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F540 Operations Record Book September 1952 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis

  1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOPERATIONS
     The month began with 93 Squadron on 'Battle Flight'.  Four aircraft is now the standard
number required.  The weather was fair and allowed Practice Interceptions to be flown
in the area.  Fg. Off. HARDCASTLE went off in the Tiger Moth on a long trip to FLORENNES
with Lt. MONTAGNAN as passenger.  Sgt. WEBSTER left JEVER for the U.K. in one of
4 Squadron's aircraft, which he is to bring back to JEVER after recrystallisation.
  2nd        'Battle Flight' again in unsettled weather which cleared up rapidly during the day.
Air tests were the only other type of mission flown.  Sgt. WEBSTER returned with
4 Squadron's aircraft and Fg.Off. HARDCASTLE returned in the Tiger Moth.  A slight
lull was beginning in readiness for the anticipated move to BUCKEBURG which was
scheduled for the 11th - 14th, all parties included.  The Hangar Equipment was cleaned up
and sorted and checked as part of the preparations.
  3rd        'Battle Flight' continued in deteriorating weather, but main emphasis was on the move
and doing whatever was possible until such time as movement orders became available.
Sgt. GARRATT returned from leave in the U.K.
     'Battle Flight' P.I.'s are now done in our own area since the radar at Bad Zwischenhahn
is now serviceable.  Although very good at vectors its heights are a source of trouble
and several of the flights done had to be calibration checks for the Ground Control with
no target or interceptions.
  4th        'Battle Flight' flew four sorties throughout the day.  The afternoon proved more
interesting than the morning with Meteors, a York and F.84's (not sighted).  Most of
the interceptions proved to be line astern chases, which probably were due to the operators
on the Control being under training.
     In the evening a night flying programme was arranged but after four sorties it had to
be cancelled owing to a bad storm which gradually engulfed the airfield.  By this time
the weather had become very unstable and promised not too well for the morrow.
  5th        112 Squadron stood in on 'Battle Flight' for 93 so that we could go rocketing.  At
first mist obscured the range but by 10.30 a programme commenced which went on all day.
34 sorties were flown and 126 rockets fired - there were 6 hang-ups and one new pilot
failed to fire owing to incorrect cockpit drills.  Scores were increasingly better as
a day like this gives a very good chance of practicing - each pilot had three or four
sorties in the same day which is infinitely better than one every few weeks.
  6th        Although a long week-end there was considerable bustle on the station.  A fete in aid
of S.S.A.F.A. was held on the airfield in front of Air Servicing Flight Hangar.  The
weather was not too kind since it gave frequent showers with bright intervals.  On the
whole it was a success with receipts up to what had been anticipated.  93 Squadron
ran a Hot Dog stall, whose stock had to be replenished, so brisk was trade during the
showers.  In the same tent a treasure hunt was run which served to be lucrative.
  7th        Sunday.  
  8th        The morning was fine with cu. over the airfield and cirrus to the north and west.
sorties of cine-, formation aerobatics and I.F. were flown.  In the afternoon the whole
Wing was engaged in a snake climb and descent.  24 aircraft flew and on the whole it
was successful.  A few points came out such as starting heights for the descent and
interval between squadron descents, etc.  These were cleared up - but the fact remained
that 24 aircraft are very unlikely to be under the control of one leader.  The little
cloud encountered served to make the practice more realistic.  The whole thing was
in preparation for Exercise "HOLDFAST" during which the Wing may have to operate as a
  9th        Fg. Off. WALLACE returned from leave and was immediately immersed in preparations
for "HOLDFAST" - movements, etc. had all to be decided at short notice and organised
accordingly.  The weather was very poor all day and low cloud prevailed and the scheduled
ground attack programme had to be cancelled after only a few sorties had been flown from
the whole wing.  No more flying was attempted all day.  Lectures were organised for the
aircrew while ground crews were clear to go ahead as much as possible with preparations for the move.
