roundel jsl spacer hunter1
Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540
F540 Operations Record Book February 1954.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.

bertsanders.jpg, 1766 bytes

R.A.F. JEVER 1.2.54   JEVER
          ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????, for battle Flight.
These fortunate few provided most of today's hours, as there were no other serviceable
aircraft.   Battle Flight sorties seem extremely boring of late - invariably the
formation is split for paired P.I's, which is the penalty we pay for being one of
the very few stations still operating Vampires.   In the afternoon we were very surprised
to see a Sabre without its characteristic trail of black smoke.   Apparently the pilot
had experienced strange rumblings(from the engine) at altitude, so he cut the H.P.
cock and made a successful wheels down, dead stick landing on Jever's 11 runway.
                                                 Vampire 25 sorties         18.35 hours.
  2.2.54   Battle Flight were scrambled five times, and on two of these trips were vectored onto
formations of Sabres.   Apparently the interceptions, from the Controller's viewpoint
were successful - apart from that, no comment !
                                         Vampire 25 Sorties 18.15 hours.
  3.2.54   Low cloud ruined any hopes of firing on Meppen Range.   Instead, the day was spent
in working on the aircraft and the completion of monthly returns.
  4.2.54   The day flying took the form of Battle formations and formation drill, which, presumably
is the term used by F. 86 jockeys for close formation.   Night Flying, carried out
by 'B' Flight, was the usual cross countries and sector reconnaissances.
                             Vampire 42 Sorties        33.20 hours  (Day)
                                             14 Sorties        11.35 hours (Night)
  5.2.54   High and low level battle formation accounted for slightly more than a half of the
total effort.   The remainder was cine work - high and level quarter attacks, with a
few dog fights to ensure that lethargy does not overcome us.
  6.2.54   The Station Commanders parade was followed by a practise for the presentation of the
Duncan Trophy to 93 Squadron.   This is scheduled for Friday 19thFebruary, a day
which promises to be a memorable one in the annals of Jever.
  8.2.54   Owing to the low cloud base and frequent precipitation in the form of snow, there was
no flying.   Instead a navigation lecture was given by our good friend Flt.Lt. Eric
, Flying Wing Adjutant, and Navigator (Tame)
  9.2.54   In the morning, there were lectures on Air Traffic Control and Meteorology.   The
afternoon was given over to sport.   And the evening was given to sport too.   Wing
Commander Coulson
will be leaving Jever on Saturday, and tonight was dined out.
Fortunately, the Mess is being redecorated next week !
  10.2.54   Lectures were followed, or midmorning, by another practise parade for 93 Squadrons'
  11.2.54   A 'Barrage' exercise necessitated a composite Battle Flight of 4 and 93 Squadrons,
each supplying four aircraft.   Unfortunately the airfield colour state was 'Red'
all day, so we saw no action.
  12.2.54   The weather showed no improvement, and some recently arrived films were shown.   Jever
is no longer in the backwoods of the film circuits - these were 19.39 - 45 war
documentaries !   Ypres gets so boring.
  13.2.54   Wg Cdr, Coulson left the station early in the morning, U.K. bound.   He was cheered on
his way with a pyrotechnic display, including air bursts from "Long Tom" the 4th
Bombardment Weapon ( a 3" R.P. Motor tube, and very effective)
  15.2.54   The weather has continued 'RED' again today except for a short 'AMBER' period in the afternoon.
Immediately after met briefing those pilots not on 'essential duties' attended two lectures
the first on 'Tanks and Tank warfare' and the second on Anoxia !   As the days roll
by towards converting on to Sabres the general feeling is that lectures on the
new aircraft are required and since the wing role will also change shortly the continued
use of time on army co-operation work is wasteful.   Flying Officer Beaton made good
use of a brief break by doing a quick air test in and around the airfield circuit.
It was heartening to see an aircraft up as for most of the pilots today makes the
eighth chairborne day.
