Royal Australian Air Force – 90 Years of Royalty


The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will tomorrow mark 90 years since the title of ‘Royal’ was bestowed.

“The history of the RAAF’s founding is quite interesting; it involves several dates that could be considered the RAAF’s birthday,” said RAAF historian Dr Chris Clark

“During World War I, the squadrons of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) were part of the Australian Imperial Force and were attached to the larger British formations of the Royal Flying Corps and from 1918 the Royal Air Force.

“On 1 January 1920, the AFC was replaced by the Australian Air Corps, which was itself officially succeeded on 31 March 1921 by the ‘Australian Air Force’.

“Although the RAAF celebrates its birthday on 31 March 1921, the date from which the service was officially known as the Australian Air Force, in February of the same year the decision had already been made to ask the King to grant the ‘Royal’ title.

“On 18 August 1921, the Commonwealth Gazette printed the order signed by the Governor-General on 13 August, approving of the ‘Royal’ title,” Dr Clark said.

Press release
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, Australia

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