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F540 Operations Record Book October 1956 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Flying Officer I. Madelin.___ Refs
      ianmadelin.jpg, 1289 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 1.10.56   The first task of the day was the unpacking of ground equipment from the road
convoy, so that Squadron flying did not begin until the afternoon.   Eight aircraft
were flown in two pairs of high level battle fours.   Three night flying details were also made.
                               Day      Sorties   18       Hours   13.20
                               Night   Sorties   13       Hours      9.35
  2.10.56   Until 10.30 hours, flying was restricted by low cloud and poor visibility, but six
pairs flew during the morning on cine and practice interceptions missions.
On Thursday, the station is to be visited by the Secretary of State for Air, the
Rt. Hon. Nigel Birch, O.B.E., M.P., when he will see a fly-past and double re-arm
by a mixed formation from 4 and 93 Squadrons.   The afternoon was devoted to a
practice for this display.
                                     Sorties   22       Hours   14.55
  3.10.56   Another rehearsal for tomorrow's display occupied the morning with six Squadron
aircraft taking part.   The afternoon was a sports afternoon.
                                   Sorties   11       Hours   6.00
  4.10.56   The area was covered with cold unstable air this morning giving rise to frequent
thundery showers.   The Rt. Hon. Nigel Birch arrived on time with the C-in-C. among
his entourage.   He took a very keen interest in the flypast and double re=arm, and
in the aerobatic display which followed.
After a formal lunch in the Officers' Mess, the Squadron reverted to normal operations
for the afternoon completing a full and successful day's flying.   After work,
the airfield closed for a long week-end, granted in recompense for the 'overtime'
worked on the exercise.
                                          Sorties   34       Hours   18.35
  8.10.56   A full and varied day's flying on high and low level battle pairs, formation
aerobatics (led by the Squadron Commander) and a number of solo sorties.   During
the afternoon, the airfield was menaced by an approaching warm front.   However, thanks
to the non-operational G.C.A., the Green-rated pilots were able to continue
until 1700 hours.   The night flying programme was cancelled.
                                     Sorties   37       Hours   28.05
  9.10.56   The day's flying was devoted mainly to high level battle formation.   Flight Lieutenant
K. Munn
who joined the Squadron on 20th September, is now flying regularly.
He has come from Acklington and completed the Hunter O.C.U. at Chivenor.
                                                   Sorties   33       Hours   24.25
  10.10.56   H.M. Submarine "Subtle" is paying a courtesy visit to Wilhelmshaven and the crew
were entertained on the station today.   In the morning parties were shown around
flying wing and in the afternoon, the Station Soccer team beat their eleven 8 - 1.
High pressure over the area is giving rise to morning fog and conditions of low
cloud and poor visibility.   One of the Squadron aircraft was damaged, landing over
a fog bank, after the first sortie.   The fog advanced to cover half the airfield
leaving the other half in brilliant sunshine.   Flying was cancelled for two hours
in mid-morning and resumed when the weather retreated to a position about half a mile
to the East.
                                                    Sorties   9       Hours   7.05
  11.10.56   The airfield was again shrouded with fog and flying did not begin until 10.30 hours,
when the colour state became amber.   However we were able to fly five high level battle
fours, five pairs and a single aerobatic sortie.   Since No. 93 Squadron are duty
Battle Flight, it was a fairly busy and rewarding day.
                                     Sorties   33       Hours   22.55
  12.10.56   The same story - low cloud and bad visibility.   The weather cleared sufficiently
at 10.00 hours for the Squadron to put eight aircraft up.   Unfortunately, the
weather closed in again and four of the aircraft were diverted to Sylt where they
remained for the rest of the day.   However, two of the Squadron pilots were
permitted to take-off in a Vampire T. 11 in the afternoon to practice G.C.A.s
under minimum approach conditions.
                                                       Sorties   7       Hours   6.25
  13.10.56   Thanks to a passing cold front, the weather has cleared ; our four aircraft were
able to return from Sylt and a full programme of cine, aerobatics, high and low-level
battle, and navigation occupied the Squadron until the airfield closed for the
week-end at mid-day.
                                               Sorties   17       Hours   13.05
  15.10.56   A very good day devoted almost entirely to cine.   An introduction to this exercise
was arranged for the new pilots.   For some of them this consisted of demonstration
quarters in the Vampire T. 11 with the Squadron P.A.I. against a Hunter at 20,000
feet ; followed then by a practice in the Hunter.
                                                Sorties   26       Hours   21.20
  16.10.56   Another exercise Guest - the monthly exercise between No. 2 and 83 Groups.
Number 4 Squadron was detailed for the normal interceptor role under G.C.I. control
and we had six aircraft and pilots available from first light at 06.15 hours,
operating from the N.E. Dispersal.   Unfortunately, the visibility at the
start was marginal, diversions were limited and the exercise was postponed until
0900 hours.   This did not prevent the Squadron from scrambling four aircraft
'privately' before this.   Once the exercise had started, the action was fairly
continuous, and scrambles and turn - rounds followed in steady succession.   Our claims
for the day included Hunters, N.F.11s, Venoms, F 84s and even a Viscount.  The standard
