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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
     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.
    "          " Friday 7th March An intensive day's flying was possible, since full flying is now permitted.
Battle formation practice, more D/P checks, and individual local reconnaissance
composed the programme.
                                                                                         31 sorties  26 hours    00 Minutes.
    "          " Saturday 8th March A similar programme to yesterday's.   It has been found that the homing equipment on
the station is working quite satisfactorily, but the operators require considerable
practice, in order to work up sufficient speed.
                                                                                13 sorties     9 hours    20 Minutes.
    "          " Monday 10th March Very bad visibility, caused by early morning fog, which lasted long, cut flying to
a minimum.
                                                                                       2 sorties                  40 Minutes.
    "          " Tuesday 11th March A liaison visit was paid by Squadron Leader Williamson and Pilot Officer Dimock to
Bremen airport.    This, until further notice, will be our diversion airfield for
emergencies.   The visit was entirely successful, useful contact having been made
with civilian staff.
                                                                                         20 sorties   15 hours    20 Minutes.
    "          " Wednesday 12th March An unfortunate incident occurred today when one section were given reciprocals instead
of courses to steer for base.   However, after some effort, it reached base
satisfactorily, at the extreme limit of its fuel supplies.
                                                                                  9 sorties       6 hours    40 Minutes.
    "          " Thursday 13th March A marvellous spell of good weather has set in, and today the squadron takes full
advantage of the clear skies to carry out section and flight formation practice,
aerobatics, and controlled decents.
                                                                                  25 sorties    22 hours 05 Minutes.
    "          " Friday 14th March Four crosscountry exercises at 30,000 feet were flown.   Individual and section sorties
were also made.   The Squadron stood down this evening for 48 hours.
                                                                                          23 sorties   19 hours 25 Minutes.
    "          " Monday 15th March This week No. 4 Squadron is duty battle flight.   Today began the week well by setting
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.   He 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 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.
on air fighting.
                                                                               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
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 cancelled 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 cancelled.
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 cancelled 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 day began with clear skies - a deceptive situation, for to the North and the
South were fronts, both moving towards base area.
     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     

                              10                      4                                  7             12                           86
   /TD>      Authorised by...SignedEDHolmes..FLT/LT.   Compiled by Signed ENMLACK...FG/OFF.
                          (E.D. HOLMES)                                                   (E.N.H. LACK)
                          Officer Commanding,                                  for Officer Commanding,
                          No. 4 Squadron.                                                 No. 4 Squadron.