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F540 Operations Record Book August 1956 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2803 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
Place Date Time SUMMARY OF EVENTS                                     COMPILING OFFICER   Lt. T.F.B. Young   (R.N.)     REF. TO APPENDICES
         
R.A.F. Sylt Wednesday
August,
1st
1956
          This was the second day of the Squadron's detachment at the Armament Practice
School, Sylt.   The weather remained cloudy and it continued to blow hard throughout
the day.   In an attempt to reduce the length of the working day for the groundcrew
while operating up here, six instead of four sorties per hour are to be flown by the
Squadron to complete the daily task of 56.
          Flight Lieutenant Hayes completed his tour on the Squadron today and his posting
is to E.T.P.S. Farnborough after he completes O.A.T.S.
          Most pilots were still carrying out cine sorties today on the banner target.
                    Effective sorties flown     :-               24 high level (above 15,000 feet)
                                                                                    9 Low level (10,000 feet)
                    Squadron average for the day           5% hits high level
                    Squadron average for the day           9% hits low level
                    Best score by Fg. Off. Chadwick    -    32%
                    Stoppages                                         -    3
                    Stoppage rate                                   -    988
 
  2nd             No change in the weather from yesterday.   Most pilots started shooting today, the
results being disappointing after the successful work up on cine done at Jever.   The
main faults appear to be over deflecting due to a tightening "curve of pursuit" or
a tendency to open fire at greater range than that set on the "pegged" gunsight.
The radar ranging of Sabres is greatly missed.
                    Effective sorties flown                    -  2 high level.
                                                                                27 low level.
                    Best score - Fg. Off. Leigh-Lancaster  -  38%
 
  3rd             The Squadron stood down for the August Grant.  
  7th              After a sunny August Grant it was all the more annoying that we should again be
back to marginal weather conditions for flying.   Flying commenced late on in the
afternoon and the air to air programme was carried out at 8,000 feet until the
range eventually became unfit.
                    Sorties flown                                    -   21 low level
                    Squadron average for the day      -   12% hits low level.
                    Best score   -   Fg. Off. Taylor        -   42%
                    Stoppages                                       -    1
                    Progressive Stoppage rate          -    1207.
 
  8th             All firing today was carried out at 20,000 feet because of cloud, however half
the total sorties during this detachment should be done at high level.
          2 spent 30 mm. bullets landed beside a German national working at Hornum;
an unfortunate incident since there are certain factions busily engaged in pressing
for the removal of the Royal Air Force from Sylt.   The Squadron was flying at the
time and is liable to be concerned.
                    Effective sorties flown                 -   27 high level.
                    Sqn. average for day                    -   6.4%
                    Best score - Fg. Off. Pigdon       -   22%
                    Stoppages                                    -    3
                    Stoppage rate                              -    1168.
 
  9th             While the Sylt staff paraded in rehearsal for the annual inspection which will
take place tomorrow, no flying could take place; so a Squadron pilots meeting was held
in the forenoon.   Later the Squadron aerobatic team were airborne for practice in
preparation for the Norwegian National Air Day on Sunday 19th August.   The team this
time will consist of Sqn. Ldr. Browne, and Fg. Offs. Chadwick, Exley and Sanderson, with
Fg. Off. Taylor as reserve.
          At noon the air to air programme was begun in fine weather.   Fg. Off. Taylor
returned early from one sortie after his engine had overspeeded.
                    Effective sorties flown                 -     32 high level
                                                                                   1 Low level
                    Sqn. average for day                    -     11.2 high
                                                                             -     16.2 low
                    Best score - Fg. Off. Taylor         -      31%
                    Stoppages                                     -      4
                    Progressive Stoppage rate        -      889
 
