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F540 Operations Record Book July 1954.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. B. Watson___ Refs

BrianWatson.jpg, 6056 bytes

JEVER 1.7.54        With the A.O.C's Inspection only one day away all energy was used to bring the
Squadron up to standard.   The only flying consisted of one full rehearsal for the
A.O.C's flypast.
                           Sabre Flights      8   Hours 5.20
  2.7.54        The Squadron Standard was paraded before the A.O.C. to-day borne by Flying
Officer Boyack
.   The weather did not hold for the parade, rain marring the final
march past.   The A.O.C. visited the Squadron in the afternoon inspecting the
aircraft, the pilots and groundcrew.   Low cloud dispersed sufficiently to allow the
Fly-past to take place.   The two Squadrons flew in a box of boxes and boxes line
                           Sabre Flights    9   Hours   6.10
  5.7.54        Although the weather was poor for range work to-day the first pair for Meppen
became airborne at 0920.   At low level, under a 2000' cloud base, there was sufficient
turbulence to make accurate shooting difficult.   A range programme was carried through
but with no outstanding scores.
     In addition to the range programme further training consisted of quarter attacks
at 20,000', aerobatics, low and high-level formations.
                              Sabre Flights 42    Hours   30.25
  6.7.54        Serviceability being lower than yesterday, there were only sufficient aircraft to
run a good range programme with very little other flying.   The air was much smoother
at Meppen to-day, as a result the scores have improved.   Isolated thunderstorms
closed the airfield twice.
                             Sabre Flights 33    Hours   26.25
Jever 7.7.54        Meppen range was used for air to ground firing again to-day.   Being a Wednesday
and a sports afternoon all flying stopped at 12.30 hours.
                             Sabre Flights 18 Hours   15.35
  8.7.54        All too frequently in the Squadron Diary it becomes necessary to record the loss of
a pilot.   This morning Flying Officer John Jack was killed when his aircraft crashed
near Reipsholt.   The circumstances of the crash at the moment are not clear.
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[The report (not in F540) in Colin Cummings book on RAF Accidents "Category Five" says: " 08-Jul-54 XB647 Sabre F4 4 Sqn 3 miles south south west of Jever 1 killed.   After overshooting from a controlled descent, the aircraft executed a climbing turn to port at low speed, with the undercarriage retracted and the dive brakes out to a height of about 2000 feet, whilst turning through 90 degrees.   It then seemed to flick rapidly and to roll and lose height until it struck the ground.   The most probable cause was the loss of control at low speed and the failure to retract the dive brakes.   Flying Officer John JACK aged 24."]   [Click to see Full AIB Report.]
     The Squadron flew a number of flights to Meppen range this morning for air to
ground firing.   When flying was resumed after the accident low and high level Battle
exercises were carried out on the aircraft unharmonised for air firing.
     Prior to the A.O.C's standown to-morrow Saturday and Sunday, ten aircraft did dusk
formation flying over the airfield and around the local area.   The formations were good.
                             Sabre Flights 40   Hours   33.30
  12.7.54   There was no flying to-day.   Heavy weather, which is expected to last at least two
more days, settled in during the weekend.
     Ground training commenced with a colour film on camouflage in three parts, followed
by the Squadron's 'Coronet' films.   Later in the morning a discussion on Radio
security was held in the crew room.   All the afternoon was spent in the Squadron
armoury stripping .5 machine guns.
                                No Flying.
  13.7.54   The Squadron provided battle flight but due to bad weather no flying was carried out.
Ground training continued in the morning and P.T. in the afternoon.   The body of
Flying Officer Jack whose funeral will take place at home was flown to the U.K.
toady./   Two Officers and an N.C.O. left to represent the Squadron at the burial.
                               No Flying.
JEVER 14.7.54        To preserve as many serviceable aircraft as possible for Exercise Dividend, 17th. to
25th July, the only flying carried out to-day was air testing.
  15.7.54        'B' Flight provided battle flight until lunch time today.   Two scrambles took place
for practise interceptions.   After lunch no flying was carried out.
                             Sabre Flights 11        Hours 13.55
  16.7.54        Final preparation took place for Exercise Dividend to-day one of them included
dinghy drill.   The Jever Squadrons are representing high altitude bombers and are
attacking targets in East Anglia.   The Squadron is required to produce 14 aircraft
most days of the Exercise.
                             Sabre Flights  3        Hours 2.15
  17.7.54        The first raid of Exercise Dividend was due to take place at 0400 Z this morning.
