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F540 Operations Record Book April 1958 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                             COMPILING OFFICER   __Flying Officer P.F. Hunwick.___ Refs
      PeteHunwick.jpg, 1653 bytes  
R.A.F. Jever 1.4.58        A' Flight took over the Squadron's Battle Flight commitment at 05.30 hours this
morning.   B Flight came on at lunchtime and stood by till 19.15 hours.   During the day
with five or six aircraft serviceable for most of the time the Squadron flew twenty-six
Battle Flight and three singleton sorties.
                                            SORTIES : 29           HOURS : 25.40
  2.4.58        Only six Hunter sorties were flown to-day.   A snowstorm prevented the first detail
taking off and by mid-morning the serviceability had dropped to four aircraft, preventing
further flying.   The Squadron was again, as yesterday, visited by Group staff officers
carrying out a pre - A.O.C. 's inspection.   Fg. Off. D.G. Hipperson was detached to the
U.K. for an Instrument Rating Examiners course.
                                            SORTIES :   6           HOURS : 5.10
  3.4.58        This morning the Squadron did not fly although there were sufficient serviceable
aircraft.   This enabled the ground crew to concentrate on the remainder.   In this way
by the end of the day we had nine aircraft serviceable and felt confident of having
eight aircraft for the Soellingen detachment after the Easter Grant.
     The station began its stand down at 13.30 hours.   Resigned to a quiet, uneventful
weekend, 'B' Flight were pleasantly surprised by an operational scramble in the middle
of the afternoon.   The pilots were Flt. Lt. R. Barraclough and Fg. Off. A.J. Bendell
and their time to wheels up was two minutes and thirty seconds.   The target on identi-
fication proved to be yet another U.S.A.F. military transport.
                                            SORTIES :   4           HOURS : 3.05
  4.4.58        The Squadron continued to stand by at Battle Flight readiness.   One pair of aircraft
as usual were at five minutes readiness and another pair at thirty minutes,   Unfortunately
the Squadron no longer receives occasional 'practice' scrambles which tend to keep
aircrew and groundcrew more expectant and help discover any slight weaknesses in the
alert organisation.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  5.4.58- 6.4.58      A quiet weekend at Jever with Number 4 Squadron having four aircraft at battle readiness.
Only half a dozen of the Squadron's groundcrew were used over the Easter grant : the
remainder were drawn from No's 2 and 93 Squadron's and Technical Wing.
     In England, Flying Officer R. Cope-Lewis was married to-day with Flt. Lt. J. Bell,
Fg. Off. P.F. Hunwick and Fg. Off. D.G. Hipperson witnessing the ceremony.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  7.4.58        The Squadron stood by on it's last day of Battle Flight.   In the early afternoon a
pair were scrambled operationally to intercept an identified aircraft on the zonal
border.   The pilots were Flt. Lt. R. Barraclough and Fg. Off. A.R. Pollock, scramble
time being Two Minutes and thirty three seconds from crewroom to wheels up.   Target
identification proved to be a U.S.A.F. D.C 4 flying north of Lubeck at low level.
                                            SORTIES :   2           HOURS : 1.30
  8.4.58        Today the Squadron flew south on an exchange detachment with 444 Squadron, Royal
Canadian Air Force, based at Soellingen, 15 miles north east of Strasbourg.
     The Squadron took eight Hunters down in two sections of four, leaving Jever mid-
morning.   Although the Canadian G.C.I. had been pre-briefed the Squadron was not intercepted
and arrived at Soellingen in a snowstorm.   The other four pilots on detachment flew
down later by Dakota or Bristol Freighter with groundcrew and equipment, arriving just
in time for a welcoming party in No. 4 Wing's Mess.
     Fg. Off. D Ferguson left the Squadron for the U.K. this morning.
                                            SORTIES :   8           HOURS : 7.20
  9.4.58        Since G.C.A. had been put to 'maintenance', Soellingen weather prevented our flying
in the morning.   At midday we began flying singleton sorties of sector reconnaissances
and familiarisation with the difference in Canadian R/T vocabulary.   Most of the
Squadron had considerable trouble obtaining a fix from the fixer services or G.C.I.
Thus it was no surprise that one of our aircraft had to divert to Furstenfeldbruck
through shortage of fuel.
                                            SORTIES : 13           HOURS : 13.45
  10.4.58        The Squadron's aircraft operated in pairs throughout the day, carrying out freelance
interceptions with the Canadian G.C.I. at Metz, coded Yellowjack.   This G.C.I. unit,
accustomed to high responses from the I.F.F. of Sabres and C.F. 100's had some
difficulty in obtaining initial contact and maintaining subsequent control of Hunters
not operating I.F.F.   About a dozen fighters were 'claimed' on cine' film during the
day, mostly C.F. 100's, F.86Ds, F.86 Mk6's and F.84F's.
                                            SORTIES : 20           HOURS : 21.40
Bad Soellingen
11.4.58        Four pairs and two sections of four aircraft were flown on practice interceptions
with both 'Yellowjack' and 23 Group G.C.I. 'Walnut'.   Flt. Lt. R. Barraclough, leading
a section of four Hunters, scrambled with a section of four 444 Squadron Sabres as a
Battle Flight eight.   Scramble time for the Hunters was considerably less than the
     A mixed section of two Sabres and one Hunter flew north to Jever at midday.
