USASC-USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present


On August 1, 1907, the Aeronautical Division of the United States Army Signal Corps was established, and the United States Army purchased its first heavier-than-air aircraft, a Wright Model A, in 1908. It was allocated the serial number 1. Further Army aircraft were assigned serial numbers in sequence of their purchase. Unfortunately, early records from these days are rather incomplete, and there are numerous gaps and conflicts. To add to the confusion, it often happened that at the time an aircraft was rebuilt, it was assigned a brand new serial number. Some aircraft from this period (for example the DH-4 "Liberty Plane") are known to have carried at least four serial numbers during their careers. After a while, certain serial number blocks were introduced--the 200 block was reserved for seaplanes, the 40000 block for experimental aircraft, and the 94000 block for prototypes and aircraft under evaluation.

The new Army Aeronautical Division was renamed the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) on May 14, 1918. The sequential serial number scheme continued until the end of US Fiscal Year (FY) 1921 (which was June 30, 1921). At that time, the numbers had reached 69592, plus a special block of 1919-1921 experimental procurements in the 94022/94112 range.

Starting on July 1, 1921 (the beginning of FY 1922) a new serial number system was adopted based on procurement within each Fiscal Year. Each serial number now consisted of a base number corresponding to the last two digits of the FY in which money was allocated to manufacture the aircraft, and a sequence number indicating the sequential order in which the particular aircraft was ordered within that particular FY. For example, airplane 22-1 was the first aircraft ordered in FY 1922, 23-1 was the first example ordered in FY 1923, etc. This system is still in use today.

It is important to recognize that the serial number reflects the Fiscal Year in which the order for the aircraft is placed, NOT the year in which it is delivered. Nowadays, the difference between the time the order is placed and the time the aircraft is actually delivered can be as much as several years.

On July 2, 1926, the Army Air Service was renamed the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). On June 20, 1941, the USAAC was renamed the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). On September 18, 1947, the United States Army Air Force was split off from the US Army and became a separate service, the United States Air Force. Throughout all of these changes the earlier fiscal-year serial number system remained unchanged.

In 1947, at about the same time that the USAF was officially formed, DoD regulation 5304.9003 was promulgated which required that the sequence number now have at least 3 digits. This means that fiscal year serials with individual sequence numbers less than 100 are filled up with zeroes to bring them up to 3 digits in length. So 48-1 is written as 48-001 in official documentation. Sequence numbers greater than 9999 are written with 5 digits. In 1958, the minimum number of digits in the sequence number was raised to four, so that the 1958 aircraft series started at 58-0001.

Lend-Lease

Following the passage of the Lend-Lease Act in 1941, USAAF serial numbers were allocated to US-built aircraft intended for service with Allied air forces during the Second World War. This was done strictly for administrative purposes, even though these aircraft were never intended for USAAF service. Later, during the Cold War, aircraft supplied to US allies under the Mutual Aid Program or the Mutual Defense Assistance Program were assigned USAF serial numbers for record-keeping purposes, even though they never actually served with the USAF.

Not all the aircraft which served with the US Army Air Force were issued USAAF serial numbers. The best-known examples are those aircraft acquired abroad by the US Army during the Second World War. In most cases, they operated under their foreign designations and serials. For example, the Spitfires acquired in the UK under "Reverse Lend-Lease" were operated under their British designations and their British serial numbers. In addition, some US-built aircraft that were ordered by Britain prior to Lend-Lease but later impressed into USAAF service still retained their Royal Air Force serials.

Rebuilt Aircraft

Occasionally, USAF aircraft are extensively remanufactured to bring them up to modern standards or to fulfill completely new roles for which they were not originally designed. In many cases, these aircraft are re-serialed with new numbers relevant to their year of re-manufacture. However, this rule is not always followed--re the rather grotesque modifications inflicted on some C-135 aircraft which did not result in new serial numbers.

