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F540 Operations Record Book December 1953 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis

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JEVER. December

     The weather was reasonable today, but unserviceability only fair.  Battle Flight was
scrambled four times and recorded three mediocre interceptions and one very good one
on a Meteor.  On the fourth scramble they intercepted accurately three Venoms and then
due to faulty G.C.I. radio communications, were left heading south east and were finally
diverted to WUNSTORF, short of fuel.  They returned later.  We also made 2 quarter
cine sorties, 1 cloud flying, 1 sector recce, and aerobatic sortie and 2 G.C.A.
practices at AHLHORN.  Flying finished early for night flying except for 4 dusk sorties and
11 night cross-countries and 7 Q.G.H. night practices were made.  A good start for the
month.  Pilot Officer DAVIS returned from the summary of evidence and
F.SGT.SHRUBSOLE was ill for today only.  Flying Officer SANDERSON was back from
playing rugby, and so was SGT. KNIGHT and PILOT OFFICER BELL.  Flying Officer
also returned but is still off flying and is Station Adjutant.
  2nd Wednesday        The weather was marginal with a low cloud base around 700 feet.  We made an
aerobatic and Q.G.H. sortie and 2 sorties on combat and quarter attacks; one was
diverted to AHLHORN due to low cloud base, and only returned in early afternoon with
Battle Flight whose only scramble had also been diverted there.
F.SGT. SHRUBSOLE was fit again.
Pilot Officer's, MACKNISH, COUCH, and BALFOUR became operational.
The Squadron football team beat 3 A.C.S. 4-3.
  3rd Thursday        Fine, warm weather with a little medium cloud gave us a full day on MEPPEN Range;
18 sorties on cannon attacks only were flown and 2 air tests.  Flight Lieutenant
reconnoitred the DELMENHORST area preparing for a demonstration for
the Army next week.  Battle Flight were scrambled four times.  Two dusk sorties were
made but low cloud prevented night flying.
Flight Lieutenant PEARCH went on leave.
  4th Friday        The weather was fine.  We made three sorties on co-ordinated attacks with target
evasion, 2 aerobatic sorties, 4 on combat and quarter attacks, 2 close formation and
1 low flying.  Five recces of the DELMENHORST area were flown.  Battle flight were
scrambled 6 times; a good head on attack was made but a high proportion resulted in
tail chases.  A good dusk interception was made.
    Fg.Off's SANDERSON and WALLACE left this afternoon to play rugby.  Tonight we
held the Squadron second birthday party slightly off date - in the "upstairs room" in the
airmen's block.  The Station Commander paid us a short visit, sinking a pint in 3
seconds flat.  The situation became fluid, Squadron Leader ALLEN praised the ground-
crew, and made a suitable birthday speech; Flight Lieutenant PATERSON told an
apocryphal story of how a certain person came to be standing on the O.S.S. ORLANTIC
clad only in a "shirt".  Our band played until the early hours when it had to be forcibly
silenced.  Altogether it was an excellent party.
  5th Saturday        After a rather unsteady Station Commander's parade we flew 2 sections of four on
ground attack practice for the DELMENHORST exercise.  Due to a faulty nose-wheel
operation Pilot Officer DAVIS arrived on the runway in an attitude of prayer, and the
second section was diverted to OLDENBURG temporarily.  A pair flew quarter attacks
and loose formation.  Pilot Officer BELL went on much awaited leave.  In the afternoon
we played a needle soccer match against 4 Squadron, and despite first blood to 4
and some brilliant saves by their goal-keeper we trounced them soundly 6-2.
  6th Sunday        We played two league soccer matches against 33 L.A.A. beating their 'A' team 3-1 and
their 'B' team 5-0.
  7th Monday        Fog prevented flying.  We had an aircraft recognition test, a talk on flag firing by
F.SGT. SHRUBSOLE and films on bomb damage and Operation VARSITY.  Flight
Lieutenant PEARCH
came back from his short leave and Squadron Leader ALLEN left
for the U.K. to attend a course and for some leave.
  8th Tuesday        Fog again prevented flying.  The ground programme was an aircraft recognition test, a
talk on the atomic bomb by the S.M.O. and a Met. lecture on front formation and
behaviour.  Although visibility improved to 1500 yds at 14.00 hours it soon drooped
again.  Pilots were briefed in detail for the DELMENHORST exercise, but the practice could not be flown.
     Pilot Officer BALFOUR returned from leave.
  9th Wednesday        Fog cleared by mid-day.  Ten sorties were flown on the DELMENHORST rehearsal;
some low level attacks and some high level runs for the heavy A.A. to track.  A pair flew
cine quarter attacks and cloud flying.
     We beat 30 L.A.A. at football 6-0.
Flight Lieutenant WALLACE was transferred to 4 Squadron and Pilot Officer's
and GARTHWAITE joined the Squadron.
  10th Thursday        Fog prevented flying.  We had a tank recognition lecture and an A.T.C. lecture on
emergency organisation.  The afternoon was devoted to sports and 'A' and 'B' football
teams played 4 Squadron.  'A' lost 5-3 and 'B' won 6-3, a narrow total victory to us.
Pilot Officer DAVIS was on a summary of evidence.
  11th Friday        Fog again prevented flying; the ground programme was a lecture on instruments and
oxygen systems.  We played 4 Squadron at basket ball winning easily 33-15 - they have
asked for a return match when they can field their best team.
Pilot Officer HARPER damaged his ankle playing football yesterday and reported sick
and F.SGT. TELFER was taken ill with a bad attack of yellow jaundice.
  12th Saturday        After the Station Commanders parade we had met. briefing and as the weather was
bad we had an I.F.F. lecture.
  13th Sunday        Stand - down.  
