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F540 Operations Record Book April 1955 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis
Place Date Time Summary of Events                                  COMPILING OFFICER  Flying Officer G.E. Hickman REF. TO APPENDICES
     

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Royal Air Force 1st April, 1955.           Squadron Leader Browne scored a 43% today: the highest score of the detachment.  
Jever 2nd.             There was no flying today because of the fog.   Some pilots went to a lecture on the Aden
gun in the Station Armoury before the Squadron stood down at mid-day.
 
  4th Monday           The fog persisted throughout the morning and flying was possible for only a
short while during the afternoon.   Six effective sorties were flown with a daily
average of 14.7%.   Flying Officer Sanderson scored 25% and Squadron Leader Browne 23%.
          During the morning, the pilots had a talk on helicopters and their use in air-sea
rescue from the Sylt Helicopter Flight and in the afternoon some pilots were given
practice pick-ups.
 
  5th             The weather was very bad and no flying took place.   The day was spent loading
and cleaning up in preparation for our return to Jever.   The pilots were briefed,
by the Squadron Commander, on the return trip.
 
  6th             Flying Officer Macknish and the main rail party left Sylt this morning and the
weather cleared sufficiently by 16.00 hours to allow the air party to return to Jever.
One aircraft was left behind with undercarriage unserviceable.   The final Squadron
average 8.2% with the highest individual averages being:-
                           Squadron Leader Browne                         17.9%
                           Flying Officer Sanderson                           13%
                           Flight Sergeant Shrubsole                        12.1%
          The road party, under Flying Officer Hickman, returned to Jever today.   The
Squadron stood down at mid-day for the four day Easter Grant.
 
  12th Tuesday           The weather was fine all day and a total of 29 hours was flown.   A large number
of the sorties were battle formations in which we need the practice having been at
Sylt for a month.
 
  13th             Flying did not start until 09.30 hours, but the serviceability was much better
than yesterday and a total of 37½ hours was flown.   The emphasis was again on battle
formation.
 
  14th             We were operating 2 sections of four all day, and had flown 40 hours by the end
of the day.
 
  15th             The first section of four was airborne at 08.00 hours and succeeding sections
took off every 20-30 minutes throughout the day.   This gave us a total for the day
of 47 hours, this is the highest number of hours ever achieved by this Squadron for
purely day flying.
 
  16th             This morning we had a change and flew in a Wing formation of sixteen aircraft.
Runs were made over base, Ahlhorn and Oldenburg, all of which were suitably impressed.
 
  18th             In a full day's flying the emphasis was on cine quarter attacks.   Four aircraft
paid a visit to the Dutch Air Force at Soesterberg, so repaying several visits made
to Jever by Dutch pilots.
 
  19th             The Squadron was on call from dawn to dusk for Battle Flight duties.   No call
was made outside normal working hours but seven complete turn rounds were flown during
the day providing several good interceptions on a variety of aircraft.
 
  20th             There was very little flying today because of poor weather conditions.  
  21st             Flying did not begin until 10.00 hours as an inspection of the ejection seat
gun had to be carried out first.   All the aircraft were found to be serviceable.   In
spite of this Battle Flight had six sorties, carried out mainly between 10,000 and
25,000 feet.   The controlling was good and several interceptions were made on civ-
ilian air-liners.   A limited air to ground programme was being carried out on
Meppen range with the highest score being 16.5% by Sqn. Ldr. Browne   Two Sabres
were flown to U.K. the first to go in the cut down in Squadron strength.
 
  22nd             The scrambling times were good on Battle Flight, four aircraft being airborne
in 1 minute 40 seconds.
          The highest air to ground score was 12% by Fg. Off. Busby.   The controller at
Meppen range was very good and considerably helped those pilots who were on their
first air to ground sorties.
 
  23rd             There was no flying today.   In the afternoon the Squadron was visited by the
Italian C.A.S., His Excellency General Rafaelli and staff;  the C.-in-C. 2 A.T.A.F.,
A.O.C. No. 2 Group were also present.   The Squadron aircraft were lined up for his inspection.
 
  25th Monday           Battle Flight had no calls over the weekend, but flew six sorties today.   The
majority of the interceptions were between 15,000 and 25,000 feet.   Other flying con-
sisted of high level battle formations.
 