Aircraft Inherited from the Navy

The US Navy and the US Marine Corps have an entirely different serial numbering scheme, based on numerically progressive numbers allocated by the Bureau of Aeronautics. Occasionally, aircraft are transferred from the Navy to the USAF. If the transfer is anticipated to be permanent, it is usually the case that the transferred aircraft are given USAF serial numbers. Most often, the USAF serials of these transferred Navy aircraft are inserted within the regular sequence of numbers, but sometimes these new USAF serials are constructed by retroactively adding additional numbers at the end of the sequence number block for the fiscal year in which they were originally ordered by the Navy. Aircraft that are only temporarily transferred to the USAF from the Navy usually retain their Navy serial numbers even though painted in USAF markings, but it sometimes happens that aircraft loaned by the Navy are assigned brand-new USAF serials. Unfortunately, the system is not always consistent.

Exceptions to the Rule

In recent years, the assignment of USAF serial numbers has not always been in strict numerical order within the FY. Furthermore, an aircraft is sometimes listed in a given FY block when it was actually ordered in a different FY. This is most often done for reasons of special convenience. For example, the serials of the two "Air Force One" VC-137s (62-6000 and 72-7000) might indicate that they were ordered ten years apart, whereas the actual difference was only seven years. The Presidential VC-25s were ordered in FY 1986 under the serials 86-8800 and 86-8900, but these numbers were changed to 82-8000 and 92-9000 by special order to create a series following the two earlier VC-137Cs. When some civilian aircraft have been acquired by the USAF, either by purchase or by seizure, serial numbers have sometimes been assigned out of sequence, with their numbers deliberately chosen to match their former civilian registration numbers. Other times, serial number allocation is done for reasons of secrecy, to conceal the existence of classified aircraft from prying eyes. For example, the serial numbers of the F-117s were initially assigned in strict numerical order, but they were sprinkled among several different fiscal years. In other cases, the serial numbers (e.g. the serial numbers for the new F-22 Raptor fighters) were derived from the manufacturer's construction numbers rather than from the sequence in which they were ordered. Another odd example was the A-1 Skyraiders acquired from the Navy for use in Vietnam--they had USAF serial numbers constructed by taking the plane's Navy serial number (Bureau Number) and prefixing in front of it the fiscal year number in which the plane was ordered by the Navy. For example Navy A-1E Skyraider BuNo 132890 became 52-132890 on USAF rolls.

Missiles and Drones

During the 1950s and 1960s, it was common practice to include missiles and unmanned aircraft in USAF serial number batches. Consequently, it is not always possible to determine the total number of aircraft ordered by the USAF simply by looking at serial number ranges.

Army Aircraft

Following the splitoff of the USAF from the US Army, the Army continued to use the same serial number system for its aircraft, with the serials for Army and Air Force aircraft being intermixed within the same FY sequence. Beginning in FY 1967, the Army began using serials beginning at 15000 for each FY, so Army aircraft could usually be distinguished from USAF aircraft by their high serial numbers. In addition, if an Army aircraft of helicopter had a serial number with less than 4 digits, extra zeros were added to pad the number out to 5 digits. In FY 1971, the Army went over to a new serial series for their helicopters, which started at 20000 and had continued consecutively since then. Within each FY, the US Army numbers are much higher than the USAF numbers are ever likely to get, so there is not much danger of any overlap.

The Display of Serial Numbers on Aircraft

By 1914, when the Army first began to acquire tractor-engined aircraft, the official serial number began to be painted in large block figures on both sides of the fuselage or on the rudder. These numbers were so large that they could be easily seen and recognized from a considerable distance. At the time of American entry into the First World War, the large numbers were retained on the fuselage and sometimes added to the top of the white rudder stripe. By early 1918, the letters "S.C." (for "Signal Corps") were often added as a prefix to the displayed serial number. When the Army Air Service was created in May of 1918, the letters SC were replaced by "A.S". (for "Air Service"). In July of 1926, the Army Air Service was renamed the Army Air Corps, and the serial number prefix became A.C. for "Air Corps". However, these prefix letters were not part of the official serial number, and were finally dropped in 1932.

By late 1924, the fuselage serial numbers began to get smaller in size, until they standardized on four-inch figures on each side of the fuselage. In 1926, the words "U.S. Army" were often added to the fuselage number, and in 1928 the manufacturer's name and the Army designation were also added to the display, but this was not always done.

