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F540 Operations Record Book March 1952 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
Place Date Time Summary of Events Refs

R.A.F.JEVER

Saturday

1st March

     The Squadron today moved to R.A.F. Jever.   Ground and Air Party arrived without incident.                                                                  16 sorties   7 hours 20 Minutes Vampire
                                                                                                                      20 Minutes Meteor

 

    "          "

Monday

3rd March

     The rail wagons were unpacked, and offices and the hanger taken over.   A small amount of flying on dual checks in the Meteor took place late in the afternoon.                                                                 4   sorties                 25 Minutes Vampire
                                                                                                       1 hour   20 Minutes Meteor

 

    "          "

Tuesday

4th March

     Because of the comparative inexperience of the D/F operators at R.A.F. Jever, the only flying permitted was by a single section of two aircraft at a time.   The sorties were limited to 45 minutes duration and to calibration checks of the D/F system.
                                                                                    8 sorties    6 hours 30 Minutes

 

    "          " Wednesday 5th March      Only one section managed to fly before heavy continuous rain closed the skies.
                                                                                    2 sorties     1 hour   30 Minutes
 
    "          " Thursday 6th March      Flying was temporarily suspended this morning while all Vampire fuel filters were checked for the presence of metal filings.   This inspection is the result of an accident at another station where such foreign matter was found to have caused the accident.
     By lunch time further D/F calibration checks and some local reconnaissance flights were under way.   During the afternoon, when detailed to go there for practice G.C.A.s and I.F., one of the pilots landed at R.A.F. Wunstorf downwind.   The aircraft failed to stop, over running the runway some 75 yards: its starboard undercarriage leg failed and Cat. 4 damage was sustained.   The pilot was uninjured.
                                                                                    9 sorties     6 hours  20 Minutes

Missing paragraphs to be added later

 

    "          "

Monday

17th March

....a good standard in scramble times: six aircraft were regularly getting off in under two minutes.
     Two of the sorties against other Vampires, were of average quality.   On the second of these, however, in moderate haze at 20,000 feet, scanning proved so difficult as to prevent entirely a successful interception; and fighters passed directly over target, 1,000 feet higher, without seeing them.
     The last sortie of the day was singularly abortive.   We hurtled off the ground at 16.20 hours and reached 20,000 feet all hot for battle, being vectored on to some Vampires.   They were sighted by our No. 6 only (unfortunately), and (more unfortunately) he lost them as they disappeared at a high speed down low at 9.o'clock.   The radar directors kept us going however; but we never saw the Vampires again.   The vectors were very confusing and unsatisfactory, switching rapidly from 290 to 020, the target range also fluctuating between 4 and 8 miles.
                                                                                 27 sorties     22 hours    05 Minutes

 

    "          "

Tuesday

18th March

     Fog stopped all flying during the morning.   After lunch, the air cleared sufficiently to allow one short sharp attack on six Vampires carrying drop tanks.   They must have been running at 9,000 R.P.M. at the very least, because our attack nearly ended in a tail chase, and we were at close on full power.   The second, and only other sortie, was, to our great joy, against B 50 D's, presumably from England.
     They were flying at 15,000 feet in loose pairs, sections line astern, and provided excellent practice in ranging on large spans.   The only regret felt as a result of the interception is that the American crews and our squadron pilots can not get together soon afterwards to discuss the attacks and generally exchange views.
                                                                                   14 sorties      9 hours    10 minutes

 

    "          "

Wednesday

19th March

There was some temporary unserviceability of the radar gear, and Battle Flight are stood down for the day.   Accordingly a programme of rocket and cannon firing was arranged at Fassberg.   Results were somewhat disappointing for three out of the four pilots who fired - perhaps due to a lack of practice in addition to the slightly hazy conditions.
     Practices was began today, by sections of two aircraft, to select an aerobatic team from the Squadron.
                                                                                   35 sorties     27 hours   30 minutes

 

    "          "

Thursday

20th March

Two quite abortive sorties today.   On the first, after a long straight climb south, the battle flight continued on 180 at 20,000 feet.   Then we were turned about on to north and continued to climb through wide layers of cloud.   Right up to 35,000 feet, before clearing cloud.   The target was six Vampires with drop tanks, approaching us from the North West.  We were vectored steadily round from 360 to 120, the target range closing from 15 down to 4 miles where it stayed fairly constant.   The target was given 1,000 feet below, but soon this began to increase, as it dived away, to 5,000 feet.   Finally although we were at .7 Mach, the target range was not reported to decrease at all.   Shortly after, the pursuit was abandoned, without contact being achieved.
     On the second sortie, the battle flight was asked to form up after a snake climb in a clear space about 20,000 feet.   The cloud, however, continued to 35,000 feet, and just after arriving there, the flight was recalled because of deterioration of weather at base.   This weather, in the form of a warm front approaching from the west, came to a peak at noon as heavy continuous rain, and flying was canceled thereafter.
                                                                                    17 sorties     13 hours   50 minutes

