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F540 Operations Record Book December 1955 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71
Place Date Time Summary of Events                                              COMPILING OFFICER Fg.Off. J.S.C. Davis Refs
R.A.F. JEVER 1st December,      Amber flying conditions existed all day.   Flying consisted of G.C.A. practices cine exercises and battle formation.   A total of 19 sorties was flown.  
  2nd   Fog and low stratus covered the area all day.   There was no flying.   In the morning pilots attended to their jobs within the Squadron whilst the airmen worked on aircraft in the hangar,
     In the afternoon a Squadron pilots soccer team lost to No.118 Squadron's team by 4 goals to 2.
 
  3rd        The Squadron parade was canceled this morning.   All airmen of L.A.C. rank and below who were eligible for trade training attended lectures in Technical Wing.   Work ceased at 12.00 hours.  
  5th Monday      Six sorties were flown before fog formed at 09.00 hours.   There was no further flying.   In the afternoon the Squadron pilots soccer team drew with No. 118 Squadron in a return match.  
  5th        Eleven candidates from this Squadron sat Part I of the S.A.C. Trade Test Board
     A total of 33 sorties was flown, consisting of cine quarter attacks and battle formation.   The Squadron Commander and Fg.Off. Clayton-Jones practiced formation aerobatics.   Flt. Lt. Hayes diverted to R.A.F. Oldenburg when the weather suddenly deteriorated at 16.20 hours.   Night flying was canceled.
 
  7th        Fog and low stratus persisted throughout the day.   There was no flying.
     The afternoon was devoted to sport.   Owing to the Education Test Part II being held today's soccer fixtures were canceled.'
 
  8th        An air to ground firing programme was carried out.   26 firing sorties were flown before the programme ceased at 14.30.   From then on normal flying was carried out.   12 night flying details were flown.   Fg.Off. Ritchie and Fg. Off. Exley gained green card I.F. ratings.   One pilot converted to Hunter aircraft.  
  9th        Low stratus, heavy rain and poor visibility persisted almost all day.   6 sorties were flown.   Pilots attended to Squadron jobs and 6 were employed on inventory checks.  
  10th        The Squadron parade was held in the hangar.   At 10 o'clock all eligible airmen attended trade training lectures.
     Flying commenced at 10.15 hours and 8 sorties were flown   These were mainly low level navigation exercises.   The pilots received a lecture on the new dinghy and emergency pack.
 
  12th Monday      Thick fog covered the area.   There was no flying.   Pilots attended to Squadron jobs.  
  13th        In the morning the pilots received a lecture on "The Signals Organisation in the R.A.F." by the W.O. i/c Signals Traffic.   An aircraft recognition test was also held.   In the afternoon Flt. Lt. Hayes ('A' Flight Commander) gave a very interesting lecture on Range and Endurance.   His lecture followed the pattern of a certain Lt. Cdr's suggestion that the range speed of jet engined aircraft should not be determined from a drag/airspeed graph but an S.F.C./T.A.S. graph, although the difference in results achieved were negligible.   There was no flying.  
  14th        Thick ice had formed from freezing rain.   There was no flying.   In the morning pilots were tested in aircraft recognition then saw a film entitled "Protection in Atomic Warfare".   The afternoon was devoted to sports though all soccer fixtures were canceled.  
  15th        Fog and low stratus covered the area all day.   There was no flying.   The groundcrew attended A.S.F. for Hunter familiarisation whilst the pilots worked on their Squadron jobs.  
  16th        There was no flying today.   In the morning the pilots went to A.S.F. and watched a demonstration of a series of false locks on the controls of a Hunter.   They also sat in a Hunter and deliberately got false locks in order to "feel" the controls.   In the afternoon the pilots played basketball and squash.   The Squadron stood down for the weekend at 17.00 hours.
     In the evening a guest night was held to dine out the Station Commander, Group Captain T.O. Prickett, D.S.O. D.F.C.
 
  17th   Stand down.  
  18th   Stand down.  
  19th        Icy conditions and snow showers prevailed all day.   A section of two aircraft got airborne at 15.20 hours but they were recalled after 30 minutes.  
  20th        After Met. briefing the pilots attended a lecture "Armament Organisation" which was followed by a period of aircraft recognition.
     In the afternoon four pilots "stood by" to fly whilst the remainder had a sports afternoon.   Two sorties were flown and flying ceased at 16.00 hours.
 