The three-line fuselage data block was reduced in size to one-inch characters in 1932 and placed on the left hand side of the fuselage near the cockpit. This is known as the Technical Data Block (TDB). The data block not only displayed the full serial number, but also the exact model type and sometimes the aircraft's home base or the branch of the military with which it served. The TDB eventually became the only place on the aircraft where the serial number was actually displayed. It was often true that the only other sort of identification shown was a unit and base identification code displayed on both sides of the fuselage or on the fin. This made it difficult to identify the actual serial number of the aircraft, leading to a lot of confusion.

The Technical Data Block is still used today, although it is now called the Aircraft Data Legend, and by the early 1990s it was reduced in size to letters only 1/2 inch high and moved to a new position near the ground refuelling receptacle. T.O 1-1-4 states that the Technical Data Block can be either on the fuselage side or near the ground refuelling receptacle.

For a few years during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the serial number displayed in the Technical Data Block often carried a suffix letter, which was not actually part of the official serial number. Five letters were used--A for US Air Force, G for US Army, N for Air National Guard, R for Air Force Reserve, and T for Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC). For a while the letter M was used for USAF aircraft associated with American embassies in foreign countries, but this use was discontinued in August 1955.

The lack of a readily-visible serial number on Army aircraft began to be a serious problem, and on October 28, 1941, shortly after the USAAF had been formed, an order was given that numbers of no less that 4 digits would be painted on the tail fin of all Army aircraft (where feasible) in a size large enough to be seen from at least 150 yards away. This was officially called the radio call number, but was almost universally known as the tail number. Since military aircraft were at that time not expected to last more than ten years, the first digit of the fiscal year number was omitted in the tail number as was the AC prefix and the hyphen. For example, Curtiss P-40B serial number 41-5205 had the tail number 15205 painted on its tail fin, Curtiss P-40K serial number 42-11125 had the tail number 211125 painted on the fin, and P-51B 42-106559 had 2106559 painted on the tail. Since the Army (later Air Force) used the last four digits of the tail number as a radio call sign, for short serial numbers (those less than 100), the tail number was expanded out to four digits by adding zeros in front of the sequence number. For example, 41-38 would have the tail number written as 1038.

Consequently, in most situations for a World War II-era aircraft where the tail number is visible, you can deduce the serial number simply by putting a dash after the first digit, prefixing a 4, and you automatically have the serial number. Unfortunately, there were many deviations from these rules--there are examples in which only the last 4 or 5 digits were painted on the tail, which makes identification of the aircraft particularly difficult.

In the 1950s, many airplanes left over from the World War II era were still in service, exceeding their expected service lives of less than 10 years. In order to avoid potential confusion with later aircraft given the same tail number, these older aircraft had the number zero and a dash added in front of the tail number to indicate that they were over 10 years old. It was hoped that this would avoid confusion caused by duplication of tail numbers between two aircraft built over ten years apart. However, this was not always done, and it was not always possible uniquely to identify an aircraft by a knowledge of its tail number. This practice was eventually discontinued when people started referring to the number 0 as being a letter O, standing for Obsolete. The requirement for the 0- prefix was officially dropped on April 24, 1972.

In 1958, a regulation was promulgated which decreed that that the tail number should be expanded to a minimum of 5 digits in length. Sometimes the tail number was cut down in length to five digits by deliberately omitting both of the fiscal year digits--for example 64-14841 would be presented on the tail as 14841. Sometime, one or more of the first digits of the sequence number would also be omitted. This practice lead to a lot of confusion.