     Due to very bad weather over the whole of Northern Europe and the United Kingdom
the first two raids were cancelled.   The weather remained bad all day and no flying
was done.
  18.7.54        The early raids of the day were cancelled as the weather at 0725 Z was so poor -
150' cloud base, intermittent rain and 1 mile visibility.   The late afternoon raid
at 15.30 after slight delay took off depleted by unserviceability.
     Formations carried out raids against Sculthorpe Nettis Head, and Coltishall.
     Following the weekends flying, Monday and Tuesday have been declared a stand down.
                                   Sabre Flights  10          Hours 12.15
JEVER; 21.7.54        Following the peak reached for Exercise Dividend and the stand-down which followed
a large backlog of servicing requires to be made up.   To-day only one aircraft flew
and that on an air test.
                           Sabre Flights  1  Hours 1.00
  22.7.54        The second stage of exercise Dividend started to-day with a special operation -
"Dividend Bonus"   With almost all Wings in the Command taking part the objective is
to saturate the defences of the United Kingdom.   The Squadron flew 12 aircraft in
4 formations all of which were intercepted, mainly by Meteors and a pair of Hunters,
well out to sea.
                          Sabre Flights  12  Hours 17.15
  23.7.54        The first aircraft became airborne at 04.30 hours bound for Bawburg, Seetning,
Hardwich, Neatishead and Coltishall - all targets in the central districts of East
Anglia.   Later in the day at 1300 a further wave attacked the same area.   The
heights flown on these raids ranging from 30,000' to 40,000'.
                            Sabre Flights     21  Hours  28.45
  24.7.54        All raids of Exercise Dividend were cancelled due to bad weather.   No flying was
carried out.
  25.7.54        The prepession which brought low cloud and rain yesterday continued to affect the
area to-day.   As a result the last raids of Exercise Dividend were cancelled.
                            No Flying.
  26.7.54        The effects of the stationary depression continued until late in the day.   After
the clearance varied gunnery exercises were carried out.   Flying Officer Beaton
and Clayton flew to Fassberg to rehearse for an air to ground gunnery demonstration
to be given by them to the Iraqi Chiefs of Staff.
                           Sabre Flights  21  Hours 16.35
JEVER 27.7.54        The hours flown by the Squadron this has been considerably reduced by weather
exercises.   In an attempt to increase the total, flying continued all through the day
until 20.45 hours.
     The days flying started with battle flight at 08.30.   Battle flight was split for
practise interceptions.   The standard of which was not high due to new operators on the
                           Sabre Flights    25           Hours 26.05
  28.7.54        'A' Flight being without any serviceable aircraft did no flying to-day.   'B' Flight
carried through a programme of ranging and tracking in preparation for Sylt on the
20th. September, 1954.
                                 Sabre Flights    13        Hours 8.35
  29.7.54        Flying was severely restricted to-day by very active and widespread thunderstorms.
                               Sabre Flights 11      Hours 7.50
      Summary for the Month

     The month started very well, almost half the months flying being carried out in the
first week.   This was followed by a week on the ground caused by bad weather.
     Exercise Dividend appeared likely to give the Squadron a lot of flying hours, as after
the weeks bad weather, the a/c serviceability had reached a new height.   Expectations
were not fulfilled as the majority of the raids were cancelled by bad weather.
     A stand-down was given to make up for the weekends work on the exercise which
reduced the remaining flying days available still further.
     The Squadron demonstrated Sabres in the ground attack role at Fassberg range, when
demonstration of air to ground firing was given for the Iraqi Chiefs of Staff.
his was highly successful but the supersonic boom which was to have concluded
the demonstration was precluded by 8/8th. cloud cover.
    The Squadron hours for the month were disappointingly low but the number of flights
were rather higher as more short range flights were carried out.

               Monthly Total Of Flying Hours

               Sabre Flights          275
               Sabre Hours           249.35
                                                                  Compiled Officer.......B.Watson.................Fg.Off.
                                                                                                 (B. WATSON)
                                                            (P.W. GILPIN)
                                                            Squadron Leader,
                                                            Officer Commanding,
                                                            No. 4 Squadron
                                                            Royal Air Force, Jever
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