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F540 Operations Record Book February 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 1.2.58        We had a Stand Down for Number 4 Squadron, as we are going to Sylt next week.  
  3.2.58        We carried on with pre Sylt training, until the last two slots of the day when we
sent up two sections of four, which did some close formation fly pasts.
                                            SORTIES : 28           HOURS : 27.00
  4.2.58        We woke up to the strains of the Station Alert Siren.   Although we had decided not to
fly today, we did the first duties of Battle Call and then packed up by 10.00 hours.
                                            SORTIES :   8           HOURS : 11.35
  5.2.58        Most pilots were engaged in final preparations for the departure of the convoy to
Sylt.   The trucks were all loaded by 14.00 hours, and so little work was necessary in
the afternoon.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  6.2.58        The Sylt convoy assembled in the M.T. yard at 06.30 hours.   There had been a
continuous snowfall during the night, and the roads were very icy.   The snow was still
coming down in flurries, when the convoy moved off at 07.00 hours, led by Fg. Off.
J.D. Hawtin
.   In spite of these difficult conditions, however, we only had one minor
collision, during the journey to Luneburg where we stayed for the night.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  7.2.58        The convoy set out for Sylt in even worse road conditions than yesterday, in what
was virtually a blizzard, and only slow progress was made until we had gone through
Hamburg.   We had one accident just before the town of Marchen, which wrecked the front
of a Landrover; it was however still fit to drive.   Because the Deutches Bundesbahn
would not put on more flat tops, although they had been informed of the number of
vehicles, we had to take the convoy over the ramp in two train loads, and some of the
drivers did not get in until 22.00 hours.   We met the main party when we arrived
at Sylt.
R.A.F. Sylt 8.2.58        We began unloading at 09.00 hours, and the airmen worked very hard at it, finishing
the job by lunchtime.   We decided to stand down until 09.00 hours on Monday, when we
would prepare to receive the aircraft.   On Sunday Fg. Off. A.R. Pollock took a dip in
the sea.
  10.2.58        A warm front had melted a lot of snow and reduced visibility to 400 yards.
In the afternoon conditions were now marginal, with the cloud base altering hourly.   It
was decided to fly the aircraft in, however, and all arrived without incident.   The
Belgian Squadron (Number 7) now equipped with Hunter IV's arrived first, followed by
Number XIV Squadron Hunters from Ahlhorn and then our own.   After long briefs by
the P.A.I.s and Air Traffic, we left for tea.
                                            SORTIES : 13           HOURS : 6.20
  11.2.58        We did simulated flag quarters all day, in quite good conditions, for Sylt at this
time of year.
                                            SORTIES : 13           HOURS : 7.10
  12.2.58        We continued with cine, but sent off our first pair on live attacks.   Fg. Off. A.R. Pollock
scored 18 and Fg. Off. T.M. Jeffrey scored 25, giving us a very satisfactory Squadron
average of 22.5%.
                                            SORTIES : 32           HOURS : 20.15
  13.2.58        Several pilots started shooting today, although well over half were still on
cine.   Our average dropped to 17.4%, but this is only to be expected at the beginning
of the detachment.   Fg. Off. J.B. Cross had brake failure and went off the end of the
                                            SORTIES : 29           HOURS : 17.50
  14.2.58        Our programme was considerably curtailed, because of shipping on the South Range.
This meant that we had to share the range with Number 14 Squadron.   Not a lot of shoots,
but our average dropped to 17.1%.
                                            SORTIES : 24           HOURS : 15.40
  15.2.58        After three sorties had been flown, a fog bank rolled in and flying ceased.
                                            SORTIES :   3           HOURS : 1.40
  17.2.58        Intermittent flurries of snow, and continuous high winds, had packed ice on the runway.
We continued with the ground training programme, whilst others revised for promotion
exams.   We flew a lot in the afternoon and made 13.25 hours.
                                            SORTIES : 22           HOURS : 13.25
  18.2.58        A perfect day for flying and shooting, but marred at first by Cu-Nims going up to
14,000 ft on the range.   Later these storms died out and we were left with excellent
conditions.   Despite this, the lack of continuity in flying reflected in the Squadron
average, going down to 16.2%, our stoppage rate was now 708.
                                            SORTIES : 29           HOURS : 18.45
  19.2.58        We seem to have started on a period of marginal weather for Air to Air firing.
The cloud on the range varied and by 11.25 it was no longer suitable for shooting.
This was reflected in the daily average of 14.6% which was well below our normal daily average.
                                            SORTIES : 11           HOURS : 6.30
  20.2.58        Another bad day with only three effective sorties, the weather again curtailing our
flying.   Our progressive daily average was now 16.5%.   In the afternoon some of the
pilots did dinghy drill in the baths at List.
                                            SORTIES : 10           HOURS : 6.45
  21.2.58        After the first three flags had been aborted, we settled down to a good days shooting.
In the evening we played Basketball against Number 14 Squadron.   After a hard fought
game we drew 24 points each.
                                            SORTIES : 29           HOURS : 17.15
  22.2.58        We lost many effective shoots today because of flags being shot away.   With a daily
average of 22.4% we improved our progressive average to 17.7%.
                                            SORTIES : 20           HOURS : 11.00
  24.2.58        We had perfect weather and some good scores, but one or two very low scores pulled
the overall average down again.
                                            SORTIES : 34           HOURS : 20.45
  25.2.58        A depression lay over R.A.F. Sylt again.   No flying all day, and so an arduous
programme of ground training was devised.   In the morning we had lectures on safety
equipment.   In the afternoon the remaining pilots who had not done dinghy drill before,
went down to List baths and did some practical dinghy training.
                                                              SORTIES :   NIL
  26.2.58        A very strong cross wind prevented the first 4 sorties from taking off.   After an
air test, we decided to fly, and had a good days shooting.   Our progressive average
improved slightly to 18.1%.
                                            SORTIES : 35           HOURS : 21.00
  27.2.58        We only managed to fly for half a day due to bad weather.   In the evening we played
Number 14 Squadron at Basketball, and after a hard fought match, we lost 12 - 9.   Later
in the evening we gave a farewell party to our senior administrative N.C.O., Sgt. M.
                                            SORTIES : 21           HOURS : 10.45
  28.2.58        This was one of the best flying days of the detachment so far.   We did 34 sorties
pushed the average up to 18.4% and our stoppage rate was now 1446.
                                            SORTIES : 34           HOURS : 20.15
      T.J. McElhaw                                                  
(T.J. McELHAW)                                                 
Squadron Leader,                                             
Officer Commanding,                                        
Number 4 Squadron.