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F540 Operations Record Book December 1952 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis
     A clear cold morning with 3/8ths stratus floating over.  After the first six sorties
it was decided to cancel flying for a while because this low cloud had thickened up and
promised to get even worse.  A film was put on in the Flying Wing Briefing Room.  It
was an American production dealing very graphically with the subject of air in relation
to Ground Operations.
     After lunch another six aircraft flew and Sgt. WALKER took one to FASSBERG and brought
another back.  On the second period Fg.Off. JAMES took Plt.Off. STANDISH in the Meteor
on dual quarters, and the rest did cine, Q.G.H.s and a low level strike.  The cloud was
still at about 800 feet and visibility was not too good and flying finished at about
16.45 hours.
     In the afternoon the new Wing Commander Flying, Wing Commander S.P. COULSON,
D.S.O., D.F.C., and the new Station Commander, Group Captain G.ff. POWELL-SHEDDON,
D.S.O., D.F.C., came round to meet the Squadron.
     Four aircraft are to stand outside over the winter and all servicing and inspections
are also to be done in the open.  At the moment only 3 are out, one is still in the
hangar on jacks will be completed before going outside.
  2nd.        The thin fog which was about at Met. Briefing thickened up before clearing at lunch-time.
At the Met. Briefing Wg.Cdr. COULSON said a few words about the Ground Training Syllabus
and hinted that the system of examinations would be instituted.
     During the morning all the pilots carried out a practical re-arm on an aircraft and
later attended an aircraft recognition lecture and test.
   Directly after lunch pairs flew on cine and low level.  Another complete detail was
flown before 16.00 and then the low cloud was reported closing in all round.  However, two
more pairs flew and did dusk landings, then the C.O. set out to do the first night Cross
Country and to check the weather.  He returned to say that conditions were too bad and
so flying the rest of the programme was cancelled.
  3rd.        The warm air which had been approaching from the North, arrived with a very strong wind
and broken cloud at about 2,000ft.  The conditions were exceedingly bumpy and the wind
was almost at 90 degrees to the runway.  The first period saw one pair on formation,
and a four on snake, battle and cine.
     The next pair did a low level interception on broadcast control and then another pair
took off to attack the airfield by a round about route and two more patrolled and tried
to catch them.  The attackers were successful but the defenders, patrolling north of the
airfield on their line of approach did not get them.
     The wind continued strong and OLDENBURG, to which a pilot was to have gone to collect
an aircraft, was closed because of residual ice on the runway.
     In the afternoon, in lieu of an escape exercise, which was cancelled, pilots went for
long walks.
  4th.        A perfectly smooth, clear flying day was made full use of with a continuous R/P
(Rocket Projectile), and Air-Ground programme.  Finally the Air-Ground was cut out and
sorties were R/P from about 10.30 onwards.  The target, being only a hessian square, was
easily destroyed by a hit, and many rockets were fired with no target.  42 rockets were
fired during the day.  There was a slight break at the end of the afternoon, before the
Night Flying programme commenced at 17.00 hours.  This went through without a hitch and
19 sorties were flown.  Some cloud was encountered in the North, and a little snow and
rain - but on the whole it was very smooth and pleasant flying.
    During the whole day 51 sorties were flown for a total of 36 hours 30 minutes.
  5th.        The early morning haze soon cleared over the airfield - but the range was still too
misty for the proposed Air to Ground firing programme.  Until it cleared the time was
filled with formation aerobatics, low level interceptions and Q.G.H.s'.  The air to
Ground programme commenced after lunch - but soon fell behind schedule because of
unserviceability.  In all 9 sorties were flown and 851 rounds fired.  The conditions
were perfect for firing, except for a slight difficulty in seeing against the sun and haze.
     At the end of the afternoon the last pair took off only to find that fog was rolling in
from the North fast, and the sortie was abandoned.  Two of 'Catfish' Squadron were
diverted to OLDENBURG as they failed to get in quickly enough at base.
  6th.        A morning of misty weather with all turned out for a Wing parade.  Two lectures were
given to the pilots, then we closed down for the weekend at the normal time.  Sergeants
, THOMAS, and WEBSTER disappeared smartly this morning for some XMAS leave.
  7th.        Sunday.  
  8th.        Most of the zone clamped with fog, no flying at all.  Everyone on lectures.  
  9th.        Fog again this morning, with our press on Battle Flight out at readiness.  The fog
cleared towards lunch, and two weather recces were flown.  Battle Flight did one sortie
of 4 on P.I.s' in the afternoon, nothing else.
  10th.        Low cloud with low visibility keeps everything on the ground still, although Battle
were out they are raring to go.  Everything closed at 12.30 being Wednesday
and the afternoon was taken up with sports.  All those not coupled with sports spent
the afternoon making an ice-rink.   Fog really closed in at 16.00 to about, as the Sport
players put it, a pitch length.
  11th.       Another mucky day, but Battle Flight still in the dark at an unearthly hour screamed
out to readiness.  When it got light, however, they were put out to 1 hour's
availability, and everyone else disappeared to lectures.  That's how we went through
the day.
  12th.        Battle Flight at 1 hour's availability once more.  Weather bad once more.
Everyone on lectures once more.  Well for evermore.
  13th.        This morning we had a Station Commander's Parade.  The weather was still foggy.
We had more lectures.
  14th.        Sunday.  
  15th.   Fog again, but this is getting monotonous.  Lectures again.  Some practical demonstrations
on pre-flight inspections.  In the afternoon all the pilots paid a visit to
a G.C.I. Station.  This was not a success, as we did not arrive until 16.30 hours and
spent less than an hour on the Station, when it really needed at least 2-3 hours.
  16th.        Snow (well at least a change) and bad visibility prevent flying until 11.00 hours.
When it started and went on through lunch.  How strange it seems to be flying again.
We ceased at normal cease work time.
  17th.        A snow storm during the night put the airfield 'Red' to start the day.  This was to
be a full working day.  Whilst the pilots attended films and lectures in the morning,
what looked like every available 3 tonner on the station raced round and round the
perimeter track and runway to try and clear the snow.  After lunch a little flying was
done, but not much as it soon started to freeze and formed ice on the perimeter track and
  18th.        The weather was good and a full day's flying was completed on Meppen Range, and Night
Flying was laid on.  Weather again, Night Flying was cancelled.
  19th.        Heavy snow overnight and fog this morning (does that sound familiar) - so no flying.
lectures all day, and talk of flying over the weekend.
  20th.        The Station Commander's Parade was cancelled.  It snowed all morning with visibility
down to 200 yards;  More lectures, and a lot of trousers are getting shiny.
  21st.        Sunday.  
  22nd.   We did not work the weekend after all.  The weather this morning was 8/8ths clear,
something that had not been seen for weeks and we did a fairly reasonable day's flying
with a little night stuff as well.
  23rd.        Weather claggy again.  On came the lectures again till we stopped in the evening for
the XMAS stand-down.  Large sighs of ecstasy.
  24th.        XMAS eve.  
  25th.        XMAS day.  All officers and Senior N.C.O.s' served the airmen with their XMAS dinner
in approved and traditional style.  It looked very good and was enjoyed by all who
partook of it.
  26th.   )  
  27th.   )     XMAS Grant.  
  28th.   )  
  29th.        The week gets off to a good claggy start with stratus at 200ft. and visibility at six
hundred yards.  We managed to get a few trips in after lunch.
  30th.        Perfect weather to-day, so we all leapt gaily in to the luft, and all eight pilots had
done 4 trips before the weather called a halt at 16.15 hours.
  31st.        The day starts with the familiar clamp to round off the month.  It does not look as if
we shall fly again in the claggy old month of December, so the wheels start slowly turning
to grind out, once more, the returns.
           Total hours flown            -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes150.50 Vampire.        5:15 Meteor.
     Sorties flown                    -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes234  Vampire.             7  Meteor.