                                            SORTIES : 20           HOURS : 21.35
  12.4.58        During the morning the Squadron did not fly since the station was stood down.   The
groundcrew serviced the aircraft in their dispersals.
     Over the weekend most of the Squadron visited Baden Baden and the Black Forest area,
while a few were fortunate enough to ski on the last of the winter's snow.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  14.4.58        With seven aircraft serviceable for the greater part of the day, the Squadron was
able to achieve a total of twenty seven sorties.   Throughout the detachment we were unable to fly
for one and half hours at lunchtime, since there were too few groundcrew to organise
a shift system.
                                            SORTIES : 27           HOURS : 28.20
  15.4.58        With only five serviceable aircraft the Squadron flew eighteen sorties.   Besides
these however, Sqn Ldr. T.J. McElhaw and the two flight commanders, Flt. Lt. G. Eades
and Flt. Lt. R. Barraclough flew familiarisation sorties on the Sabre Mk 6 and were
impressed by the aircraft's' good turning performance at altitude.
     Several more F86 and F84 aircraft were claimed to-day and, as through the remainder
of the detachment, the odd F100 Super Sabre.   With the F. 86 surprise was essential and
only one pass was possible with safety, since they possessed superior manoeuvrability
and did not lose their Mach so quickly in turns.   Maximum use was made of the sun.
coupled with the Hunters higher operational cruise altitude which frequently meant that
we were the sole aircraft above contrail level.
                                            SORTIES : 18           HOURS : 20.05
  16.4.58        In the morning there was no flying since G.C.A. was at maintenance.   While the
groundcrew worked on the aircraft the pilots attended an intelligence lecture on
indoctrination and Communist P.O.W. techniques.   Two of the remaining four serviceable
aircraft soon became unserviceable, resulting in only eight sorties being flown in the
                                            SORTIES :   8           HOURS : 8.35
  17.4.58        Two sections of four aircraft were flown to-day on practice interceptions with
'Yellowjack'.   Three Hunters, led by Sqn. Ldr. T.M. McElhaw, led three composite formation
flypasts with eight Canadian Sabres.   Two Hunters flew back to Jever.
     Fg. Off. D.G. Riley left the Squadron for the U.K.
                                            SORTIES : 15           HOURS : 17.05
  18.4.58        On this the last day of the detachment only three Squadron aircraft flew back to
Jever from Soellingen since the other remaining Hunter was undergoing an engine change.
Flt. Lt. R. Lund joined the Squadron from Number 14 Squadron at R.A.F. Ahlhorn.
                                            SORTIES :   3           HOURS : 3.00
R.A.F. Jever 19.4.58        The Squadron did not fly this morning.   The groundcrew carried out servicing tasks.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  20.4.58        To-day Fg. Off. A.W. Brewer flew the last Hunter up from Soellingen.   The day was
confined to servicing the aircraft and a few training sorties in Vampire T.11's.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  22.4.58        Five day and four night sorties were flown mostly of individual syllabus
training.   A more extensive night flying programme had to be cancelled with only two
aircraft remaining serviceable after the first detail.
                                            SORTIES :   9           HOURS : 8.30
  23.4.58        The Squadron flew seven sorties with three aeroplanes in the morning.   After lunch
there was a station parade rehearsal for the A.O.C.'s visit.
                                            SORTIES :   7           HOURS : 7.30
  24.4.58        The Squadron was on Exercise Amled for the whole day.   Few pilots reported inter-
cepting Canberras - mainly Belgian and Dutch F 84 F's were our targets.   There was plenty
of trade all day, and except for U/T controllers, the G.C.I. was very good.   'A' Flight
did night flying - cross countries with G.C.A.'s at Wildenwrath.
                                            SORTIES : 28           HOURS : 29.50
  25.4.58        In the morning one pair did freelance interception and ranging and tracking.   In the
afternoon the weather deteriorated and we stopped flying at 15.00 hours, for a parade
which was later cancelled.   In the afternoon sorties, we tried out 'Green Salad' -
homing on 'jamming' aircraft.   Several aircraft were successful and one was a complete
                                            SORTIES : 16           HOURS : 17.25
  26.4.58        It was pouring with rain for the early part of the morning, and we had several
lectures on a wing basis about fire fighting.   A practice parade for the A.O.C.'s
visit , was cancelled.   An inspection of the airmens Best Blue was carried out.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  28.4.58        We started off with syllabus trips, and later we did a long low level cross-country,
going along the link routes connecting 1, 5 and 6 low level cross-country areas.
                                            SORTIES : 14           HOURS : 11.50
  29.4.58        The whole wing moved out into their respective dispersals, and the ground facilities
moved into the woods.   It was not until 12.00 hours, however, that normal R/T and G.C.A.
facilities were available.   We had a practice parade at 13.30 hours, and started flying
at 15.00 hours.
                                            SORTIES :   7           HOURS : 5.40
  30.4.58        A little flying in the morning which stopped at 12.30.   We had another run through in
afternoon for the A.O.C.'s parade, which improved considerably.
                                            SORTIES : 12           HOURS : 11.15
      T.J. McElhaw                                                  
(T.J. McELHAW)                                                 
Squadron Leader,                                             
Officer Commanding,                                        
Number 4 Squadron.