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F540 Operations Record Book June 1955.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. C. Boyack.___ Refs

chasboyack.jpg, 1427 bytes

R.A.F. Sylt. 1-6-55                        Good weather for most of the day followed a fairly good start to the month,
from the viewpoint of Squadron gunnery training.   There were a few gunsight and radar
faults causing a loss of effective shooting flights, but these snags seem to occur rather
less frequently now than of late.   Squadron average for the day: 13.2%.
                       Flights            38                                           Hours    20:10
  2-6-55                      Only two flights were aborted today because of poor weather, but our number
of effective shoots was greatly reduced by three of the flags being too short.
                  Squadron average for the day: 14.5%.
                  Flights                  45                                      Hours    25:35
  3-6-55                      A factor which has not previously influenced our training return on this
detachment cropped up today and cost the squadron nine shooting flights.   This factor is
the loss of the target, two flags were shot off during bursts of fire, and one fell off
between attacks, no doubt having had its shroud lines cut and weakened.   A good day's
flying was completed, however.   Squadron average for the day: 13.3%.
                     Flights            48                                                 Hours       23:55
  4-6-55                      Only eleven successful shoots were carried out this morning.   The main reasons
for this were radar troubles which alone caused five flights to be aborted, and a short
flag.   The stoppage rate continued to improve however, and is now close to the 3,000 mark.
Squadron average for the day: 12,2%.   The airfield closed at mid-day for the week-end.
                         Flights                  22                                   Hours       11:20
  6-6-55                      There was no flying today because of low cloud and poor visibility, but a
programme of films and lectures was given to the Squadron pilots.   There has also been
a great deal of discussion on high altitude attacks on flag targets, since the Squadron
was scheduled to begin shooting at 20,000 feet today.   It is hoped that very little
if any, lowering of the standard of shooting will occur, and to this end, a very
comprehensive briefing was given to all pilots yesterday.   During the afternoon the
opportunity was taken for getting right up to date on film assessing.
  7-6-55                      The bad weather continued this morning and a total of 21 flights were cancelled.
This afternoon, the weather improved sufficiently to permit a full flying programme
to be carried out.   Six firing sorties were not completed due to targets flying incorrectly.
                Squadron average for the day: 16.2%.
                Flights                24                                                Hours       13:15
  8-6-55                      A deep rain belt covered most of North West Germany today, and as the cloud
base was generally about 500 feet no flying was done.   A full programme of lectures
was given to the Squadron.
  9-6-55                      This morning there was a full station ceremonial parade to celebrate the
Official Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.   The Squadron Standard was paraded, borne
by Fg. Off. C. Boyack, and escorted by F.S. Llewellyn, Sgt Martin and Sgt. Amos.
  10-6-55                      This morning there was a station ceremonial parade to celebrate the Birthday
of His Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.   The squadron Standard was paraded, borne
by Fg. Off. C. Boyack, and escorted by F.S. Llewellyn, Sgt Martin and Sgt. Amos.
                The flying began at 1100 hrs, and a good day's flying was carried out.
                Squadron average for the day: 18% which is the highest day's average so far,
and will require some really consistent shooting to maintain at 20,000 feet.
                Flights            24                                                  Hours   15:05
R.A.F.Sylt 11-6-55                        With continuing good weather twenty three flights were carried out today.
Unfortunately nine exercises were aborted because of radar snags, and one flag fell off.
During the middle of the morning, shooting was carried out at low level as the high
range was in use for glider target towing.   Squadron average for the day, 14.8% High
and 20.4% Low.
                              Flights     21                                                Hours   12:15
  13-6-55                        A somewhat frustrating day as 31 sorties at the beginning of the day were
cancelled because of the weather, and ten other sorties were abortive for a variety of
reasons.   There were also two stoppages.   Squadron average for the day, 20.9% (High).
                              Flights     15                                                            Hours   8:55
  14-6-55                        Only seven successful shoots were completed today.   The main setback was bad
weather, and to this was added gunsight and radar snags, G.C.I. faults, and one flag
falling off.   Squadron average for the day 16.5% Low, and 12.3% High.
                         Flights       25                                                    Hours     13:45
  15-6-55                        The Squadron's main hope now is that our present run of bad luck will soon
end.   Once more today, a large number of flights were cancelled due to bad weather.
Another flag was shot away, and there were eight gunsight or radar snags, causing this
number of shoots to be aborted.   Consequently only fourteen effective flights were
carried out all at 20,000 feet.   Squadron average for the day 13.2%.
                         Flights       24                                                 Hours 13:30
  16-6-55                        With good weather, a full days flying programme was completed with
fair results.   Only two flights were ineffective due to weather, but radar and
gunsight faults caused several to be aborted,.   There were six stoppages today,
reducing our stoppage rate to just over 2,000.   Squadron average for the day,
13.4% low and 14.8% high.
                                            Flights  48                Hours 27:30
  17-6-55              It was decided that the Squadron's recent erratic, and generally poor results,
may well have been due to "staleness".   In order to rectify this and also to get
100% up to scratch on servicing, there was no flying today.
          This morning the Squadron played softball and in a nine-innings match, there
was only one run between the two flights.   The majority of the pilots were most
surprised at the amount of exercise to be derived from such a seemingly "girlish"
          15 very wet pilots returned from the Marine Craft Section at List this afternoon,
after being given a brief demonstration of conditions on a high-speed rescue launch.
After being shown over the newest launch, which is German-built, the pilots were
taken for a short cruise which was actually part of the launches acceptance trials.
The launch attained a speed of 30 knots which is actually 5 knots lower than its
  18-6-55             High level battle formation was practiced today with eight aircraft
airborne simultaneously.   It is hoped that some opposition would be met up with
to allow some tactical manoeuvres to be practised more realistically.   However,
no other aircraft were seen in the vicinity at any time.
