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F540 Operations Record Book May 1953 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                  COMPILING OFFICER   _Flg. Off. P J C Phillips_ Refs

PeterPhillips.jpg, 6056 bytes

R.A.F. JEVER 1.5.53.   Flying was carried out in the morning only as the afternoon was spent in preparing the
airman's block for the Station Commanders inspection.   'B' Flight flew a few 'cine'
sorties and the new squadron pilots went down to Wunstorf to practise G.C.A.'s   Apart
from some instrument trips in the meteor there was no other flying.
                                          Vampire Sorties  6 - 4.35 Hours.
                                          Meteor    Sorties  2 - 2.00 Hours.
  2.5.53.   After the C.O.'s inspection some of the squadron tried to get the odd joy flight in the
Station Tiger Moth.   The remainder completed their individual jobs for the week.
                                     Vampire Sorties  2 - 1.00 Hours.
  4.5.53.   Cine was practised in real earnest today and most of the chaps are beginning to realise
just how difficult it is going to be to hit the flag.   It has definitely been decided
that all attacks will be parallel quarters up at Sylt, and that each pilot will not act as
an individual.
     For the older members of the squadron this will be a change but for most of us it
would be what to expect.
                                           Vampire Sorties  21 - 16.30 Hours.
                                           Meteor    Sorties    2 -    2.00 Hours.
  5.5.53.   Today's effort is just purely a repeat of yesterday - parallel quarters.
                                       Vampire Sorties  26 - 19.45 Hours.
  6.5.53.   Our training curriculum for the Sylt trials was some what broken today, by the weather
and so only a few individual sorties were flown.   However we diverted our attention
to athletics in order to raise a squadron team.
                                     Vampire Sorties  5 - 3.50 Hours.
                                     Meteor    Sorties  1 -   .40 Hours.
  7.5.53.   Cine training reached an all time high today, and there was not any trip that did not
include some quarters attacks.
                                   Vampire Sorties  31 - 24.45 Hours.
                                   Meteor    Sorties    2 -      .45 Hours.
  8.5.53.   As a contrast the squadron devoted most of its sorties to air to ground, the results
of which were very encouraging.
                                       Vampire Sorties  36 - 24.00 Hours.
  11.5.53.   The weather was overcast and there was quite a bit of upper cloud, so that
squadron flying was mainly confined to low level work.   Quite a number of Cross Countries
were flown, and some sorties were made against "Soft Skinned Vehicles" in the low flying
area.   On one low level trip Flt.Lt. Collins, and F/O Phillips were bounced by four
Thunderjets, the latter split up into pairs and tried to coordinate their attacks.
     However owing to the very much better turning circle of the Vampire the Thunderjets
were quite easily shaken off.   Battle Flight made a few interceptions above cloud and
put in quite a bit of 'actual'.
                                 Vampire Sorties  25 - 21.35 Hours.
  12.5.53.   Sylt in a weeks time and clear skies, it was only natural that we turned our attention
to 'cine' once again.   Battle Flight had only one interception the remaining sorties
being low level strikes against gun emplacements.   The success of these attacks largely
depend on the camouflage which is either very good, or very bad.
                                        Vampire Sorties  25 - 17.55 Hours.
  13.5.53.   Meppen Range was allocated to us today and so a rocketing programme was arranged.
     For once the visibility was very good and nobody had any difficulty in identifying
the targets
                           Vampire Sorties  24 - 16.50 Hours.
                           Meteor    Sorties    2 -   1.00 Hours.
  14.5.53.   The weather is fine and it is our last chance to show any potentiality as 'Air to
air' aces.
          However judging by all reports there had been quite an improvement in the standard
of 'cine', and some of the pilots seem to be hopeful of getting good scores.
     Battle Flight was devoted to P.I's and during the evening a night flying
programme of cross countries was laid on.
                                     Vampire Sorties  40 - 34.35 Hours.
  15.5.53.        All the squadron aircraft were grounded in order to prepare for Sylt with the exception
of battle flight which was provided by us.   the latter proved to be quite interesting
and consisted of four interceptions and one ground attack sortie.   the last P.I. was
a combined effort by many Battle Flights to intercept a squadron of Vampire.   At one
time there appeared to be about twenty aircraft attacking four miserable Vampires-a real
                                             Vampire Sorties  21 - 17.05 Hours.
  16.5.53.        In between making last minute preparations for Sylt the A.M.P. visited us to discuss
manning problems.
                                       Vampire Sorties  1 - .25 Hours.
  18.5.53.   The ground party departed in the early hours of the morning and as there was nothing else
to be done the squadron was stood down
  19.5.53.   We were the first squadron off, and arrived at Sylt in fairly bad viability to land
on the short runway, downwind owing to an obstinate Tempest on the
