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F540 Operations Record Book September 1952 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS          COMPILING OFFICER   __FG. OFF ENH. LACK_____ Refs
R.A.F. Jever 1.9.52  
     The Squadron, based at R.N.A.F. Eindhoven, continued its work at the
Dutch airfield with some high level battle formation practice.   One of our new
pilots, a national service officer, received his dual check, and was sent out 
on sector reconnaissance.
                                                 28 Sorties   9 hrs   45 mins.
 
  2.9.52  
     Flying comprised battle formation at all altitudes from the ground up to 30,000ft.,
and rat and terrier practice.   For the latter a four was sent out low level, and was
bounced by another aircraft giving practice for the four in breaks from low level.
    Three of our officers left for R.A.F. Jever to sit their promotion exam "B".
                                                 24 Sorties  18 hrs   35 mins.
 
  3.9.52  
     An armament programme had been arranged for today:  but deteriorating weather caused
flying to stop at lunch time.  Nevertheless four pairs managed to get off during the
morning for precision attacks at Nordhorn range.
                                                 14 Sorties  13 hrs.
 
  4.9.52  
     At 0930 hrs. a flight was scrambled to intercept U.S.A.F. Tornadoes at 30,000ft.
There were two such interception missions, the second being abortive.  Apparently
Ground Control did not know the Squadron was airborne and was unable to bring our
flight into contact with the enemy.  The last mission of the day was also an interception
- a fluid six of our own aircraft being attacked by a further pair.
                                                 27 Sorties  19 hrs   55 mins.
 
  5.9.52  
     The detachment to Holland ended with a pleasant morning tour of part of the
enormous Phillips works in Eindhoven.  THEN we flew back home to Jever
                                                 10 Sorties  14 hrs   10 mins.
 
  6.9.52  
The remainder of the Squadron's ground staff returned by K.L.M. Dakota and a small
road convoy to R.A.F. Jever.
 
  8.9.52  
There was a small amount of low flying in the morning restricted by early morning fog.
After lunch the station combined to practice wing let down practice procedure.  Twenty
four aircraft were flown in three squadrons, which let down in pairs line astern, with
a two minute interval between squadrons.
                                                  13 Sorties   8 hrs   55 minutes.
 
  9.9.52  
The skies rained forth water, keeping all the Vampires grounded.  Only a Meteor flew -
carrying one of our pilots on an instrument rating (green ticket) test.
 
  10.9.52  
The Squadron provides the battle flight this week and is called for two interceptions
The first found our aircraft flying parallel to their playmates in full, view of
each other, but ground control had radar trouble and could not effect an attack.
After some delay, the controllers were still unable to rectify the faults and sent 
both flights back home.
     The second interception was also abortive partly because of further temporary
unserviceability of the radar equipment, and partly because the opposing flight
became split up and had difficulty in reforming.
     A second wing let down practice was held, and worked out quite successfully.
These exercises are primarily designed to prepare for mass landings during the 
impending exercise "Ardent".
                                                  26 Sorties  18 hrs   45 mins.
 
  11.9.52  
Every minute of the day was crowded with activity.  Thirteen pairs of aircraft flew
to Nordhorn to deliver eight rockets apiece.  Squadron Leader Williamson and Flight 
Lieutenant Collins flew down to R.A.F. Buckeburg to select and inspect our camp site
for Exercise "Holdfast".  The first convoy for this exercise was loaded; and in the 
evening we began night flight - dusk landings for those who had not flown Vampires at
night before, and Cross Countries for the others.
                               Day Sorties  28 Sorties  23 hours   20 minutes.
                               Night  "          9 Sorties    5 hours   25 minutes.
 
  12.9.52  
Apart from battle flight duties, flying was spent on journeys to R.A.F. Buckeberg in
connection with Holdfast.  The battle flight's first mission was quite abortive.
The flight was vectored to 36,000 feet to attack an F.84 target which never appeared.
The second was spoiled when, having been attacked once, our flight was prevented from
carrying out an interception because the target had split into two pairs and failed
to reform quickly. The two flights were then at the limit of the radar cover and 
compelled to return to base. 

                                                         17 Sorties  12 hours   55 minutes.
 
  13.9.52  
All efforts were directed to preparation for the move to R.A.F. Buckeburg.
                                                           1 Sortie                   15 minutes.
 
