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F540 Operations Record Book April 1952 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71




A demonstration of live rocket and fixed gun firing at the School of Infantry is arranged for next Friday.   No. 4 Squadron are to supply the team of four aircraft (and one spare).   Today the pilots selected put in some practice at Fassberg range.   Ice on the runway, which did not clear until 14.00hrs, reduced flying considerably.   There was also some battle formation practise at 35,000 feet.
                                                                                                  31 sorties   17 hours 55 Minutes





Foggy this morning.   Squadron Leader Williamson, Flight Lieutenants Blair and Simpson, the latter of 93 Squadron flying the spare aircraft, Flying Officer Beaton and Sergeant Pilot Jones flew to England today for the rocket demonstration.   What is left of the Squadron (we are still very short of pilots) did some more high level battle formation.
                                                                                                  14 sorties   15 hours 30 Minutes





We have six pilots available today, but only two aircraft.   Five aircraft are in the U.K. one has a failed turbine, one had a drop tank come free in flight (cat.3), three are in A.S.F., and three in the hanger with minor unserviceability.   On the second sortie with two aircraft - they were at 35,000 feet - Jever homer went u/s.   For some odd reason, 2nd T.A.F. Fixer Service was also not very satisfactory.   At that altitude a considerable wind (North) was blowing; so our two pilots diverted to Wunstorf, whose Q.G.H. system is of a very high standard.   They came back later.
                                                                                                  17 sorties   21 hours 10 Minutes





The Station Commander has ordered a full investigation of all incidents in connection with Jever Homer:   and also that maximum practise be given to it by all pilots.   We do so - at the rate of, usually, one Q.G.H. per sortie.
                                                                                                  24 sorties   16 hours 15 Minutes





The rocket demonstration flight returned today from England.   The shoot went off well.   With double tiered live heads, and a full tankage of 20 m.m. the boys went in and plastered the target.   Firing two salvos of four each - most of them were direct hits - they followed up with two runs firing cannon, and left the target rolling merrily over the spectators.   Colonel Digby Grist of the Gloucesters, called up on the R/T and said thank you - a jolly good show.
                                                                                                  10 sorties   10 hours 40 Minutes




4 Squadron is battle flight again this week.   But the weather is poor - a very low cloud and drizzle all over the Zone: we fly therefore only a low level cross country cum weather test.   Pilot Officer C A Vasey is posted in from 94 Squadron.
                                                                                                    5 sorties      3 hours 55 Minutes





Flying was permissible: but only low level.   A form 'D' has come through - detailing strikes on three bridges over the Emms Jade Canal.   A preliminary series of attacks were made by two flights of three, led by Squadron Leader Williamson and Flying Officer Beaton.   These were satisfactory: the bridges were all accurately located, and flak observed being brought into position.   Later in the morning a Wing Strike making simulated rocket attacks were led by Wing Commander Elsdon.   This comprised three finger fours, No. 4 Squadron being led by Flying Officer Beaton.   A simultaneous attack was made by each flight, to achieve maximum surprise.      Pilot Officer Roger L. Dimock was flying Number Two in our flight.   After the leader broke from his attack and was diving away to starboard, Pilot Officer Dimock's aircraft [WA122] struck the ground and disintegrated.   He was killed instantaneously.
     The Wing Commander ordered all aircraft to return to base, and flying ceased for the day.
                                                                                                  11 sorties   6 hours 00 Minutes





Battle Flight was depleted to only four aircraft, and flew some practise interceptions: they were called into the air only once.   The remaining sorties were flown by pilots required to give evidence at the Court of Inquiry, and comprised aerobatics and homer practice.
                                                                                                  10 sorties     7 hours 50 Minutes





The memorial service for Pilot Officer Dimock was held in the Station Church early this morning.   Flight Lieutenant the Reverend T.W.R. Gray conducted the service, and the funeral at the Military Section in Hamburg Cemetery.   No. 4 Squadron provided the escort, firing party and pall bearers.