     Ammunition expended  -        20 m.m.           4,481 rounds.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesR/P1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes112
     The Squadron is at present suffering from two man shortages, pilots and N.C.O.s.
The latter is acute and will get worse in the near future.  With the present lack of
experience amongst the tradesmen and Junior N.C.O.s, it is most important that there is
adequate supervision of all work.
     The Squadron still stands with a strength of twelve aircraft only.  This cuts the
aircraft availability down badly and makes the running of two separate flights impossible.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. J.E.F. HARDCASTLE1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesLeave14th to 31st, December, 1952.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. R.L. JAMES1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes"      "       "     "              "                "
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.C. GARRETT1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes)
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.J. THOMAS1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes)     -   Leave 6th to 30th, December, 1952.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D. WEBSTER1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes)

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSquadron Leader S.M. McGREGOR.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes'A' Flight1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes'B' Flight
Flt.Lt. A.W. PATERSON.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFlt.Lt. K.M. PEARCH.
Fg.Off. A.V.H. STURMAN.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. J.E.F. HARDCASTLE.
Fg.Off. J.G.M. WOOD.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. R.L. JAMES.
Fg.Off. A.R. WALLACE.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. E.K.G. BATES.
Plt.Off. D.W. STANDISH.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. G.W. SPEARMAN.
Sgt. D. WEBSTER.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt, D.C. GARRETT.
Sgt. C. WILLIAMS.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.J. THOMAS.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt, J.E.M. WALKER.

Signed SM McGregor1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
(Sgd.)1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesS. M. McGregor.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
Squadron Leader,1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesCommanding,1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
5th. January, 1953.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesNo. 93 Squadron,                       R.A.F.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes

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