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F540 Operations Record Book January 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 1.1.58        New Years Day - no aircraft and no flying.  
  2.1.58        Cine ¼s and syllabus trips all day, but not an impressive day's flying because we only
had four aircraft fit to fly.
                                            SORTIES : 14           HOURS : 14.10
  3.1.58        Several trips down to Leuwarden for practice diversions with QGH and GCAs.   All very
successful, with good GCAs from the dutch controllers, also first low flying for ages,
since all the low flying areas have been out due to search and rescue aircraft looking
for a missing Canberra.
                                            SORTIES : 24           HOURS : 25.15
  4.1.58        We sent up a fighting four this morning - the first for several months.   The rest of
the morning consisted of individual trips or cine.
                                            SORTIES : 12           HOURS : 12.45
  6.1.58        The whole Station was woken up a continuous bleep which continued for fifteen
minutes.   It was a practice Station Alert.   Our first pair were airborne on time at 0815.
At about 0930 hours a Canberra landed at Jever with both brakes locked on.   The airfield
went Black and two of our planes were diverted to Ahlhorn.   Normal flying was resumed
at 1230 until 1600 hours when bad weather prevented further take - offs.
                                            SORTIES : 21           HOURS : 25.20
  7.1.58        Squally conditions, heavy continuous rain and gusts up to 50 kts prevented taking off
until 1000 hours.   We flew until 1300 hours, by which time the strong gusty cross wind
was too hazardous for Hunter landings.   It began to snow, and so night flying was
                                            SORTIES :   9           HOURS : 9.50
  8.1.58        The runway was bad due to ice, in spite of being swept and sanded the previous night.
The sand had sunk to the bottom leaving clear ice on top.   There was no flying and the
Squadron pilots carried out ground training.
  9.1.58        A warm front passed through during the night and all the snow and ice had thawed.
There was a layer of stratus all day with some upper cloud but this did not hamper
flying.   At 0900 hours the Squadron was standing by for an Exercise Argus, but this was
cancelled and the aircraft were eventually flown in pairs engaged on IDP and cine.   Some
Syllabus trips were flown and air tests carried out.   During the afternoon there was an
Exercise Bomber in which the enemy comprised thirty Canberras from U.K. flying in a
stream at one minutes interval.   They were flying very high and as our tanks were full
the initial interceptions were quite difficult but as our tanks emptied the Canberras
became toys in our hands and yards of cine film was taken.
                                            SORTIES : 20           HOURS : 21.30
  10.1.58        A fine day for flying with half cover of medium level cu all day.   The visibility was
somewhat reduced at mid-day by haze but never came below three miles.   Exercise Argus
took place today and all pilots reported that it was "quite like the old days" and the
sky was full of trails.   Everybody had great fun and by the end of the day the Squadron
claimed twenty kills of all sorts of aircraft; including Canberras, B 57s, CF 100s
F 84 Fs, F 86s and one F 100.   In addition to the exercise there were some syllabus trips
and two airtests.
                                            SORTIES : 28           HOURS : 31.25
  11.1.58        Station Stand Down.  
  13.1.58        Low cloud and poor visibility persisted all day and prevented all flying.   In the
afternoon the pilots played soccer against No 93 Squadron.   Needless to say we won.
The score was three goals to nil and the beer was very welcome.
  14.1.58        The same moist north - westerly airstream brought more low cloud and mist.   The
Squadron took over Battle Flight today and as the weather prevented flying the requisite
four pilots stood - by all day while the others spent the day in the hangar finding out
exactly what happens to the aircraft when they are disembowelled..   Advantage was taken
of the weather to get all compass swings up to date.
  15.1.58        The high over the Bay of Biscay intensified today and so the warm westerly to the
north of it dragged more low cloud over Jever and the rest of 2nd T.A.F.   No flying today
and Battle Flight pairs remained at readiness.   In the afternoon the Squadron airmen
played a match in the Inter Section Soccer League but unfortunately were beaten.
  16.1.58        Today was again misty and cloudy and no flying was possible.   The requisite pilots
stood by for Battle Flight all day.   During the afternoon the remaining pilots carried
out parachute training in the gymnasium followed by a game of basketball.   The Squadron
airmen took advantage of the opportunity to play one of their league soccer matches.
During the morning Flying Officer J. Slaney gave a lecture on the form of radar -
equipment to be fitted to our aircraft.