  14th Monday        We expected to fly, but low stratus and poor visibility persisted all day and we
stayed down except for Flt.Lt. PEARCH and F.SGT. SHRUBSOLE who went to SYLT for
an hour but had to stay the night.  Battle Flight were put to 15 minutes availability this
morning and half an hour availability in the afternoon.  No. 4 Squadron produced their
best basket ball team and so did we, they won 24-20.
  15th Tuesday        The weather had cleared this morning sufficiently to allow us to fly.  Battle Flight
was scrambled 5 times making a dusk landing on the last sortie.  During the day we had
a pair doing practice G.C.A. at AHLHORN, 4 cine quarter attack sorties, one cloud
flying, 2 low level cross countries, 2 dual sector recces, one Vampire 9 was ferried
from OLDENBURG and 2 local dusk sorties  Night flying was cancelled as the weather
was deteriorating rapidly.
Flt.Lt. PEARCH and F.Sgt. SHRUBSOLE returned from SYLT this morning.
  16th Wednesday        This morning the cloud base was 2-3000 feet and visibility 2000 yds.  Two cine
quarter attacks were flown but the second sortie was diverted to AHLHORN because of
low cloud at base.  Battle Flight's only scramble was also diverted to AHLHORN.  By mid-
day there were layers of stratus at 300 and 600 feet and so flying was cancelled in favour
of a sports afternoon.
Flt.Lt. ILES and Plt.Off. PIGDON were on leave and were intending to leave in Flt.Lt.
private aircraft but the weather delayed them.
  17th Thursday        The visibility was 1500 yards this morning with low stratus in the area.  Other stations
in 2nd T.A.F. were no better and so there was no flying, but in the morning we had
lectures on tank recce and A.T.C.  Battle Flight were put at 15 minutes this morning and
at half an hour this afternoon but no sorties were made.
Flt.Lt. PATERSON went to BERLIN on leave.  Fg.Off's SANDERSON and HANNAH and
Plt.Off's BALFOUR, MACKNISH, EXLEY and DAVIS were stranded at AHLHORN.
  18th Friday        The cloud base was 250-300 feet all day today and as a result there was no flying.
Battle Flight was put at 15 minutes, and then at mid morning they were put at half an
hour and remained so for the rest of the day.  This morning we had a navigation lecture.
Flt.Lt. ILES and Plt.Off. PIGDON abandoned their attempt to fly home and went by train.
Plt.Off. MITCHELL went to AHLHORN to replace Fg.Off. SANDERSON who is playing
rugby for the station over the weekend.
Fg.Off. RAMSAY was sick today with a cold.
  19th Saturday        This morning the visibility was 800 yards with light rain and a cloud base of 400
feet.  The Commanding Officer's parade was cancelled and there was no flying.  This
morning we had a radio lecture and this afternoon the pilots returned to AHLHORN, by
road, for the weekend.  Squadron Leader ALLEN returned from leave.
  20th Sunday        Met. briefing was at 09.00 hours this morning and the conditions were favourable with
good visibility.  We made 10 local sorties and Q.G.H's, 6 sector recces, 3 low level cross-
countries and 2 air tests and low flying sorties.
Flt.Lt. PEARCH was on leave, Fg.Off. WALLACE and Plt.Off. HARPER were fit
again.  Fg.Off. HANNAH and Plt.Off's EXLEY and CULVER were sick, for the day only.
  21st Monday        We spent today preparing for our month at SYLT and the only flying that took place
was the ferrying of the six aircraft up from AHLHORN 2 dual checks and an instrument
  22nd Tuesday        There was rain with the cloud base at ground level today and at times the visibility
was down to 200 yards or less.  In the morning we had an aircraft recce test and spent
the rest of the day preparing for SYLT.  There was a Station stand-down from A.D. hours today.
Plt.Off. GARTHWAITE reported sick, for the day only.
  23rd Wednesday        This was the first day of the Christmas Grant and during the day Fg.Off. HANNAH
supervised work on the Squadron bar in the airmen's quarters assisted by Plt.Off's
  24th Thursday        At 1830 hours today the Squadron assembled for the opening of the bar which went
off with a crack of fireworks etc.  During the evening visits were made on the Station
, Wing Commander Admin, and others and at 23.00 hours most of the
Officers were in the bar for the casting of lots to deciding who should carry off the prizes
in the Christmas raffles.
  25th Friday   Christmas Day.     This morning the Officers' and Sergeants Messes entertained one
another and then at 13.00 hours went to the Airmen's Mess to serve the Christmas
dinner.  On arrival we were greeted by cheering crowds and a bunch of characters,
supposedly straight from the "Wild and Woolly West", who were entertainers come
cheer-leaders.  The dinner went off in the same spirit.  The meal was very good and
some of the waiters displayed unknown talents in balancing plates.  In the evening there
was a party in the bar in the Officers' Mess, the piano was brought in and two or three
hours of singing followed.
  26th Saturday        The annual soccer match between the Officers and the Sergeants was scheduled for
11.00 hours.  At 11.30 there were six Officers, 5 of whom were from 93 Squadron and no
Sergeants and so the game went to the Officers by default.  Instead of the soccer match
the sergeants invited the footballers in for a few drinks and a challenge game of
snooker.  The challenge was taken up and Plt.Off. RITCHIE and Plt.Off. LEIGH-
won this vital match on the black thus clinching victory for the Officers.
Fg.Off. WALLACE was injured this afternoon playing rugby.  It is suspected that he has
fractured his skull again.
  27th Sunday.        Today was a full working day for the Squadron and the day was spent packing
equipment on the train which was in the siding at the back of the hangar.  Pilot Officer
left for SYLT with a Land Rover and two THORNEYCROFT'S at 07.30 hours and
stayed the night at R.A.F. UETERSEN.