                           Vampire Day   .45 hours      Sorties  1
  16.2.54   Pilot strength has been reduced considerably today as doubtless it has been in many
previous years about this time as all the promotees sit their examinations.   Those left
have flown quite hard as need they must with one aircraft per pilot.   Since the most
junior pilots only remained the exercises carried out were high and low level battle
   Low level being flown first sortie and then as the cloud layer rose
each successive formation went higher !
In clear sky, full moon and exceptional visibility a short night flying programme of
cross - countries and sector reconnaissance was flown, employing all those available
to fly.
                 Vampire   Day   19.15 hours          Sorties          23
                 Vampire Night          6.15                  Sorties      12
R.A.F. JEVER 17.2.54   The command of the squadron passed today to Flt.Lt. C.A. Vasey, owing to an accident at
Oldenburg which will be keeping Sqn. Ldr. Gilpin busy for some days to come.
[Editor: This is probably the incident reported in Colin Cummings Book Category Five:
"16Feb54 Meteor T.7 WL430 from 26 Sqn at RAF Oldenburg.   The aircraft flown by Flying Officer K
Harvey and Pilot Officer G Stewart yawed on take off and a wing tip struck the ground causing a crash
which damaged the aircraft beyond repair."]
The weather has continued good but necessary ground duties have interfered with a full
flying programme.   For a change the exercises were very varied, mach runs, aerobatics
low - level cross-countries, cine high-quarter and tail chases.   The Vampire we
have at the moment have without doubt lost much of their speed and manoeuvrability -
in mach runs it is only the exceptional aircraft that will break away.   Principal
diversion from flying was the 2nd T.A.F. lecture team here to explain the A.4 GSR
gunsight as fitted in the sabre aircraft.   One of the five members of this team is
Flying Officer Ewens No. 4 Squadron P.A.I.   The lectures were good but the lecturers were
handicapped by lack of diagrams and mock-ups.   It is obvious that the sight is a complicated
mechanism and some form of practical aid would have helped those present to understand
more fully.
                  Vampire Day        12.30 hours      Sorties       17
  18.2.54   The pace of preparation for the presentation of the Duncan Trophy to No. 93 Squadron
has increased today.   As planned flying ceased at11.30 hours to enable the officers
and airmen to get on parade.   A quick start immediately after briefing enabled six
sorties to be flown to Meppen Range for air to ground practice.   Visibility at the
range was poor but some good scores were obtained principally 45% by Fg.Off. Beaton
                                     Vampire    Day     4.40 hours      Sorties  6
  19.2.54      As if to greet the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Harry Broadhurst, a snow blizzard with a
biting wind of some thirty knots blew up this morning.   The occasion was the
presentation of the Duncan Air to Air Trophy to No. 93 Squadron.   The parade
was carried through exceedingly well - especially by the No. 1 Supporting Squadron.
The Commander-in - Chiefs visit had a second purpose; his introduction to Jever and the
Squadrons lodged there.   After an official luncheon in the Officers Mess he inspected
the station spending some time in our crewroom where he spoke individually to all the
pilots.   Festivities continued into the evening and early morning with a guest night
the like of which will not be repeated for sometime to come.
                                          No Flying.
  22.2.54   It has been cloudy and hazy all day today, the promised rise in visibility failing
to come along.   At Meppen Range however the conditions were satisfactory for air
to ground firing.   Fifteen sorties were flown all but one on the range.   Scores
were average for the conditions.   Whilst in the circuit on return from an air to ground
sortie Fg.Off. Clayton through a technical fault in the undercarriage locking control
was unable to lower his starboard mainwheel.   He carried out a wheels up landing on
the crash strip successfully but substantial damage was done to the aircraft due to a
number of frozen mole hills hit on the landing run.   The engine bearers were strained
and the nose and flaps damaged.
                                    Vampire       Day 10.25 hours  Sorties  15
  23.2.54   The weather continues to be poor- a high persisting to the east seems to be
blocking quite successfully the steady succession of fronts coming from the west.
