The RAF Balloon Command was established in November 1938. The Command was subdivided into five groups - similar to wing commands - that operated throughout England. This original and unpublished photo depicts a Balloon Command crew with a barrage balloon. These barrage balloons were deployed in the skies over England and grounded by thick metal cables that were intended to protect against low flying fighter aircraft. The balloons were used extensively during the war and even were flown from floating barges and ships to help protect Allied shipping channels in the Atlantic. The Balloon Command was disbanded in 1945. During the war, women serving as WAAF personnel also assisted Balloon Command in the field.