  10th             Today the station was inspected by Air Vice Marshal D.G. Morris, C.B., C.B.E.,
D.S.O., D.F.C., S.A.S.O. 2nd Tactical Air Force.
          Although the Squadron took no part except for being visited briefly in the
afternoon, flying did not commence until 11.00 because of the station being on parade.
The Squadron aerobatic team managed another practice before the air firing programme
was due to begin.
                    Effective sorties flown                                       -     27 high level
                                                                                                            1 low level.
                    Sqn. average for day                                                   12.7% high
                                                                                                            22% low.
                    Best score - Fg. Off. Leigh-Lancaster                     34%
                    Stoppages                                                             -     5
                    Progressive stoppage rate                                 -     860
 
  11th             Flying finished for the day at about 09.30 due to the weather clamping, and the
Squadron, except for the armourers, stood down from 12.00.   The armourers have been
working late every night this week to complete routine inspections on the guns, even
so a backlog has arisen and an afternoon such as this is a welcome respite during
which they can make up some leeway.   Few, if any, of the 26 stoppages that
have occurred in the seven days flying of this month can be blamed on the servicing.
15 alone have been due to faulty manufacture of the ammunition, and 6 to the poor
finish in the manufacture of the Aden gun.
          Squadron pilots were introduced to Air Chief Marshal Lord Tedder who was on a
visit to the Station during the afternoon and came in to see the Squadron.
                              Sorties flown                -       8 high level
                              Sqn. average for day   -       8.7% high
                              Best score - Fg. Off. Biggs   -     27%
                              Stoppages                    -       4
                              Progressive stoppage rate   -    756
 
  13th, Monday           Cirrus on the range stopped firing around midday:   the time available was spent
by the aerobatic team getting another practice trip, and the rest of the Squadron
pilots having practice lifts by the A.S.R. helicopter.
                                 Effective sorties flown            -      10 high level
                                 Sqn. average for day              -       11.3%
                                 Best score - Fg. Off. Clayton-Jones - 28%
                                 Stoppages                               -       1
                                 Progressive stoppage rate   -       776
 
  14th                                    Effective sorties flown            -      30 high level
                                 Sqn. average for day              -       14.7% high
                                 Best score - Fg. Off. Clayton-Jones - 38%
                                 Stoppages                               -       3
                                 Progressive stoppage rate   -       806
 
  15th                                    Effective sorties flown            -      28 high level
                                 Sqn. average for day              -       16.7% high
                                 Best score - Fg. Off. Taylor   -       37%
                                 Stoppages                               -       6
                                 Progressive stoppage rate   -       769
 
  16th             6 sorties an hour have been flown until this evening, but because of the
backlog of guns requiring servicing the Squadron will go back to 4 sorties an hour
for the next few days.   This should allow the armourers to catch up again.   The
present programme could be kept up indefinitely from the armourers point of view,
providing another loading chute was available and providing the stoppages could be
cut down.
          A most unusual incident occurred in the afternoon when Fg. Off. Clayton-Jones'
aircraft was struck on the windscreen by what must have been a splinter off the
banner spreader bar, pitting and cracking it slightly.
                            Effective sorties flown         -        44 high level
                                                                                        6 low level
                            Sqn. average for day            -          14.5% high
                                                                             -          13.8% low
                            Best score - Fg. Off. Sanderson - 35%
                            Stoppages                             -          7
                            Progressive stoppage rate -          773
 
  17th             All the ranges were u/s due to the weather, and most of the Squadron stood down
in the afternoon.   One aircraft due for "minor" inspection was flown down to Jever
and two other Hunters were flown back to Sylt, making Squadron strength at Sylt up to
13 aircraft.   The Wing Commander's Hunter from Jever is being borrowed again for the aerobatic team.
 