The flying day was delayed until early lunchtime when two by two the squadron carried out
bad weather circuits.   A further slow clearance allowed fours up on high level battle
and tail chases.   The fifth aircraft of the five serviceable was used for
aerobatics, mach runs, and Q.G.H's.
   Dual trainers in this case meteor 7's have for sometime been under the control of
Station Flight and since the accident to W.L. 338 at Sylt the station has been without
one.   Today Flt.Lt. Hughes succeeded in borrowing a Meteor from Fassberg for fourteen
days.   On its last sortie of the day after a number of instrument flying practises
in preparation for ratings, Fg.Off. Clayton experienced turbine blade failure.   The
incident caused no difficulty the only damage sustained was to the engine itself.
                                          Vampire Day   ????? hours  Sorties  ??
                                          Meteor Day   2.30 hours         Sorties 4
  24.2.54   The airfield colour state was 'RED' all day with no hope of flying.   The squadron
worked steadily in the morning on the ever increasing volume of administration.
  25.2.54   There was only a slight improvement in the weather today.   Low cloud, base 400-600 ft,
poor visibility and rain were forecast.   There was a slight break however, enough for
bad weather circuits with only two aircraft airborne at one time.   Later further
improvement before the final prolonged rain allowed four aircraft to do low-level
                             Vampire Day  4.00 hours      Sorties      6
  26.2.54   At last plans for sabre conversion are complete.   All the pilots on the squadron are
to convert at Wildenwrath, the first of the two parties leaving on the 2nd March.
Whilst the second party await their turn it seems likely they will ferry our vampires
back to the U.K.   Showers once again restricted flying to-day.   The more experienced
climbed through 20,000ft of cloud to carry out high level battle formation practice
and snake controlled descents.   The situation was saved when the Anson
forced landed near Wittmund allowing twelve highly strung pilots a homing.
[Editor: This is reported in Colin Cummings book Category Five as follows:
"26Feb54 Anson C.19 PH844 of 2TAF Communication Squadron West north west of RAF jever.
Whilst engaged in a search, both engines failed and the pilot; Pilot Officer B. W. Lewis 31yrs old,
was compelled to make a forced landing."]
                            Vampire Day   24.25 hours    Sorties  32
                          Meteor Day   2.00 hours           Sorties  2
  27.2.54   Very little flying was completed to-day following the Station Commander's parade.
In all eight sorties were flown in low cloud, rain and sometimes snow.   Two
air tests were carried out whilst two threes simulating six's continued the high
level battle formation practice.   The final landing before flying was stopped
completely, was by a meteor of No. 4 Royal Belgium Air Force Squadron diverted en-
ROUTE to Sylt.
                           Vampire  Day   7.15 hours      Sorties   8
Reading through the daily reports the influence the weather has on the flying programme
of the squadron is strongly emphasised.   In all ten complete days have been lost this
month eight through bad weather, one through unserviceability of aircraft and one on the
occasion of the presentation of the Duncan Trophy.
     At no time has there been the opportunity to fly large formations.   The principle
exercises have been high and low level battle formation often with three aircraft
simulating the drill carried out by six.   Battle flight has twice been provided by the
squadron each time being split to do practice interceptions under the control of 'Welfare'.
     In all a disappointing month ending on a note of hope --- SABRES.

                         TOTAL MONTHLY FLYING HOURS

                   VAMPIRE  DAY          187.40 hours         Night 20.10 hours    Total hours    207.50
                   Vampire Sorties            247   Day                         26 Night        Total sorties    273
                   Meteor  Day                 4.30 hours              Night Nil                   Total hours      4.30
                   Meteor Sorties            6 Day                      Night Nil                    Total sorties      6
                                                                                                             Compiled by.....AESanders.............Fg.Off.
                                                                                                     Signed By.      ..................PWGilpin..Sqn.Ldr.
Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540