Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

Home Page

Main Menu

Quick Menu

Members' Area

What New?

About this site


Help Needed?



Sign Guest Book

View Guest Book

Link to Amazon

Online Store

Contact Me

RAF Non-Commissioned Ranks

Aircrew from 1946

Until 1 July 1946, NCOs serving as aircrew wore the same rank badges as their ground trade colleagues.  However, at this time it was decided to introduce a separate rank structure for non-commissioned aircrew.  This even extended to separate Messes for aircrew and ground NCOs.  The scheme was found unpopular and unworkable and in 1950, non-commissioned aircrew reverted to the traditional ranks with the exception that Sergeant and Flight Sergeant aircrew now adopted a gold eagle above their chevrons and the rank of Master aircrew was retained replacing the rank of Warrant Officer.  AMO A.492/46 stated that aircrew were not to be referred to as NCOs but that some equivalence was needed and that equivalence is shown below

Aircrew Cadet Aircrew Cadet This rank was allocated to trainee aircrew.
Aircrew IV Aircrew IV Equivalent to Corporal
Aircrew III Aircrew III Equivalent to Corporal
Aircrew II Aircrew II Equivalent to Sergeant
Aircrew I Aircrew I Equivalent to Flight Sergeant.
Master Aircrew Master Aircrew Equivalent to Warrant Officer.  Retained in 1950 and still in existence.
Sergeant Aircrew Sergeant Aircrew Replaced Aircrew II, III and IV in 1950 and still used.
Flight Sergeant Aircrew Flight Sergeant Aircrew Replaced Aircrew I and still in use.
Aircrew Cadet Replaced badge above and still in use today

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, it is likely that the crown on RAF badges will be changed from St Edward's (Queen's) Crown to the Tudor (King's) Crown.

This page was last updated on 30/12/22 using FrontPage 2003 

[Top of Page]

Back to Ranks and Insignia Menu  Ranks and Insignia Menu