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Johnny Macknish and Ken Senar in the Keller Bar at RAF Utersen (North side of Hamburg) on an overnight stop during a 93 Sqn convoy run for detachment to RAF Sylt, 27Dec53.
Ken Senar was the Squadron MTO and Johnny was his 2 i/c for the trip.
(Thanks Ken Senar)   [This photograph is not in the F540 but added by this site.]

Flying Officer REVNELL and Pilot Officer MITCHELL left on the train at 14.00 hours with the
advanced party.  F.SGT TELFER was fit again after his illness.
Flight Lieutenant ILES and Pilot Officer PIGDON returned from leave in the former's car.
  28th Monday        The main party left for SYLT from the siding on camp at 06.30 hours and arrived at
about 20.30 hours.  Pilot Officer SENAR and his 'convoy' had arrived at 15.30 hours
from HAMBURG.  Flight Lieutenant ILES and Pilot Officer PIGDON left this evening in the
car, hoping to get to SYLT by the following afternoon.
SYLT. 29th Tuesday        This morning the aircrew left at JEVER were up at 06.30 pushing out the aircraft so
that the ground crew could pre-flight them as soon as it was light enough.  After met-
briefing there was a briefing by Squadron Leader ALLEN on the trip but we could not get
away by 10.00 hours as hoped because the runway at SYLT was too icy.  After an early
lunch the first aircraft started at about 13.30 hours.  Several aircraft had difficulty
in starting due to flat accumulators but all 14 eventually got to SYLT where the ground
party had everything ready for us.  The drop tanks were removed and the radios
recrystallised and by 09.00 hours next morning 8 aircraft were ready for firing.  The weather
was very good today and by mid-day the ceiling and visibility were almost unlimited.
  30th Wednesday.        Icy runways delayed our start until 11.30 hours, and then there was no flag until
12.30 hours.  Flight Lieutenant PEARCH opened with a score on the flag of 13.  We made 6
sorties on flag firing, 6 flag cine, 11 recces and demonstration.  Two sorties were
abortive due to a lack of a flag.  Pilot Officer HICKMAN flew to JEVER and returned with
an assortment of items overlooked in the move.  The Squadron average for the first day was
  31st Thursday.        Icy runways followed by low cloud and rain prevented any flag work.  We made 4 local
recces, recalled with deteriorating weather, in the morning.  The afternoon saw 3 recces
a cloud flying and an aerobatic sortie, and three on close and battle formation.  Pilots
are working on a shift basis, 24 hours on 24 hours off, changing over at midday, except that
all are present to see the previous days film at 09.00 hours.
A dance in the Mess wound up the old year.
      Rounds fired in December   :-    2200.
Hours flown   in December  :-     Vampire              205.00
                                                          Meteor                      9.15  
                                                          Total                     214.15 

