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F540 Operations Record Book October 1959 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Flt. Lt. B.R. Williams___ Refs
      WillyWilliams.jpg, 9049 bytes  
R.A.F. Sylt 1.10.59        A very good days firing today, with only two sorties cancelled because of
aircraft unserviceability.  If we can keep this up, it will be a simple matter complet-
ing the training commitment during the ten remaining flying days of the detachment.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 31                 HOURS : 18.20
  2.10.59        Poor weather today virtually stopped the programme, and the three sorties which
were made, were aborted because of visibility difficulties encountered at altitude.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES :   4                 HOURS : 2.40
  5.10.59        We began the day with six serviceable aircraft, fine weather and every chance of
plenty of air firing, but after the first six sorties, it became obvious that this was
not to be so.  Aircraft returned from details unserviceable, and cancellations had to
be made to the programme.  Most of the unserviceabilities are still connected with the
gunsight and Radar Ranging and consequently our Instrument and Radar tradesmen are
working like 'slaves'.
     This is the worst day of the detachment so far, for the number of effective 'shoots'
- only three, out of sixteen firing sorties.  Very disappointing.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 17                 HOURS : 9.25
  6.10.59        Another day of unserviceabilities resulting in a curtailed flying programme; but
one much more rewarding than yesterday, with thirteen of the twenty sorties effective.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 20                 HOURS : 11.15
  7.10.59        The first details this morning were cancelled because of fog, which lasted until
10.30 hours.  The remainder of the day went quite well, although it is doubtful now
whether we shall complete the training requirement by the end of the detachment.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 17                 HOURS : 9.35
  8.10.59        Yet another day, showing all the prospects of being a first class chance to give
everyone plenty of firing, but one which was again very disappointing in its result.
Only five effective shoots were made although a programme was kept running the whole
day, and nineteen sorties were flown.  The reasons for so many abortive sorties are
numerous, and it is interesting to note that the majority are peculiar to High level
air firing only.  The fourteen fruitless trips today were the result of one or more
of the following snags:-
     1.   Unserviceable Radar Ranging,
     2.   Unserviceable Gunsight,
     3.   Towing Aircraft unserviceable,
     4.   Unsuitable weather over the range,
     5.   Towed Target unserviceable,
     6.   Radio
and although the morale of both air and ground crews remains high, it is disappointing to
think that the chance of winning the Duncan Trophy is slipping from our grasp because
of unserviceable equipment.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 19                 HOURS : 10.30
  9.10.59        There was no flying all this morning as the Sylt G.C.I. was 'off the air', so
almost the whole of another day has been lost.  We are now trying to give everyone a
total of eleven effective shoots each, before next Wednesday - and the end of the de-
tachment, as there appears to be no hope of now reaching the required total of 16.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 11                 HOURS : 6.05
  10.10.59        There was no flying programme for today, and the morning was spent servicing in
preparation for a final 'fling' at air firing next week.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : Nil                 HOURS : Nil
  12.10.59        Again, the aircraft, G.C.I. and weather seem to be against us in our efforts.
However, a programme was maintained throughout the day and some success was gained.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 18                 HOURS : 9.45
  13.10.59        The weather was unsuitable for air firing today, and as a deterioration was fore-
cast, it was decided to fly the aircraft back to Jever whilst still possible.  Consequent-
ly, the morning showed the Squadron hangar and dispersal to be a hive of activity, with every-
one engaged in servicing and packing.  After lunch, the eight aircraft returned to Jever,
in sections, where they carried out G.C.A.'s.  Groundcrew from No. 93 Squadron carried
out marshalling and refuelling and then towed the aircraft into the hangar - the first
time they had been under cover for a month.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES :   8                 HOURS : 5.25
R.A.F. Jever & Sylt 14.10.59        Today the Squadron participated in something new: operating from one airfield,
whilst all the ground tradesmen were at another.  At Sylt, the weather was too poor to
fly out a 'turn round' team by Anson, or even fly 'in' the transport drivers for the
convoy.  Consequently, the Squadron was again without groundcrew.  No 93 Squadron kindly
carried out pre-flight inspections on four of our aircraft, and after lunch these
aircraft flew one sortie each as a section.  The 'start up' in dispersal was rather
unusual by any standards - in that the starter crew consisted of one Squadron Leader
one Flight Lieutenant and a Flight Sergeant.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES :   4                 HOURS : 3.55
  15.10.59        Today, the rail party arrived from R.A.F. Sylt, and the road party, now complete
with drivers, set out for Hamburg where they intended breaking the journey.