  10th        It was a beautiful day and training was concentrated on ground attack missions.  Low
level map reading was in for some revision on three sorties, and in general the mornings
flying proved very useful and interesting.  It brushed up Ground Attack techniques and
was excellent preparation for Exercise "HOLDFAST".  The pilots' crew room was also being
graced with a new and comprehensive wall map constructed by the pilots in their non-flying
hours.  Another wing snake was held in the afternoon, which further standardised procedures.
  11th        The Squadron did 'Battle Flight' for No. 4 Squadron who were rocketing.  They were
scrambled up to 40,000 ft. and trailed a supposed F.84 - but found nothing.  On a later
trip they were sent to 35,000 feet but here again the interception had to be abandoned
and calibration of the Ground Height finding equipment had to be undertaken.  The last
trip of the day was again a high altitude scramble to 36,000 ft. during which one aircraft
was sighted but proved too fast to attack.  Sgt. GARRATT took his test and now holds a
Green ticket.  No more flying was attempted and vehicles were prepared for the move as
soon as they arrived from the M.T. section.
  12th        The first convoy moved off at 07.30 hours for BUCKEBURG.  Pilots prepared maps
checked frequencies and callsigns - equipped all the aircraft with frequency charts, and
prepared and checked camping equipment.  Black bands of distemper were prepared on all
aircraft, and although it was perfect weather, not many sorties were flown because of
a bowser shortage brought about by the move.  Some Ground Attack sorties were flown.
Aircraft were sent to find and straff the convoy but were not successful - so far ahead
of schedule was it.  Sgt. THOMAS returned from U.K. leave in time for 'HOLDFAST'.
Appendix 'A'
93 Sqn Ops Order
No 9/52
  13th        The second convoy was prepared for an early start the next morning - kit was packed and remaining aircraft got the black bands painted on them.  One more aircraft had to go
to FASSBERG in exchange for a freshly camouflaged one.  The weather was very fine, but
at the briefing it was stated that fog was possible on the morrow.  This briefing was
held in Flying Wing H.Q. and it was stated that we would be with 'GREENLAND' forces
operating against 'BLUELAND'.  We would be fighting for the East and aircraft would be
committed to not only Ground Attack but interception as well.  Five-to-one air superiority
in 'GREENLAND's' favour could be assumed.  Fg. Off. BATES returned from leave in Germany.
14th        Aircraft took off as scheduled at 08.15 after a seven o'clock briefing.  A ten minute
interval between Squadrons gave ample clearance - and although mist and then low stratus
still prevailed at BUCKEBURG - everyone landed safely.  It was discovered that the Advanced
Party had twice had their camp site moved, consequently aircrew helped with erection of
marquees on final site.  No R.A.F. Regt. personnel were available as labour, because they
had all been hastily dispersed on gun-sites, and there they remained.  Consequent
on the two moves was disorder in the kitchen and a meal of bread and cheese and tea had to
suffice until evening when the good quality of the cooking (which prevailed throughout the
exercise) was evident for the first time.
     During the afternoon Sector Recces were flown and camouflage on the tented site was
started.  93 Squadron aircraft were dispersed on the South West end of the airfield.
A Battle of Britain memorial Parade was held at 17.30 hours on the Parade Ground.  The
Group Captain said a few words to everyone about the exercise before they marched off.
     The convoy arrived at 17.00 and bedding was collected.  The aircraft were picketed and
left with a guard for the night.
  15th        Another parade was held at 08.30 hours, after which a briefing was held to give the
pilots the general situation.  The Wing Commander gave flying control procedures and
an outline of the ops setup.  Pairs were flown to reconnoitre the 'Battle Area'.  Main
areas were Paderborn, Soest and Sennelager.  The Battle was to be fought from Hamlin
through the hills and into the plain south of the Minden Hills.
     Weather was very good.  After a cold clear night the resultant mist soon cleared.  The
Squadron lived in a small copse north of the airfield which made a pleasant camping site
well sheltered from wind, and dry.  The N.A.A.F.I. was a regular visitor to both dispersal
and camp site, bringing beer in the evening.
     The circuit at BUCKEBURG was liable to become crowded at times with Comm. Flight and
civil aircraft, but not frequently.  BUCKEBURG for the purpose of the exercise was in
neutral territory so all attacks had to be routed to come into the Battle Area from the
East, and fuel watched carefully on the first few sorties.
