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F540 Operations Record Book January 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 1.1.57   The new year dawned grey and foggy and there was no flying today.  Under the
circumstances this was possibly a blessing in thin disguise.  The morning was
spent on the Squadron completing December's statistics and returns, and the afternoon
was occupied by parachute training and basketball in the gymnasium.
                                                 no   sorties         no  hours
  2.1.57   The Squadron started its weekly battle flight commitment today.  However, the
bad weather continued and there was still no flying.  An ancient film on icing
was shown to the pilots in the Wing briefing room, and was afterwards subjected
to a detailed criticism by the Group Captain.  The afternoon was a sports afternoon.
                                        no   sorties         no  hours
  3.1.57   For the past two days the Squadron's battle flight aircraft have been lined up
at readiness outside the hangar, for the most part covered by rain or ice.  The
weather finally lifted enough to permit restricted flying this afternoon, but of
the five aircraft which started up on the first scramble, two proved to have
minor electrical faults - hardly surprising.  The weather closed in again later
after two pairs had been flown.
                                             4   sorties     13.00  hours
  4.1.57   "Clamps" and restricted flying alternated throughout the day.  Three battle
fours flew - mainly on practice interceptions, and two cine pairs.
                                       18   sorties    13.15  hours
  5.1.57   Airfield 'red', no flying; the battle flight remained at readiness until
                                   no   sorties   no  hours
  7.1.57   The mixture as before - bad weather and restricted flying.  It had originally
been hoped to operate battle flight by Flights, but colds, and the demand for
green - rated pilots rendered this impossible.  Five battle flight fours were
flown together with some cine pairs.
                                         32   sorties    25.15  hours
  8.1.57   Not withstanding low cloud and very poor visibility, a team from C.F.S. examining
wing arrived in a Valetta after lunch, for a two day visit.  The Squadron pilots
spent the afternoon playing badminton and volleyball in the gymnasium.
Before this, flying has been restricted to Master Greens in T. 11s; and ground
training for the Squadron consisted of a Hunter quiz conducted by the C.O..
                                          no   sorties      no  hours
  9.1.57   In addition to normal flying, which this morning was mainly cine pairs, three of
the Squadron's pilots (white-rated, green-rated, and an I.R.E.) flew in the
Vampire T. 11 with examiners from C.F.S..  Although their report won't
appear for a while, they were apparently quite satisfied ; their specific
criticisms applied mainly to the manner of carrying out some cockpit checks.
                                          14   sorties      10.45  hours
  10.1.57   After Met briefing in the morning, one of the C.F.S. team gave a very interesting
appraisal of the Gnat trainer, the Hunter T. 7, and the Miles trainer.  Later
the team left for other 2nd A.T.A.F. stations.
The weather was good with very occasional thunderstorms, and flying exercises
on the Squadron ran the whole gamut from high level dog fights to low level
rendezvous, including cine pairs and solo aerobatics, and even extended to include
two details of night flying.
                                      34   sorties       24.40  hours
                        Night       8   sorties      5.55  hours
  11.1.57   The pilot state seems to have run into severe difficulties these days.  In addition
to the usual complement of men on leave and courses, a few are suffering from
seasonal colds and ski injuries, and a good portion of the rest are suffering
from a formidable combination of orderly officer, operations officer, escort officer
and general factotum.  A good day sees seven pilots available ; five is a more
likely number.  Today's sorties were high level battle for the fit few, and low
level for one or two with blocked tubes.
                                             33   sorties      25.55  hours
  12.1.57   The re-organisation of the Air Traffic Control Tower is now completed, and the
section moved back this morning from the temporary mobile quarters which they have
been occupying since November.  Consequently there was no flying.  In addition
to Squadron duties, the pilots heard a lecture by the P.A.I. on simulated
cine flag attacks.  This begins preparation for our coming gunnery attachment to
Sylt in February.
                                           no   sorties         no  hours
  14.1.57   The Squadron Commander went to England for two weeks leave, and since Flt. Lt. H.B.
is away on an education course, Flt. Lt. J.M.D. Sutton assumed command of
the Squadron.  Weather permitted full flying all day, and Sylt preparation was
continued in the form of simulated cine flag attacks in pairs on a third tow aircraft.
                                             26   sorties      18.30  hours
  15.1.57   A total of six pilots available - including the Squadron Commander.  Simulated
cine flag attacks were continued for the morning, but for three hours in the
afternoon, continuous heavy snow fell and prevented further flying.
                                                    10   sorties      7.10  hours
  16.1.57   In spite of the work of the snow ploughs late yesterday, the airfield was too icy
for operations.  Part of the morning was spent in briefing for tomorrow's
Exercise 'Guest'' and the ground crew worked all day in the Hangar preparing our
commitment of seven aircraft for this.  The pilots spent their sports afternoon
on the runway with shovels.
