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F540 Operations Record Book January 1960
PLACE             DATE TIME        SUMMARY OF EVENTS                         COMPILING OFFICER. Flt. Lt. J.T. Hall
R.A.F. Jever.    1960JeremyHall.jpg, 5122 bytes
                     Friday 1st Jan.-
                     Sunday 3rd Jan.

     Pre-Sylt training was the Squadron's main commitment during January.   Appalling weather prevented our achieving a good month's flying, however.

To everybody's horror the weather in the morning of New Year's day was excellent.   Met. briefing had been postponed until 10.00, to allow the wing to recover from a very good fancy dress ball, and our first pair was airborne at 10.40 on a low level strike.   The pair had been delayed by the Wing Commander Flying, who insisted on being the "first off in the New Year".   Fg. Off. B. Tonkinson flew to Laarbruch, never, it seemed to return: he made one attempt on Sunday morning, but the fog approached the airfield more speedily than the Vampire.   Fg. Off. Tonkinson was therefore diverted to Gutersloh - to his great delight.
                     Monday 4th Jan.-
                     Sunday 10th Jan.

     On Monday and Tuesday the weather was bad:   red all day Monday, and not much better on Tuesday, when two pairs took off in the morning, after which flying was postponed until the afternoon.    Fg. Off. Tonkinson arrived back from Gutersloh at last.   On Wednesday and Thursday, however, the weather was good (green and amber one respectively) with the result that 20 hours worth of Broadcast Control were flown on the former, and green salad and cine weave were practised on the latter.   On Friday, 8th January, the weather was moderately good:   18 sorties were flown, mostly on Broadcast Control:   some on formation aerobatics.   On the last detail of the day - formation aerobatics led by the Commanding Officer, with Flt. Lt. P.B. Hine as No.2, Flt. Lt. R.D. Stone as No. 3 and Fg. Off. B. Tonkinson as No. 4 - the Commanding Officer's aeroplane flamed out.   The formation was at about 1500 feet at the time, over "Marble Arch".   The other members of the formation, valiantly trying to maintain station with throttle back on the stops, soon noticed something was amiss.   The Commanding Officer informed the formation what was wrong and attempted to relight.   The engine would not respond to treatment, Wittmund Airfield (a doubtful emergency landing ground anyway) was out of gliding distance and so the pilot ejected - fortunately successfully.   Flt. Lt. Hine circled overhead and was relieved to see Sqn. Ldr. White standing in a ploughed field!   The aircraft crashed about a quarter of a mile further on and burned for about ten minutes.   Nobody was seriously injured, but one building was severely damaged.   The Commanding Officer was collected by the Wing Commander Flying:   the two returned to the bar in merry mood, having visited, it is reported (and this we had no difficulty in believing) every pub on the way home.   The cause of the engine failure is being investigated.   On Sunday, 10th January we had the year's first snow fall:   ploughers were standing by.
                     Monday 11th Jan.-
                     Sunday 17th Jan.

     A very bad week.   Absolutely no flying owing to snow and ice.   The Squadron became operational on the Magirus Deutz snow plough, but little else.
                     Monday 18th Jan.-
                     Sunday 24th Jan.

     On Monday the airfield was still black, but on Tuesday, when the weather gradually began to improve, a further complication arose in the form of promotion exams, which nearly the entire Squadron was sitting.   Two sorties were flown on Tuesday, and none on Wednesday.   On Thursday, however, 12 sorties were flown, ten of them being low level strikes against German tanks in area five.   On Friday the weather again prevented flying until late afternoon.   Only two pairs were airborne.   The Squadron was on Battle Flight during the week, but was not scrambled.
                     Monday 25th Jan.-
                     Sunday 31st Jan.

     During the last week of the month, three days of which were flyable, the Squadron practised cine weave and simulated flag attacks intensively:   on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.   On Tuesday Flt. Lt. B. Butterworth flew in our very smartest aircraft to Laarbruch in order to lecture GLOs on "The Role of the Hunter".   A representative from No. 2 Squadron was also to have attended (the weather was admittedly none too good), but he failed to turn up.   Despite protests from the audience, Flt. Lt. Butterworth's modesty forbade his making anything other than a passing reference to the role of the Swift.   The GLOs Flt. Lt. Butterworth reported as being "moderately intelligent" and a good deal of time was spent by them working out the absolute range of the Aden cannon from data presented by Flt. Lt. Butterworth.   Of what practical value this is, it is hard to imagine.   Flt. Lt. Butterworth unfortunately forgot the answer to the problem on the way back from Laarbruch.   On Wednesday fog prevented flying.   A German anti-aircraft unit came to the station to demonstrate their radar operated guns.   The crews were afterwards shown the Hunter.   Flying Officer T.M. Ashwood did sterling work describing G suits and oxygen masks to a crowd of gaping and admiring soldiers.   Rain prevented flying on Thursday and on Friday (spent mainly on Low Level and combat work) a team arrived to visit Jever from D.F.C.S.:   the team will fly with the Squadron next Monday and Tuesday.   With them they brought two Hunter T7s and two brilliant fluorescent Hunter 6s.


                                                                         Day            Night              Total
                                          Hunter F. 6.           115.50              Nil              115.50
                                          Hunter T. 7.              2.10              Nil                 2.10
                                         Vampire T.11.             7.20              Nil                 7.20
                                          Total                     125.00              Nil              125.00

                                                                   AIR TO GROUND

                                                                                                            Signed PB Hine
                                                                                                              (P.B. HINE)
                                                                                                              Flight Lieutenant
                                                                                                              No. 93 Squadron.