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F540 Operations Record Book February 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 1.2.56        With an average of five aircraft serviceable all day, the Squadron got off
to a good start for the month.   Weather was excellent all day, and as we have
not been achieving our monthly target, today was made a full flying day, with the
object of having a sports afternoon on Thursday or Friday if the weather is
unsuitable for flying.
     Training today varied from aerobatics and forced landing practices to
close formation, with several high level battle flights and some cine practices.
                                                          Hunter Flights   32     Hunter Hours   25.00
  2.2.56        Training today was restricted only by the aircraft serviceability as the weather
was again very good.   We still have four aircraft away on minor inspections, so
we are not doing too badly in keeping four aircraft in the air for most of the day.
     The majority of the flying was devoted to High Level Battle Formation practices,
and our newer pilots have been kept busy flying as No.s 2 and 4.   Towards the
end of the day some aerobatic and forced landing exercises were also carried out.
                                                          Hunter Flights   20     Hunter Hours   15
  3.2.56        A good day's training was carried out, especially considering that only three
aircraft were serviceable for quite a large part of the day.   On the High Level
Battle Formation trips, use was made of our G.C.I. Units for Practice Interceptions,
and the standard of control varied from poor to fairly good.   Some alarm was
felt at times, that the controller was not picking up traces on some aircraft
which were quite close to us.   It was pointed out however that operators
under-training were on duty, which may well explain some of the shortcomings.
In addition to the high level battle exercises, aerobatics and forced landings
were also practiced.
     At 17:00 hours the airfield closed for the week end, and as compensation for
there being no Sports Afternoon this week.
                                                          Hunter Flights   13     Hunter Hours   8.50
  6.2.56        Low cloud and poor visibility delayed the start of flying this morning, and
the first take-off was at 10:00 hours.   For the whole of the day flying was limited
to one transmitting aircraft per Squadron, and consequently few flights were done.
Some cine exercises and G.C.A.s with aerobatics were carried out.
     After Met, briefing, Flt. Lt. Fairfax, the Station Intelligence Officer, lectured
all pilots on Communism, with particular reference to Marxism, and the belief of
Marxists in particular and Communists in general, of the "inevitability" of
Communism.   Some points of this talk were emphasised by remarks from the Station

                                                          Hunter Flights   13     Hunter Hours   8.50
  7.2.56        Much improved weather, and serviceability good, allowed a good day's training to
be done.   For three hours the Squadron flew four aircraft on Exercise Sid Cent, and
six Canberras were intercepted.   The standard of control again left much to be
desired, and at least three of the Canberras were intercepted by permission of
the controller instead of with his assistance, as we were too often "in the dark".
     In addition to the exercise, the emphasis was again on high level battle
with tailchases and/or dogfights, and some G.C.A.s and aerobatics were
also done.
Flt. Lt. Weston of No. 98 Squadron today flew back our last Hunter from
                                                Hunter Flights   33  Hunter Hours  25.30
  8.2.56        There was no flying this morning because of poor visibility and very low cloud.
As snow had fallen during the night, the snow plough teams of four, including one
of our pilots, was busy clearing snow from the runway until 10:00 hours.   The
remainder of the morning was devoted by all officers to their secondary duties,
and the airfield closed at 12:30 hours for Sports Afternoon.
  9.2.56   Weather conditions were good all day, and a fair day's training was carried
out.   Six aircraft were serviceable all day, and high level battle formation in
fluid sixes, were flown for the majority of the day.   At the end of these
practices, some close formation flying was also done and much was learned from
One of the pilots experienced hydraulic trouble this morning and was obliged to
land with his controls in manual.   In spite of a fairly strong cross-wind, he
carried out a normal straight-in approach and landing with no difficulty.
                                                Hunter Flights   40  Hunter Hours  30.10
  10.2.56        For most of the day, the Squadron had eight aircraft flying and as the weather
was good, a successful day of training was completed.   The day began and ended with
high level battle and close formation exercises, but the emphasis of training was
on cine.   The Squadron has now begun a serious concentrated practice for our
forthcoming attachment to A.P.S. Sylt, and the majority of exercises flown from
now, will be on the pattern approved for live air flag firing, but using full
ranging and tracking instead of merely firing with a fixed range drum setting.
In addition to the cine work some aerobatic flights were also done and Fg. Off.
Edwards, A.P.A.I. normally resident at Sylt, was given another familiarisation
trip in one of our aircraft.
     For some time now we have been greatly handicapped in our armoury by not
having a Senior N.C.O..   Recently Sgt. Hobbs was attached to us from Technical
Wing, and today he was finally posted to us, so our hopes for a successful
Gunnery attachment to A.P.S. have risen even higher.
                                                Hunter Flights   37  Hunter Hours  27.35
  11.2.56   No Station or Squadron parades were held this morning and after Met. briefing,
a Squadron formation of six aircraft carried out flypasts over the airfield.
After this, high level battle formation was practiced by four aircraft at 45,000 ft.,
and some aerobatic flights and one navigation exercise were also carried out.