  17.1.58        The weather system resolved itself into a cold front which passed southwards
through Germany.   The airfield state became Amber at 1115 hours and between then and
cease flying twenty sorties were flown.   Fourteen sorties were committed to Battle Flight
and as the other airfields in the command became flyable, so the amount of trade
increased.   Many interceptions were made and both pilots and the controllers enjoyed
the return to normal after a week of aerial inactivity.   The remaining sorties were of
syllabus trips and air tests.
                                            SORTIES : 20           HOURS : 20.15
  18.1.58        The day again started fine and cloudless, but this situation was rapidly altering
towards lunchtime, when a warm front approached.   However before the clouds lowered
eighteen sorties were flown.   Of these twelve were Battle Flight, two of formation
flying one air test and one low level cross-country.   The other two initiated the
Squadron pre Sylt training and carried out simulated flag attacks at 10,000 feet.
                                            SORTIES : 18           HOURS : 18.35
  19.1.58        The Squadron fulfilled its Battle Flight commitment today and maintained the necessary
numbers of pilots and aircraft at stand-by.   Snow fell heavily this afternoon, and this
evening four of the Squadron pilots manned the snow ploughs and started clearing the
  20.1.58        Snow had fallen thickly during the night and heavy showers continued all day.   Snow
ploughing went on all day and as the surface temperature rose just above freezing the
runway and peri tracks were cleared of snow by cease work.   During the afternoon
Flying Officer W.B. Maish, the Squadron P.A.I. gave a lecture to the pilots on flag
firing and the training we were about to start.
  21.1.58        After the runway had been sanded flying started at 1100 hours.   There was half
cover of strato - cu all day between 2000 and 5000 ft but this thickened and lowered
towards tea time and snow fell again.   During the day fourteen sorties were flown, ten
of which were of simulated flag attacks, two of ranging and tracking and two syllabus
trips.   Snow ploughing started again after tea.
                                            SORTIES : 14           HOURS : 15.15
  22.1.58        Thick snow fell again and the pilots ploughed all morning.   At 1100 hours all pilots
attended a lecture on Flight Recce Operations given by Sqn Ldr R.S. Mortley, C.O. of
Number 2 Squadron, who arrived last week.   During the afternoon the Squadron entered
two teams in the Station 6 a side indoor hockey competition.   Both sides reached the
semi final but neither reached the final.
  23.1.58        More snow again prevented flying.   Ploughing continued all day.   During the afternoon
the Squadron played basket ball again against both 2 and 93 Squadrons.   In the final
we proved the victors by 22 points to 2.
  24.1.58        The runway was a sheet of ice this morning and a promise of further snow decided
against sanding the runway and so again we stayed on the ground all day.   More six a
side hockey was played this afternoon.   Both 4 Squadron teams reached the final where
'A' team beat the 'B' team by four goals to nil.
  25.1.58        The weather and runway conditions remained as yesterday but a forecast thaw promised
to alter this by Monday.   Ground training continued all morning and at mid day the
Station stood down.
  27.1.58        The promised thaw did not materialise, and so in the afternoon the Squadron Pilots
went to the gymnasium and played basket ball.
  28.1.58        A perfectly clear day, the runway had thawed during the night and was fit for flying.
We did simulated Sylt ¼ attacks on the flag, which had been brought down for our pre
Sylt training.   We also cracked on with night flying whilst the opportunity afforded
                                                                          DAY SORTIES : 23           HOURS : 24.00
                                                                     NIGHT SORTIES : 15           HOURS : 16.20
  29.1.58        Another good day which we took advantage of by cancelling the Sports Afternoon,
and having a full flying day.   We flew pairs onto the flag, simulating Sylt quarters
all day.
                                            SORTIES : 28           HOURS : 28.20
  30.1.58        Despite a promised improvement in the weather by the Met Office, we were completely
out with fog by 10.00 hours.   Our first pair were diverted to Ahlhorn, whilst the
remaining two pairs airborne managed to get in, in time.   Fg. Off. J. Hawtin, the
Squadron Sports Officer organised a game of indoor hockey for the afternoon.
                                            SORTIES :   6           HOURS : 6.35
  31.1.58        Fog again with no hope of a clearance, we had a lecture in the morning on Air to
Ground firing problems by Fg. Off. W.B. Maish and then a lecture on the Sylt circuit and
procedure.   In the afternoon a hockey match was played.
      T.J. McElhaw                                                  
(T.J. McELHAW)                                                
Squadron Leader                                             
Officer Commanding                                       
Number 4 Squadron