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F540 Operations Record Book April 1956 .
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. C. Boyack.___ Refs
      chasboyack.jpg, 1427 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 3.4.56   Back at work after the Easter Grant, meant the departure of seven of our aircraft.
and pilots to R.A.F. Geilenkirchen.   This detachment, complete with the necessary
groundcrew, is to take part in a large fly past for H.R.H. The Duchess of Kent.
Altogether, 24 aircraft from the Wing are taking part.   It is hoped to send
all aircraft off together in one large formation, but poor visibility prevented
this and aircraft flew in sections of four at ten-minute intervals.
At Geilenkirchen, six of our aircraft took part in one practice for the flypast,
the spare aircraft staying on the ground.   At Jever, flying was limited by the
number of aircraft available, but co-ordinated "quarters" were practiced and there
was one air-test.
                                           Hunter Flights   26     Hunter Hours   15.10
 
R.A.F. JEVER 4.4.56   Today's good weather was very galling to our pilots here because of our shortage of
aircraft.   One of our aircraft was due for servicing, and one other aircraft was
flown to Geilenkirchen as replacement for one unserviceable, which is now back
here.   Only two flights were done locally. both of them being an aerobatic
with forced landing practices.
At Geilenkirchen, two practices for the flypast were carried out with very
reasonable results.   For the detachment at Geilenkirchen it was a full working
day, but the airfield was closed at 12:30 hours for a sports afternoon.
                                           Hunter Flights   12     Hunter Hours   6.10
 
  5.4.56   Poor visibility and low cloud, coupled with a shortage of aircraft, decreased the
amount of training possible today.   At Jever, the first take off was at 11:20
hours and at Geilenkirchen there was no flying until 15:00 hours.
At Jever, map reading was the main training carried out, but this afternoon one
pilot carried out cine on a flag towed for us at Sylt.   One other pilots was
given an Air-to-Air Firing demonstration in the T.11 by the Squadron P.A.I.
A.P.S. Sylt will be putting up two or more flags for us every day between now
and our forthcoming attachment there.   To start with we shall only be doing
cine, but it is hoped to give all pilots at least one live firing practice
before our attachment.
At Geilenkirchen, poor weather completely washed out the flypast, and it is
expected that H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent was as disappointed as were our pilots
who returned this afternoon.
                                           Hunter Flights   12     Hunter Hours   12.05
 
  6.4.56   To make use of the recent close formation practice the Wing has had, a Wing flypast
was staged here at Jever this morning.   Twenty-four aircraft took part, and an
attempt was made to obtain some photographs of the Wing in the air.   Unfortunately,
the official photographer was overcome by nausea shortly after becoming airborne
in the Vampire T.11.   It is hoped, however, that some reasonable views were
obtained by some of the amateurs on the Station.
98sqnpic871.jpg, 14109 bytes
                                            Taken by Bebe Sharman.   [Not in F540.]
After the flypast, training went on as usual and was devoted mainly to cine.
Three more pilots carried out cine on the flag.   The airfield closed at 1700
hours for the weekend.
                                           Hunter Flights   24     Hunter Hours   17.30
 
  9.4.56   The weather was marginal all day and flying was thus slightly limited, however
a fair amount of training was carried out.   One high level battle formation
exercise was done on the first flight and after that cine and aerobatic practices
were mainly carried out.   Due to poor weather at Sylt, the first flag today had to
be cancelled, but two pilots did cine on the flag this afternoon.
Flying Officer Blake, who has been on a course at F.C.A.W.S. had now returned to
the Squadron as a fully fledged P.A.I..
                                           Hunter Flights   26     Hunter Hours   20.00
 
  10.4.56   The day started off with excellent weather but during the day, conditions slowly
deteriorated until the cloud base and thickness were such as to cause the night
flying programme to be cancelled.
This morning was devoted to high level battle formation practice with practice
interceptions.   The standard of control was generally fair and on one flight
several aircraft, including a Canberra and a pair of Venoms, were successfully
intercepted.
This afternoon, cine was the main training carried out, most of the practices being
done at 20,000 feet.   Three solo sorties were done on the flag.
                                           Hunter Flights   31     Hunter Hours   23.10
 