Camouflage began to reappear on USAF aircraft during the Vietnam War, and this led to a change in tail number presentation. The letters "AF" were added directly above the last two digits of the fiscal year, followed by the last three digits of the sequence number. The three-digit sequence number has a height of the AF and fiscal year letters combined and is sometimes called the "large" component of the tail number. For example, F-4E serial number 67-0288 had the tail number 67(small) 288 (large). This could of course lead to confusion, since aircraft 67-1288, 67-2288, etc would have exactly the same tail numbers as 67-0288 under this scheme. This would not ordinary cause a whole lot of difficulty unless of course some of these larger serial numbers also happened to be F-4Es (which they were not). Unfortunately, the system was not always consistent--for example F-4D serial number 66-0234 had a tail number that looks like this: 60(small) 234(large). It appears as if this number was obtained by omitting the first digit of the fiscal, and combining the remaining "6" with the "0234". Consequently, one often has to do a lot of educated guessing in order to derive the aircraft serial number from a knowledge of its tail number, and a knowledge of the aircraft type and sometimes even the version is required. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has noted different tail number presentations on recent USAF aircraft.

However, Air Mobility Command and USAF Europe aircraft still display the previous format for the tail number, with all digits being the same size and the first digit being the last digit of the Fiscal Year and the remaining 4 digits being the last 4 digits of the sequence number. There is no AF displayed, just the name of the command a couple of feet above it. AMC regulations state that the tail number must be the last five digits of the serial number. If the serial number does not have five significant characters at the end, the last digit of the fiscal year becomes the first character, and zeroes are used to fill up the space to make five digits. This would make 58-0001 appear as 80001. The Technical Order refers to radio call numbers on the fin, the full serial number only appearing within the Aircraft Data Legend block. In those rare cases in which the Air Force purchased more than 10,000 aircraft in a single fiscal year (1964 was such a year), aircraft with serial numbers greater than 10,000 would have both digits of the fiscal year omitted--for example the tail number of 64-14840 is 14840, not 44840. An exception was the tail number of EC-130H serial number 73-1583, which had its tail number displayed as 731583, i.e., the full serial number without the hyphen. Again, I would like to hear from anyone who has seen different types of serial number displays on Air Mobility Command aircraft.

Buzz Numbers

In the years immediately following World War 2, many USAAF/USAF aircraft used markings that would make it possible to identify low-flying aircraft from the ground. This was intended to discourage the unsafe practice of pilots of high-performance aircraft making low passes (colloquially known as "buzzing") over ground points. Consequently, these numbers came to be known as buzz numbers.

The system used two letters and three numbers, painted as large as practically feasible on each side of the fuselage and on the underside of the left wing. The two letter code identified the type and model of the aircraft, and the three digits consisted of the last three numbers of the serial number. For example, all fighters were identified by the letter P (later changed to F), and the second letter identified the fighter type. For example, the buzz number code for the F-86 Sabre was FU, for the F-100 Super Sabre it was FW. The buzz number for F-100A 53-1551 was FW-551, the buzz number for F-86D 53-1020 was FU-020.

On occasion, two planes of the same type and model would have the same last three digits in their serial numbers. When this happened, the two aircraft were distinguished by adding the suffix letter A to the buzz number of the later aircraft, preceded by a dash.

Some stateside aircraft during World War II carried enlarged code numbers on their sides, but I don't know if the purpose of these large markings were to act as "buzz numbers".

The system was in wide use throughout the 1950s, but was gradually phased out during the 1960s. The January 1965 edition of Technical Order 1-1-4 dropped all mention of any buzz number requirement, and these numbers started getting painted over and were largely gone by the middle of 1965.

Army Serial Numbers

After the the United States Army Air Force was split off from the US Army and became a separate service, the United States Air Force on September 18, 1947, both the Army and the Air Force continued to use the same set of serial numbers for their aircraft. Army aircraft serials were seamlessly intermixed with Air Force serials, with no gaps or overlaps.

But in 1964, the Army started using five digit sequence numbers that were greater than any sequence numbers used by the USAF, so that observers would not confuse aircraft between the two services. In addition, Army sequence numbers that were allocated within the Air Force sequence were padded with extra zeros to make them have a total of 5 digits. Unfortunately, there is some confusion, since this system was not always consistently followed, and there were numerous departures from this norm. Although the Army started using 5 digit serial numbers starting in 1964, there was a mixed bag of four and five digit numbers in actual use. For tail numbers (or pylon numbers for helicopters), the early years were pretty consistent, using the last digit of the year and just the four digits of the serial number. When the five digit serial numbers started being used, there was a mixture of tail number presentations of just the five digits with no year (and sometimes a leading zero!), as well as presentations in which the last digit of the year was shown, along with all five of the sequence numbers. Sometimes both the digits of the year number were painted over and then just the the five-digit sequence number was presented. Sometimes, Army helicopters used the last three digits of the sequence number as a call sign and you will often see those three digits painted on the nose, the side window or highlighted on the pylon itself. There are even a few older aircraft with the two digit year and the entire five digit serial number shown, just to round out all the options. (Ref, Nick Van Valkenburgh, Jul 26, 2013)