     There was no flying done today.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : Nil                 HOURS : Nil
R.A.F. Jever 16.10.59        With a fair proportion of the groundcrew now at Jever, we were able to fly today.
The weather was kind, and training consisted of 'Battle Fours' throughout.
     The road party arrived without incident from Hamburg.
Leave:-    Fg. Off. W.R.R. Anderson
                                               SORTIES : 14                 HOURS : 14.10
  19.10.59        Today, efforts were concentrated on servicing prior to our 'Battle Flight'
commitment starting tomorrow.  Consequently only a limited programme was maintained and
eight sorties were flown as four pairs on low level strikes in Northern Germany.  Advantage
was taken of the opportunity today of checking out Squadron pilots in the Squadron's
Hunter T.7 which operated from Station Flight.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : 11                 HOURS : 9.45
  20.10.59        Only two sorties were flown today because of aircraft unserviceability and the
necessity of keeping one pair on the ground for 'Battle Flight'.  It seems that after
such a good spell of serviceability during the first part of the Sylt detachment, the
aircraft are now beginning to 'groan' under the strain.  Unfortunately, four aircraft
are in the hangar with engine snags - and in this particular trade we are undermanned
more so than in others.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES :   2                 HOURS : 2.30
  21.10.59        Another day of limited flying through unserviceability and 'Battle Flight'.  As on
Monday last, training was in the low level role, together with more conversions in the
Hunter T.7.  There were two Battle Flight scrambles - one at 09.30 hours and the other
at 13,.00 hours.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : 10                 HOURS : 8.45
  22.10.59        Visibility was not too good today, so training was moved from low level to high
level air combat although only 5 sorties were flown in this role.  The remainder of the
sorties were either general handling or conversion into the Hunter T7 and Vampire T.11.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : 13                 HOURS : 11.20
  23.10.59        The majority of our aircraft are still being worked on in the hangar, and only five
training sorties were flown during the day.  In addition, there was a Battle Flight
scramble at 15.35 hours.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES :   7                 HOURS : 6.50
  24.10.59        The only flying that took place today was the scramble of the standby pair at 16.40
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES :   -                  HOURS : -
  25.10.59        Although we maintained a pair of aircraft on standby from dawn until dusk, there
were no scrambles.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : Nil                 HOURS : Nil
  26.10.59        The last day of Battle Flight for another month.  Training this week is to be
confined solely to high level work, finishing off each sortie with a QGH/GCA so that
everyone is in practise by the time winter arrives, and by the look of today's weather
it can't be far away.  Showers have been quite frequent, and although very heavy, have
not persisted.
     The few hours flown today can once again be attributed to unserviceabilities,
mainly in the engine trade.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES :   8                 HOURS : 9.45
  27.10.59        It was decided today to build up the number of serviceable aircraft before
attempting to run a flying programme, and by cease work at 17.00 hours, a total of six
aircraft, all in good shape, were promised for tomorrow.  Pilots carried out ground
training in the morning, and worked during the afternoon on alterations to the Squadron
Flight Planning Room and Coffee Bar.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : Nil                 HOURS : Nil
  28.10.59        The six aircraft which were promised yesterday materialised, and flying was planned
on the basis of 'four to fly', and two spares.  However, after the first detail, when
three out of the four landed unserviceable, we were back where we were originally, and
of the fifteen sorties flown during the period, eight of the aircraft were unserviceable
on landing.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth
                                               SORTIES : 15                 HOURS : 15.00
  28.10.59        Today, even though the number of serviceable aircraft was limited, the Squadron
took part in exercise 'Amled' - a Bomber Command exercise.  This of course reduced the
number of possible sorties because aircraft were held on 'standby'.  However, the hours
that were flown proved quite valuable as far as training was concerned, and a number of
excellent interceptions were made.  One sortie was made by night in the Hunter T.7.
Leave:-    Sqn. Ldr. R.J. Spiers, Fg. Off. R. Booth.
                      SORTIES : Day - 12, Night - 1            HOURS : Day - 11.00, Night - .40
  30.10.59        Today was spent servicing again, and no flying took place, other than two sorties
in the Hunter T.7, when Flt. Lt. T.H. Watson renewed his instrument rating.
                                               SORTIES :   2                 HOURS : 1.30

JB Thornton                                         
    (J.B. THORNTON)                                
Flight Lieutenant                                   
for Officer Commanding,                           
No. 4 Squadron.