  11.4.56   The first flight this morning was devoted to high level battle formation practice,
with a pairs dogfight and tactical descent.   Unfortunately, in spite of good
weather, only a limited amount of training was possible because of unserviceability
of our aircraft, and after the first formation of four aircraft, four pilots
practiced cine.   The remainder of the training done by the Squadron consisted of
aerobatics and forced landing practice.   Two more of our pilots carried out cine
on the flag target.
The airfield closed at 12:30 hours for sports afternoon.
                                           Hunter Flights   13     Hunter Hours   9.35
 
  12.4.56   With good weather and fair serviceability, a successful day's training was carried
out.   Once more the emphasis was on cine work, both on flag targets on South High
Range at Sylt and also on other aircraft.   Most of these exercises, incidentally
concluded with tail chases to allow the pilots to let off steam.   Two pilots
practiced G.C.A.s at Ahlhorn and Flt. Lt. C. Hunt, who is attached to us from
R.A.F. Sylt, carried out Exercise 1 of the Conversion Syllabus.
The airfield closed at 1630 hours to allow preparations for night flying to be
made and night flying actually began at 19:45 hours.   In fact, four dusk flights
and four night flights were carried out, all being devoted to sector reconnaissance
and controlled descents.
                                             Hunter Flights (Day)   27     Hunter Hours   19.15
                                             Hunter Flights (Night)8        Hunter Hours     6.20
 
  13.4.56   It was only fitting that on Friday 13th, the weather should deteriorate and
only one pair per Squadron was allowed to be airborne at any one time.  This naturally
decreased the amount of training possible, but an attempt to utilise the aircraft
to the maximum was made, and several successful cine practices were done.
                                           Hunter Flights   20     Hunter Hours   13.55
 
  14.4.56   For most of the morning, the airfield colour state was red and only two Hunter
Flights were done.   One of our Flight Commanders flew the Squadron Commander to
R.A.F. Sylt to collect a Meteor 8 which we shall use to tow banner targets on our
local range.   We shall only be able to do cine exercises on these local flags, but
it should help all pilots to improve their range estimation and tracking - both
of which are very important factors in air-to-air firing.
The airfield closed at 1220 hours for the weekend.
                                           Hunter Flights   5     Hunter Hours   2.35
 
  16.4.56   Due to poor weather, flying was restricted all day to one pair per Squadron at any
one time.   Aircraft were put to maximum utilisation however and some?
training was carried out.   Once again cine work was the main training done, and
although we are towing our own flags locally, we are still sending three or four
pairs to Sylt every day on to their air-to-air ranges.   We hope to give all our
pilots at least one live firing practice before we commence our attachment at Sylt.
These practices will have to be done on the Sylt ranges and not on our own local
range.
                                           Hunter Flights   21     Hunter Hours   14.05
 
  17.4.56   The restricting factor in today's flying programme was aircraft serviceability,
but a fair amount of training was carried out and some valuable practice
in air-to-air firing was done.   As we only expect to have the Meteor on loan for
a short while, it has been decided to use it as much as possible, and keep it on
the ground as little as possible.   It has been decided also that the amount of
training, rather than the number of hours over the target, should be the policy
for arranging our flying programme.
The airfield closed at 16:30 hours, prior to night flying which began at 1930
hours.   Night flying tonight was devoted to navigation exercises concluding with
controlled descents and circuit practice, and our last aircraft landed at 21.45
hours.
                                           Hunter Flights (Day)     19     Hunter Hours   12.55
                                             Hunter Flights (Night)   8     Hunter Hours (Night)   6.20
 
  18.4.56   The weather was good all morning and subject to aircraft serviceability, a fair
amount of training was carried out.   Four pilots today fired live on the flag
target at Sylt but, unfortunately, the best score of the day was 3½% at 20,000 feet.
Some aerobatics and forced landing practices were also done, and Flt. Lt. Hunt
carried out his fourth Hunter Flight.
The airfield closed at 12:30 hours for sports afternoon.
                                       Hunter Hours   7.40     Hunter Flights   12
 
  19.4.56   Our spell of good weather continues, and our aircraft state allowed a good day's
training to be done.   Some close and high level battle formation done in addition
to our normal amount of cine work.   Some aerobatic and forced landing practices
were also carried out.   Four more pilots fired live on the Sylt range today and
Flt. Lt. Hunt, our convertee, achieved the highest score with 11 hits at 10,000 feet.
                                           Hunter Flights   28     Hunter Hours   19.05
 