JEVER. December ,1953.   ADMINISTRATION.
     The main administrative matter during December was the planning and execution of the
Squadron move to SYLT.  This has been achieved successfully; 14 aircraft and servicing
personnel were in position at SYLT as planned on the 29th and ready to commence the air
firing programme as required at 09.00 hours on the 30th.  A small rear party is held at
JEVER to service the remaining aircraft which will back up those at SYLT if required.
     The large task of end of year assessments and recommendations for promotion of
airmen were complete before the Squadron moved.
JEVER. December 1953. PERSONNEL.
'A' Flight.
Sqn.Ldr. ALLEN Course 7th p.m. - 18th.
Flt.Lt. PATERSON Leave 18th - 21st a.m.
Fg.Off. WALLACE off flying until 18th.  Sick from 26th on., broken cheek-bone.
Plt.Off. BELL.  5th onwards leave in U.K.
Plt.Off. BALFOUR leave until 7th inclusive.  17th - 19th weathered at AHLHORN.
Plt.Off. COUCH.  leave all month, and course.
Plt.Off. DAVIS. 10th and 11th Summary of evidence, 17th -19th weathered at AHLHORN.
Fg.Off. HANNAH. 17th-19th weathered at AHLHORN. 20th only sick.
Plt.Off. HARPER. 11th - 19th sick (damaged ankle.)
Flt. Lt. WALLACE.  Transferred to No. 4 Squadron on 9th.
Plt.Off. GARTHWAITE . Arrived 11th to join Squadron.
Plt.Off. CHADWICK.  Arrived 11th to join Squadron.
F.SGT. SHRUBSOLE.  14th-15th a.m. visited SYLT.
F.SGT. TELFER.  11th-22nd sick (Jaundice.)
'B' Flight.
Flt.Lt. PEARCH.  3rd - 5th Leave.  14th and 15th Leave.  20th - 22nd Leave.
Flt.Lt. ILES.  16th - 27th Leave.
Plt.Off. EXLEY.  17th - 18th weathered at AHLHORN.  20th - 22nd sick.
Plt.Off. MACKNISH.  17th - 18th  Weathered at AHLHORN.
Plt.Off. PIGDON.  16th - 27th. Leave.
Fg.Off. RAMSAY.  until 14th Leave.  18th Sick.
Fg.Off. SANDERSON.  5th and 6th. Away Rugby. 17th and 18th weathered at AHLHORN.
Plt.Off. SENAR.         -------------
Plt.Off. LEIGH-LANCASTER.        ---------------
Plt.Off. CULVER.  20th - 22nd Sick.
Plt.Off. PRICE.  Sick in U.K. all month.
Sgt. KNIGHT.    --------------------
                                        LIST OF PILOTS AT END OF MONTH.
                'A' Flight.                                                                              'B' Flight.

     Sqdn. Ldr. R.N.G. ALLEN.                                                   Flt.Lt.K.M. PEARCH.
     Flt.Lt.     A.W.          PATERSON.                                          Flt.Lt. H.B. ILES.
     Fg.Off.   R.S.          HANNAH.                                               Fg.Off. A.C. RAMSAY.
     Fg.Off.   A.R.           WALLACE                                              Fg.Off. B.A.E. SANDERSON.
     Fg.Off.   W.E.         BELL                                                        Fg.Off. B.J. REVNELL.
     Plt.Off.   J.S.C.      DAVIS.                                                      Plt.Off.    J.E.     MACKNISH.
     Fg.Off.   T.              BALFOUR                                               Fg.Off. G.E. HICKMAN.
     Plt.Off.   G.J.          COUCH.                                                  Plt.Off. K.B. SENAR.
     Fg.Off.   W.G.        MITCHELL.                                              Plt.Off. D. EXLEY.
     Plt.Off.   D.H.         HARPER.                                                Fg.Off. J.E. PIGDON.
     Plt.Off.   P.T.          WHITELAW.                                            Plt.Off. F.C. PRICE.
     F. Sgt. SHRUBSOLE. W.R..                                                 Plt.Off. J.C. CULVER.
     F. Sgt. TELFER.C.J.                                                              Plt.Off. P LEIGH-LANCASTER.
                                                                                                       Plt.Off. W.B.C. RITCHIE..
                                                                                                       Plt.Off. R. GARTHWAITE.
                                                                                                       Plt.Off. CHADWICK.                                                                                                        Sgt. KNIGHT.

Signed AR WALLACE                                       
Flying Officer,                                                     
for     Officer Commanding,                                       
No.93 Squadron,                                               
Royal Air Force JEVER.                                    

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