In written correspondence, the leading zeros were often dropped. It is not at all clear when the system of padding sequence numbers with zeros actually started. It also seems that the Army continues to use both systems for its aircraft serial numbers, one a sequence number greater than any sequence numbers used by the USAF, plus lower sequence number padded with zeros. (Ref, Nick Van Valkenburgh, Jul 26, 2013)

The Boneyards

The ultimate end for many USAF and US Army aircraft and helicopters once they leave active service is the boneyards at the Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Arizona. At the end of World War 2, the base was selected as a storage site for decommissioned military aircraft. The dry climate of Tucson and the alkali soil made it ideal for aircraft storage and preservation. Excess DoD and Coast Guard aircraft are stored there after they are removed from service. Sometimes the aircraft are actually returned to active service, either as remotely-controlled drones or sold to friendly foreign governments, but most often they are scavenged for spare parts to keep other aircraft flying or are scrapped. Initially known as the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Center (MASDC), the name was changed in October of 1985 to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC). AMARC was officially redesignated May 2, 2007 as the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), but it still uses the title AMARC for worldwide recognition and legacy reasons. If I know of the date at which an aircraft was transferred to MASDC/AMARC, I list it here.

When an aircraft enters AMARG, it is assigned a code number (known as a Production Control Number, or PCN) consisting of four letters, followed by a three-digit number. The first two letters specify the service (AA for Air Force, AN for Navy, AC for Coast Guard, AX for government agency aircraft, AY for foreign allied aircraft). The second pair of letters specify the type of aircraft (e.g FP for the F-4 Phantom), and the three digit number specifies the order in which the particular plane of that type was entered into AMARG. For example, the first F-4 admitted to AMARC would be numbered AAFP001, with two zeros being added to pad out number of digits to 3. So the PCN was useful in telling at a glance who owned the aircraft, what type of aircraft it was, and the order in which it arrived at AMARG

Prior to Oct 1994 the number in the PCN code had three digits, but AMARC realised that they were soon going to have more than 1000 F-4s on inventory, and the decision was made that it was necessary to expand the number format to four digits in order to accommodate new Phantom arrivals. So RF-4C 64-1021 was given the number AAFP969 on Oct 19, 1994 and the next arrival 64-1068 was given the number AAFP0970 the same day. All later F-4s arrivals were numbered in the four-digit style. I imagine that once AMARC had altered their database field to use 6 characters, they then decided to use that style for ALL new arrivals from Oct '94, and a zero was prefixed when the order number was less than 1000. Ref: eLaReF, Jun 17, 2012.

To add to the confusion, an aircraft could receive multiple PCNs if it came back to the facility multiple times - for example - an aircraft might have come in to AMARG for service life extension (it would have been given a PCN for the duration of its refit). Then it would have been returned to the operational fleet. During its service, if the operators determine that all aircraft of this type need something else to be checked, the aircraft would return to 309 AMARG for that check as part of some minor repair work. On arrival it would have received a new (2nd) PCN. On completion of the minor repairs, the aircraft would return to the operators. Eventually when the operators determine that the aircraft is no longer needed and they retire it to storage, a third PCN would have been assigned. If it happened that the aircraft were returned to service yet again and then brought back to AMARG for storage, it would get a *fourth* PCH. (Ref: Robert D. Raine, Jun 27, 2013)

