
flying boat to light trainers.
The cover is a coloured picture by G. H. Davis of a swarm of Hawker ‘Hurricanes’
flying protectively over a group of Bristol ‘Blenheims’. The
badge of the RAF, supported by laurel wreaths at the bottom of the page,
forms a decorative counterpart to the title frame.
This is issue number 5225, vol. 194, pages 1011-l094, measuring 37 x 26
cm and priced at two shillings.
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