                                               no   sorties    no  hours
  17.1.57   Met briefing for Exercise 'Guest'' 0645 hours - airfield fogbound.  There was a
lecture on "Trends in Instrument Rating", but the pilots were mainly occupied
with films, lectures and demonstrations on atomic defence.  Most of the Wing
spent the afternoon in the gymnasium , but a very local clearance permitted four
Vampire T. 11s to fly in the circuit, with the main object of conditioning the
                                           no   sorties      no  hours
  18.1.57   The fog which returned last night remained all day.  The doctor talked about
a new pilots' first aid kit, and showed a very realistic first-aid film in
colour.  The Flt. Lt. C.J. Barrie of Number 98 Squadron spoke of his experiences
with an American Fighter Bomber Group, when they pioneered the Atlantic route
for jet fighters.  His first crossing which was via Greenland and Iceland, was
with seventy-five F. 84s and was the first of its kind.  His talk was very
interesting - and at times not a little frightening.
                                         no   sorties     no  hours
  19.1.57   The weather continued to keep us on the ground.  The P.A.I. lectured on air-to-air
firing, and the armament section demonstrated the removal of a Hunter gun pack.
The pilots finished the morning in the gymnasium.
                                        no   sorties         no  hours
  21.1.57   The weather relented enough to permit restricted flying under Amber 2 and 3 conditions
until about 16.30 hours.  Training continued in the form of simulated flag
at 10,000 feet.
Flight Lieutenant A.E. Saunders, who was on the Squadron from 1952 to 1956, returned
today to begin two weeks reinforcement training.  He is presently instructing on
Vampire T. 11s at No. 5 F.T.S. at Oakington.
                                             19   sorties    13.00  hours
  22.1.57   Cloud base 1500', but the haze dictated restricted flying.  Nonetheless the Squadron
achieved a good day's work-again mainly in the form of simulated flag quarters
with some at 20,000 feet.  The night flying programme was cancelled.
                                             26   sorties  19.30  hours
  23.1.57   No cloud, but the haze remained, and the airfield was Amber 1 for the first part
of the morning.  Cine exercises were continued with additional high level battle
and aerobatic sorties.  In the afternoon the Squadron soccer team beat the Army
Signals Unit 4 - 1.
                                          17   sorties     12.25  hours
  24.1.57   Weather very similar to yesterdays, but the base was thicker and flying did not
begin until mid-day.  In addition to the usual cine exercises, there were eight
sorties of air-to-sea firing - the object of this being to check the gun packs, and
to fire-in some new ones.  Nine hundred and sixty rounds were fired, with one
                                             24   sorties    17.05  hours
  26.1.57   ???????1st Line missed from photo??????????
Various states of Amber committed the Squadron to pairs flying all day.  However
this was hardly a restriction, since training in the form of simulated flag
at ten and twenty thousand feet.  In the afternoon two pairs took -off
to rendezvous with a flag from Sylt on Amrum range.  Unfortunately the sorties
were abortive since the flags could not take off.
Mysterious movings revealed themselves in a startling announcement at the end
of the afternoon; the Squadron is shortly to convert to Hunter Sixes and to
resume its one-time role of Day Fighter Ground Attack.  This means that our
forthcoming gunnery attachment to Sylt has been cancelled - and in addition
many more things are implied.  Everyone was pleased with the news ; the effect
on the pilots was only just short of delerium.
                                           sorties   27    hours   19.20
  26.1.57   Low cloud, poor visibility, G.C.A. unserviceable, no flying.  Pilots devoted
their time to Squadron duties.
                                     no   sorties     no  hours
  28.1.57   The Squadron Leader returned from U.K. leave and resumed command of the Squadron.
A fortunate day of unseasonable weather - clear blue.  Most of the day's flying
was devoted to practice interceptions by high level battle fours under G.C.I.
control, a refreshing change from the steady dose of cine which has been administered
for the past fortnight.  In addition there were one or two recces of the low
flying areas by low-level battle formations.
                                          sorties   45   hours   33.10
  29.1.57   An education course in preparation for the coming promotion examinations started
today and took its toll of pilots.  The eight men available formed two high
level fours and flew alternately throughout the day.  The weather was still clear
blue with slight haze; flying extended to include four solo dusk sorties, landing at
18.15 hours.
                                         sorties   34      hours   25.55
  30.1.57   Grey and drizzly - no flying.  A morning devoted to extraneous duties was followed
by a sports afternoon.  The Flight Commanders made a visit to the radar T. 80 site
at Brockzetel.
                                          no   sorties         no  hours
  31.1.57   In the words of the met-man, we are "straight in the track of a long warm wet
westerly".  It certainly looked like it; the outlook was grey from two hundred
to thirty thousand feet ; no flying.  The morning was mainly occupied in the Wing
briefing room by a long and very instructive film on the static defence of the U.K.,
with special reference to the control and reporting organisation.  This was followed
by a critical summary from Wing Commander A. Shaw, the C.O. of the local T. 80
site in which he described the most recent techniques and equipment.
Four pilots visited the C and R site during the afternoon.  Some of the others
were occupied on end-of-month returns and the rest went to the gymnasium.
                                             no   sorties      no  hours
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                 
Squadron Leader,               
Officer Commanding          
Number 4 Squadron