  16th        Eight aircraft went to readiness at 08.00, but a thick morning mist prevented any flying.
At 09.00 hours the sky was almost cloudless and the day warm and sunny.  4 Squadron
sent some aircraft off but 93 had no call made on them all morning.  The dispersal and
pilots crew tent were tidied up and made more comfortable - an ops. board and maps etc.
were prepared.  At lunch time a ground attack alarm was sounded as a practice, and defence positions were manned.  The all clear was soon given.
     Not till 15.30 did anything happen.  The Squadron sent 6 aircraft out of 8 asked for
(one was u/s and this meant a pair stayed behind) to attack a radar installation at
Wyndergwick in Holland.  The route took them via Dummer Lake.  The attack was successful
and valuable information was brought back.
     Besides operational flying an air test, two aerobatic sorties and two cine sorties were
flown.  It was decided as a result of confusion, not to fly training sorties and not to
take off downwind unless absolutely necessary.  At 18.15 came the stand-down.
  17th        The airmen were up at 04.00 hours, and 6 aircraft ready at 06.00 hours.  Four more
later came on at 07.00 and stood by for airfield defence.  At about 09.00 the original six became three pairs for ground attack.  but no targets came up.  A wind during the
night prevented mist forming at BUCKEBURG but weather in other places was not as good.
A projected strike on WAHN was called off for lack of diversion airfields.
     The day developed warm and clear.  The First activity came with the demand for a pair
and a four on two targets - an H.Q. and a tank concentration.  Only two of the four
took off and found the target.  The pair missed their target.  Another pair reconnoitred
the road south west of HORN and found a 'flak' position.  At 17.30 the weather was clouding
over and a section of two carried out a weather recce.  This ended flying for the day.
     Re-arming times averaged ten minutes for two or four aircraft.  R/T was the main item
of unserviceability and this was because of the weakness of the 10 channel sets to trouble.
     At 18.00 hours the Squadron was stood down.
  18th        At 05.00 hours 10 aircraft were on readiness.  The weather was cloudy with diminishing
rain.  At 06.00 a weather recce in the Battle Area found it still unfit for ground attack
missions.  TWENTHE airfield was given as an alternative target and 8 aircraft went off.
They flew into mist and found the airfield unexpectedly, making a second attack
necessary.  Some aircraft parked in a straight line, were claimed damaged, and once again
information was brought back for further attacks.
     Not till lunch-time was the next sortie flown, and this was an armed recce which came
back with a report of poor visibility in the Battle Area, and a cloud base of 200 -500 ft.
A secondary trough was reported coming through giving showers.
     Four more aircraft went on an armed recce for tanks south of Paderborn but they had gone.
On returning to the circuit this four found Dutch Meteors above the airfield and claimed
one destroyed.  It is suspected they lost two of their number.  At 16.30 an armed recce
of the roads east of Lippstadt was carried out.  There was nothing to the east but plenty
of movement west along all roads.  By now the bomb-line had moved past the Eggegebirger
range and the situation was quite clear.
     A re-arming time of 9 minutes was achieved on 4 aircraft.  Close down came at 19.00 hours.
  19th        Only one section came on early, but they did nothing because of the low cloud which
only cleared slowly.  Not till 12.59 did any aircraft from 93 become airborne.  They were
a six, which made a simulated bombing attack on WAHN.  This was carried out above cloud.
Meanwhile the battle had been winding up and two pairs on armed recce found considerable
activity south west of Paderborn.  Thunderstorms in the area then made ground attack
impossible.  In the afternoon a Station Defence exercise was laid on.  Rain made it
uncomfortable and 93 Squadron were left alone.
     The day was cold generally, but the bad weather cleared in the evening giving promise
of an unstable but finer morrow.  One more aircraft was sent to FASSBERG on respray
while one was collected in its new paint.
