roundel jsl spacer hunter1
Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540
F540 Operations Record Book February 1953 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71

PeterPhillips.jpg, 6056 bytes

R.A.F. JEVER 2.3.53.   A thick fog blanketed everything   Various members of the Squadron left for Oldenburg
for Promotion Exams, leaving six pilots to struggle with statistics and monthly
                                                                                           No Flying
  3.3.53.   The weather unsuitable for flying in the morning, cleared after lunch, when people
hurriedly got airborne.   The sorties were mainly to do with the AGRA exercise "Silver
Fox" although a few aerobatic and cine trips were flown.
                                                                                          Vampire Sorties  18     12.35 Hrs.
  4.3.53.   Today was spent watching instructional films and carrying out Squadron duties, P.T.
also helped to relieve the boredom of a non flying day.
                                                                                          No Flying
  5.3.53.   Normal weather conditions in the morning prevented flying, but it picked up a bit
in the afternoon.   However, a few sorties were flown, but air to ground firing at
Meppen had to be cancelled.
                                                                  Vampire Sorties  7     3.30 Hrs.
  6.3.53.   The Promotion Examination candidates returned from Oldenburg,looking decidedly shaken,
and muttering to themselves.   A number of low level cross countries were attempted,
but had to be called off due to bad visibility in the south of the area.   So flying
was confined to close and low level formations in the very - local area.
                                                                    Vampire Sorties  18     11 Hrs.
  7.3.53.   Squadron stood down.
                                                                                                 No Flying
  9.3.53.   Quite a good start to a week of Battle Flight duty.   There were four scrambles, the
last one being an interception on a Meteor Squadron on a liaison visit from the
U.K.   Apparently the Vampire had some trouble in making good attacks at the height
of which they were flying.
                                                                   Vampire Sorties  24     19.10 Hrs.
  10.3.53.   The G.C.I. people had a little trouble with their equipment on two of the Battle Flight sorties, but the interceptions on the other two trips were quite satisfactory.
On the way back to base parallel quarter attacks were practised - on one occasion
at 35,000ft, -"Most difficult."   The rest of the pilots carried on with normal
training, cine and battle formation.   The scheduled night flying programme was
cancelled due to deterioration in the weather.   A section of four aircraft, flying
at dusk, entered a patch of cloud on the final approach, which can be disconcerting.
                                                                           Vampire Sorties  29     23.30 Hrs Day
                                                                           Vampire Sorties  6          1,25 Hrs Night.
  11.3.53.   Just two sorties were flown today, one being FLT.LT LEE returning from Wunstorf.
Much low cloud with bad visibility.
                                                                               Vampire Sorties  2     1.10 Hrs
  12.3.53.   Frantic efforts were made to provide eight aircraft and Pilots for Battle Flight, to
take part in "Barrage".   On only one flight was the target seen - a Lincoln which was
successfully attacked.   At 17.30, 12 aircraft from the Wing took off to practice the
formation fly-past which will be flown in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh at Wunstorf
a week from today.
                                                                             Vampire Sorties  20     15.30 Hrs
  13.3.53.   The visibility was extremely poor in the morning, but improved rapidly.   However,
the cloud base was pretty low, so flying was very limited.
                                                                               Vampire Sorties  10     6.20 Hrs
  14.3.53.   After the Station Commander's Parade, we held another fly-past rehearsal - on a smaller
scale.   112 Squadron were not available, so Pilots of our squadron led by the Wing
Commander Flying
, flew two vics of three to practice the dipping salute
                                                                               Vampire Sorties  6     4.00 Hrs.
  16.3.53.   After a couple of sorties Battle Flight was stood down.   They were warned to hold
themselves ready for duties in the Berlin air corridor, if required,.   Discussions
started regarding aggressive action and what constitutes an aggressive action.   Decided
that it is just a matter of using ones head.   In the afternoon, fours flew on low
level battle flight, a pleasant change from the high level flying which we have
been doing of late.   Our night flying programme was cancelled, in order that it should not
interfere with "Jungle King", so the Squadron joined the members of the Meteor Squadron,
visiting from the U.K., in the Bar very pleasant.
                                                                        Vampire Sorties  22        17.05 hrs
                                                                        Meteor    Sorties  1                35 Min
  17.3.53.   Battle Flight stood by for an emergency, which never arose.   With our remaining
aircraft a number of individual sorties were flown, aerobatics and low level cross
countries, and later, another rehearsal for the Duke's fly-past unfortunately a member
of No 112 Squadron had an engine failure and force-landed on, almost on, the airfield.
The aircraft broke up but the pilot received only minor injuries, luckily.
                                                                          Vampire Sorties  9        6.40 hrs
  18.3.53.   Again no flying for Battle Flight.   The Pilots for the fly-past were unable to get
away at the scheduled time due to weather conditions at Wunstorf.   However, they
managed to get away after lunch, and shortly afterwards Battle Flight were stood down.
                                                                               Vampire Sorties  11              5.25 hrs
  19.3.53.   Almost every available Pilot, and certainly every available aircraft, on the station is
doing Battle Flight duties - in connection with Exercise "Jungle King".   So we were
scrambled by fours and pairs to intercept Lancasters, Lincolns, Varsities and various
other types which will fly (The word "fly" being used in a loose sense).   Most of the
interceptions were successful, although on the odd one or two no target was seen.
However, a lot of time was spent sitting around the crew room - apparently no activity
