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F540 Operations Record Book June 1955 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis
Place Date Time Summary of Events                                  COMPILING OFFICER  Flying Officer G.E. Hickman REF. TO APPENDICES

GeorgeHickman.jpg, 8515 bytes

R.A.F. Sylt 1st June, 1955           There was some trouble today with flags returning considerably less than 30
feet long.   This was caused by air turbulence set up by the Anning radar reflectors,
the towing speed being slightly too high and possibly by a batch of flags of
inferior quality.   Top scorer - Fg.Off. Sanderson, 30%.
  2nd             Eight sorties were aborted because of the flag being short at the end of the
sortie.   It is being considered whether it is desirable to adjust the scores
to compensate for a short flag, rather than have so many abortive sorties.   Top
scorer - Fg.Off. Exley, 31%.
  3rd Monday           Twenty seven effective air to air sorties were achieved - the highest number
so far this month.   Firing was on Amrum high range at 20,000 feet.   Top scorer -
Fg.Off. Sanderson, 32%.
  4th             Flying ceased at mid-day when only nine successful sorties had been flown.
Thirteen sorties had been aborted, eight of which were for flag unserviceability.
Top scorer - Flt.Lt. Hayes, 19%.
  6th Monday           Low cloud prohibited flying for the day.   Pilots had a lecture from a U.S.A.F.
Captain on flying techniques on all marks of Sabre aircraft as employed in the United
  7th             Flying was at low altitude today, 10,000 feet, with better control and easier
tracking giving the expected rise in scores.   Top scorer - Sqn.Ldr. Browne, 45%.
Daily average, 16.9%.
  8th             Continuous rain throughout the day prevented flying.  
  9th             This morning there was a parade in honour of the birthday of Her Majesty The
Queen.   The visiting Squadrons took pride of place as the standard of No. 4
was being paraded with due ceremony.   This was the first time a Squadron
standard had been on parade at R.A.F. Sylt, and the first time this particular
standard had been paraded away from R.A.F. Jever.   The remainder of the day was
a holiday.
  10th             There was a parade for the birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Phillip,
before flying commenced at 11.30 hours.   21 effective sorties were flown during
the afternoon.   Fg.Off. Page had two scores of 38% and 37%, which is a very great
improvement on his earlier scores.
  11th             Cumulus cloud tops extended to 10,000 feet, but firing conditions were good
at 12,000 feet, under G.C.I. control.   Eleven pilots exceeded 20%, and the daily
Squadron average was 21.5%.   The highest individual score since the Squadron
converted onto Sabre aircraft was recorded by Fg.Off. Ramsay, 48%.   The
progressive Squadron averages are 16.9% low level, and 11.7% high level.
  13th Monday           The low cloud cleared by midday allowing us to achieve 13 effective sorties.
Top scorer - Fg.Off. Busby 26%.   Highest overall average - Sqn.Ldr. Browne 21.3%.
  14th             Thirteen effective sorties were made before the weather caused flying to be
cancelled for the day.   Top scorer - Fg.Off. Chadwick 23%.   Progressive stoppage
:- 2479.
  15th             Firing took place at both high and low level today with six pilots obtaining
over 20% for a daily average of 14.6%.   Top scorer - Fg.Off. Ramsay 30%.
  16th             We were firing today on a new range at 20,000 feet and 45 miles out to sea.
Firing conditions were good but the towing aircraft were often late on the range
and short of fuel by the time the sortie ended.   Top scorer - Fg.Off Page 29%.
  17th             Air to air firing ceased at midday and in the afternoon it was proposed to
send off two sections of aircraft to fire on glider targets.   The first detail
was successful in spite of the fact that the glider returned with approximately
50 bullet holes in it, but the second glider disintegrated on take off.
          The Squadron aerobatic team had a practice on the last detail of the day.
  18th             Instead of air firing this morning there were three details of battle formation,
combat flying and formation aerobatics.   The majority of the pilots also visited
the new air to ground range at List on which it is proposed to fire next week.
  20th Monday           The air to ground programme was cancelled because of low cloud and poor
visibility, and only one air to air range was in operation because of shipping.
This range was being used by No. 4 Squadron.
  21st             There was no flying because of rain and low cloud, which persisted all day.
We joined with the pilots of No. 4 Squadron for a short debate in which it was
agreed that the navy is not a dying service.   In the afternoon there was a period
in the gymnasium.
  22nd             Flying did not start until 15.00 hours because of fog and low cloud during the
morning.   There were fishing boats on the range and so only cine was possible, 10
sorties being flown.
          During the morning there was lecture on air to air firing by Fg.Off. Ramsay.
  23rd             Marginal weather conditions persisted all day so there was no flying.   Squadron
ground duties were carried out, and an inter flight volley ball match arranged.
  24th             There was a break in air to air firing at midday when the Squadron formation
aerobatic team put on a display for the press who were taking photographs from a
Vampire T.11.   The firing was at 20,000 feet with 21 effective sorties being
flown.   Fifteen sorties were abortive, 12 of which were for aircraft and gunsight
unserviceability.   Top scorer - Flt.Lt. Hayes 32%.
  25th             Firing did not start until 09.45 hours because of a low cloud base.   There
were 9 effective sorties, 4 of which resulted in scores of over 20%.   The daily
average was 13.7% bringing the high level average to 12.3%.   Top scorer -
Fg.Off. Ramsay 31%.
          In the evening there was a Squadron party in the Airmens' Mess.   During
party beer tankards were presented to Fg.Offs. Harper, Macknish and Mitchell on the
occasion of their leaving the Squadron.   Fg.Off. A. Avery, our radar officer from
Technical Wing, R.A.F. Jever, was made an Honorary Member for his services to the
Squadron.   He is the fourth person so elected.
  26th             Several pilots had a dinghy drill practice this afternoon on one of the Sylt
  27th             A total of 29½ hours flying today resulted in an average of 15.2% for 26 sorties.
Ten sorties were aborted because of aircraft unserviceability.   Top scorer -
Sqn.Ldr. Browne 32%.
  28th             The flag programme ceased at 14.00 hours and we carried out a double re-arm
practice, firing all six guns at glider targets.   Both gliders were shot down, the
turn rounds for both sections of four aircraft were under 20 minutes, but 14
stoppages were recorded.
          The daily average, firing at 20,000 feet was 18.9% making the overall average
13.7%.   A total of 32 hours was flown.   Top scorer - Fg.Off. Hickman 39%.
  29th             The weather made the range unserviceable for firing for the whole day.   A
proposed competition shoot against the P.A.I. staff was cancelled, and so monthly
returns were prepared during the afternoon.
          The firing has now been completed for the detachment.   A total of 490 effective
air to air sorties were flown, all of them using radar ranging.
                   The top individual averages were:-
                                Sqn. Ldr. Browne                             21.2%
                                Fg.Off. Hickman                               17.1%
                                Fg.Off. Ramsay                                16.6%
                                Fg.Off. Leigh-Lancaster                 16.0%
                                Fg.Off. Bell                                        15.6%
                                Fg.Off. Exley                                      15.4%
Total sorties - High level - 358                    Low level - 132.
                     Rounds fired         :-       91,186
                     Stoppages            :-       26
                     Stoppage Rate     :-       3,507
  30th             The air party returned to Jever this morning leaving behind one aircraft
which was unserviceable.   The rest of the Squadron spent the day preparing for
the return tomorrow of the main and rear parties.
               Hours flown during the month :-
                                                                           Hours                              Sorties
        Sabre                                                        397.25                               630
         Vampire T.11   )
                                    )                                        34.40                                  30
         Prentice            )