  18th             The aircraft got airborne in the morning but cloud was low in the circuit and
the programme was cancelled, the weather finally clamped completely after the
aerobatic team had left for Gardermoen.   The squadron stood down in the afternoon.
Flying Officer Clayton-Jones proceeded on leave.
          The aerobatic team flew up to Norway in one stage as the weather report for
Gardermoen was favourable.   The Danish fixer service proved excellent, but no
contact could be made with the Norwegian one.   Had the weather been bad this could
have caused some difficulty, even so, unforcast fog at Gardermoen had only just lifted
as the team arrived.   Chief Technician Wibberley and seven other ground crew
[See Photo.] were flown up in a Transport Command Valetta. [See Photo.]   Flying Officers
Ritchie
, Pigdon and Garthwaite also went up for the week end to watch the show.
 
  19th             At Sylt the squadron was stood down all day.   At Gardermoen there was a near
total clamp, it rained nearly all day and the cloud base was down to 300 feet, a
great disappointment for the Norwegian National Air Day. [See photo.]   However, just as it was
decided to cancel the flying, a Canberra Bomber Command took off and did some very
impressive tight turns over the airfield.   Squadron Leader Browne decided to take
the aerobatic team up, and, in spite of the exceedingly unfavourable conditions,
put on a show of very steep turns and close formation flying that helped to save the
day.
 
  20th             Today was the most unsuccessful day's firing we have had at Sylt; due to
aircraft unserviceability in the air, gun stoppages and several banner targets
being shot away 22 sorties were abortive.
          The aerobatic team returned from Gardermoen at noon.
                        Effective sorties flown                         -        22 high level
                        Sqn. average for day                            -       11.7% high
                        Best score - Fg. Off. Page                   -       49%
                        Stoppages                                             -       5
                        Progressive stoppage rate                 -       758
 
  21st             By 09.00 firing was stopped by cloud conditions on the ranges and was not
resumed until the afternoon.
          In the afternoon 2 sections of four were airborne twice for firing on glider
targets with a double rearm between.   Both targets failed to return.   Each aircraft
fired 2 guns on each sortie with 120 rounds per gun.   The average time taken to
completely rearm a section was 13 minutes, a new record.
                           Effective sorties achieved               -      8 high level
                           Sqn. average for day                        -      12.7% high
                           Best score - Fg. Off. Sanderson    -      28%
                           Stoppages                                         -       Nil
                           Progressive stoppage rate            -       777
 
  22nd             A fine day but again out of 55 sorties that would have been flown 21 were
abortive or cancelled, mainly because of the flag being shot away or damaged.
                         Effective sorties achieved           -     34
                         Sqn. average for day                    -     14.7%
                         Best score - Fg. Off. Leigh-Lancaster - 38%
                         Stoppages                                     -      8
                         Progressive stoppage rate         -     737
 
  23rd             Today was the Squadron's last day for firing and a programme of 4 sorties per
hour was flown as it was merely a matter of a few pilots still requiring to complete
their planned 21 effective shoots for the detachment.
          In the evening the pilots entertained the groundcrew at an informal party,
which marked the end of the detachment, which although it could have been even more
successful, has seen 93 Squadron achieve more in various directions than was
thought possible.   The detachment here has been of immense value to the pilots,
encouraging more exacting flying, and giving them greater confidence in the Hunter.
It has also proved that the groundcrew are well able to produce maximum serviceability
for flying and firing at a high intensity for many days on end.   The final results
for the Squadron are :-
                            12.8% high level average, the best yet obtained in Hunters.
                            12.2% Low Level.
                            12.6% average, overall.
The highest individual score was by Flying Officer Leigh-Lancaster, 48%, confirmed
with 57 hits today.
47,553 rounds were fired and with 64 stoppages, the final stoppage rate was 743.
 
  24th             Because of low cloud and rain at Jever in the forenoon, the 11 Hunters and the
Vampire trainer flew down in the afternoon.   The Squadron did an orthodox fly past
at Sylt, and at Jever the "break" down wind was flown from an arrow formation. A
vic of 5 leading followed by a "shaft" of four in close line astern with 2 "feathers"
flying in vic on the last aircraft.   The vic of 5 pulled up into a Loop over the
airfield, while the shaft and feathers turned down wind; then in turn the vic turned
down wind so that all eleven aircraft were on the runway at the same time.
Flt. Lt. Colvin and Fg. Offs. Leigh-Lancaster, Busby and Garthwaite proceeded on leave
on return to Jever.
          The Squadron road party left in the morning for Hamburg, followed by 317 M.T.
Squadron who were shifting the bulk of the equipment.
          One Hunter was left behind at Sylt for an engine change.
 