  14.9.52  
The Squadron flew to R.A.F. Buckeburg and began to settle down.  Four pilots joined
the Squadron - Pilot Officers Bridson, Madden, Spearman and Warner for the exercise.
                                                         12 Sorties     5 hours   30 minutes.
 
  15.9.52  
The domestic and Ops., sites are completed.  Sector recces are flown by those pilots
not familiar with the area.
                                                         15 Sorties     8 hours   35 minutes.
 
  16.9.52  
Exercise Holdfast began this morning.  The Squadron sent 8 aircraft to raid
Twente airfield. They found and strafed aircraft packed closely round the main 
runway, and were themselves attacked by a Meteor when departing the target.  The 
Meteor was claimed by our second four.
     A set of teletalk loudspeakers has been installed at Buckeburg for briefing
squadrons at their dispersals.  They are very efficient and make remote briefing 
quite easy.
     Flying Officer Beaton has been selected to take part in the Inter Allied Sports 
meeting at Bergzabern?  He will be throwing the javelin for the combined T.A.F./B.A.O.R. team
and he left today for the competition training camp at Jaggerdarl?

                                                          18 Sorties   12 hours   ?? minutes.
 
R.A.F.Jever 17.9.52  
     The war being scarcely a day old, continued very slowly.  We flew a weather recce
with a pair, and, late in the afternoon, a strike against a group of well hidden guns.
They were so well hidden that only a couple of soft skinned vehicles were seen in the
dense wood where Intelligence had reported them.
                                                          11 Sorties     4 hrs       45 mins.
 
  18.9.52  
     This was a typical exercise day.  Six aircraft were called for at 0500hrs.: but no
targets came through during the morning.  The number available raised to ten at 
1000hrs.  Then at lunchtime, a strike of eight aircraft was ordered against a concen-
tration of armour - the result of a flash report from another squadron.  However, in
spite of very fast briefing and scramble, all our efforts came to nought when low
cloud on the hill tops and poor visibility in the battle area defeated the formations
which had to return without having reached their target.
     Partly because of this setback a weather reconnaissance was ordered off.   This 
section found the weather to be improving from the south.
    The airfield was raided again - this was about the fifth raid during the exercise -
but not without incident.  The raiders - four reconnaissance Meteors - were attacked
by five Vampires, which showed some edge over their more powerful opponents, at least
in the turning circle.
     There were three other missions.  On the first a flight of four was led by
Flight Lieutenant Knight - who is from C.F.E. and attached to the Squadron for
Holdfast.  This officer, who has completed a tour in Korea, flying Sabres, has been
eagerly questioned by the Squadron pilots on modern operational flying.  The flight
found four tanks and strafed them.
     The second mission was abortive.  An armed reconnaissance of a road was ordered, but
nothing was found.  Finally we had our only interception scramble.  A pair was scrambled
to intercept some "rats" - but found nothing aloft.  Interception scrambles were not
suitable, however for our Squadrons, because of the distance between our dispersal and
the runway.  In future only 93 and 112 Squadrons will be called for this type of scramble.
Pilot Officer Clayton, a national service officer, joined the Squadron today
                                             Sorties  26 Sorties  ?? hours   ?? minutes.
 
  19.9.52  
     Bad weather suspended operations till early noon thereafter, visibility was poor
for the battle area.  Accordingly a couple of strafing missions were flown in the low
flying area.  Late in the evening there were two operational missions - armed reconn
-aissance.
A small scale ground defence exercise was carried out during the night, to give 
limited exercise to the Regiment and flying squadrons in defending the airfield.
                                                         15 Sorties    7 hrs       40 mins.
 
  20.9.52

 

   There were many missions today.  The was is raging furiously, with considerable involvement near
the key town of Soest.  We are regularly called to strike armour and transport with
fours and pairs and, in conjunction with other squadrons, in eights.
     The Squadron Commander, leading his four, twice today after the briefed strike, 
surprised formations of enemy Thunderjets  bounced them hard.  These aircraft are
surprisingly gently handled by their pilots near the ground.  Our Vampires simply danced 
rings round them.   The C.O.'s number two is S/Lt. Richard, attached to the Squadron from
the French Air Force.   This officer, like all the pilots on the Squadron, finds the 
intensive flying on the exercise most interesting and enjoyable, and is making full 
use of the lessons to be learned.
     In the evening the Jever Wing was called into the air to soften up the enemy near
Unna? in preparation for a parachute landing.  Weather, however, was poor enough to prevent
rapid target identification, and because flights were allowed only three minutes search
in the target area, the effectiveness of the strike was somewhat reduced.
                                                          32 Sorties  19 hrs.
 
