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RAF career in the 1960's

My late half brother James Robert Bustin born 18 October 1941 and died Sept 2002 was in the RAF, I am told he was a Pilot and served in the RAF at Cosford but would like to find out more about his career, is there a way to find ou
I received an e mail back which I am assuming means I cannot be given any details of my late half brothers service =
Ref: Air-1695915280 -G5

Dear Gwenyth Green

Thank you for your application of 28/09/23 requesting the record of service for James Robert BUSTIN.

I am treating your correspondence as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
A search for the information has now been completed within the Ministry of Defence (MOD). I should explain that under section 1(1) of the FOIA anyone who requests information from a public authority is entitled under subsection (a) to be told if the authority holds the information and, under subsection (b) to have the information communicated to them if it is held and is not exempt information – ‘the duty to confirm or deny’.

Section 40 of the FOIA provides that information is exempt from disclosure if it is personal data of either the requestor or a third party.

I can advise that Section 40(5) of the Act is engaged for the type of information you have requested. Under Section 40(5B), the duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent that giving a member of the public the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would contravene with any of the data protection principles or would so if the exemptions in section 24(1) of the Data Protection Act (2018) were disregarded.

Section 40(5B) requires the Department to conduct a balancing exercise, this exercise involves balancing the rights and interests of individuals against the legitimate interests in disclosing whether or not we hold the requested information. I can advise that the outcome of the balancing exercise lay in upholding the application of section 40(5B).

Section 16 (Advice and assistance)

Section 16(1) of the FOIA places an obligation on public authorities such as MOD ‘to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it’.

MOD’s policy for the disclosure of personal information is based upon compliance with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) and assume that a person is still alive until they would have reached 116 years of age. You may, therefore, wish to provide official proof of an individual’s death i.e. a death certificate which will allow MOD to consider your request again.

Should you wish to resubmit your application with a copy of the death certificate, this can be done at the link below:
Get a copy of military service records: Apply for the records of someone who's deceased - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Should you be experiencing difficulties with finding original certificates, enquiries may be made at the General Register Office, which may be contacted in England and Wales on 0300 123 1837 or https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate, in Scotland on 0131 334 0380 or www.mygov.scot/birth-death-marriage-certificate/ and in Northern Ireland on 028 90 252000 or www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/order-death-certificate-online.

If you have any queries regarding the content of this letter, please contact this office in the first instance.
If you wish to complain about the handling of your request, or the content of this response, you can request an independent internal review by contacting the Information Rights Compliance team, Ground Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail CIO-FOI-IR@mod.gov.uk). Please note that any request for an internal review should be made within 40 working days of the date of this response.

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may raise your complaint directly to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not normally investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner's website at https://ico.org.uk/.

Kind Regards,

RAF Disclosures-Veterans
Trenchard Hall, RAF College Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 8HB
Answerphone: 01400 268180 Email: air-cospers-disclosures@mod.gov.uk
MoD complies with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018. The Privacy Notice for MOD personnel, workers and contractors is at this link

Can I have your advice please.
I thought that you could get a persons service records if you were "family"
That's how I got my grandfathers records!
Thats what I thought but it looks as though you cant, I only want to know basic things like like where he went and the rank he achieved etc.
You could always write back stating that you donot require his full service record but that you are just after a few details such as where he served and the rank he acieved etc. They may not want you to have the full record but they may supply a few details.
I have had a look at the wording and it appears to hinge on "next of kin"
"RAF service records created since the beginning of the Second World War remain in the custody of the Ministry of Defence and are accessible only to the service personnel themselves or their next of kin. Consult GOV.UK to find out more."