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F540 Operations Record Book September 1953 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                  COMPILING OFFICER   _____Flying Officer P.J.C.Phillips.__ Refs

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R.A.F. Jever 1.9.53.   Owing to general unserviceability on the station we had to provide Battle Flight.
This was the only flying done by the squadron, except for a few I.F. trips in the Meteor.
                                  Vampire Sorties  16 - 15.05 Hours
                                  Meteor    Sorties    3 -   2.25 Hours.
  2.9.53.   Owing to the very heavy demands necessitated by the summer exercises most of the
squadron aircraft are nearly due for their next inspection, so there will be very little
flying for the next few weeks.   Dinghy drill was practiced in the station
swimming pool, with the best possible weather conditions.   The intention is to
continue these practices in the winter too Brr !         No flying.
  3.9.53.   The hours flown today represent the efforts of Battle Flight and the pilots figuring
in the night flying programme.   Flying Officer Clayton, who was not night flying
received instructions from the A.T.C. Officer in the mysteries of the Q.G.H.
what is more, his Q.G.H's were very good, even when working three aircraft simul-
                               Vampire Sorties  26 - 20.50 Hours.
                               Meteor    Sorties    2 -   1.45 Hours
  4.9.53.   With the approach of the A.O.C's visit, there is a lot of work taking place in
the hangar and the Barrack Block.   Already a marked improvement is shown, but there
is still much to do.
                                Meteor    Sorties    1 -  .45 Hours
  5.9.53.   An A.O.C's parade rehearsal was followed by general cleaning.   Two pilots were
put through their dinghy drill paces by the P.F.O. in rather chilly weather.
                               Meteor    Sorties    1 -  .45 Hours
  7.9.53.   We are Duty Squadron for the week, therefore Battle Flight is ours.   At present
they are the only people who manage to get airborne.   In the afternoon, two
I.F. trips were flown in the Meteor, whilst the C.O. took the remaining pilots to
the swimming pool for (right first time)-dinghy drill.
                                  Vampire Sorties  9 - 6.40 Hours
                                  Meteor    Sorties  2 - 1.25 Hours.
  8.9.53.   Battle Flight duties were undertaken by 93 Squadron whilst we fired on targets at
Meppen Range.   Weather conditions were almost perfect, yet sone of the results
were disappointing.   Fg.Off. Molden took his 1 R.T. at Oldenburg, and returned as one
of the green ticketed elite.   Work continued until 20.00 when everyone retired to
the Mess for dinner and a game (introduced by the C.O.) of "21 Aces".   A game
designed to induce quick oblivion to worldly cares !
                                           Vampire Sorties  21 - 13.25 hours
                                         Meteor    Sorties  3  -     2.50 hours
  9.9.53.   Today was devoted exclusively to cleaning and painting.          No flying.  
  10.9.53.   Battle Flight were scrambled twice, as is now normal practice,.   On the first sortie
we were employed chasing "bogeys".   The second was the usual thing - interceptions
with another Battle Flight - except for our last attack.   Apparently they were
descending to their base when spotted, so in order to complete the interception, we
chased them from 23.000'to 5,000' at .74 mach, with ears popping furiously.
                                        Vampire Sorties  7 - 5.50 hours
                                        Meteor    Sorties  3 - 1.20 hours
  11.9.53.   A practice flypast of 16 aircraft from the Wing took place at 12.00 hours.
An unbiased observer brought out one or two minor points which must be watched on
the day.
                         Vampire Sorties  15 - 11.40 hours
                         Meteor    Sorties    3 - 1.20 hours
  12.9.53.   A rehearsal parade was followed by an inspection of the station by the Group Captain
who appeared to be reasonably satisfied by both.
                                         Vampire Sorties  2 - .50 Hours
  14.9.53.   Final preparations for the visit by the A.O.C. tomorrow included two parades and
general cleaning and tidying.          No Flying.
  15.9.53.   The A.O.C. arrived in his vampire and inspected the parade which was not marred by
any big mistakes.   He then inspected all the sections on the station but because
the time table was considerably behind schedule he only made a tentative appearance
at the Squadron Hangar.   After lunch a combined formation of sixteen aircraft from
both squadrons flew past.   The A.O.C. left in the mid afternoon and afterwards the
Station Commander congratulated everyone on putting on a good show.
                                    Vampire Sorties  10 - 4.50 hours
  16.9.53.   Most people are suffering from a reaction after the A.O.C's inspection and the
mornings flying was limited to local flying Q.G.H.'s etc
                                      Vampire Sorties  13 - 8.00 hours
                                      Meteor    Sorties    1 -  .25 hours
  17.9.53.   Our detachment to Sylt is coming up again shortly and so we are concentrating on
cine training in earnest.   In addition we are practicing low level battle formation
and mock attacks on ground targets in preparation for "Grand Repulse".   The
night flying programme has a rather unusual and definitely illuminating aspect to it when the local army searchlight endeavoured to pick us up.   They coped
quite well in despite their inexperience although our navigation lights were a
considerable aid.
                         Day   :-    Vampire Sorties  34 - 24.10 hours
                         Night   :- Vampire Sorties  17 - 13.05 hours
  18.9.53.   Met forecasted low cloud and poor visibility and so we took the opportunity of