             Fg.Offs. Balfour, Hickman, Leigh-Lancaster, Bell and Exley passed their
medicals for Direct Commissions.
  7th   Fg.Off. Davis returned from U.K. Leave  
  17th   Fg.Off. Leigh-Lancaster went to U.K. on leave.  
  22nd   Fg.Off. Hampton returned to the Squadron after his convalescence.  
  24th   Fg.Off. Sanderson left for a P.A.I. course in U.K.  
  28th   Fg.Off. Page flew an aircraft to U.K.  
          The Squadron has been on attachment at Sylt throughout this month.   It
expects to return to base on 1st July, 1955.           A large number of personnel have been back to Jever on duty or leave during
the month for periods of a week at a time.   This has helped to break up the long
          There is a proposed cut in man power in July which will bring the Squadron
strength down to the new establishment of 14 aircraft.
          The Squadron has operated on 14 U.E. throughout this month.   An average of
10 aircraft have been kept at A.P.S. Sylt.   397 Sabre hours have been flown which exceeds the Squadron target for the third month in succession, but there
are still 24 pilots on strength.
          The month's training has been mainly devoted to Air to Air firing at the
higher levels (20,000 feet).   There has been a slow but steady increase in the
Squadron's average throughout the month.   Pilots averaged 24 effective shoots
each and nearly all had an opportunity of shooting at "Winged targets", two of
which were destroyed and one severely damaged.   A limited amount of tactical
flying was included to provide a break and contrast from the daily firing.   Air
to Ground firing was planned but the programme was cancelled by weather.
          The high intensity of flying and firing, which has been kept up for over
six weeks has almost completely exhausted the supply of gunsight, radar and
aircraft spares, consequently serviceability has dropped considerably during the
last few days.
          All pilots agree that the attachment has been one of the most productive and
useful periods of flying that they have had.   This was mainly because pilots were
able to see their flag and films before their next 'shoot' under the new Sylt

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

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