main runway.   In the afternoon we attended introductory talks.
  20.5.53.   A full programme today starting at 07.00Hrs and finishing about 20.00Hrs.   Most of the
sorties were confined to the older members of squadron, although there was a few demos given to the
newer members.   It is the policy now to give at least two demo trips plus six 'cine' trips
to those who have not been up to Sylt before.
  21.5.53.   The weather was good and we had a full days flying.   The results were quite encouraging
considering we have only just started firing up here.   Inevitably at this period the
controversy of gyro versus fixed has arisen.   Most people seem to rely on the former,
although some of their films seem to be good, they don't always seem to get the
results.   Flt.Lt., Lee in particular was consistently showing excellent film without
getting big scores.
                                   Vampire Sorties 35 - 18.40 Hours.
  22.5.53.   The ranges were U/S in the morning but 'A' Flight in the afternoon turned out some
excellent scores.   They are using the gyro in combination with the fixed sight and
their results seem to justify this method.   Anyway on the whole people went on their
Whitsun break with not unjustified confidence.
                                    Vampire Sorties 15 - 7.40 Hours.
  26.5.53.   Flying started mid morning but on the whole it was a very poor day.   A lot of the trips
were abortive due to bad weather mostly and there were no big scores.
                                 Vampire Sorties 14 - 6.25 Hours.
  27.5.53.        The weather was completely unsuitable during the morning but in the late afternoon 'A'
Flight upheld the squadron average which is around 8% mark and some of the results
were above 30%.
                                 Vampire Sorties 14 - 8.30 Hours.
  28.5.53.   The weather was fair all day although towards the evening some trips were carried out at
low altitudes in bumpy conditions.   The results oscillated from good to bad but by the
and of the day our average still topped the other squadrons.
                                Vampire Sorties 50        26.40 Hours.
  29.5.53.        An occlusion upset the days firing from about mid morning onwards and what scores there
were, were very good.   In the afternoon we studied our cine film and found that the most
common error was over deflection.
                                           Vampire Sorties 16     17.55 Hours
  30.5.53.   During the morning the scores were not very good mainly due to poor weather on the
ranges.   In the afternoon however conditions improved considerably and some excellent
scores obtained.   S/Ldr Williamson managed to get 32% and 40% consecutively.
He had on this occasion changed his previous method of gyro and fixed combination
to fixed only.
                                         Vampire Sorties  52    29.40 Hours
  31.5.53.   In the morning we went down to the hanger to frantically complete the monthly returns,
and after lunch attended a briefing for the Coronation flypasts.   At approximately
15.00 Hours nine aircraft from the squadron took off to fly down to Gutersloh.
                                   Vampire Sorties 10     7.40 Hours
                                   Meteor    Sorties   1        .45 Hours
                     Needless to say the emphasis this month has been on cine and air to air work.
     This is most important especially as we may change our role with the advent of better
and faster aircraft.   We well and truly topped the target this month the squadrons
pilots alone getting in 313 Hours while pilots attached to us from Wunstorf flew a
further 20 Hours.   Our two latest National Service pilots got in 12 hours each.
     At the moment of course we are most concerned with the squadron scores on the flag
     At present it stands at 8.3% which is just better than the other squadrons on attachment
with us.   However we are striving to better this average and inevitably the controversy
of gyro versus fixed sighting arises.   The gyro has certain advantages in that provided
the pilot flies extremely smoothly during the whole attack and the pipper is in the correct
position, he will hit the target without having to worry about line and deflection.
     On the other hand if the flying is not smooth inaccurate information will be fed into
the sight and the position of the pipper will not indicate where the bullets are going.
     For this reason it has been found from past experience that the gyro is not really
suitable if one wants to get in very close to the flag.   It was a significant fact that
when the C.O. who normally fires at close ranges, changed from gyro to fixed sighting
he obtained two consecutively high scores.   However, good scores are obtained by both
methods and so the controversy still remains.
                                Total Vampire Sorties  484  -  313.45 Hrs (Day)
                                    "    Vampire Sorties    14  -     10.10 Hrs (Night)
                                    "    Meteor    Sorties    14  -    12.35 Hrs
                                         Grand Total                        335.90 Hours.

          Compiled by.....P J C Phillips........F/O                      Authorised By..PGKWilliamson....S/Ldr.
                                  (P J C Phillips)                                                               (PGKWilliamson)
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