Definitions of the acronyms and abbreviations used on this site are included in the lists below.

See also: for a wider list of air-force related acronyms.

Service Ranks

Abbreviation Name
A/F/L Acting Flight Lieutenant
A/S/O Acting Section Officer
F/L Flight Lieutenant
F/O Flight Officer
F/Sgt Flight Sergeant
G/C Group Captain
LAC Leading Aircraftman
LACW Leading Aircraftwoman
Maj Major (TA)
N/A Not Available
N/K Not Known
P/O Pilot Officer
S/L Squadron Leader
S/O Section Officer
S/Sgt Staff Sergeant
Sgt Sergeant
W/Cdr Wing Commander
W/O Warrant Officer
W/O2 Warrant Officer (2nd class)

Position / Role / Job

Abbreviation Name Description
A/B Air Bomber -
A/G Air Gunner -
B/A Bomb Aimer -
F/E Flight Engineer -
F/Eng Flight Engineer -
I Instructor -
MU/AG Mid Upper Air Gunner -
Nav Navigator -
P Pilot -
R/AG Rear Air Gunner -
R/G Rear Gunner -
S/O Special Equipment Operator -
W/Op Wireless Operator -


Abbreviation Name
AFC Air Force Cross
AFM Air Force Medal
AM Air Medal (USA)
CdG Croix de Guerre (France)
CGM Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
DFC Distinguished Flying Cross
DFC* Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross
DFM Distinguished Flying Medal
DSO Distinguished Service Order
MM Military Medal
TD Territorial Decoration


Abbreviation Name Description
- Fighter Affiliation
ACAC Air Crew Allocation Centre A clearing house for tour expired aircrew. e.g. Brackla near Nairn in Invernesshire.
ACC Air Control Centre -
ACD Aircrew Despatch -
ACRC Air Crew Reception Centre St Johns Wood, London. Centre HQ was at Lords Cricket Grounds
ACTU Air Crew Transit Unit -
AFU Advanced Flying Unit -
AGS Air Gunners School/Aircrew Grading School -
ASI Air Speed Indicator -
BCIS Bomber Command Instructors School -
Chiefy Flight Sergeant -
CNS Central Navigation School (Canada training site) -
Cookie 4000lb bomb -
CU Conversion Unit -
CWGC Commonwealth War Graves Commission
DNCO Did Not Complete Operation -
EAGS Elementary Air Gunners School -
ED Embarkation Depot -
ERK Ground Crew Airman -
Evd. Evaded (capture) -
FTR Failed to Return -
GPTD ??? -
HCU Heavy Conversion Unit A training unit to orient crews to heavy bombers: Lancasters & Halifaxes
HE High Explosive -
HGCU Heavy Glider Conversion Unit -
Inj. Injured (crash) -
ITS Initial Training School -
ITW Initial Training Wing -
KIA Killed in Action -
LFS Lancaster Finishing School -
MB Master Bomber An appointed Pathfinder (usually an experienced senior officer) circled the target, broadcasting radio instructions to both Pathfinders and Main Force aircraft, correcting aiming points and generally co-ordinating the attack
MO Medical Officer -
MU Maintenance Unit -
NCO Non-Commissioned Officer -
OTU Operational Training Unit -
PFF Path Finder Force Target marking squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II.
PoW Prisoner of War -
PRDC Personnel Reception and Despatch Centre -
PRU Photographic Reconnaissance Unit -
RFS Reserve Flying Squadron -
RTO Railway Transport Officer -
SBA Standard Beam Approach -
SFTS Service Flying Training School -
SNCO Senior Non-Commissioned Officer -
SNCO Senior NCO -
SOC Struck Off Charge -
Sqdn Squadron -
STT School of Technical Training -
Surv. Survived (crash) -
TI Target Indicator -
TTF Target Towing Flight -
WAAF Women's Auxiliary Air Force -
WCAD War Casualty Accounts Department Notified of crew missing with aircraft FTR
WO Wireless Operator -
WO Warrent Officer -

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