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F540 Operations Record Book January 1953 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                                      COMPILING OFFICER__Fg. Off. E.N.H. Lack_______ Refs

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R.A.F.JEVER 1.1.53.             A good start to the new year - airfield colour state green, becoming amber in the
afternoon.   Visibility poor and eventually stopping flying in the late afternoon.
Three cross country sorties flown terminating in G.C.A.'s at Wunstorf and more G.C.A.'s
before return to base.   Cine exercises for ex-A.F.S. and non-operational members.
                                                                           Vampire 18 sorties:   15.55 hours.                                                                            Meteor      1 sortie  :        .55 hours.
  2.1.53.             Numerous visits to Meppen Range today.   Many of the pilots were having their
first experience of live rocket and air to ground firing.   The opinion is almost
unanimous that Meppen is a most unsuitable range.   The visibility is frequently bad.
If the targets were situated on the Southern end and firing took place in a northerly
direction, results would certainly be better.
                                                                                             20 sorties:   17.15 hours.
  3.1.53.             A small amount of snow fell during the night.   Station Commander's colour
hoisting parade and inspection.   No flying.
  5.1.53.             Battle Flight this week.   Four aircraft detailed today flew four sorties.   The
other flying:  two Vampire aerobatic sorties and two Meteor trips for P/O GIFFIN,
one on I.F. check and the other a range recce at Meppen.
          We still have Radio Bremen on G.C.I. frequency with G.C.I. controller in the
                                                                                Vampire 17 sorties:   17.20 hours.                                                                                 Meteor      2 sorties:     1.35 hours.
  6.1.53.             The good weather continues.   "Sleepy Twin" were playmates for battle flight
today.   Most of the attacks ended in a line astern chase with possibly a 10 knot
closing speed.   After a while we gave up and attempted some high parallel
quarters, these were unco-ordinated and apart from the leader's were not too good.
                                                                                   Vampire 21 sorties:   17.10 hours.                                                                                    Meteor      1 sorties:        .35 hours.
  7.1.53.             Although the squadron hours are way above target we flew all day - taking advantage
of the good weather whilst it lasts.   After the battle flight was stood down at
lunch time a normal training programme was carried out.   P/O LAYCOCK is still trying
to find out what happened in the tail-chase and F/OFF SANDERS found time to carry
out spinning trials (unintentional) during high level battle formation.   P/O's Smith
and Swart joined the squadron from O.C.U.
                                                                            Vampires 31 sorties:   24.50 hours.                                                                             Meteor        2 sorties:      1.05 hours.
  8.1.53.             FLT.LT. COLLINS, FG.OFF. PHILLIPS, FG. OFF. VASEY and PLT.OFF. SANDERS took part
in Exercise Barrage - which consisted of laboriously clambering up to 33,000 feet with
drop tanks and flying to Brussels, The Hague and home again.   All the way from
Brussels to The Hague they were attacked by one Meteor - a friendly little fellow
who waved at FG. OFF. VASEY.   After turning for home four more Dutch "8"s made very
poor passes at them and later a Meteor 7 with two up came to have a look
when we were hurriedly vectored to a B.29   During the attack FLT. LT. LEE was
almost struck by a Meteor also attacking.
                                                                           Vampires 19 sorties:   18.10 hours.                                                                            Meteor        1 sortie  :         .55 hours.
  9.1.53.             Clamp.   The first of the New Year.   Cine film, instructional film and lectures.
No flying.
  10.1.53.             Ice all over the place.   Station Commander's parade cancelled and the boys
settle down to a "shining hour" on the aircraft.   Later in the morning the ice
started to clear and two sorties were flown.
                                                                                Vampires 2 sorties:   .50 hours.
  12.1.53.             Really clamped - visibility down to 300 yards - lectures on tank recognition.
No flying.
  13.1.53.             No change in the weather situation.   Lectures and mess meeting in the
afternoon.   No flying.
  14.1.53.             Again no flying but much taxying time.   The squadron was given the job of
cleaning the ice off the hockey pitch on the parade square.   Lectures and sports
  15.1.53.             Still clamped.   More lectures.  
  16.1.53.             The boys again spent the day on the deck but this time in the cinema at R.A.F.
Oldenburg listening to a series of lectures on land/air warfare by an Army/R.A.F./R.N.A.F.
team.   Lengthy but interesting.
  17.1.53.             The C.O.'s parade held this morning in visibility of about 200 yards.   Lecture
on Vampires at Tech. Wing and a little elbow work on the aircraft.
  19.1.53.             Clamped in the morning and the Met. man in all his wisdom forecast "no change"
so four pilots hurried off to look around our local radar control post.   Much to
the Met. man's amazement the weather in the afternoon cleared to 8/8ths blue and
most of those who remained at base got airborne.
                                                                                   Vampires 8 sorties:   15.15 hours.
  20.1.53.             The same old story.   Clamp all morning.   The weather cleared about 14.30
