When Churchill said “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” he was talking about the RAF, specifically referring to those brave pilots involved in the Battle of Britain. It was one time when the value of the Royal Air Force was enshrined in a landmark speech, which reminded us all of the unique bravery and importance of bomber and fighter pilots in “the field of human conflict.”
Beyond the Battle of Britain in 1940 there are many dates which are especially important in Royal Air Force History. Here are just three:
The RAF was formed April 1 1918. Compared to other branches of the military, then, the history of the RAF may not be particularly long, however this is for obvious reasons and airplane technology is still a relatively recent innovation.
WW2 – 1939 to 45. The second world war was the first war in which a mature and sophisticated air-force was pitted against an enemy. Quite frankly the war would have been lost if not for the RAF, involved in missions like Battle of Britain, the strategic bombing of Dresden etc.
1990 – present. The prestigious history of the RAF ongoing and the Royal Air Force is very active in modern fields of conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Modern planes like Tornado F3s are radically different to planes involved in previous conflicts, however the bravery and skill of RAF pilots is continuous.
You can indulge further your interest in RAF history at the Royal Air Force museum and purchase aviation gifts at the gift shop.