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F540 Operations Record Book July 1953 NO 112 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2643 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
Place Date Time Summary of Events                                                  Compilation Officer:   Fg. Off. L.A. Francis Refs

 

1/7/53  

On the first day of what subsequently proved to be a notable month in the Squadron's history, the advance convoy left for our new base in the early hours of the morning.  At mid-day Flt.Lt. Holmes checked on the convoy from the air, and reported satisfactory progress

 
  2/7 -
5/7
 

Throughout the next few days, flying took secondary place to the final preparations for our move.  The repainting of the sharks' teeth on the aircraft was completed, and the Squadron's equipment loaded onto lorries.

 
Bruggen R.A.F. 6/7  

The big day arrived at last.  After taking a last look as residents of R.A.F. Jever, the Squadron's base for exactly sixteen months, we flew down to Bruggen, where we were delighted to see a 3,000 yd. East-West runway.

 
  7/7  

All pilots flew sector recces today, and acquainted themselves with a few notable land marks, the two most important being the rivers Rhine and Mass.

 
  8/7  

The squadron was asked to assist in the siting of the R.A.F Regiment's gun positions by simulating R/P and cannon attacks on the airfield.  We took advantage of this opportunity to convince the station personnel that we really had arrived.

 
  9/7-
12/7
 

More normal flying was resumed for a few days, and we caught up on some much-needed formation practice.  During this period, sections gave the homer operators as much practice as possible, and also acquainted themselves with the Group Fixer service.

 
  13/7  

Pilots inspected our new R/P and cannon range at MONSCHAU from the air.  Although difficult to find on the first trip, it's appearance is such as to be readily recognisable on subsequent occasions.

 
  14/7  

The Low Level cross-country route BASE - OLPE - KEHEIM - KREZTZAL - BASE was tried out today, and it was considered to be a little too long to allow sufficient safety factor in inclement weather.

 
  16/7
17/7
 

Sqn.Ldr. Bolton and Fg.Off. Creswick flew down to Florennes in order to inspect the Squadron's prospective site during the forth coming exercise "CORONET".  The rest of the pilots pressed on with formation practice, except for Fg.Off. Francis, who flew copies of the Squadron's Movement Order to the Celle Wing, with whom we are to share the Florennes airfield during the exercise.

 
  20/7  

Fg.Off.'s Beaumont and Duke flew up to Jever in the Meteor, and the latter brought back one of our Vampires which had been left in A.S.P.  Sgt. Lackman returned from his honeymoon in Jersey, fully aware of his new responsibilities.  Flt.Lt. Holmes accompanied the Station Commander in the Meteor on circuits and local flying.

 
  21/7  

For the second time this month we were busy packing up the Squadron's equipment, but by now we have developed the job to a fine art.

 
Florennes B.A.F. 22/7  

The main road party left for Florennes early this morning, and the aircraft immediately after lunch by Flights in low level battle formation.  The rest of the day was taken up with...................

 
B.A.F. Florennes 23/7-
24/7
 

Exercise "Coronet" began, but as we were given no operational tasks during this period, we were able to complete the erection of the camp, and to camouflage the site.

 
  25/7  

The squadron played its first part in the "war" today, commencing at 05.00 hours with a strike on CHAMPAGNE airfield, at Reims.  Throughout the day, five other ground attack sorties were carried out, involving further attacks on CHAMPAGNE and on LAON COUVRON.  These airfields contained F. 84's and B 26's respectively.

 
  26/7  

We were mainly employed in Airfield Defence today, although few sorties realised any action.  In the evening a wing sweep was carried out, and a few enemy fighters were enticed to attack us from CHAMPAGNE airfield.

 
  27/7  

The exercise continued with more airfield strikes and defensive sorties.  Today was more interesting for us, as several flights of F. 86's attacked Florennes, and some enjoyable melees took place near the airfield.

 
  28/7  

The squadron aircraft were not required today, due to very bad weather conditions.  We were able to devote our man-power to the preparation of the ground defence positions in readiness for the imminent attack by Belgian troops.

 
  29/7  

The expected attack did not materialise during the previous night, at least as far as this squadron was concerned.  In spite of the fact that most of the Squadron was up all night, we continued at full strength today.  The highlight was an attack on 22 French-manned tanks in bad weather, during which attack we were awarded one PATON tank destroyed and two damaged.  Fg.Off. Duke hit a bird while returning from an airfield strike, and had the misfortune to lose half his canopy.

 
  30/7  

Flying duties today consisted entirely of airfield defence and interceptions.  Permission was given for sections to attack a series of F.T.C. Varsities, of which five were claimed as being destroyed.  At the cessation of flying today the exercise was declared closed, and once more we prepared to pack up and move off.

 
  31/7  

Inclement weather prevented the aircraft from returning to Bruggen today, so we were forced to spend one more night under canvas.  Unfortunately persistent rain spoiled the last day of what had been an enjoyable detachment.

 
GENERAL    

The highlight of the month was the move to our new station, R.A.F. Bruggen.  Although the station was not completed on our arrival, we were able to move into our hangar and domestic sites.
On the 22nd July, the Squadron moved to Belgian airfield at Florennes for the duration of Exercise "CORONET".  124 sorties were flown during this period, mainly on airfield strikes.  Numerous combats gave valuable experience to new pilots.  The camp site was good, and the food was of a particularly high standard, praise being due to the cooks for their efforts.  Before leaving Florennes, squadron personnel gained much experience of the adhesive qualities of Belgium mud.

 
DISCIPLINE &MORALE  

July has been an excellent month from the discipline and morale point of view.  The move to Bruggen had been eagerly anticipated, and its fulfilment, followed, by the detachment to Florennes, served to maintain a very high standard of morale amongst the squadron.  In spite of the unavoidable inconveniences of camp life, discipline was also very good throughout the month.  We look forward to the future months at Bruggen with hopes of maintaining this standard.

 
     

At R.A.F. Jever during the first two weeks of the month, Fg. Off's Dawes and Francis and L.A.C. Taylor continued to play in the Station Cricket teams.  The squadron was able to play only one more fixture in the inter-section cricket league, in which they had only lost one match.  An attempt was made at Bruggen to hold a sports afternoon, but very heavy rain kept all but a few die-hard soccer enthusiasts indoors.

 
     

Strength 
                       Pilots.
                       Sqn.Ldr.    I.D.  BOLTON D.F.C.

                       Flt.Lt.   Holmes                                       Flt.Lt.   McConnell
                       F/O      Francis                                        Fg.Off. Creswick
                       F/O      Hancock                                      Fg.Off. Jonklass
                       F/O      Concannon                                 Fg.Off. Dawes
                       Plt.Off. Lydiate                                         Fg.Off. Beaumont
                       Plt.Off. Brown                                          Fg.Off. Duke
                       Plt.Off. Bryce                                            Fg.Off. Frame
                       Sgt.     Jones                                           Plt.Off. Jenkins
                                                                                         Sgt.      Lackman

Signed LA Francis                                                   
(L.A. FRANCIS)                                                     
Flying Officer,                                                        
for Officer Commanding,                                          
No    112      Squadron.