Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force

The Great War

Royal Flying Corps


Royal Air Force


The Royal Air Force was formed as a unified force on 1st April 1918 by Army Order 100, published on 29th March 1918.

VI. Royal Air Force. 1 – The Air Council has, as already notified, taken over the administration of technical Air material, and all movements and postings of individuals of the Air Services.

2. It has now been decided that the Royal Air Force is to be brought into being as a unified force as from 1st April, 1918, from which dates its administration will be vested in the Air Council.

3. From that date the procedure as between the Army Council and the Air Council, and between military commanders and Royal Air Force commanders as regards the allocation and command of bodies of the Royal Air Force, and as regards correspondence, will be as follows:-

(i.) The Army Council will indicate to the Air Council the number of squadrons of the various classes required for all military commands at home and abroad; where necessary they will inform the Air Council of any increases or decreases which they consider should be made.

(ii.) The Air Council will organize and equip these forces and hand them over as complete organizations to the military commanders. They will maintain them in personnel and equipment. Should the Air Council not be in a position to supply the complete requirements, to effect increases demanded, or to maintain air forces already provided, it will be for the Army Council to decide whether the deficiency can be met at the expense of contingents of the Royal Air Force operating under military commanders of other theatres.

(iii.) Serious deficiencies in personnel or equipment of Royal Air Force contingents, which are such as to affect materially the efficiency of the military force concerned, will be brought to the notice of the military commander by the Royal Air Force commander and communicated by the former to the Army Council.

(iv.) The military commander, who has under his orders a contingent of the Royal Air Force, will have the power to remove the commander of that contingent should he consider such action necessary, and may appoint temporarily a Royal Air Force officer to command from those available locally. The permanent replacement of the officer removed will be carried out by the Air Council after consultation with the Army Council.

(v.) Removal or transfer or subordinate Royal Air Force officers belonging to contingents under military commands will normally be carried out, without consultation with the Army Council, by the Air Council, who will issue their instructions direct to the local Royal Air Force commander.

Should a military commander be dissatisfied with a subordinate Royal Air Force officer acting under his orders, he will have power to direct the local Royal Air Force commander to suspend the subordinate officer of the Royal Air Force pending reference to the Air Council. In such cases the Air Council will consult the Army Council as to the action to be taken.

(vi.) Important alterations in the establishment or equipment of Air Force units allotted to military commanders, such as will affect the mobility or efficiency of the military force as a whole, will not be carried out without the concurrence of the Army Council.

(vii.) Alterations of approved establishment, suggested by the Royal Air Force commander for the improvement of the contingent under his command, will be submitted through the military commander concerned and by the latter to the Army Council.

(viii.) Recommendations for improved methods of cooperation or training with other arms will be submitted by military commanders to the Army Council who will forward them with their recommendation to the Air Council.

(ix.) In general, communications on air subjects from military commanders, whether initiated by, or forwarded at the request of, Royal Air Force officers, or not, will continue to be addressed to the Army Council. The Army Council will inform the Air Council of the contents of these communications as may be necessary.

(x.) Reports and recommendations dealing with the technical training or equipment of the Royal Air Force units will be submitted to the Air Council and instructions on these subjects will be issued by the Air Council direct to the Royal Air Force commander concerned.

(xi.) Reports on air operations of the Royal Air Force contingents allotted to military commanders will be forwarded by the Royal Air Force commander simultaneously to the military commander concerned and to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Council.

Army Order 100, April 1918.

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Post-Second World War


  • The National Archives, WO 123/60, Army Orders 1918.