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F540 Operations Record Book June 1952 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71




Two of the Squadrons aircraft allocated for duty on battle flight over Whitsun, flew only one mission today.   The section investigated a civil airliner over Dummer See.
                                                                                                  2 sorties   2 hours 00 minutes





Having throughout the period of the stand down, maintained a record of 100% successful interceptions, the battle flight was disappointed by an abortive mission at the eleventh hour today.
4 Squadron section was vectored round and round at 3,500 ft over Ahlhorn, in and out of broken stratus, and saw no target.   Radar control then sent the section north to identify another bogey, but R/T instructions for control gradually grew less and less coherent, until the pursuit had to be broken off by the section, which then returned to base.   It is thought that the controller was inexperienced and had difficulty in directing the fighters.
                                                                              Vampire     6 sorties     6 hours   00 mins.
                                                                              Meteor        2 sorties                      45 mins.





The Army - No. 5 A.G.R.A. from the Maple Leaf Barracks, Anrich - descended upon R.A.F. Jever to find out what makes the Air Force tick.
     During the morning the Army officers were shown round various sections of Flying Wing and No. 4 Squadron, and attended lectures on the operational aspects of R.A.F. training.   A demonstration of rapid re-arming and refueling was given by 4 Squadron crews, while dummy attacks were being made on the airfield by 112 Squadron.   Finally, late in the afternoon, our guests were given some air experience in two Meteor 7s.
                                                                              Vampire     16 sorties     11 hours   50 mins.
                                                                              Meteor           9 sorties       4 hours   30 mins.


  4.6.52   We gave the Army a demonstration flypast this morning, twelve aircraft in finger fours, boxes, and finally low level at high speed.   Our guests then left, and training flying was resumed.
                                                                                                   19 sorties     11 hours   40 mins.
  5.6.52   A full station parade was held today to honour the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

No flying.




Battle flight duty was resumed by No. 4 Squadron, which had been released for liaison with the Army during the previous three days.   There were no bogeys in the morning, only a weather reconnaissance and practice interception.   After lunch, the battle flight, in a snake of six aircraft in pairs, climbed to 25,000 feet.   Cloud was continuous, except for one very shallow gap at 16,000 feet, and prevented even practice interceptions.
                                                                              Vampire     26 sorties     18 hours   10 mins.
                                                                              Meteor           2 sorties                        55 mins.





Formal parade:   make do and mend:   cleaning aircraft.
                                                                              Meteor           2 sorties                        55 mins.





Half of today's flying was spent on air to air (cine) opposite quarters.   Our new pilots need as much familiarisation with the technique as possible before we go to A.P.S. next week, and all pilots can benefit by getting some practice.
                                                                                                    25 sorties     16 hours   55 mins.





Twenty three out of our twenty eight hours' day flying was devoted to cine.   Yesterday's films, screened before flying this morning, show the common error of being out of range: today, this fault was reduced.   Late in the evening, two flights of four aircraft took off on a dusk mission.   Flying in battle formation, they were attacked by the Squadron Commander, operating alone.   Despite all their efforts, the formation failed to spot the C.O. until too late, and his first attack, from 6 o'clock very low, was entirely successful.   Thereafter, however, having appreciated the appearance of a single Vampire against the darkling ground, the formation was able to observe and take evasive action in time.
                                                                Day   Meteor           2 sorties                      1 hour     10 mins                                                                           Vampire      35        "                       28 hours   40  mins.
                                                                Night   Vampire      9        "                         7 hours   30  mins.





Thwarted.   Thick cloud at 1,000 feet coming down 600 feet.   Six pilots who were airborne for camera gun work came swiftly back reporting "duty not carried out".
                                                                                               Vampire     6 sorties     2 hours   30 mins.
                                                                                               Meteor        2 sorties     2               35 mins.


  12.6.52   Nearly all the flying was devoted to cine, despite a thin layer of stratus at 1,200 feet.
                                                                                               Vampire   36 sorties   28 hours  35 mins.
                                                                                               Meteor         1 sortie        1 hour    00 mins.
  13.6.52   Flying continues until lunch time - air to air cine - after which all the Vampires were kept on the ground for pre-Sylt harmonisation checks and servicing.
                                                                                               Vampire   19 sorties   14 hours  15 mins.
                                                                                               Meteor        7 sorties      2 hours  25 mins.
  14.6.52   Preparations for the Squadron's detachment to the A.P.S. are well under way.   Yesterday's films show most of us out of range, but there is a tendency for some to wander line high.
                                                                                                  3 sorties   1 hour   05 minutes.
  16.6.52   Air and rail parties moved uneventfully to R.A.F Sylt.
                                                                                               Vampire   13 sorties   5 hours   30 mins.
                                                                                               Meteor        2 sorties    1 hour     00 mins.





After a morning spent attending lectures and seeing to administrative matters, we began work on a shift system; each flight firing during the afternoon of one day and the morning of the next.   This is occasioned by the comparatively large number of pilots on strength, and the limited number of ranges and aircraft available.   Flying lasts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
                                                                                               Vampire   13 sorties   28 hours   25 mins
                                                                                               Meteor         2 sorties     1 hour     00 mins.





