• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE0573

Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS)

(From 1940 – )
  • Occupation Armed services organisation


Established in July 1940 The Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS) personnel expanded from 45 in December 1940 to 616 in December 1945. Miss Margaret Irene Lang was appointed Matron-in-Chief and her staff’s conditions of service were similar to those of the Australian Army Nursing Service. The nurses were originally attached to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bases in Australia, and later in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. With the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Unit (MAETU), established in 1944, nurses helped with aerial evacuation of casualties and were involved with the liberation of Prisoners of War from Singapore and other areas. The service was disbanded at the end of the war, but in 1948 a peace-time service was formed and RAAF nurses have served in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War. They continue to attend to the sick and injured at RAAF hospitals.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
    • Joyce Catherine Anne Connolly (née Patterson), as a Flight Officer, Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service, interviewed by Angie Michaelis for the Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-45
    • A group of members of the RAAF Nursing Service model outdoors their flying uniform
    • Doherty, Muriel Knox, RRC (Matron, AANS and RAAF Nursing Service)
    • Commandant Janice Webb (later Hilton), Australian Red Cross (ARC) (left), and Wing Officer Betty Docker, Matron of 4 RAAF Hospital at Butterworth, Malaysia

Related entries

  • Related Cultural Artefacts
    • Australian Servicewomen's Memorial
  • Related Women
    • Taylor, Marjory Alice Hamlet (1920 - 2006)
    • Adderley, Vera May (1915 - 1984)
    • Baker, Edith Clarice (1899 - 1983)
    • Childs, Thelma Minnie (1914 - 2003)
    • Dohnt, Lynley Eva (1898 - 1991)
    • Dutton, Mary Doreen (Mollie) (1896 - 1993)
    • Doherty, Muriel Knox (1896 - 1988)
  • Director/s
    • Lang, Margaret Irene (1893 - 1983)
    • Docker, Betty Bristow (1920 - 2001)
    • Wheatley, Alice Jean (1904 - 1993)
    • Kirwan, Joan Dorothy (1924 - 2003)