and within minutes practically the whole wing was in the air.   Sorties included
close battle formation, aerobatics and Q.G.H.'s.   Just as quickly as it cleared
the weather clamped at 16.00 hours with fog and low stratus coming in from the East.
A general recall was given and a/c hurried back to base.   Less than ten minutes
after the last aircraft landed the visibility was down to 500 yards.
                                                                     Vampires 7 sorties:   4.45 hours.
  21.1.53.             The squadron had a mobility exercise this morning to clear the hangar for a
Boxing match between Jever and Luneburg.   All equipment was loaded on three-ton
lorries and all aircraft taxied over to 112 squadron within two hours.   The convoy
was led by FLT. LT. LEE and everything was unpacked and stowed away in the new quarters
within an hour of arrival.
          In the afternoon the squadron's pilots travelled in a T.C.V. to Oldenburg.
There equipped with Mae Wests and dinghys they cheerfully hurled themselves into the
water of the City Baths, glad to find some warmth at last after their freezing
journey.   No flying.
  22.1.53.             It poured all day long, grounding even battle flight, which the Squadron had
undertaken on behalf of No. 112 Squadron, preparing to depart for their stay at
R.A.F. Butzweilerhof.                                                                  No Flying.
  23.1.53.             Before the cloudbase became too low at midday, Battle Flight managed one mission
- P.I.s amongst themselves - and four other aircraft flew by pairs on weather
reconnaissance and low flying.                            10 sorties         7.10 hours.
  24.1.53.             Station Commander's parade, and administrative duties.  
  26.1.53.             Full battle flight duty this week.   The first mission, although only P.I.s
between two sections of the flight, was of an exemplarily high standard.   Control
was very good, the fighters merely having to roll into the appropriate curve of
pursuit as their target appeared.   The second mission contrasted most unfavourably.
Group had called for twelve aircraft to intercept No. 19 Squadron's Meteors flying
from England at 30,000 ft.
          There was considerable confusion, because ground control knew nothing of the
mission when our formation made contact with them; because a Venom formation joined
our attacks, with a very similar call sign to our own; and because of considerable
interference on the control frequency.   Interception was made, however, in spite of
these difficulties.                                            18 Sorties                             15.10 hrs.
  27.1.53.             Gale force winds, rain and low stratus - airfield red all day.        No flying.  
     Full flying day.   Two abortive missions for the flight - on the first, no target 
located; on the second it was told to return to base after being airborne for only ten minutes. 
In the late afternoon, hunting for an F.84 formation, the flight leader suddenly found 
the horizon apparently spinning madly round beneath a stationary sun.   Rapidly diagno-
sing onset of anoxia he executed an emergency descent on emergency oxygen and arrived 
safely at base.   The remainder of his formation wandered disconsolately in search of 
their target, swimming through pale seas of cirrus at angels forty; but were finally 
compelled to abandon the chase, and returned.
          There were, in addition, some attempts to fire rockets at Meppen range - all 
thwarted by a thousand feet cloud base.   This is in practice for a demonstration to be 
held shortly.   A little air to ground firing was possible during the afternoon, under 
impossible conditions - namely a 50 m.p.h. cross wind.   24 Sorties    20.25. hrs.
   The gale force winds abated this evening after a good day's flying.   The flight 
        flew four missions, the most interesting, and frustrating, being a thrust at a Super-
        fortress   On a vector of 170 - 90 mls. the interceptors clambered to angels 25. 
        Unfortunately, the target turned away, while still at 25 mls. range.   Despite a valiant 
        .7 Mach, battle flight's closing speed was too low under the circumstances, and control 
        had to return it to base.   It is comforting to know that a close watch is kept on 
        performance limitations ; the flight took 22 minutes at 25,000 ft., 200 kts. to reach 
        base, and landed with an average 80/90 galls.
              The rest of the Squadron was kept busy at low level and 35,000 ft., and on 
        individual flights.   A four, led by Flt Lt. Lee, returned from 35,000 ft. under 
        very bad conditions.   Daylight was fading, it had begun to rain and cloud had come 
        down to about 200 ft.   In very poor visibility all four made good landings.
  		                       31 Sorties                    27.00 hrs.
    	       There was no flying, because of low stratus and steady rain.   A team of three 
        Squadron Leaders from C.F.E., paying informal visits to stations in this Command 
        called at our Squadron this afternoon.

                  A normal month's training was marred by a spell of bad weather when little 
       or no flying was possible.   Three visits out of camp - to R.A.F. Oldenburg for lectures 
       on Land/Air Warfare, to our local G.C.I. post, and to Oldenburg baths for long overdue 
       wet dinghy drill.   The Squadron flew once on a Exercise Barrage, and made a short 
       "mobility" move across the airfield to No. 112 Squadron's hangar, while our own was 
       used for a boxing tournament.
       Flying.         Total Vampire day       187.35.
                            Total Vampire night        2.15.
                            Total Meteor                  5.45.
                            Grand Total.                195.35.

  Compiled by..signed ENH Lack...FG/OFF.   Authorised by   signed PGK Williamson  Sqdn. Ldr.
                      (E.N.H. LACK)                                          (P.G.K. WILLIAMSON)