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F540 Operations Record Book February 1957 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Flying Officer I. Madelin.___ Refs
      ianmadelin.jpg, 1289 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 1.2.57      The 'long wet westerly' was still sliding slowly by, and there was no flying all
day. Pilots spent their time compiling end of month summaries and returns, and filling
in log books which this month had to be completed with a yearly summary on Form 414A.
                                             NO   SORTIES         NO  HOURS
  2.2.57      Flying weather at last - clear crisp skies and bright sun  Two high level battle
fours flew on P.Is., a pair on cine at 20,000' and there were some individual aerobatic
and low flying sorties.  In addition to these, a detail was flown in cooperation with
the local radar control centre, in order to demonstrate close control of fighter
aircraft to a visiting party from the German civil aeronautical authority.
                                       18   SORTIES               11:25  HOURS
  4.2.57      Full flying day with four aircraft - high level battle formation, low level strikes
and eight sorties of night flying.
                                            DAY  27   SORTIES       19:05  HOURS                                         NIGHT    8   SORTIES         5:30  HOURS
  5.2.57      Preparations for the coming promotion exams continue to occupy some of the pilots
and today only five pilots were available to fly.  Four to six aircraft were available
all day, and exercises included a low level strike, cine quarters, and some high level
P.I.s. with a four.  In cooperation with the G.C.I. controllers the Squadron have been
attempting to standardise high level operation of Hunters under close radar control.
By flying precise speeds, and particularly precise rates of turn on the final attack, we
are beginning to cut out a number of variables, and thereby to get better interceptions.
                                                  27   SORTIES                19:50  HOURS
  6.2.57      In the morning four aircraft flew three details of high level battle formation
and two solo aircraft practiced forced landings and G.C.A.s.  The airfield closed after
lunch for a sports afternoon.
                                                     14   SORTIES             11:00  HOURS
  7.2.57      Operations started 'Green' and everyone took to the air.  Suddenly a dramatic slump
formed over the airfield and closed it in completely.  Fortunately everyone managed to land safely, though some used their last few pounds of fuel on the taxi - way.  But they
were from another Squadron.  Good use was made of the 'operational recovery' technique,
whereby pairs make a straight descent from altitude into G.C.A. pattern, instead of
coming overhead for a Q.G.H.   (Click to see full story by Sir John Sutton).  Flying began again
after lunch, and the airfield was green by 16.00 hours.  Exercises were cine pairs, and high
level practice interceptions.
                                      25   SORTIES                            20:00  HOURS
  8.2.57      A full day's flying devoted entirely to high level fours and pairs and, with
yesterdays stimulus, to practicing operational recoveries.  In addition, we were called
upon to lend two pilots with aircraft to 93 Squadron, to make up their Battle Flight.
                                     24   SORTIES                            18:50  HOURS
  9.2.57      Last night an informal dance was held in the mess and a send off for the half of the
Wing which is going to Sylt.  Consequently, the abstainers had the flying programme to
themselves this morning, devoting their activities mainly to P.I.s with high level
battle fours.
                                          10   SORTIES                          8:45  HOURS
  11.2.57      The weather was beautifully - but deceptively - clear ; the humidity was almost
100% and fog was lurking in the vicinity of the airfield.  Flying was restricted all day;
since half the wing is at Sylt however, we were allowed to fly double our normal
complement in Amber conditions.  The main exercise was high level battle in pairs,
with each pair making a weather recce before climbing.  In addition a few aircraft
made practice pans, and detailed reports were made of the results.
                                             20   SORTIES         13:15  HOURS
  12.2.57      Fronts, low cloud, no diversions.  Flying did not begin until late in the afternoon,
when three pairs made high level battle sorties.
                                                6   Sorties         3:30  Hours.
  13.2.57   There was just time for one pair to make a weather check before the airfield
went 'red'.  In the afternoon a pilots' six-a-side soccer team beat 93 Squadron
6-3.  The pilots then moved on to the Malcolm Club for a social evening with the
airmen, in the course of which the airmen lost the dart match 13-8.
                                           2   SORTIES         1:10  HOURS
  14.2.57      This month's Exercise Guest was very much enlarged to include land forces on a
full scale 'paper exercise' ; it was renamed ' Synthex Guest'.  From the
Squadron point of view however the conduct was unchanged.  4 Squadron was employed
solely in the I.D.F. role and operated from the N.E. dispersal.  The briefing
was at 05.45 and our first four were standing-by on the O.R.P. at 06.50.  They
were scrambled at 07.25 and thereafter flying was continuous until 17.40.
With the exception of two pairs, all our operations were in fours ; unfortunately
most of the scrambles were for standing patrols.  Interceptions were relatively
few, but our claims included F.84.s, N.F. 11s, and some Canberras.
                                              43   SORTIES         32:20  HOURS
  15.2.57   Weather prevented flying in the morning, and the pilots spent their time in the
Wing briefing room.  There were lectures on 'Administration', and the 2nd T.A.F.
emergency Organisation, and the Group Captain conducted a discussion on yesterday's
exercise.  In the afternoon five pairs flew cine quarter exercises ; the Squadron
ceased work at 16.00 hours for a long week-end.