 

    "          "

Friday

21st March

Low cloud and poor visibility stopped flying this morning.   The battle flight was due to carry out a sweep, carrying long range tanks, but this was canceled.   The only flying was a long range low level cross country.
                                                                                       9 sorties     13 hours   40 minutes

 

    "          " Saturday 22nd March Fighter Command Exercise No. 10, a massed raid by Wings of Vampires from the 2nd T.A.F. against Staines Reservoir as target, designed to test fighter defence of the U.K., was canceled by the presence of bad weather over the route.   A very active depression over the Channel area spread 30, 000 feet of precipitating cloud from base to target.   Although this would have cleared the target area by zero hour, a further active trough was following and liable to make landing conditions in U.K. unsatisfactory.

No Flying.

 

    "          "

Monday

24th March;

A good day's flying, as far as hours were concerned.   During the morning three strikes by flights of four aircraft, were made in the low flying area:   on one of which bad weather stopped the attack just at the target area.
     After lunch it was proposed to raise an eight for Squadron battle formation exercise; but only seven aircraft were serviceable, and individual or section sorties were made instead.
                                                                                      29 sorties     25 hours   50 minutes

 

    "          "

Tuesday

25th March

     The principle exercise was a long range cross country flown by a pair and a three.   Both sections completed the first half uneventfully - Base - Cuxhaven - Sylt - Kiel - Fassberg - Wunstorf.   It was flown at the planned height; 5,000feet, that portion north of the line Hamburg - Cuxhaven being above 8/8th stratus.
     After refueling and lunch at Wunstorf, the flight found continuous cloud from 1,200 feet 24,000 feet, and climbed right through it to continue the journey in the clear.   This was surprising because Met. had forecast only layered cloud up to 8,000 feet (tops):   whereas we found in fact, many large cumulus clouds rising to over 20,000 feet.   However, no difficulty was experienced in completing the route as timed, apart from the climb, by radio fixes.
     Base was covered on return: the flight came down by Q.G.H.
                                                                                      15 sorties     25 hours 35 minutes

 

    "          "

Wednesday

26th March

Snow prevented flying today.

No Flying.

 

    "          "

Thursday

27th March

Flying started this morning but within forty minutes a general recall had been sent out.   By the time the last section had landed, snow was falling thickly:   no further flying was possible.
                                                                                        18 sorties       5 hours 00 minutes

 

    "          "

Friday

28th March

A considerable fall of snow, with some frost, prevented flying at first.   But by 11.30 hours, the runway had cleared sufficiently to allow aircraft to use the southern half.   The period during which we were grounded was seized upon for compass swinging.   Flying in the afternoon was largely confined to low level cross country flights.
A pilot on a low level pinpointing exercise, had his starboard drop tank come partly adrift, and had to jettison both on returning to base.   This, and the subsequent landing, were carried out successfully.
                                                                                         15 sorties      17 hours 25 minutes

 

    "          "

Saturday

29th Mar.

Three pilots flew on a low level pin pointing exercise: and a four practised formation aerobatics.
                                                                                         10 sorties        7 hours 20 minutes

 

    "          "

Monday

31st March.

There was a heavy fall of snow during the night, and continuing intermittently throughout the day.   There was no flying.

No flying.

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY FOR MARCH 1952.

On the 1st, the Squadron moved to Jever.   During the first few days flying was somewhat restricted, until homing facilities were working satisfactorily.   One week was spent on duty as Battle Flight - a disappointing week on the whole, due to rather loose, and ineffective ground control on several occasions.   Practice was begun towards the end of the month, for the Command formation aerobatics competition: unfortunately, snowy weather returned at the same time, making consistent practice difficult.
     Despite a severe reduction in effective pilot strength due to postings, courses and sickness, nearly 82% of target flying hours was achieved.   This result would have been even better, but for the restrictions mentioned above.

 

 

 

 

Vampire                 Meteor.

FLYING:                   I            Hours        Minutes        Hours        Minutes.
Individual Training                    14.       25                           1.       45
Interceptions                              40.      30
Sqdn./Wing Exercises           146.       45
Air Support                                         _
Navigation                                  81.       55
Weapon Training                        8.       10
Incidental                                           _                                              40
                                                                                                                        
Vampire Total                          291.       45                               _       _
Meteor Total                                -           -                                  2.    25      

STRENGTH.      OFFICERS.     SNCO (PILOTS)         SNCO.   CORPORALS        AIRMEN 
                            10                      4                                    7             12                             86

 

 

 

 

Authorised by...SignedED Holmes..FLT/LT.   Compiled by Signed ENM LACK...FG/OFF.
                        (E.D. HOLMES)                                                    (E.N.H. LACK)
                       Officer Commanding,                                    for Officer Commanding,
                       No. 4 Squadron.                                                   No. 4 Squadron.