  20.4.56   Due to poor weather, restricted flying was the order of the day initially, but after
lunch, conditions had improved sufficiently to permit full flying.   In addition
to our normal training of cine and high level battle formation, a start was made
today on experimenting on a procedure for a controlled descent for aircraft with
flame-outs.   So far we are basing our experiments on a 2000 feet cloud-base, but
we hope to press on below that to check on its possibilities or otherwise.
                                           Hunter Flights   20     Hunter Hours   14.35
 
  21.4.56   There was a Station Commander's Parade this morning, with a 100% turn out
from the Squadron.   After the parade only three flights were carried out,
because of aircraft on inspections, and the shortage of men on trade
training.
The airfield closed at 1230 hours for the weekend.
                                           Hunter Flights   3     Hunter Hours   1.40
 
  23.4.56   Our spell of good weather is still with us, but unfortunately, the amount of
training possible was severely limited because of poor serviceability.   Some
cine flights were carried out in addition to two live firing practices and three
pilots did G.C.A.s at Ahlhorn.   Experiments on flame-out controlled descents
were continued.
R.A.F. Sylt were obliged by commitments to ask for the return of their Meteor today
and it was flown back by Squadron Leader Chapman.
                                           Hunter Flights   11     Hunter Hours   7.35
 
  24.4.56   The airfield colour state was red initially this morning, but from 10.50 hours
when we sent off a pair on weather check, conditions slowly improved.   At one
stage in the early afternoon, a pair of our aircraft landed at Ahlhorn with
some fuel trouble.   Fortunately, the snag was not serious and they flew back
to base later in the day.   Cine was again the main training carried out and most
of these exercises concluded with tail chases.
                                           Hunter Flights   25     Hunter Hours   17.15
 
  25.4.56   With a return to slightly better weather, a good morning's training was done.
In order to give the pilots a slight respite from cine work, high level battle formation
was done all morning.   On these practices pairs dog-fights were done in
addition to either controlled descents or tactical let-downs.
The airfield closed at 12:30 hours for sports afternoon.
                                           Hunter Flights   17     Hunter Hours   11.55
 
  26.4.56   The improved weather continued today and Squadron Training was divided almost
equally between cine work and high level Battle Formation practice.   In addition
to normal training, there was a rehearsal by the Wing for a flypast which is to be
done on Tuesday, 1st May for the Commander-in-Chief 2nd T.A.F.
The visit will be completely informal and is intended to enable the Air Marshal The Earl of Bandon to have a look at the station, and meet some of our personnel.

                                           Hunter Flights   17     Hunter Hours   11.55
 
  27.4.56   Training today was again mainly divided between high level battle and cine
exercises, although there were a number of aerobatic flights.   Another practice
was held for the flypast and again 24 aircraft, including six from the Squadron
took part.   The formation itself was a slight improvement on yesterday's performance,
and comments from spectators were generally favourable.
It was decided today to cancel all flags at Sylt from now on for the Squadron,
so that tomorrow and Monday we can reach our target.   Our hours have been reduced
because of the cine work we have been doing, but in addition to target considerations,
it is felt that the pilots will benefit from a rest from cine training prior to
our attachment to A.P.S..
                                           Hunter Flights   21     Hunter Hours   13.55
 
  28.4.56   Because of unserviceability and shortage of groundcrew (engaged on trade training),
only a limited amount of training could be done this morning.   All our practices
were devoted to high level battle formation, with dogfights and tail chases.
The airfield closed at 12.30 hours for the weekend.
                                           Hunter Flights   12     Hunter Hours   10.00
 
  30.4.56   The weather was marginal today to start with, but conditions slowly improved.
The Squadron flew six aircraft on high level battle formation for most of the
morning, but after lunch only one more flight was necessary to reach the target,
so that was devoted to close formation practice with runs over the airfield by
our six aircraft.   In view of the current Avon engine situation, it has been
decided to stop flying immediately upon reaching the target for this month.
                                           Hunter Flights   23     Hunter Hours   17.20
 
      R.Chapman                                                                 
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                                                             
Squadron Leader,                                                           
Officer Commanding                                                      
Number 4 Squadron                                                       
 
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