  26th             The Squadron was standing by on Exercise "Sky High" this afternoon.   (Click to see 4 Sqn during this exercise.)   Only one section of four was scrambled taking 1½ minutes to get airborne.   However, the raid was almost over and no interceptions were made.   The controlling was poor mainly because the G.C.I. were unable to pick up the aircraft, which were operating between 40,000 and 45,000 feet.  
  27th             Flying did not start until 09.30 hours because of fog.   In spite of this 13
hours were flown before the Squadron stood down for a sports afternoon.   The em-
phasis was on battle formation and cine quarter attacks.
 
  28th             Another full flying day with pilots concentrating on cine quarter attacks.   The
Squadron aerobatic team had two practice sorties.
 
  29th             The Squadron was standing by for Exercise "Sky High" until 15.00 hours, but only
one section of four was scrambled.   They did not make any interceptions.   Local
flying, consisting mainly of low level battle formations, continued until 18.45 hours.
Thirty nine sorties were flown for a total of 29½ hours.
 
  30th             There was no flying today, because the Squadron had reached the record total of 460 Sabre hours - so more than fulfilling the target for 18 U.E. aircraft.
Squadron ground duties and monthly returns were carried out.
 
      Total for Sylt Detachment                                                             Total for Air-Ground at Jever
Rounds fired       53,805                                                                           5,094
Stoppages                     8                                                                                   1
Stoppage Rate      6,726                                                                          5,094
                                     Hours                                                   Sorties
Sabre 4                       464.35                                                    653
Vampire T.11               30.45                                                    38
Prentice                        18.45                                                    23
 
      Operations
          The Squadron completed its A.P.S. attachment during the first week of April,
unfortunately only one day of this period was fit for firing.   The final results
for the attachment were reasonably pleasing - the Squadron average was 8.2 %, with
a Duncan Trophy average of 12.1%, both of these averages were higher than that
achieved by any previous Sabre Squadron for a full attachment.   The 230 effective
shoots were all with the use of radar ranging.   The pilots achieved an average of
12 effective shoots each and are now all convinced that the radar sight can produce
the desired results.
          The Squadron returned to Jever just before Easter with less than 50 hours flying
and flying didn't start again until 12th of the month.   However, in those remaining
15 available flying days, the weather and aircraft serviceability held, and over
400 hours were flown, giving a total of 464 Sabre hours for the month.   This easily
breaks the target for an 18 U.E. Squadron, and it is the highest monthly total ever
achieved since the Squadron reformed in 2 T.A.F. in 1950.   On one day a record total
46 Sabre hours were flown during normal working hours.
          The main training consisted of high level tactical formation, cine ¼ attacks,
and a week's Battle Flight duties.   The air to ground range at Meppen was used on
two days, but the programme was limited as Battle Flight had the first priority.
Exercise "Sky High" proved very disappointing, as it was completely abortive from the
Squadron angle - too few sorties for the aircraft required and "no trade" when they
did get airborne.   The G.C.I. equipment would appear to be quite inadequate for con- trolling aircraft above 35,000 feet.
 
      Administrative
          The Squadron move from A.P.S. back to Jever consisted of four parties, - the
air, the main rail, the rear rail and rear road parties.   The main party left on
6th April and the rear parties on 7th April, having been delayed a day because of
poor weather causing the air party to delay their take off until late afternoon.
All personnel were back by the time the Easter Grant had started on 8th April.
          During the month, the Squadron was reduced to 18 U.E. aircraft and 14 airmen
were posted to the Command Support Unit at Buckeburg.   So far no medically fit
pilots have been posted and the Squadron strength of pilots is 27.   A further re-
duction in aircraft is expected in June.
 
      Personnel
          During the month the following went on leave:- Flt. Lt. Colvin, Fg. Off.'s
Exley
, Ritchie, Harper, Revnell, Couch and Balfour.
 
  3rd   Fg.Off. Ramsay returned from the P.A.I. course in the U.K.   He successfully completed
the course gaining 5th place out of 18.   Fg. Off. Hampton went into Rostrup Hospital.
 
  10th   Fg.Off. Couch returned from a survival course at Ehrwald.  
  17th   Fg.Off. Fewell was posted from the Squadron on medical grounds.   He is going to
C.M.E.
 
  18th-25th   Fg. Off. Pigdon went on an escape and evasion exercise in France with the R.C.A.F.  
  21st   Fg. Off.'s Ramsay and Couch flew two Sabres to U.K.  
  23rd   Fg.Off. Ramsay returned from U.K.  
  29th   Flt. Lt. Colvin left for U.K. to attend a course at D.F.L.S.

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