                                                10   SORTIES         7:50  HOURS
  18.2.57   Advection fog gave the pilots an opportunity to compare impressions gained from
the Hunter Six notes, and the Squadron Commander gave a talk on the main differences
between the fours and sixes.  Restricted flying began at 1100 hours and was mainly
devoted to cine quarters at 30,00 feet with the target at 0.7M.
Occasionally a Venom pilot from within the Group is attached to the Squadron for
Hunter conversion.  They usually spend about two weeks here, and hope to get a
minimum of ten sorties, finishing with a few exercises of high level battle formation.
One of these - a pilot from 11 Squadron at Wunstorf - flew his first Hunter solo today.
                                          22   SORTIES     16:35  HOURS
  19.2.57   Officers promotion examinations began today giving us a fairly sorry pilot state.
However, the situation was thoroughly covered by radiation fog, which intensified
as the day wore on.  Flight Lieutenant J. Lomas, the Flying Wing Adjutant, gave
the pilots a talk on his tour with the M.D.A.F. training flight at Furstenfeldbruk
Air Base.  The rest of the day was devoted mainly to Squadron duties and a
practice navigation exercise.
                                        no   sorties     no  hours
  20.2.57      It was announced this morning that a party of thirty to forty German Naval
entrants, from the initial training school at Kiel, will visit the station
on Friday.  Some of them are destined for flying training in America.  They
will spend the day here, and will be shown the various units of Flying and Technical
Wings, as well as an individual aerobatic display and a Hunter formation fly past.
Since the fog was still very much in evidence, the pilots spent the morning in the
Gymnasium - which put them in excellent shape for the sports afternoon.
                                               no   sorties      no  hours
  21.2.57   Flying weather at last ; - clear blue in fact.  Just as the early detail were
about to start-up, they were told by Air Traffic Control that the runway was
ice-covered, and that the airfield colour state was therefore 'black'.  Operations
did begin later in the morning and a high level cross country and rendezvous
was successfully flown, as well as some cine exercises and normal flying practice.
During the afternoon, a rehearsal of tomorrow's fly past was made.  This is to be
led by Squadron Leader J.R. Chapman and will be in the form of a box of boxes -
sixteen aircraft in all - two boxes each from No.s 4 and 93 Squadrons.
At a Squadron Dinner in the evening, Flying Officer A.E. Pearce was dined out
after nearly three years with the Squadron.  During this time he collected an
impressive number of hours, and, possibly in consequence, a spell of duty as
Flying Wing Adjutant.
                                               30   sorties         19:05  hours
  22.2.57   Fog- which by 100 ours had lifted enough to permit restricted flying.  The
party of the German Navy arrived and were very interested in everything they saw.
The flypast was carried out as rehearsed, with 600' cloud base and two miles
visibility.  Its success was undoubtedly something of an achievement.
                                     25   sorties           14:35  hours
  23.2.57   This fog obviously doesn't intend to go away in a hurry.  By ten o'clock it was
plain that there would be no hope of flying, so the Squadron packed up for the
                                            no   sorties         no  hours
  25.2.57   Full flying all day, mainly high level interceptions under G.C.I. control, with
the addition of a few cine pairs at 30,000'.  Three lieutenants from the 3rd
Royal Tank Regiment began a four day visit with the Squadron today - the first part
of an exchange will be completed when three of our officers spend a week with the
Regiment in April.  Flying Officer F.R. Dawson returned to the Squadron after a
long stay in the snows, where he has been representing 2nd T.A.F. in the R.A.F.
Ski Championships.
                                               30   sorties         23:25  hours
  26.2.57   A thick heavy clamp ; although this lightened a little in the afternoon, the
weather all over the zone was bad and changeable, and the only flying by the Wing
was a local Hunter pair and three T.11 sorties from the Squadron.
                                                 2   sorties         1:00  hours
  27.2.57   The first Hunter 6 arrived today.  To look at, it mainly differs from the Fours
in that it is cleaner, newer and shinier ; - particularly since the Squadron
has recently been exchanging its latest Fours for older aircraft from other Squadrons
on the Wing.  Naturally, we are bound to be the loser every time in this kind of
     Pilot Officer Q.M.B. Oswell joined the Squadron to begin his first tour.
He has just completed the O.C.U. at Chivenor after being trained at Cranwell.
                                                  23   sorties      21.05hours
  28.2.57   Although the day dawned with clear blue skies, there was apparently a risk of fog,
so flying did not begin until 10.30 hours.  At various times during the day,
the Squadron was called upon to have formations standing-by to be scrambled to meet
a bomber offensive.  For a change, there was no lack of interceptions on these
missions, and although our claims must have appeared somewhat fantastic , they
were all supported by film.  For a day or two now, we have been sending aircraft
up on endurance test flights.  Yesterday's average time of one hour 35 minutes
was improved upon this morning by a flight of one hour and 49 minutes.  This was
done at high level without tanks.  Surprisingly though, two low level trips
clocked one hour twenty each.
More Sixes arrived, and another new pilot; Plt.Off. A.A. Boyle - the son of the
                                        Day;  19   sorties      17.30  hours
                                       Night;  12   sorties      8.20  hours
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                 
Squadron Leader,               
Officer Commanding          
Number 4 Squadron