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
- Other/Unknown
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
T/Sgt Temporary Sergeant
W/Cdr Wing Commander
W/O Warrant Officer
W/O2 Warrant Officer (2nd class)

Position / Role / Job

Abbreviation Name Description
Other/Unknown -
- Other/Unknown -
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
A/A air-to-air -
A/G air-to-ground -
AAFS Advanced Air Firing School -
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 Lancaster Finishing School was a training establishment to convert crews into the Lancaster. In the main the crews had trained, or already taken part on ops, on Wellingtons and Halifaxes before going to LFS. After LFS the crew would have been posted to an
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 -
SSQ Station Sick Quarters -
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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