An aircraft can also be assigned a different PCN if it is administratively tranferred to a different service while it is sitting in the boneyards. For example - AMARG currently stores a C-131 that originally arrived as a Navy asset (and was assigned a Navy PCN). The Navy transferred the aircraft to the Air Force (so the Navy PCN was removed and replaced by an Air Force PCN). The USAF then transferred it to another government agency, so the USAF PCN was removed and replaced by a U.S. Gov't agency PCN beginning with the prefix "AX." Same plane, three different PCNs. (Ref: Robert D. Raine, Jun 27, 2013)

Recently, AMARG introduced a new computer system and decided to stop assigning a PCN when an aircraft arrives at the facility. Everything is now tracked by serial number, since no two aircraft ever have exactly the same serial number. PCNs were not removed from older aircraft, but new PCNs are no longer assigned to aircraft when they arrive. (Ref: Robert D. Raine, Jun 27, 2013)

Missing Air Crew Reports

During World War II, Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) were written to record the facts of the last known circumstances regarding missing air crews. First authorized in May of 1943, MACRs were prepared by the unit shortly after the aircrew loss, and they were then sent to AAF Heaquarters where they were filed. The MACRs were numbered in the order of their issuance. Some MACRs were prepared after the war was over, as needs and circumstances dictated. In addition, some MACRs were prepared at the end of the war to cover losses that took place prior to the introduction of the MACR system. This why some 1942/43 losses have larger MACR numbers than those that took place after May 1943. A list of MACR numbers (along with the aircraft type, the unit, and the date) can be found at ArmyAirForces.com of World War II. Full copies of MACRs can be ordered from the National Archives at National Archives Military Records.




The following is a list of serial numbers for US Army and USAF aircraft. It is incomplete, with numerous gaps--especially in later years. If I know the final disposition of a particular aircraft, or if the aircraft has some special historical significance, this information is listed here too.

Enjoy yourself browsing through these lists--there are lots of neat historical interludes provided here. These lists are by no means complete or error-free and I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has additions or corrections.

There are a lot of people who want to know about the operational history or ultimate disposition of a particular aircraft referred to in this database, but about which I have little or no information. If you have a specific question about the history of a particular USAAF/USAF aircraft, you might try the Air Force Historical Research Agency which is located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. They have cards on virtually every aircraft ever owned or operated by the USAAC/USAAF/USAF, and they might be able to answer your question fairly quickly. Another source of information is the Individual Aircraft Record Card file located at the National Air and Space Museum Archives Division. They also may be able to help you. However, you are always welcome to e-mail me in any case and I will see if I can dig up something.

Search Engine

If you want to search this site for a serial number or for a particular aircraft type, go to Jeremy Kuris's search engine:

Search Engine For This Site




Send e-mail with comments and/or suggestions to



Cumulative Serial Number Series: 1908-1921

+ 1908-1921 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014



Serial Number Listings by Fiscal Year: 1922-present

+ 1922-1929 Serial Numbers Last revised May 19, 2014
+ 1930-1937 Serial Numbers Last revised June 1, 2014
+ 1938-1939 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1940 Serial Numbers Last revised July 7, 2014
+ 1941 Serial Numbers 41-1 to 41-6721 Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1941 Serial Numbers 41-6722 to 41-13296 Last revised July 21, 2014
+ 1941 Serial Numbers 41-13297 to 41-24339 Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1941 Serial Numbers 41-24340 to 41-30847 Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1941 Serial Numbers 41-30848 to 41-39600 Last revised July 30, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-001 to 42-30031 Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-30032 to 42-39757 Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-39758 to 42-50026 Last revised June 3, 2013
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-50027 to 42-57212 Last revised September 13, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-57213 to 42-70685 Last revised June 26, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-70686 to 42-91973 Last revised September 8, 2014
+ 1942 Serial Numbers 42-91974 to 42-110188 Last revised September 6, 2014
+ 1943 Serial Numbers 43-001 to 43-5108 Last revised September 13, 2014
+ 1943 Serial Numbers 43-5109 to 43-52437 Last revised September 6, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-001 to 44-30910 Last revised September 6, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-30911 to 44-35357 Last revised September 10, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-35358 to 44-40048 Last revised June 16, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-40049 to 44-70254 Last revised August 3, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-70255 to 44-83885 Last revised August 9, 2014
+ 1944 Serial Numbers 44-83886 to 44-92098 Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1945 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1946 to 1948 Serial Numbers Last revised August 20, 2014
+ 1949 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1950 Serial Numbers Last revised August 22, 2014
+ 1951 Serial Numbers Last revised September 1, 2014
+ 1952 Serial Numbers Last revised September 5, 2014
+ 1953 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1954 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1955 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1956 Serial Numbers (56-001/956) Last revised August 4, 2014
+ 1956 Serial Numbers (56-957/6956) Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1957 Serial Numbers Last revised September 9, 2014
+ 1958 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1959 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1960 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1961 Serial Numbers Last revised July 8, 2014
+ 1962 Serial Numbers Last revised August 31, 2014
+ 1963 Serial Numbers Last revised August 31, 2014
+ 1964 Serial Numbers Last revised August 31, 2014
+ 1965 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1966 Serial Numbers Last revised September 13, 2014
+ 1967 Serial Numbers Last revised August 28, 2014
+ 1968 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1969 Serial Numbers Last revised August 28, 2014
+ 1970 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1971 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1972 Serial Numbers Last revised August 31, 2014
+ 1973 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2013
+ 1974 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1975 Serial Numbers Last revised July 5, 2014
+ 1976 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1977 Serial Numbers Last revised August 8, 2014
+ 1978 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1979 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 1980 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1981 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1982 Serial Numbers Last revised June 25, 2014
+ 1983 Serial Numbers Last revised August 30, 2014
+ 1984 Serial Numbers Last revised July 8, 2014
+ 1985 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1986 Serial Numbers Last revised August 16, 2014
+ 1987 Serial Numbers Last revised August 17, 2014
+ 1988 Serial Numbers Last revised July 8, 2014
+ 1989 Serial Numbers Last revised June 25, 2014
+ 1990 Serial Numbers Last revised July 8, 2014
+ 1991 Serial Numbers Last revised November 17, 2013
+ 1992 Serial Numbers Last revised June 25, 2014
+ 1993 Serial Numbers Last revised July 8, 2014
+ 1994 Serial Numbers Last revised February 5, 2014
+ 1995 Serial Numbers Last revised August 3, 2013
+ 1996 Serial Numbers Last revised February 2, 2014
+ 1997 Serial Numbers Last revised April 27, 2014
+ 1998 Serial Numbers Last revised March 29, 2014
+ 1999 Serial Numbers Last revised July 6, 2014
+ 2000 Serial Numbers Last revised July 27, 2013
+ 2001 Serial Numbers Last revised September 16, 2013
+ 2002 Serial Numbers Last revised July 27, 2013
+ 2003 Serial Numbers Last revised January 16, 2014
+ 2004 Serial Numbers Last revised May 8, 2014
+ 2005 Serial Numbers Last revised May 8, 2014
+ 2006 Serial Numbers Last revised March 9, 2014
+ 2007 Serial Numbers Last revised July 17, 2014
+ 2008 Serial Numbers Last revised May 8, 2014
+ 2009 Serial Numbers Last revised September 7, 2014
+ 2010 Serial Numbers Last revised August 21, 2014
+ 2011 Serial Numbers Last revised August 24, 2014
+ 2012 Serial Numbers Last revised August 21, 2014
+ 2013 Serial Numbers Last revised March 11, 2014
+ 2014 Serial Numbers Last revised January 17, 2014
+ 2015 Serial Numbers Last revised December 30, 2013
+ 2016 Serial Numbers Last revised July 25, 2013
+ 2017 Serial Numbers Last revised July 25, 2013
+ 2018 Serial Numbers Last revised December 30, 2013



Owing to popular demand, I am now posting a summary of the most recent updates to the USAF serial number database. I post updates about every two weeks, and a summary of the most recent set of updates can be seen by clicking the link below.

Summary of September 13, 2014 updates.



Click here to go to the list of US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft serial numbers.