of control, although somewhat improved, was abysmal.   In addition, the controllers make
absolutely no attempt to distinguish between friendly and enemy aircraft.   In futurum
                                               Sorties   30       Hours   22.55
  17.10.56        Flying was restricted this morning by bad visibility and cloud from 700' to 20000'.
The various airfield colour states have now been rigidly laid down.   In addition to 'red'
and 'green', there are three states of amber, and the number of units per squadron,
experience required of pilots, weather minima, fuel states and times to return overhead,
have been specified for each case.   In the afternoon the Gilpin Inter Flight soccer
cup was contested for the second time, and was won this time by 'A' Flight, 3 - 1.
                                           Sorties   10       Hours   6 : 30
  18.10.56        Perhaps more than any other profession, our life and work is completely ruled
and ordered by the state of the weather.   Today this took the form of radiation fog,
which cleared at 09.30 just in time to show us the signs of an approaching warm front.
By 14.00 hours the airfield was red again.   In between the two, we had been able to fly
a few sorties of cine and high level battle formation.   After this the pilots had a
lecture on our local G.C.A. and its procedures given by the controllers.
                                            Sorties   12       Hours   8 : 50
  19.10.56        For a change, the weather gave us a good day ; instead we were dogged by another
bogey - unserviceability.   For most of the forenoon we flew six aircraft, but by the
end of the day those had dwindled to one.   The troubles were generally minor, a number
of them simply being unpredictable behaviour of the radios.
                                     Sorties   32       Hours   23 : 20
  20.10.56   Amber conditions, but since the G.C.A. was on maintenance, the Squadron did not
  22.10.56   Another instance of complete hydraulic failure in the air today.   These are now
occurring almost at the rate of two a month and have all been caused by chafing
between some part of the hydraulic line and a clip.   It is hoped that lagging the
pipes at these points will cure the trouble.
For the rest, the training programme was limited by the few available aircraft ;
seven sorties of high level battle were flown.
                                           Sorties   23       Hours   17.50
  23.10.56   Amber conditions all day ; but a carefully planned programme, accurately adhered
to, gave us a good day's flying - devoted entirely to cine pairs.
                                               Sorties   20       Hours   14.10
  24.10.56   Airfield colour state 'red' .   The pilots spent the morning in the Wing briefing room
and listened to a talk by Flying Officer Carr about a ten-day escape and evasion
exercise which he recently did in the Hanover area; a talk by the Group Captain on
the coming exercise of our own ; and saw a film about the planning an execution
of low-level cross-countries in high-speed aircraft.
In the evening a gently riotous Squadron dining-in night was held for Flying Officer
Chas. Boyack
who is leaving after three years with the Squadron; for the last year
he has been Squadron Standard Bearer and P.A.I., and has also served as Adjutant.
                                                       Sorties   Nil       Hours   Nil
  25.10.56   Unserviceability hampered us again today, but most of the pilots were able to do
two cine exercises each.
                                                              Sorties   25       Hours   18.30
  26.10.56   After a morning's flying devoted to cine practices, the airfield closed for the start
of Exercise "Wintercorn" an escape and evasion exercise for the pilots, which is to
last until Sunday mid-day.   The defence, made up of R.A.F. Regiment and army units,
numbered about four hundred men.   After a briefing at 1600 hours, the escapers
were taken out in lorries and dropped at various points along the Oldenburg - Leer
railway at about 19.30 hours.   The objective was to reach a narrow strip of neutral
territory along the North coast, and then to make a rendez-vous in Carolinsiel -
if possible, by 0100 hours on Sunday.   An added feature was the presence in Defence
Headquarters of an American interrogation team, skilled in the new psychological
techniques.   The Station Commander is considering the annual award of a trophy
to the most successful Squadron at Jever and has said that the results of the
Exercise will count for this.

4sqnpic518.jpg, 25660 bytes
Exercise area.   [Thanks to Microsoft Autoroute for map.]   [Not in original F540.]

                                               Sorties   13       Hours   10.05
  29.10.56   With bad visibility and a cloud base which came down at times to 150 feet, flying
was very restricted, until it was finally stopped in the afternoon.
                                           Sorties   10       Hours   7.50
  30.10.56   Airfield " Amber" for most of the day, but the Squadron kept up a fairly intensive
programme in an effort to achieve our monthly target which is just over 30 hours
An incident ; whilst climbing in a battle formation at .87M through 38,000ft.,
the canopy of Fg. Off. Carr's aircraft shattered, but he was able to return to base
The results of the week-end's escape and evasion exercise were announced ; 4 Squadron,
of course, won by a handsome lead.   In token we were awarded a fitting trophy mounted
on a wooden pedestal - a silver boot.
                                                          Sorties   33       Hours   24.40
  31.10.56   A routine morning's flying devoted mainly to high-level; battle formation, with additional
cine, low flying, aerobatic and forced-landing sorties.
                                           Sorties   11       Hours   9.50

FOR THE MONTH         Sorties  470       Hours   350.15
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                 
Squadron Leader,               
Officer Commanding          
Number 4 Squadron