|PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS COMPILING OFFICER. Flt. Lt. J.T. Hall
R.A.F. Jever. NOVEMBER 1959
Sunday 1st November - Saturday 7th November 1959.
At the beginning of the new month, on Monday, take offs were delayed because of
bad weather until 10.55. The day was subsequently spent flying H.S.I's. On Tuesday
with similar weather, take offs were prevented until 12.25 when again H.S.I.'s and
combat were flown. Fg. Off. B. Tonkinson qualified for an initial green rating in the
afternoon On Thursday 50 1/2 hours were flown by the Squadron, some of which were spent
in combat against No. 4 Squadron. On Friday an "All green" day at last, pairs and
fours were put up.
At the end of the week, on Friday and Saturday, the Jever Amateur Dramatic Society
played "On Monday Next", a title which had confused the humble Jever population for
many weeks previously. Flt. Lt. P.A. Barrow took a leading role in the play, and the
Commanding Officer's wife aroused our admiration by a brilliant performance of flashing
eyes and animal inoculations.
Sunday 6th November - Saturday 14th November, 1959
Low visibility caused by smoke from the south prevailed all day on Monday. Cloud
was solid up to 38,000 feet, and so no combat was flown, attention being given to
H.S.I.'s. On Tuesday bad visibility again prevented all flying until the afternoon,
when cine weave and green salad were practised. At night four cross countries were
flown. Battle Flight for the week also began on Tuesday. On Wednesday, 11th November
bad weather caused another late start. At 15.50 Flying Officer R.W. West took off
on a syllabus sortie to do a practice diversion, QGH, GCA, and PFOL's. He was fixed
over Leeuwarden at approximately 16.00, after which all contact with his aircraft [XJ641 G] was
lost. A search was made over the North Sea by a Shackleton all night, and three
rescue boats were alerted. What at the time was believed to be a weak sarah signal
was received by the Shackleton late at night. The rescue boats (from Sylt, Heligoland
and Borkum) were sent to the spot. The German Navy volunteered to send two Albatross
amphibians at first light Pembrokes with Lindholme gear and Ansons from Wildenwrath
and Jever were prepared take off at first light The search was intensified on
Thursday. Two more possible sarah signals were reported, but no signal was sufficient
for a positive homing, and nothing was seen of a dinghy. Fog prevented the take off of
the Albatross aircraft from Kiel. A Canberra also took part in the search taking off
from Jever. A Danish Catalina searched north of Heligoland. A R.A.F. helicopter
operated from Sylt, a German one from a landing craft "Krokodil" in the North Sea. Most
of the Squadron pilots were flying as "eyes" in the search aircraft.
Three Battle Flight scrambles took place on Thursday. The first scramble at 12.50.
was after an aircraft disappearing eastwards into the Baltic. The second, at 14.20 was
after a target flying at 61,000 feet! Again no contact was made! The third, at 15.10
was after the first target which had returned from the Baltic. Contact was made at
LK 2020, the target being a U.S.A.F. B.47 making, it would appear, a highly unscheduled
flight. It had been intercepted about ten minutes previously by the Danish Battle
Flight. It was allowed to continue on its way.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday all routine flying and battle-flight flying was stopped at
Jever whilst the search for Fg. Off. West continued.
On Friday 13th November one of our groundcrew, SAC. Dartnell took part in the
R.A.F. Germany Inter-Station Novices Boxing Championships at which R.A.F. Jever won.
Sunday 15th November - Saturday 21st November 1959.
The search was called off on Sunday evening, no positive clues or indications of
the pilot's or aircraft's whereabouts having been found. On Monday, Tuesday and on
Wednesday morning there was no flying. On Wednesday afternoon cine weave and green
salad interceptions were flown. Fg. Off. D.J. Gleen so far forgetting himself as to
fly an aircraft belonging to No. 4 Squadron, suddenly saw his leader through a little
hole appearing underneath the hood between the hood rail and the fuselage. The
aircraft had only just taken off. Fg. Off. Gleen jettisoned the hood and then nearly
suffered from exposure. He consequently landed after spending five minutes airborne
and remained glued to the radiator for the remainder of the day. [Click to see 4 Sqn F540 report.]
On Thursday the airfield was green, but Exercise Gateman, which was to have been flown
during the first sortie did not in fact take place until 13.30. This exercise assumes
that all GCI radar tubes have been jammed by enemy bombers. Defensive fighters are
therefore scrambled to "gates" where they orbit in a race-track pattern until ordered
to set out along a straight line 180 deg to the oncoming raid. Each pair of fighters
flies on a parallel track to, and ten miles from, the next pair. Fighters are free
to attack any target they see five miles either side of track. After flying
110 miles along the track, fighters are deemed to have flown through the raid. They
therefore carry out one orbit and return to their gates in the hope that they might
see a target on the way back. Several points were learned from the exercise held
On Friday the airfield was again green all day. H.S.I.'s and one sortie of 2 v 2
combat were flown.
Sunday 22nd November - Monday 30th November 1959.
The week began on Monday with the airfield red. Flt. Lt. R.D. Stone gave a phase
briefing on air to ground (which phase subsequently had to be cancelled owing to bad
weather) and a lecture on four tank operation. The Commanding Officer flew the first
aircraft fitted with four tanks on Thursday (the intervening days having been totally
red and taken up by lectures and football; aircrew versus groundcrew - lost 0-2)
and on Thursday night we managed to fly four sorties on cross countries and night
familiarisation. On Friday more pilots gained experience flying with four tanks.
Bad weather and the search for Flying Officer West prevented the Squadron's
achieving its target in November.
Day Night Total
Hunter F.6 226.40 7.05
Hunter T.7 9.00 1.50 10.50
Vampire T.11 3.15 1.50 5.05
Total 238.55 10.45 249.40
Air to Ground Sorties:- Nil (Bad weather)
Signed DS White
( D.S.WHITE )
No. 93 Squadron.