List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


  • AAA: Anti-Aircraft Artillery
  • AB: Air Base
  • AF: Air Force
  • AFB: Air Force Base
  • AFM: Air Forces Monthly
  • ANG: Air National Guard
  • AP: Airport
  • AMARC: Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona
  • ANLC: Army-Navy Liquidation Commission
  • BEA: British European Airways
  • BOAC: British Overseas Airways Corporation
  • BG: Bombardment Group
  • BS: Bombardment Squadron
  • C/N: Construction Number
  • CA: Combat Aircraft
  • CAA: Civil Aeronautics Authority, formed 1938. Later became Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1940. In 1958, the CAA was reorganized into the Federal Aviation Agency
  • CAF: Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative Air Force)
  • CAP: Civil Air Patrol
  • CL-26: USAAF category of aircraft deemed to be non-flying aircraft used for the training of ground maintence personnel.
  • DOW: Died of Wounds.
  • DPC: Defense Plant Corporation (a subsidiary of the RFC)
  • DRMO: Defense Reutilization and Marketing--Entity which sells surplus aircraft, usually to be destroyed as scrap.
  • DVM: Depot Vliegtuig Materieel (Holland)
  • EdA: Ejercito de Aire (Spanish Air Force)
  • FAA: Federal Aviation Agency (formed 1950). Later renamed Federal Aviation Administration in 1966)
  • FG: Fighter Group
  • FS: Fighter Squadron
  • FLC: Foreign Liquidation Commission. Agency set up by the War Department, bonded and operated thru state. Sold aircraft to neutral countries
  • FMS: Foreign Military Sales--Created in 1968 to facilitate sales of US military equipment to forengn governments. The purchaser does not deal directly with the defense contractor, instead the Defense Security Cooperation Agency serves as an intermediary. Some USAF FMS programs have two-word code names, beginning with the word PEACE, with the second word representing some facet of the customer.
  • FY: Fiscal Year
  • JASDF: Japan Air Self Defense Force
  • JMSDF: Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force
  • JSTARS: Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
  • KIA: Killed In Action
  • KLu: Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Royal Netherlands Air Force
  • LLN: Leger Luchtmacht Nederland (Netherlands Army Air Forces)
  • MACR: Missing Air Crew Report
  • MAP: Military Assistance Program
  • MASDC: Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Center
  • MDAP: Mutual Defense Assistance Program--Federal government program created in 1949 to provide military and financial assistance to allied nations.
  • MIA: Missing In Action
  • MLD: Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (Royal Netherlands Navy)
  • NACA: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
  • NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • NASM: National Air and Space Museum
  • NEIAF: Netherlands East Indies Air Force
  • NTU: Not Taken Up
  • PLAAF: People's Liberation Army Air Force
  • POW: Prisoner of War
  • RAAF: Royal Australian Air Force
  • RAF: Royal Air Force
  • RCAF: Royal Canadian Air Force
  • RFC: Reconstruction Finance Corporation -- a government agency founded in 1932 to give aid to state and local governments and to make loans to banks, railroads, mortgage associations, and other businesses. During the war, the RFC made loans to enterprises essential to the war effort. It also supervised the sale and disposal of excess and surplus aircraft at the end of the war.
  • RFC: Royal Flying Corps
  • RMC: Returned to Military Control
  • RNZAF: Royal New Zealand Air Force
  • ROCAF: Republic of China Air Force
  • SE: SouthEast
  • SOC: Struck Off Charge--The formality by which a unit gives up control of an airplane when they no longer have a use for it, so that they are no longer formally responsible for it. This can be because the airplane was destroyed, damaged beyond repair, became a gate guard, a fire hulk, or a range target, or because it was consigned to storage.
  • SOS: Special Operations Squadron
  • SVN: South VietNam
  • TACAMO: Take Charge And Move Out
  • TASS Tactical Air Support Squadron
  • TFS: Tactical Fighter Squadron
  • TFW: Tactical Fighter Wing
  • USAAC: United States Army Air Corps
  • USAAF: United States Army Air Forces
  • USAF: United States Air Force
  • VIP: Very Important Person
  • WAA: War Assets Administration
  • W/O: Written Off
  • WFU: Withdrawn From Use
  • WPAFB: Wright Patterson Air Force Base


References


Click here to look at the list of references for the serial numbers listed in this site.

Translations


Click here for a Czech translation of this site.