erecting tents and camouflaging for the coming exercise.   During the afternoon
the expected deterioration in the weather proved in actual fact to be an improvement
and a few formation sorties were flown.
                                   Vampire Sorties  9 - 6.05 hours
  19.9.53.   Grand Repulse started at midnight and in the opening stages we were fighting on the
northern area side.   The most stringent precautions have been taken to prevent
any possible accidents.   The sorties today consisted of armed
Recces in pairs and as yet no definite bomb line has been established.   A few
Westerland Thunderjets were seen as opposed to encountered and a number of claims
were made.
                      Vampire Sorties  28 - 18.15 hours
  20.9.53.   Headquarters have worked out some semblance of a bomb line and harassing attacks
with napalm and 18mm Cannon carried out against large concentrations of Tanks
and S.S.V's.   We still continue to operate against Westerland who are rapidly
bringing forces to counter the bridgehead, the weather was pretty poor all day
and there did not appear to be much activity from other aerodromes.
                                            Vampire Sorties 14 - 10.00 hours
  21.9.53.   We have now switched sides and are operating against the bridgehead.   The latter is about
fifteen miles long and similar in depth.   This area was inundated with aircraft and it
was difficult to identify who was the foe and who was friendly.
                             Vampire Sorties 28 - 18.30 hours
  22.9.53.   The weather has been decidedly poor up to-date and today it restricted the number
of sorties considerably, the bridgehead is diminishing rapidly undoubtedly due to
harassing by the Westerland air force.
                            Vampire Sorties 15 - 10.15 hours
  23.9.53.   The bridgehead is minute now and the Northern area forces will have to think seriously
of evacuation.   Two sections of four aircraft at five minutes interval attacked this
area but owing to the difficulty of seeing anything on the ground and the size of the
bridgehead, the sortie was abortive.   On the whole the exercise was not as realistic
as Coronet owing to the stringent safety precautions.
                                    Day  :-        Vampire Sorties    37 - 20.20 hours
                                    Night  :-        Vampire Sorties 7 -    3.00 hours
  24.9.53.   Battle Flight had four Form Dogs which were repetition of the attacks carried out
by the previous dog, against Ahlhorn.   On returning to base we also made mock
attacks against the local gunners to give them some practice.   We also had a
short night flying programme which included playing with the searchlights.   They
are getting quite expert now and we are finding it difficult to lose them.
                Day  :-          Vampire 25 Sorties - 18.35 hours
              Night  :-         Vampire 12 Sorties - 11.05 hours.
  28.9.53.   The flying today was devoted to cine in preparation for Sylt.   Most
people have finished the ranging and tracking exercises and are now really concen-
trating on parallel quarters.   One pair climbed about 20.000 feet of cloud before
they found a clear area and then discovered the much greater difficulty of cine
in rarefied atmosphere.
                                         Vampire Sorties 20 - 11.40 hours
  29.9.53.   Although our primary object was to continue with cine training the monotony of this
was broken by some battle formation in two sections of four at high level and one
at low level.   The latter was interesting in that it was quite easily bounced by
an aircraft coming dead astern.   The answer seems to be continueal weaving by the
whole formation at low level and perhaps a much wider type should be flown.
Low level battle formation presents many roblems which can only be solved by
                         Day  :-       Vampire 37 Sorties   - 29.50 hours
                         Night :-         Vampire 17 Sorties 11.05 hours
  30.9.53.   A short air to ground programme was arranged which was unfortunately balked by weather.
          Instead we finished the monthly returns and studied the film of our cine
      attacks.            No flying.
          For variety, this month comes second to none.   The final departure of
Sqn.Ldr. Williamson, the A.O.C's inspection, followed closely by "Grand Repulse"
and preparation for the Sylt detachment certainly left nobody with time on their
hands.   We are extremely sorry to say goodbye to Fg.Off. Lack who has been with the Squadron
for two years and will be missed very much both socially and operationally.
On the other hand we welcome Sgt. Williams who now makes the squadron up to strength.
     The real disappontment this month was exercise "Grand Repulse" which was the antithesis
of Coronet.   It is appreciated that it was mainly an army exercise, but
the safety precautions thwarted and frustrated pilots so much, that in the event
of war it would have done more harm than good.
We failed to reach the monthly target by 68.45 hours this was mainly due
to the heavy demands for aircraft during the summer months which was not
conducive to a good stagger line.

                                  Compiled by.....P.J.C.Phillips..FG.OFF  Authorised by.PWGilpin..SQN.LDR.
                                                           (P.J.C.PHILLIPS.)                                         (PWGILPIN)

                                                      Sorties                                        Hours
                        Vampire   Day    338                                              233.10
                                          Night  63                                                43.40
                        Meteor     Day     26                                                25.25
                                         Total   427                                             302.15

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