Research – Air Forces and aeronautical matters

Guide to Sources for Research into the Royal Canadian Air Force

Standard references

These works were not published by the Government of Canada. They are, however, considered to be highly accurate and are standard references for the study of Canadian aeronautical history.


cook clio

Clio's warriors : Canadian historians and the writing of the world wars : Tim Cook (Vancouver : UBC Press, 2006) (Studies in Canadian military history; no. 10.)

One of Canada's leading military historians examines the subject of historical memory and writing, the creation of archives, and the war of reputations that followed each of the world wars. While not an “official history” in itself, and being largely “army” in focus, there are significant entries on each of the Air Force and Navy. Writing the World Wars -- 1 Documenting War and Forging Reputations, 1914-18 -- 2 The War of Reputations, 1918-39 -- 3 Clio in the Service of Mars, 1939-45 -- 4 History Wars and War History, 1945-48 -- 5 Official History, Contested Memory, 1948-60 -- 6 Forging the Canon of Canadian World War History, 1960-2000 -- Conclusion: An Ongoing Dialogue -- Notes -- Select Bibliography of Official and Semi-Official Canadian Histories.


RCAF : squadron histories and aircraft, 1924-1968

RCAF : squadron histories and aircraft, 1924-1968 : Samuel Kostenuk and John Griffin. (Toronto : Hakkert, 1977)

This is a narrative account of Canadian military aviation from its beginnings to 1968, with information on badges, chronology, commanders, higher formations and squadron locations, representative aircraft and operational history.

The full list of contents is available in our catalogue.


RCAF : squadron histories and aircraft, 1924-1968

Canadian military aircraft : serials & photographs 1920-1968 == Avions militaires canadiens; numéros de série et photographies 1920-1968 : John A. Griffin. (Ottawa, Canadian War Museum, 1969)

This monumental, and quasi-definitive, work contains a register of serials and photographs, representing eight years of work by a past president of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society. While it is not an "official" history, it was printed by the Queen's Printer for Canada (Ottawa) and was distributed by the Queen's Printer through seven regional Government bookshops.



This is currently (February 2021) a work in progess, to rationalise, facilitate and expand our existing page at the Naval Marine Archive. We appreciate any suggestions for improvements.