Conditions are ideal today - a little cloud, no glare, and very smooth air at 6,000 ft. several pilots begin to score 4, 6 & 8%.   Pt/Off Williams, the Staff P.A.I. attached to the squadron, is very helpful.   He tells us many methods of shooting, pointing out limitations and advising us on experiments with various sight settings.   He has lots of "Gen" and is only too glad to help.
                                                                                         46 sorties   13 hours   10 minutes





Probably about half the pilots are using fixed ring (complete or masked) and gyro together.   There is a high abortive rate - nearly 50% - caused by Tempests going u/s flags being shot away, targets arriving late, and, today, a couple of gun failures.   Squadron Leader Williamson has set a fine example, and put all his pilots to shame, by shooting a 32%, and generally staying well within two figures.   He is using the fixed ring only.
                                                                              Vampire : 40 sorties     19 hours   15 minutes
                                                                              Meteor :    2 sorties                           40 minutes





The weather was most unkind today:   intermittent cumulus kept dashing between fighter and flag, or shooting up turrets of foamy white just to make the flag easy to see.   Once or twice a pilot made a do or die attempt to fire, regardless of the weather conditions, usually with poor results.   Indeed, conditions at the A.P.S. are highly artificial.   One tries hard to score well, a result which can be best achieved only if one refuses to fire under adverse weather conditions.   Yet one must shoot in bad weather, or be useless as an all weather pilot.
                                                                              Vampire:     20 sorties     14 hours.  15 minutes
                                                                              Meteor   :     1 sortie       30 minutes





A station parade delayed the start of flying until 11.00hrs:   and a spate of Tempest unserviceability in the afternoon allowed us to fly less than half the planned sorties.
                                                                                   12 sorties    7 hours  20 minutes.





The programme planned for today was canceled entirely, because of heavy rain lasting all day.





Flying began at 10.00 hours, Cine film taken during firing shows now that most of the Squadron's pilots are opening fire within range; but that one or two are flying unsteadily.
                                                                              Vampire     23 sorties     12 hours   15 mins.
                                                                              Meteor           2 sorties.      1 hour     10 mins.





C.F.S. Examining Wing arrived today to carry out their annual check.   Flight Lieutenant Sledmere was attached from the Wing to our Squadron, and flew with five of our pilots: bad weather prevented his flying with a sixth.
     At 13.00 hours, air to air firing stopped.   The Tempest towing aircraft had developed so much unserviceability that their effective strength was reduced to a point at which it was no longer possible to maintain flags continuously on the ranges.   However a small amount of air to air cine flying was done instead.
                                                                              Vampire     34 sorties     22 hours   40 mins.
                                                                              Meteor          7 sorties.       3 hours   40 mins.





Rain fell continuously all day long.

No Flying.




Today again, only a limited programme was flown.   Two ranges were kept open till 11.30 hours when air to air firing ceased through lack of Tempests.   Our Vampires were disarmed and sent up for 10 cine sorties.   Later there was a low level formation mission when cloud interfered with the cine exercises.
                                       Vampire    28 sorties     17 hours   50 mins.
                                       Meteor         2 sorties                         55 mins.





A full programme was flown.   Everyone has settled down to his particular sighting method; some of those using gyro have reverted to fixed ring, making the number using each system about equal.
     Today training of certain of our pilots, who have not had much experience of multi-engined aircraft, has begun.   They are being given dual instruction in asymmetric flight.
                                       Vampire    36 sorties     20 hours   35 mins.
                                       Meteor          6 sorties       2 hours   35 mins.





The sun shone today, brightly and strongly, for the first time since we arrived at Sylt.   A little advection fog from the sea, temporarily stopped flying about midday, when the tow lines disappeared in haze.   Some difficulty was experienced by pilots in trying to keep track of the target after breaking off their attacks.   Sky and sea merged in an indefinable cloudy line which gave little indication of aircraft attitude.
                                       Vampire    19 sorties     10 hours   25 mins.
                                       Meteor          1 sortie                          20 mins.





A second day of clear skies and sunshine.   All Vampires scheduled to fly became airborne, but a few did not fire because their flags were unserviceable.   Tomorrow the target speed will be raised from 180 knots to 220 knots.
                                       Vampire    30 sorties     14 hours   30 mins.
                                       Meteor          4 sorties       1 hour     10 mins.





A unified report of the month's activity is not possible because the Squadron's detachment to the A.P.S., R.A.F. Sylt extends into July.   This detachment was preceded by a week's intensive flying on cine exercises to familiarise pilots, in particular our new members, with the techniques required.   At R.A.F. Sylt flying proceeded satisfactorily except for a rather high rate of unserviceability in the station towing flight.   A report on individual and squadron progressive scores for the whole detachment will be given in the Operational Record for July.
Earlier in the month a small liaison visit was made, by officers from a nearby Artillery Unit, to R.A.F. Jever.   No. 4 Squadron gladly took part in welcoming the Army, and providing suitable demonstrations.      The Squadron was also visited, while at Sylt, by the Central Flying School Examining Wing.





FLYING                                                                        DAY                   NIGHT
                              Individual Training                      11.50
                              Interceptions                                22.30
                              Squadron/Wing Exercises        34.55                   7.30
                              Air Support                                      2.30
                              Navigation                                    12.05
                              Weapons                                    135.05
                              Photographic                                85.55
                              Instrument                                     11.10

                              TOTAL VAMPIRE                        312.20
                              TOTAL METEOR                           24.45

                              GRAND TOTAL                           337.05




                              Compiled by ...signed ENH LACK..FG/OFF.
                                                    (E.N.H. LACK,)

                       Authorised by ...signedPGK Williamson........S/LDR.
                                               (P.G.K. WILLIAMSON)