  20th        05.00 hours saw eight aircraft on readiness.  This number was soon brought to ten,
and by 06.00 hours two pairs were away on armed recce of the southern battle area.  Low
cloud made any detection impossible but a picture of the weather was formed.  Later four
went off and made a strike south of Goghn.  Air defence claimed many more sorties this
day, and several strikes on retreating tanks were made.  It was a day of great activity
much confusion in the battles and culminated in an attack by 12 aircraft, led by the Wing
Commander, to soften up an area near Varl for live parachute dropping.  The weather over
the area was hazy all day from Ruhr smoke and showers.
     The battle had moved fast and bomb-lines were only notes as every other one came in.
GREENLAND were almost in Soest and Varl so that their main objectives were almost attained,
the retreating troops were not getting much time to consolidate either.  There was no
Air Defence role for the Squadron all day, but the airfield was attacked several times.
The warning system is still no good.
  21st        The day began early with attacks on 'flak' positions at Soest.  12 tanks were also
found and later sought by another section but not found.  Four stood by on Airfield
Defence but, when scrambled, found nothing amidst the increasing cloud.  A warm front
was coming up and the weather steadily deteriorated.  Four aircraft were recalled soon
after their take-off on a napalm air-ground attack.  Cloud stretched up to 25-30,000
feet.  By evening wind was reaching gale-force.  Aircraft were picketed and the wind
sock had blown down.  Tents were pegged down and personnel retired for the night.
  22nd        The morning dawned calmer and with layer cloud.  A counter attack had begun in the
extreme south, and a slight pincer movement was indicated north of Bockum.
     The northern area was flooded with aircraft below the cloud near the Mohne Dam.  The
battle was very confused and fleeing sections? and enemy aircraft were found in the area frequently.
One Meteor 10 in the circuit was claimed by a returning pair and many other air victories
were claimed.
     A very poor attack was made on the airfield by U.S.A.F. F.84's, during which they all
got shot down either by fire or Vampires which happened to be in the circuit.
     In the afternoon the Wing Commander did a Wing fly past round the area.  He flew at
the point of the vic comprising himself and the Group Captain with one of No. 4 Squadron,
then the three squadrons each flew three vics of three, in sections vic behind him.  Four
ninety-three, and one-one-two, in that order.  This signally finished the exercise, and
troops could be seen flocking back along all the roads to their bases.
23rd        A late morning for those not on the advance convoy, which left at 09.00 hours.  Tents
were struck in drizzle and low cloud prevailed.  A strongish wind prevented the cloud
from becoming depressingly low.
     By 12.00 the Squadron was ready to move.  Their take off had been scheduled for 13.30.
After several hours of indecision about the conditions, it was decided that we should go
and the Squadron took-off at 16.13.  The weather, though bumpy, was very good all the way
and the other squadrons followed at ten minute intervals.  The local receiver was poor
at JEVER and squadrons used the approach channel.  The convoy was here and the aircraft
were pushed away.  They were not refueled owing to a shortage of bowsers.
JEVER 24th        Four aircraft were flown all morning.  Black lines were removed from the wings.
Practice aerobatics, Q.G.H.'s and cine were flown.  Exercises authorised two or more
to a sortie as a means of making flying more varied.  Fg.Off. WOOD came back on flying
duties and had a familiarisation trip.  The weather was not too good with a 600-700 ft.
cloudbase.  The homer was used for local and approach control.  The ground staff
commenced the off-loading of the second convoy.  Plt. Off. G. SPEARMAN joined the squadron
as a regular pilot.
     Since it was Wednesday the station closed at 12.00 hours for a sports afternoon.
  25th        Poor weather occasioned by a passing front made flying out of the question in the
morning.  Lectures and tests on a/c recognition were given by Sgt. THOMAS.  The convoy
was still off-loading.
     Another new pilot, Plt Off. D. W. STANDISH, arrived on the Squadron.
     After lunch the weather cleared and flying was started.  Formation aerobatics, opp.
qtrs, and Q.G.H.'s in formation were all practiced.  The Meteor was used to give the
new pilots dual checks.
     By the end of the day the weather was very good and showed promise of a fine morning
to follow.