The station stood down for Easter.   No. 4 Squadron provided three aircraft and crews on an hours availability throughout the break.





No. 93 Squadron are on the range: we stand in for them on battle flight.   Six of us sit around in the blazing sun, eyes never far from the operations block, watching for the reds.   As soon as the first appears everything is dropped, literally, and we're off at full speed, leaping for the cockpits.
     We were only called twice.   On the first we were sent to investigate a bogey, and found it easily - two Vampires out sectioning the sky at 17,000 feet.   Ground control then sent us off Eastwards, presumably to intercept some Vampires whom we could hear vectoring West.   But all of a sudden we were cut short in our tracks and ordered back to base.
     On the second sortie we split up for P.I.s : but had hardly done so when a bogey showed up.   We rushed off turning left and right on various vectors, diving.   The reason for the rapid course changes soon became apparent as the bogey was a lone Vampire, aerobating.   Then we did two P.I.s - one of which was quite abortive, neither target nor fighter seeing a thing.
                                                                                                  17 sorties   13 hours 30 Minutes





Because of the number of pilots on the Squadron, the C.O. began today an intensive training of section leaders.   A four would be led to a target in the low flying area, by one pilot, and brought back by the sub section leader, On the way there and back, a three or pair led by Squadron Leader Williamson or Flight Lieutenant Holmes 'A' Flight Commander, would attack the four, and observe and criticise.
     At first, scanning by the raider force was poor, especially at 6'o'clock. low.   But this began to improve.   Today, three such missions were flown to different targets the approach being varied, two at 8000ft the other at low level.
                                                                                                  26 sorties   22 hours 10 Minutes





Two strikes like yesterday's were flown today.   The first, to Quackenbruck went quite well;   on the first attack by the bouncers, the four broke so fast that the bouncers were unable to get a lead on .   The second strike was against Hoya.   On the way back No. 2 of the raider force ran short of fuel and had to force land.   This he did successfully, his aircraft coming to rest just outside a farmhouse.   Sgt. Pilot Jones got out speedily, but there was no fire, the aircraft [WA141] merely being cat. 5 components.   While he was waiting to be picked up, a German policeman arrived on the scene and poured forth a stream of fluent Deutche.   This was translated by a girl to the amazed Jones "He wants to know" she said "When are you going to fly the aeroplane away"..........
4sqnpic599.jpg, 48150 bytes                                                                                                   17 sorties   15 hours   5 Minutes





A day on the range.   Scores were not so good at the start (some pilots had not fired since Christmas) but picked up gradually.   Flying Officer Beaton was introduced to the fixed ring modified sight and found it very satisfactory.   Eight aircraft were maintained on the range until late in the afternoon, when one went unserviceable with hydraulic trouble.
                                                                                                  32 sorties   27 hours 20 Minutes





The morning was spent "shining" for next weeks visit by the A.O.C.   No flying





Battle flight again.   On the first sortie we practised two interceptions; the first was good.   But on the second, fighter had to turn violently to attack from the opposite side because they did not see the target till it appeared low and very close at 11o'clock
     On the second sortie, both P.I.s were good.   But on the last, we had less success   On the first P.I.s there was some slight confusion because fighter did not know quite where to scan; target was given first at 1 o'clock, then 11 o'clock, 10.30 and back to 11 o'clock.   Target eventually appeared at 9 o'clock going immediately to 8 o'clock - and passing port to starboard below and behind the fighter.   And on the second P.I. fighter had to turn, on the attack, turning towards the sun.
                                                                                 Vampire     17 sorties   16 hours 5 Minutes
                                                                                 Meteor           1 sortie       1 hour 00 Minutes