in the wide blue yonder.   Again night flying was cancelled due to the Exercise.
                                                                            Vampire Sorties   27       7.00 Hrs
  20.3.53.   Quite a number of sorties were flown today and good Scores were obtained on air to
ground at Meppen Range in the morning.   Other flights were devoted to Battle formation
P.I. attacks and breaks the latter being a manoeuvre which the Squadron is sadly
lacking in experience.   Battle Flight consisted mostly of the usual P.I.s.   In the
afternoon we were privileged in having the Duke of Edinburgh "Scramble" us and appar-
ently he was impressed with our interceptions.   FG/OFF Lack whilst on a practice
battle formation experienced a considerable loss in R.P.M. but managed to land safely
back at base in poor conditions.
                                                                        Vampire 26 Sorties 20.35 hrs
  21.3.53.   The whole of Flying Wing took part in the Station Commanders parade and afterwards
everybody was given half an hours hard drill.   The remainder of the morning was spent
in compass swinging and carrying out odd jobs.
                                                                                           No Flying
  23.3.53.   The CinC was expected to come the next day on an informal visit and as the weather
was unfit for flying we were able to make due preparation, .   We shook the moth balls
out of our best flying suits and generally 'bulled' the place up a bit.
                                                                                     No Flying
  24.3.53.   The high which gave us the fog yesterday still persisted.   However the visibility
improved towards midday.   Although the CinC postponed his visit until the morrow.
It was therefore decided to have a sports afternoon but we managed to squeeze in a
few sorties before lunch including battle formation aerobatics and runs over radar
                                                                                         Vampire  9 Sorties 6.55 hrs.
  25.3.53.   The high is now moving south and as a consequence the weather is improving.   The
CinC was due to arrive at midday and we managed to get in quite a few sorties before-
hand.   These included cross countries, G.C.A.s at Wunstorf and cine.   After lunch
the CinC visited us in the Crew Room and sympathised with our previous lack of Aircraft.
We were then just about to get airborne as a fluid six when an S.T.I. came through
stating that all aircraft had to be grounded to have rudder mass balances checked
as a consequence there was only one aircraft serviceable in the afternoon.   The
C.O. arrived back from the U.K. in a Meteor towards evening.
                                                                         Vampire Sorties 12        8.30 Hrs.
                                                                         Meteor Sorties      3         1.20 Hrs.
  26.3.53.   The new day dawned bright and clear-wizard for flying - but no aircraft.   Tech Wing
had been working furiously the night before but in the morning the station could only
muster four Vampires all of which went straight on battle flight.   In the afternoon however
things picked up a bit and we managed to get in the odd R/P and air to ground sortie
at Meppen Range.
                                                                                Vampire Sorties 12     7.50 Hrs
                                                                                Meteor Sorties    2       1.55 Hrs
  27.3.53.   The Station was still generally short of aeroplanes but our Squadron seemed to
better off than most.   Although we put one or two aircraft in the pool we managed
to get quite a few sorties over the range which for once was clear.   These included
two low level operational strikes.
                                                           Vampire  22 Sorties    16.55 Hrs
                                                           Meteor       1 Sortie    2     .30 Min
  28.3.53.   After the usual Saturday Parade we really got down to the business of monthly
returns.   One sortie was made down to Gutersloh to collect some papers, other than
this there was no flying.
                                                                       Vampire  2 Sorties          40 Min
  30.3.53.   The morning's flying consisted of general Squadron training which included low level
cross countries, I.F. and cine.   The former sortie proved the inaccuracies of the
half million map of North Germany which can be very confusing on low level strikes.
During the afternoon there was a strong cross wind gusting up to 50 knots and so
flying was cancelled.
                                                                              Vampire Sorties  12           8.20 Hrs
                                                                              Meteor    Sorties  1                .50 Min
  31.3.53.   We have now approximately six weeks grace before we go to Sylt most of the
flying was concentrated on cine unfortunately.   At about midday one of the new Pilots
on 93 Squadron crashed [Click to see F540 93 Sqn report] and flying was postponed for lack of
crash facilities.   However at about 16.00Hrs we resumed air cine training after which we settled
down to a nice evening of monthly returns.
                                                                                        Vampire Sorties  24      16.15 Hrs
                                                                                        Meteor    Sorties    1                55 Min
                     The most outstanding feature about the month was the number of hours flown
                     which acceded the target.   A large number of sorties were devoted to Battle
and we were not able to concentrate on general Squadron training until
                     the end of the month.   The Fly Past for the Duke of Edinburgh helped to brake
                     the monotony of Battle Flight and quite a few sorties were flown on local
                     Exercises.   Any way things were certainly looking up in particular with the
                     number of hours flown.
                                                                Flying              Total      Vampire Day 228.25
                                                                                         Total     Vampire Night   1.25
                                                                                         Total     Meteor                 4.55   
                                                                                         Grand Total                   234.45   

                                  Compiled by..PJOPhillips.FG.OFF  Authorised By.....WRCollins....FLT.LT.
                                                         (P.J.C. PHILLIPS)                                    (W.R.COLLINS)
Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540