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F540 Operations Record Book September 1956 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. A. Armitage___ Refs
      alanarmitage.jpg, 1382 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 1.9.56        The weather was good this morning.   The Squadron was detailed to provide Battle
and four aircraft were used for this purpose.   Four sections of four aircraft
carried out practice interceptions during the morning and one aerobatic and an airtest
were flown.   The pilots refuelled their own aircraft after each trip.  In all, a
promising start to the month.
                                                   Sorties   18       Hours   12.10
  3.9.56        The Squadron concentrated mainly on cine quarter attack training today and
one four-aircraft battle formation sortie was flown.   The weather deteriorated
throughout the day until at 1200 hours the airfield colour state became red.   There
was no flying during the afternoon and the pilots spent the time in the Gymnasium
playing basketball.
                                                   Sorties   14       Hours   11.40
  4.9.56        As from today the Squadron are providing Battle Flight for the next week.   Seven
Battle Flight sorties were flown, using five aircraft each time, the fifth aircraft
being used as a spare.   Various other individual aerobatic sorties were also carried
out.   The evening weather was fit for flying and the Squadron carried out eight
local night flying sorties.
                                               Sorties   56       Hours   42.50
  5.9.56        Again, the main training today was the Battle Flight sorties, three of which
were flown, and the remaining aircraft carried out individual aerobatic and practice
forced-landings sorties with controlled descents and G.C.A.s at the end of each trip.
                                                   Sorties   21       Hours   16.40
  6.9.56        Another day consisting mainly of Battle Flight sorties.   In the morning the
weather was good permitting the first sortie to be airborne at 08:40 hours.   The
two additional aircraft were used for a varied programme of training mainly consisting
of cine sorties and individual aerobatic trips.
                                                   Sorties   43       Hours   34.00
  7.9.56        A full and varied day's flying took place today.   Again the main training
consisted mainly of Battle Flight sorties carried out with the aid of the G.C.I.
Stations, and a number of successful interceptions took place.
     The weather deteriorated as the day progressed, but despite this, flying
continued until 17.00 hours.
                                                Sorties   34       Hours   28.35
  8.9.56        The bad weather lasted until the earlier stages of the morning, the airfield
colour state being red until 09.30 hours.   Five aircraft were serviceable at
the commencement of the day and these were all used by Battle Flight.   The last
sortie landed at 12.20 hours and battle flight was stood down for the week-end.
                                               Sorties   10       Hours   7.05
  10.9.56        A change in the weather for the start of a new week.   Flying began at 08.30
and again the main training was battle flight sorties, flown in co-ordination with
the G.C.I. stations.
     A number of cine and individual aerobatic sorties were also flown.   In all a
good day's flying.
                                                   Sorties   40       Hours   30.30
  11.9.56        Today, our period of battle flight having ended, saw concentration of training
on cine work, which, of necessity has been rather neglected during the past week.
Eleven pairs doing cine quarter attack sorties were flown and numerous single aircraft
training sorties were flown and these were used mainly for aerobatic and practice
flame-out landings, with Q.G.H. let-downs and G.C.A.s
                                              Sorties   28       Hours   22.45
  12.9.56   Cine work again featured strongly on the morning's programme, and the pilots have
just about regained their previous proficiency.   Practice Q.G.H.s and G.C.A.s were
carried out at the completion of each sortie and the G.C.A.s are becoming more
satisfactory as the operators become more experienced.
                                                   Sorties   15       Hours   11.20
  13.9.56   The good weather continued today and a full day's flying took place.   Training
was varied considerably, equal emphasis being placed on cine quarter attacks, high
level and low-level battle formation sorties, with an additional two airtests
carried out for good measure.
                                                Sorties   36       Hours   27.55
  14.9.56        Today saw a renewed attack on low level formation and cross-country sorties,
which, until recently, were banned.   Our aircraft have now all been modified,
permitting these low level sorties to be flown and the Squadron are now making
up for their lack of recent experience in this role.
                                          Sorties   24       Hours   18.15
  15.9.56   This morning the Station held the Battle of Britain Parade , after which the Squadron
was stood down.
  17.9.56   No flying took place today.   The Squadron is being detached for ten days to Leeuwarden
in Holland, during which time Exercise Stronghold and Whipsaw will take place.
Today was used mainly in loading the M.T. with Squadron equipment.