  26th        More low cloud, which soon lifted and broke up.  A very strong cross-wind made it
advisable not to fly and lectures on aircraft and tank recognition were given by Sgt. THOMAS
again.  Sgt. GARRATT went to BUCKEBURG and returned the same morning.  The films from
exercise 'HOLDFAST' were shown but were disappointing, being badly processed and not all
there.  There was plenty to do, the new pilots collected equipment, the 'wall map' in the
crew room progressed and the approaching end of month summaries had to be started on.
     At lunch time the station long week-end started.
  27th        Saturday.  
  29th        Battle Flight of four aircraft did two trips after lunch.  Thick low cloud and
rain made P.I.'s impossible in the morning.  Even on the two sorties flown - radio
snags cropped up and cloud made P.I.'s difficult.  Also one pilot had to return with
sinus trouble.  The rest of the squadron aircraft flew low level cross countries, and
practiced large scale map reading.
     Plt. Off. SPEARMAN did a sector recce and Plt. Off. STANDISH was given a dual check
in the Meteor in readiness for his first Vampire solo.
  30th        Battle Flight flew one sortie in the morning.  It was hazy and the trip was not
interesting.  Cloud at 20,000 ft. forced them down to 15,000 ft. in the clear where they
did some G.C.I.s.  After this they were stood down till 15.50 because of the weather.
     Immediately after lunch they flew a practice snake to 15,000 ft. where they were still in cloud
and whence they descended again.  Fg. Off. BATES, who was leading, then gave some
formation practice and changes.
     At about 15.45 they were airborne again on P.I.'s but after a snake to over 30,000 ft.
none of the attempts were very successful and the sortie was abandoned.  The rest of the
available aircraft were used on low-level cross-countries, to specified targets.
     Plt. Off. STANDISH did his first Vampire solo and sector recce, while Plt.Off. SPEARMAN
did practice Q.G.H.'s and aerobatics.  Fg. Off. WOOD went on a communications flight
to GUTERSLOH and return.
     The B.A.O.R. autumn exercise 'HOLDFAST' provided an opportunity for the Squadron to
again practice its role under field conditions.  R.A.F. BUCKEBURG was used as an
exercise base.  Domestic accommodation, messing, etc. was organised on a squadron
basis and worked admirably.  For this purpose the Squadron was affiliated to No. 30 (L.A.A.)
Squadron, who did an extremely good catering job.  The move by road to and from the
exercise base was done by Squadrons and found to be the most efficient way of carrying
it out.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. R.L. JAMES                 -  continues on P.A.I. Course.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. J.C.M. WOOD1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes-  returned to unit effective strength after medical
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesboard on 19th September, 1952.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. A.R. WALLACE           -  returned from leave on 8th September, 1952.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. E.K.G. BATES             -  returned from leave on 12th September, 1952.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.G. GARRATT               -         "           "         "        "    9th          "                 "
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.J. THOMAS                  -         "           "         "        " 12th           "                 "
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesPlt. .Off. M.C. COBURN  )
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesPlt. .Off. G. FREEMAN    )      -  suspended from further training w.e.f. 25th.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesPlt. .Off. G.W. SPEARMAN   )
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesPlt. .Off. D.W. STANDISH     )-  posted in w.e.f. 19th September, 1952.
      1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesNOMINAL ROLL OF PILOTS

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSquadron Leader S.M. McGREGOR.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes'A' Flight1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes'B' Flight

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFlt.Lt. A.W. PATERSON.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFlt.Lt. K.M. PEARCH.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. A.V.H. STURMAN.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. J.E.F. HARDCASTLE.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. J.G.M. WOOD.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. R.L. JAMES.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. A.R. WALLACE.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. E.K.G. BATES.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesPlt.Off. D.W. STANDISH.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. G.W. SPEARMAN.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D. WEBSTER.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt, D.C. GARRETT.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. C. WILLIAMS.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSgt. D.J. THOMAS.

      1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesTotal hours for month      -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes318:40  Vampire1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes10:45   Meteor.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSorties flown                     -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes425           "1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes15            "

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAmmunition expended   -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesRockets   -   126.

Signed SM McGregor1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
3rd October, 1952.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
(S. M. McGregor.)1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
Squadron Leader,1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
Officer Commanding,1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes
No.  93      Squadron.1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes

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