                                            Flights  23              Hours 16
  20-6-55             Once more flying was seriously curtailed by poor weather and of the ten
aircraft which did get airborne, only two had effective shoots.   The weather
caused the abortion of four flights and radar and aircraft unserviceabilities
together, accounted for the remaining four.
                                          Flights    11                  Hours 7.10
  22-6-55             Bad weather continues top prevent a full day's flying programme being carried
out.   31 flights were cancelled for this reason today, and a few radar faults
further decreased the number of effective firing exercises completed.   Squadron
average for the day 8.2%.
                                          Flights    15        Hours 9.05
  23-6-55             Lectures were again given to the pilots today, since no flying took place
due to bad weather.   Flight Lieutenant Vasey, who recently returned to the
Squadron after completing the course at D.F.L.S., has figured prominently in
our bad weather programmes.   The lectures and several talks he has given have
always been interesting and have stirred up a great deal of discussion on
"modern air warfare", as well as causing many old theories to be revised.
  24-6-55           As we are fast becoming accustomed to losing a large number of flights because
of bad weather, the most alarming factor affecting our programme today, was the
number of radar faults.   No fewer than eight exercises were aborted for this reason.
Four flights were not carried out because of the G.C.I. being unserviceable and
so in all, only eight effective shoots were done.   Squadron average for the day,
                                         Flights    41   Hours   26.00
  25-6-55           A total of 15 sorties were cancelled because of the bad weather this morning.
Once the programme did get under way however, only two flights were non-effective,
and the standard of shooting was quite fair.   There was another stoppage today,
but our stoppage rate seems fairly steady at 2,500.   Squadron average for the
day, 15.7%(low level).   Work ceased at 12.30 hours for the week-end.
                                      Flights      16      Hours 8.50
  27-6-55           A full day's flying was carried out today, and twenty-four firing flights on
the flag, were flown.   Five sorties were lost because aircraft were unserviceable,
and one or two radar snags again cropped up.   Two gliders were also towed for the
Squadron today, and for some pilots this was the first opportunity to fire their
guns at a target resembling an aircraft.   The first glider was shot to pieces by
the first pair of attackers, and only about six feet of the nose section was towed
back to base.   As the second glider collapsed in a heap on landing, the Squadron
is claiming one confirmed and one probable.   Squadron averages for the day: 14.7%(low)
and 14.1% (high).
                                          Flights 48                   Hours 26.50
  28-6-55           The Squadron's main concern today was the double-go-arming turn-around exercise,
and so only seven sorties on flag firing were carried out.   On the re-arming exercise
itself, the aircraft climbed to 30,000 feet before descending and firing all six
guns on operational air to ground attacks.   It was the first time some of the
pilots had fired all guns at once, and some surprise was evident on their return,
with regard to noise, smoke and deceleration.   Squadron average for the day: 13.6%(low)
                                          Flights    24          Hours 15.25
  29-6-55           Bad weather prevented flag firing today, and the only flying carried out was
an air test and a weather check.   Our Advanced Party for the move back to Jever
left this evening, so as to be ready to welcome the Air Party which leave tomorrow,
weather permitting.
                                          Flights    2          Hours 00.50
  30-6-55           Poor weather did not interfere with our return to Jever, except to delay our
take-off time slightly and by mid-day all our aircraft were back at our parent
       The best news of the day was that our overall firing average was higher than any
other Sabre Squadron in 2nd A.T.A.F.   Admittedly, we were only .01% better than
No. 93 Squadron but that in a way is a matter for celebration since the Wing average
is thus much higher than any other Sabre Wing.   The Squadron is now looking
forward to setting up similar records in Hunters in, we hope, the not too distant
                                                 Flights    12      Hours 5.50
                   FOR MONTH:-    Flights 528       Hours 300.25
     The whole of this month was spent at A.P.S. Sylt where the Squadron carried out
air-to-air firing and a few air-to-ground practices.   Considerable effort was entailed
in maintaining radar so that all firing was carried out using radar ranging.
     Much of the air firing was dome against flag targets fitted with various types
of radar reflectors.   Reports on the flying characteristics of the flag and the
effectiveness of the reflectors for positive lock-on together with the maximum
lock-on range and break lock range, were submitted by every pilot after each
exercise.   In this way comprehensive data was obtained as to the best type of
reflector to use.   It was found that a spinning reflector fitted to the webbing
strap 52 feet in front of the flag, was the most effective to date and in this
position did not sustain so much damage as the other types of reflector fitted
to the spreader bar of the flag.
     Two different methods of using the radar ranging-the "electrical cage" and
     "24,000 feet" were used.   It was found that the 24,000 feet method is better
as it approximates more closely to the operational use of the equipment besides
permitting longer and more accurate tracking of the target.   To use this method
it is essential that a positive lock-on is obtained at a distance of 35,000 feet
or more which in turn, means well tuned radar and a good reflector when firing
against a flag target.
     In addition to a few air-to-ground firing exercises, a number of pilots fired at
a towed glider target.
     The results obtained on this attachment - the first conclusive one the Squadron
has had with Sabre aircraft - are very satisfactory.
                                            Overall Squadron Average  - 13.77%
                                            High Level Average               - 14.3%
                                            Low Level Average                - 13.6%
                          CBoyack                                                                          PWGilpin
                    (C. BOYACK)                                                                  (P.W. Gilpin)
                    Flying Officer,                                                                 Squadron Leader,
                    Compiling Officer                                                         Officer Commanding
                    No. 4 Squadron                                                           Number 4 Squadron
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