  25th             The rail party travelled down today from Sylt arriving in the evening.   (Click to see Rail Party Nominal Roll.)   The road party arrived earlier in the afternoon.  
  26th Sunday           The Squadron stood down all day.  
  27th             The day was spent in cleaning aircraft, and unloading the equipment from the
lorries.   The only flying done was I.F. practice in a Vampire T.11 which was flown
on 4 sorties.
          Flt. Lt. Watson joined the Squadron as "A" Flight Commander from Jever Station
Flight.
 
  28th & 29th             The Squadron was stood down for 48 hours leave in recognition of the work done
at Sylt.   Fg. Offs Page, Chadwick, Landon and Lt. Young R.N. flew their instrument
rating tests with Flt. Lt. Watson, for renewal of the 'cards' and all passed.
 
  30th             "GUEST" a NATO air exercise took up most of the day.   From the Squadron's point
of view it was not very profitable as only 10 sorties were flown on the exercise and
except for one section, the G.C.I. control and communications were poor.   Successful
interceptions were carried out on 2 Netherlands Meteors and on 4 F.84F. aircraft of
unidentified nationality.
          After the Squadron had been released from the exercise, a further section was
flown for battle drill, and the aerobatic team also got airborne to rehearse some
new manoeuvres.
 
  31st             In the morning a Squadron Balbo of 12 aircraft were flown;   all 3 sections
carried out take off and landings in box formation, three fly pasts were done with
sections in different formations and some battle drill was carried out at medium
altitude.   Later the aerobatic team did a practice sortie over the airfield.   In the
evening they were about to perform with 5 aircraft but were hit on take off by a
number of seagulls which had settled half way up the runway.   Fg. Off. Taylor's
aircraft was struck in several places and he abandoned take off.   The aircraft was
damaged further by the boundary fence in the overshoot as he was unable to stop.
Fg. Off. Exley's aircraft was the only other one damaged and in a very minor way.

 
FLYING HOURS
Operational type Day Night  sorties
Hunter 410.55   Nil    655
Training Type      
Vampire          58.35             Nil              70     
Totals        469.30             Nil            725     
 
         PERSONNEL  
  27th   Flt. Lt. B. Watson joined the Squadron from Jever Station Flight.  
      OPERATIONAL
          During the majority of August the Squadron was at A.P.S. Sylt.   It was
considered to be a generally successful attachment.   An average of 21 effective
sorties per pilot were flown and the Command flying target achieved on 22nd August
by flying the planned A.P.S. programme of six shoots per hour instead of the usual
four.   This achievement was made possible by the extremely hard work of the
groundcrew who maintained an average of 10 out of 12 aircraft serviceable.
          79% of the sorties flown were at 20,000 feet with only the first two or three
days given to low level;   to get used to the firing pattern.   The results achieved
at both levels were encouraging especially among the six new pilots to the Squadron.
          The high level average was 12.8% and the low level 12.2% which gave us an overall
average of 12.6%.   Over 47,500 rounds were fired for a stoppage rate of 743.   This
rather high rate is put down to old gun packs that have been used on four Sylt
attachments by four different units; a large number of parts broke after this very
intensive use and so caused stoppages.   The double rearm time achieved was a Sylt
record of 13 minutes.
          The Squadron has now achieved its target for six successive months, making over
2,200 hours flown since 1st March which was when it first came up to operational
strength.
 
      Signed DFM BROWNE                                           
      (D.F.M. BROWNE)                                                   
Squadron Leader                                                    
Officer Commanding                                              
No. 93 Squadron.