     First sortie:   With our full complement of six chickens, we clambered aloft, even unto 32,000 feet.   But there we swam in a pale misty, dream world of cirrus where no man could fight.   Control gave us a couple of vectors, and back we came to roost.
Second sortie:   On each of our two P.I.s the fighter found target at 12 o'clock, and too far away the first time, fighter speed rather low the second.
Third sortie:   We were launched to catch No. 14 Squadron: but alas, they were at 25,000 feet when we had just reached 20,000 feet.   Control kindly asked them to come down to 22,000 feet, but that was too late.   Target was first sighted at 9 o'clock and crossed astern high.   The second duel found the target rather far away, but was otherwise fair.   14 Squadron put in a good attack on the last.
Fourth Sortie:   Two clashes at 18,000 feet amongst ourselves. The first attack was awkward: fighter approached at much too great an angle off (about 100-120o) and had to cross right over the target, haul round like mad and attack from the opposite side.   The second was good.   We have found it amusingly difficult at times to report aircraft, because the air is being filled with control remarks, or someone else reporting:   this is rather a touchy point when one is about to be shot down.   Separate channels for fighter and target would be a great help.
                                                                                    26 sorties     Vampire   23 hours 5 Minutes
                                                                                       1 sortie       Meteor        1 hour 00 Minutes





A practice by the Jever wing was held today in preparation for next Monday's fly past.
                                                                                       7 sorties         4 hours 40 Minutes





The Jever Wing flew to Wunstorf where two rehearsals were staged.   On the first there was a little looseness amongst the last three wings, and the formation was thirty seconds early on target.   On the second, although one minute early, the formation was nice and tight - all ninety six of them, from nose to tail.
                                                                               Twenty eight sorties         21 hours 00 Minutes





A further rehearsal was called for today.   It was so good that the Jever Wing flew back direct to base without landing at Wunstorf for debriefing.                                                                                                   20 sorties         15 hours 10 Minutes





Exercise Terrier was held today.   Three pilots from No. 4 Squadron took part.   The Jever force was launched from Wunstorf, and all formations joined up at 30,000 feet en route to England.   The raid - on Staines Reservoir - was most disappointing : not a single interceptor was seen.   Wunstorf, Jever-force, landed for refueling at North Weald and returned late in the afternoon.                                                                                   9 sorties         12 hours 15 Minutes





The fly past by aircraft of 2ND T.A.F., was held today over Minden where General Eisenhower was taking the salute at a farewell parade in his honour.   Unfortunately the weather was exceedingly bad:   so bad that only half the formation could take part.   And a series of violent rain storms upset the formation leader's navigation so that we arrived nearly seven minutes late.   Despite this the four wings managed to hold a good formation below a 1,500 feet cloud base.                                                                                        16 sorties          13 hours 00 Minutes





Some air to air cine practice of opposite quarter attacks was flown: this in preparation for our forthcoming detachments to U.K. and Sylt.                                                                                                    14 sorties          13 hours 10 Minutes





Further cine sorties were flown:   but good results were not easy to achieve because cloud formations filled most of the sky with haze.                                                                                                      8 sorties             7 hours 10 Minutes






An interesting and varied month's work.   It seems incredible now, at the end of the month, in blazing sunshine to realise that in the first day, ice on the runways prevented flying.   There were four exercises:   the fly past in honour of General Eisenhower:   Exercise Terrier - the raid on U.K.;   the demonstration of rocketry at Warminster:   and an attack on some bridges near Jever.   During one day's rocketing at Fassberg, the highest daily flying time for the month was achieved - 27 hours 20 minutes.   Training of deputy section leaders began on a more intensive scale:   and on the 29th practice in air to air attacks resumed.





                                                                                               Vampire                 Meteor
Flying                               Individual Training                    21.50
                                          Interceptions                             58.30
                                         Squadron/Wing Exercises    144.30
                                          Air Support                                    6.00
                                          Navigation                                     8.40
                                          Weapon Training                       45.10
                                          Photographic                              15.00
                                          Meteor Training                                                             6.55
                                          Vampire Total                           299.40




Authorised by...signedR W Collins..S/LDR.for
                        (P.G.K. WILLIAMSON)
                        OFFICER COMMANDING,
                        NO. 4 SQUADRON.
                        R.A.F. JEVER.

...Signed ENM LACK...FG/OFF