  21.9.52  
     Three missions this morning.  The first four joined forces with a four from 93 Sqdn.
and rocketed ????????????????????????????????????????????
with four ????? free from the enemy airfield of Wildenwrath, strafing ????.  These formations
had already been engaged with another four from our own Squadron, led by Flight
Lieutenant Lee.  He had been carrying out a strafing against G.C.I.??s south west of Soest, 
within?? an hour of getting back to base, his flight was off again, just managing to 
complete the last attack of the day before refs stopped play.
                                                          16 Sorties    9 hrs.
 
  22.9.52  
     Two strikes flew off in rapid succession before breakfast.  There was a mass of armour
moving against Greenland in the Placferdfac? counterattack.  This gave our Greenland Air
Force easy and easily seen targets, such as a huge convoy of trucks and bridging 
equipment, and a field full of S.P. guns.  During an attack on the latter some R.N.A.F.
Thunderjets were spotted and eagerly attacked.
     The airfield was raided for the last time this morning - a raid which was violently
and successfully intercepted by four Vampires from R.A.F. Wunstorf.  They pressed home
their attacks vigorously against the eight raiding Thunderjets, in a running battle
which continued out of sight to the south over the Minden Hills.
     Exercise Holdfast came to an end shortly after noon.  The last mission was a fly past
by the aircraft taking part in the exercise - flown in Wings at fifteen minute intervals
over the battle area.
                                                          38 Sorties   24 hrs.
 
  23.9.52  
     No. 4 Squadron's aircraft flew back to R.A.F. Jever.  The field equipment was packed
and most of the domestic site camp struck.
                                                            9 Sorties     4hrs   10 mins.
 
  24.9.52  
     There was some normal continuation training today.  During the sports afternoon, the
first practice began for the Station rugby team.
     Squadron ground staff returned to R.A.F. Jever by road convoy.
                                                           12 Sorties     8hrs   50 mins.
 
R.A.F. Jever 25.9.52  
     With four newly arrived pilots on the Squadron and the high level exercises over U.K.
impending, we are concentrating on high level battle formation - particularly the 
technique of cross over turns - and blind let down procedures.  The Squadron is also
busy renewing its pilots' instrument ratings.
                                                            12 Sorties    8hrs   50mins.
 
  26.9.52  
     There was a strong eighty five degrees crosswind which prevented all flying.  The
morning was devoted to lectures as part of the plan to qualify all pilots as crew
chiefs.
                                                                      No flying.
 
  27/28.9.52  
     Station stand down.
 
  29.9.52  
     Snake climbs, high level battle formation, controlled descent through cloud, and
some aerobatics and sector reconnaissance for the new pilots.
                                                              20 Sorties  13hrs   20mins.
 
  30.9.52  
     Normal training continued, with the addition of G.C.A. practices at R.A.F.
Wunstorf.  One flight of four landed there to refuel and do some more G.C.A.s.  A section 
of two experimented with flying there, doing two G.C.A.s, and returning without landing. 
                                                              34 Sorties   23hrs   10mins.
 
     
     Summary.     1 busy month, beginning with the last stages of our detachment to Holland,
                         and culminating in the final B.A.O.R./2nd.T.A.F. Exercise Holdfast.  The
latter, although disappointing compared with last year's Counterthreat, principally
because it lacked the latter's extensive ground defence manoeuvre - nevertheless provided
our pilots with good practice in ground attack.  The Squadron worked in two flights and, 
a half.  By the middle of the exercise, they had worked up to a highly satisfactory 
standard in flying together as a team.
     Four new pilots were posted in and began training with the Squadron.
 
     
Flying :                                                  Day                Night
                    Individual                        13.25                   1.45
                    Interception                    29.25
                    Sqdn/Wg. Exercises     154.35
                    Air Support                     70.25
                    Navigation                      17.20                   3.40
                    Weapons                       28.40
                    Photographic                     -                             
                    Vampire Total               313.50                   5.25
                    
                    Meteor                           11.25                          
                    
                    Grand Total                   325.25                   5.25
 
     
     Compiled by  Sgn ENH Lack  FG/OFF.      Authorised by .. Sgn WR Collins...FLT.LT
                       (E.N.H. LACK)                                           (W.R. COLLINS)