Australians in World War 1

This guide focuses on Australians serving in World War 1. It also includes some information relevant to Great Britain, other Commonwealth nations and other combatant nations. There is a section on nurses and women's war occupations.

Australian Flying Corps

The First World War was the first war in which aircraft were used in battle.

At the beginning of World War I, there was no Australian air force or similar body. Flying was in its infancy, and aircraft had never been used in battle. The Australian Flying Corps was established during World War I, as a corps in the army ( the  Australian Imperial Force or AIF). Its squadrons served under the British Royal Flying Corps.

The Australian Flying Corps  first complete flying unit, No. 1 Squadron, left Australia for the Middle East in March 1916. By late 1917 three more squadrons, Nos 2, 3, and 4, had been formed to fight in France. A further four training squadrons based in England formed an Australian Training Wing to provide pilots for the Western Front.

The full history of the operations of the AFC is online on the Australian War Memorial website: 

Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918

Volume VIII – The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War, 1914–1918 (11th edition, 1941)

This is a digitised edition of the print volume.

if you are searching for records of the Australian Flying Corps, go to the National Archives of Australia website. Click on Explore the Collection, then RecordSearch. Type Australian Flying Corps in the Search box.  This brings up records of the Corps. You can also click on NameSearch to find the service records of individuals enlisted in the Flying Corps.