  21st        Fog and low stratus persisted all day.   There was no flying.   In the morning the pilots attended to Squadron jobs.   Sports were played in the afternoon.   There were no soccer fixtures.  
  22nd   There was a distinct improvement in morale of the Squadron today.   This was entirely due to the fact that excellent flying conditions prevailed all day.   An air to ground firing programme was planned and 17 air to ground sorties flown.   A further 14 sorties of mixed exercises were flown, plus one Hunter sortie.   In all a total of 29 flying hours was achieved.  
  23rd        Flying was limited to one pair per Squadron.   At 12.00 hours low stratus covered the airfield and flying ceased for the day.   The Squadron stood down for Christmas Grant at 17.00 hours.  
  24th   Christmas Grant.  
  24th   Christmas Grant.   The officers served airmen Christmas dinner and called on the barrack room bar for a Christmas drink.  
  26th        The Squadron carried out Battle Flight duties.   The cloud base was 200 feet and the visibility 1500 yards.   There was no flying.   Battle Flight stood down at 16.15 hours.  
  27th

& 28th

Stand down.  
  29th        Good flying conditions persisted all day, and with 8 aircraft serviceable initially, 50 sorties were flown.   In the morning a Squadron 'balbo' practiced close formation.   The remainder of the flying consisted of high level battle formation and practice interceptions.  
  30th   93sqnpic113.jpg, 10436 bytes
                                            Last "Rattle of Sabres" [Picture not in F540].  (Thanks to Tom Balfour).
     A good day's flying was achieved, 30 sorties being flown plus 6 night flying sorties after a late start due to drifting fog.   A Squadron formation of eight aircraft flew past the airfield in diamond formation and in 2 box formations line astern.   The night flying programme was curtailed due to a Hunter running off the side of the runway and becoming 'bogged down'.
 
  31st   The Station Commander's parade was canceled and limited flying commenced at 09.00 hours.   Nine sorties were flown before flying ceased at 12.30 hours.   New Years Eve Fancy Dress Ball was held to-night - 93 winning the best group prize.  
      HOURS FLOWN.  
      Operational Type                                                     Day                         Night                     Sorties
            Sabre 4                                                173.00                       12.00                           262

            Hunter 4                                                    2.15                                                                3

Training Type

           Vampire                                                      6.45                         1.00                            12

           Prentice                                                      2.20                                                                2    
                                                              Total    184.20                        13.00                          279    

 
      PERSONNEL  
  3rd   Fg. Off. Pigdon proceeded on leave.  
  12th   Sqn Ldr Browne proceeded on leave.  
  18th   Fg. Off. Garthwaite proceeded on leave.  
  19th   Sqn Ldr Browne returned from leave.  
  21st   Fg. Offs. Chadwick, Hickman and Ritchie proceeded on U.K. leave.  
  29th   Fg. Off. Pigdon returned from leave.  
     

OPERATIONAL

     The year 1955 ends with the Squadron having flown a total of 4375 pilot hours of which 3910 hours were on operational type.   The average aircraft strength for the year was 15 Sabres, which gives a flying target of 4320 hours when based on the Command utilisation rate.   Although the yearly operational target was missed by just over 400 hours, it should be remembered that the weather factor for the first two and last two months of 1955 was such that an average of only 8 days in each month were fit for flying.
     December had the equivalent of six full flying days and some 5 Sabre hours were flown.   Three of the recent replacement aircraft came equipped with the long awaited G.G.S. recorder camera.   They proved their usefulness in cine assessing immediately.   Air to ground and night flying were carried out besides the routine battle formation, interceptions and combat flying.
     All Squadron pilots except two are 'Green' rated, but often cannot fly due to the lack of adequate aids in marginal weather conditions.   This loss of valuable and badly needed training time is particularly apparent at this station which has a consistently low weather factor.

ADMINISTRATIVE

     The airman strength of the Squadron is 76 which is only just below establishment.    However, the Engine Mechanic and Instrument Fitter trades are very short handed.   A total of nine airmen are on six month's fitter courses and a further three airmen will be going to the Hawker aircraft manufacturer's course for periods up to four weeks.   These courses plus the exceptionally long leave allowed in this Command often cause the Unit to be short of men in key trades.



Signed DFM Browne          

(D.F.M. BROWNE)              
Squadron Leader               
Officer Commanding         
No. 93 Squadron