We were restricted in our flying this morning by a shortage of ground crews, the
majority of whom were on trade training, but a fair morning's training was done before
the airfield closed at 12:00 hours for the weekend.
                                                Hunter Flights   14  Hunter Hours  11.00
  13.2.56   Full flying was in operation initially this morning, but deteriorating visibility
and low cloud reduced the airfield colour state to amber very quickly, and only
one pair at a time could be flown.   Cine exercises were carried out all day
except for some G.C.A.s which were done at Ahlhorn.   This restricted flying
is all the more galling because the Squadron has had six aircraft serviceable
all day.
                                                Hunter Flights   22  Hunter Hours  16.35
  14.2.56        There was no flying today.   Moderate snow began falling at 0500 hours this
morning and slight snow fell for considerable periods during the day.   Visibility
was thus greatly reduced and even though the snow plough team (including one of
our pilots) kept the runway useable, there could be no flying.   Ground Training
was carried out under Squadron arrangements.
  15.2.56     More snow fell during the night, but the snow ploughs cleared the runway by
10:30 hours this morning and after one of our pilots had carried out a weather
check, flying began generally.   We were limited to one pair per Squadron because
of the poor visibility, but as we flew all day and did not have a sports afternoon,
a fair amount of training was done.   We were limited also to single take-offs
and landings, but stream landings straight in from pairs controlled descents
were carried out all day without difficulty.   Apart from one air test and one
high level battle exercise, cine training was carried out all day.
                                                Hunter Flights   16  Hunter Hours  11.35
  16.2.56        Poor weather all day prevented any flying training from being carried out and
ground training was carried out under Squadron arrangements.   This period of bad
weather is distinctly galling to the pilots as our serviceability state is very
much improved.   A pair of pilots was kept at 15 minutes availability all day,
but the weather did not improve sufficiently for even a weather check to be done.
  17.2.56        The first flight today did not take place until 10:50 hours and from then on
throughout the day a very wary eye was kept on a broad belt of low stratus with
snow, which slowly moved up from the South East.   Flying was limited to one
pair per Squadron, until 14:40 hours when flying for the day was cancelled.
Ground Training was again carried out under Squadron arrangements.   As Wednesday
was observed as a full flying day, the Station stood down for the week-end from
17:00 hours today.
                                                Hunter Flights   8  Hunter Hours  5.50
  20.2.56        Flying was again severely restricted by poor visibility and low cloud.   As
we were limited to one pair per Squadron all day and only flew from 11:50 to 16:15
hours comparatively little training was carried out.   All flying was devoted to
cine work between 15,000 and 30,000 feet.
                                                Hunter Flights   9  Hunter Hours  7.00
  21.2.56   No flying was done today because of snow which fell almost continuously all day.
Ground Training was carried out under Squadron arrangements and two pilots carried
out cine film assessing with the Squadron P.A.I.   We were fairly short on pilots
today and will remain so for the next two days, as we have five officers at
Oldenburg on promotion examinations.
  22.2.56   Improved weather allowed a fair day's training to be carried out today.   For the
greater part of the morning we were restricted to one pair per Squadron.   With
the exception of a couple of aerobatic flights, all training was devoted to simulated
flag quarter attacks in preparation for our forthcoming A.P.S. attachment.
                                                Hunter Flights   25  Hunter Hours  19.50
  23.2.56        Another fair day permitted a satisfactory amount of training to be done.
Flights varied from cine to high level battle formation practices with tailchases
and pairs dogfights.   A number of aerobatic exercises with forced landing practices
were also done.
                                                Hunter Flights   27  Hunter Hours  20.50
  24.2.56        Flying did not begin until 09:15 hours this morning, but from then on flying
was unlimited.   The majority of training was again directed to cine work, but
a considerable number of pairs G.C.A. practices at Ahlhorn were also carried out,
in addition several aerobatic practices.   Last evening our pilots returned
from Oldenburg with moods varying from morbid to mildly optimistic regarding their
chances of having passed the promotion examinations.
                                                Hunter Flights   34  Hunter Hours  26.20
  27.2.56   Flying started this morning at 09:35, the late start being due to poor weather.
The training consisted mainly of cine work but several battle formations were
also flown.
                                                Hunter Flights   29  Hunter Hours  231.20
  28.2.56   Poor weather prevented any flying today.   An aircraft recognition lecture
was given after Met. Briefing and further ground training was carried out on
Squadron arrangements.
                                                Hunter Flights   Nil  Hunter Hours  Nil
  29.2.56   There was no flying again today due to poor visibility and a low cloud base.
After Met. briefing the aircraft recognition training was continued with models
of various types being exhibited.   For the rest of the morning the pilots
were kept occupied by their secondary duties.   The airfield closed at 12:30.
hours for a sports afternoon.
                                                Hunter Flights   Nil  Hunter Hours  Nil
                                                Hunter Flights   393  Hunter Hours  297.05
      HB Iles                                                                             
(H. B. ILES)                                                                      
Flight Lieutenant,                                                           
Officer Commanding                                                     
Number 4 Squadron