The Archive covers many aspects of life in RAF Bomber Command from 1942, the year in which the Path Finder Force (the PFF, later known as 8 Group) was formed. However, the Archive’s specific focus is upon the Pathfinders as they were generally called.

Historically, this Archive has always been centred around 97 Squadron, which belonged to the Pathfinders for one year, from April 1943 to April 1944. During this period the squadron was stationed at Bourn in Cambridgeshire.

Much of the material on this website relates to 97 Squadron, and it is by far the richest resource. However, we are now looking to substantially increase the Archive to include all PFF squadrons, PFF HQ, and the wider Bomber Command and Home Front milieus.

The aim of the Archive is to provide an in-depth illustration of what life – and death – were like for Pathfinder aircrew, their working comrades, their friends, and their families.

Seward - Uncle Phil & Auntie Kay

The objectives of the Archive are:

  • to collect and conserve memories, photographs, documents, and artefacts relating to the RAF Path Finder Force of the Second World War;
  • to digitise the material and provide access via the internet to the widest possible audience;
  • to arrange displays with suitable museums to which the public have access, and to loan or donate relevant material to such museums;
  • to promote the use of the archive for education into the British, Dominion, Empire, and Allied wartime heritage.


Our previous websites were the 97 Squadron website, the Black Thursday (16/17 December 1943) website, and the Pathfinders website. The following addresses are now obsolete.