                                                  Sorties   Nil       Hours   Nil
  18.9.56   The road party left for Leeuwarden today at 05.30 hours and they expected the journey
to take approximately six hours.   Again no flying took place.   In the morning
the pilots spent their time cleaning aircraft, and in the afternoon sporting activities
took place.
                                          Sorties   Nil       Hours   Nil
  19.9.56   The air party left for Leeuwarden today.   The original time of departure was estimated
as being 10.30 hours but this was postponed until after lunch ; and at 13.30 hours
ten aircraft finally departed.   On arrival at Leeuwarden the aircraft were refuelled
and a number of sector recces were flown.
Here, at Leeuwarden, the accommodation is quite good, sleeping quarters for all
personnel being in Barrack Blocks and all the Squadron offices being in a newly
completed building designed just for that purpose.   The various messes are under
canvas, and are situated about 300 yards from the Squadron building , all food being
prepared in a field kitchen.
                                          Sorties   16       Hours   12.10
  20.9.56   As Exercise Stronghold is not due to begin until tomorrow, the day was spent flying
sector recces for the most part, although some high level battle formation sorties
took place.
                                          Sorties   21       Hours   14.20
R.N.A.F. LEEUWARDEN 21.9.56   Exercise Stronghold started today and will last until Sunday.   This Exercise is
designed to test air defences of the U.K., our role being to fly certain raids
and fighter sweeps.
The first take off was at 06.10 hours and sorties were flown until 1600 hours.
A great deal of activity was observed throughout the day.
                                                 Sorties   32       Hours   26.30
  22.9.56   The Exercise continued today and the fighter sweeps were resumed.   Only five raids
were called for, and the rest of the sorties flown were used to fly high level
battle formation and tail chase sorties.
                                          Sorties   32       Hours   26.10
  23.9.56   Only one sweep was called for today, but this was to be a maximum effort and ten
aircraft took part.
                                                     Sorties   10       Hours   9.10
  24.9.56   Exercise "Stronghold" having finished last night, the morning was devoted to
normal squadron flying, and the afternoon spent on the sports field.   For the
flying, three sections of four flew a varied programme of close, low and high level
battle formations ; Flight Lieutenant K. Munn flew his first sortie with the
Squadron and there were four other solo sorties.   On the soccer pitch the Jever
Wing Pilots beat the Leeuwarden Wing pilots 5 - 3, but the Jever airmen lost
to their Dutch counterparts 4- 2.
                                             Sorties   15       Hours   11.00
  25.9.56        The Squadron flew four sorties with a high level battle four and one formations of
aerobatics.   One of the high level formations was attacked by F. 100s - the
Squadron's first experience of these aircraft.   Although the routine here is very
varied, the men have settled down quite comfortably.
                                          Sorties   19       Hours   13.25
  26.9.56   Today saw the beginning of the three-day Exercise "Whipsaw".   Leeuwarden, and
most of Holland stayed fogbound all day and there were no take-offs.   Pilots and
crew were available from 05.45 hours and spent a rather frustrating day standing
  27.9.56   On this exercise the Squadron is assuming its normal fighter role, and our part
consists of having eight aircraft and crews available at the disposal of the sector
commander during the hours of daylight.   We are a unit in the force defending
Holland and the U.K. against bomber attacks from the East.
The early morning and the middle of the day were marred by bad weather and in addition,
only one sortie was scrambled in the afternoon making a total of five for the day.
We were mainly scrambled on standing patrols and the pilots, who had naturally hoped
for a few interesting interceptions, were somewhat disappointed.
                                          Sorties   18       Hours   14.40
  28.9.56   The progress of the exercise was again hampered by bad weather and only three fours
were scrambled.   Unfortunately a 40-knot cross -wind over the O.R.P.s caused
occasional starting delays so that only nine aircraft took-off.   At the end of the day,
most of the equipment was packed and the road party was scrambled for its return
to Jever early tomorrow morning.
                                                        Sorties   9       Hours   6.55
  29.9.56   The Squadron today returned to Jever,   The air party of ten aircraft took-off
at 11.30 hours and with ten aircraft of Number 93 Squadron formed a cross of boxes
for a flypast over Leeuwarden.   They were then accompanied to Jever by twenty
Hunters from two resident Dutch Squadrons who formed another cross of boxes in
line abreast for a fly past over Jever.   From the Squadron's point of view the exercise
had not been very satisfying, and everyone was pleased to be back.
                                                    Sorties   12       Hours   8.40
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                 
Squadron Leader,               
Officer Commanding          
Number 4 Squadron