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F540 Operations Record Book September 1956 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2803 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
Place Date Time SUMMARY OF EVENTS                                       COMPILING OFFICER   Lt. T.F.B. Young     REF. TO APPENDICES
R.A.F. JEVER 1st
September           With 7 a/c serviceable, a reasonable start to the months flying was made in the
forenoon with 21 sorties.   Some battle drill was done, and also some 'RAT' and
exercises arranged within the Squadron to simulate actual pursuits,
except for the height at which they were flown.   The 'RAT' represents a low level
enemy intruder and calls his position and rough heading (half a minute late) at brief
intervals;   this information in wartime would originate from ground observation
posts.   The 'TERRIER' plots the enemy track and attempts to intercept him.
  Sunday 2nd.           The Squadron stood down all day.   Fg. Off. A.J. Landon left for Wunsdorf for an
Escape and Evasion course which is to last 10 days.
  Monday 3rd.           An active cold front passed through the area around noon restricted flying to 2
pairs and later to 1 pair per Squadron, the visibility closed in rapidly and the
airfield state went to 'Red'.   The opportunity was seized to anticipate Primary*
inspections on 2 of the aerobatic team a/c while the squadron pilots pursued their
various jobs.   3 pilots successfully their Q.D.S. board;   all pilots on Squadron are
now qualified.   A further two sorties were flown when the airfield reopened briefly
in the afternoon.   The limited flying today in the very poor visibility has shown
up to pilots the present limitations of the G.C.A. which has been in operation here
for the last 10 days;   besides the blind spot caused by the trees near the
installation, there is difficulty with the communications; one channel breaking
through and jamming another due to close proximity of the aerials and frequencies
  Tuesday 4th            With good a/c serviceability and fine weather we had a most successful
day.   33 day sorties were flown on various exercises including, high level and low
level battle drill, low level navigation and individual trips of aerobatics, forced landing
practices and Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M. Browne gave Fg. Off. Lynn and Plt. Off. A.G. Clifton
each a night check in the Vampire T.11.   Total Hunter hours for the day - 37.45.
  Wednesday 5th           The aerobatic team flew 2 practices doing their routine, with all their newly
worked up formation changes over the airfield.   Quite an amount of flying was done
in the forenoon, (a total of 27 sorties), training was the same as yesterday, and Plt.
Off. A.G. Clifton
was given his first re-familiarisation in a Hunter since he joined the
Squadron.   Fg. Off. C.N. Thornton of the Target Towing Flight at Sylt, is spending a
few days with us to convert to Hunters and he did his first solo today.   The Squadron
was stood down for a sports afternoon.
  Thursday 6th           Nothing remarkable was achieved today because of various snags on the
aircraft.   The aerobatic team managed 2 practices however, including a formation
take-off and a loop with 5 a/c, Fg. Off. C. Taylor, the reserve, joining them for
these.   The Squadron was on Battle Flight for the middle part of the day and a
section was scrambled twice to take part in exercise 'Argus'.   The exercise was a
failure as far as we are concerned.   On both scrambles one a/c was left behind
unable to start, and the aircraft that did get airborne took some time to start;   this was
due to a bad batch of starter cartridges.   Once airborne the interceptions were
unsuccessful as the G.C.I. was not working satisfactorily, in fact on the second trip,
during an interception that had degenerated into a stern chase at about .9M, the a/c
were themselves engaged by 2 Super Sabres who carried out an upward quarter
attack at a speed that must have been in excess of Mach 1.
3 of the 7 Canadian Sabre that landed at Jever during the course of the exercise were
replenished by the squadron.
  Friday 7th           At Jever only 15 sorties were flown by the Squadron because 4 a/c were
detached and the others were affected by the snags and routine servicing which got
slightly behind yesterday due to the clothing parade and priority given to the A/C of the
aerobatic team.   The aerobatic team consisting again of Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M. Browne,
Fg. Offs. D.S. Chadwick, D. Exley, and C. Taylor as reserve left for Avignon.   Flt. Lt.
K.J. Goodwin
of 118 Squadron who does individual aerobatics accompanied
them.   Fg. Off. B.A.E. Sanderson was late off due to brake trouble on the Wing
Leaders a/c which has always been lent for these displays.   The team staged via
Wahn and Dijon where Fg. Off. B.A.E. Sanderson caught them up.   They eventually
arrived at Orange, an airfield about 15 miles North Avignon from whence they will
operate for the display which takes place on the Avignon Civil airfield.   It is a grass
strip near the city.   The supporting groundcrew, Sgt. Hart, Cpls. Mcgraw, Woodford,
Miskin and four airmen were flown down in an Anson.   The entire team in company
with the U.S.A.F. 'Skyblazers' were put up in the Hotel Terminus in Avignon.   Sqn. Ldr.
Howard-Williams, the Assistant Air Attache, Paris was also there, and was once
more a great help.
  Saturday 8th           At Jever, with low cloud and very poor visibility, flying began late and a very
limited programme was carried out;   a single pair from each Squadron on controlled
descents and G.C.A.s until the weather cleared later.   At Orange the aerobatic team
had 2 practices and on the second trip had a look around the local area including
Avignon and Marseilles.   On the late afternoon they attended briefing for the air
display after which everyone repaired to a vin d'honeur or Toast at the Hotel de Ville in
  Sunday 9th           At Jever the Squadron stood down all day.
          At Avignon the aerobatic team had an eventful day.   In the forenoon Sqn. Ldr.
D.F.M. Browne
, Fg. Off. D.S Chadwick and Flt. Lt. K. Goodwin each had a trip in a
Mystere 2 of No. 3 French Squadron there, and Major Mahe, the French Commandant
flew one of the 93 Squadron Hunters.   After luncheon the team had time to be shown
round some of the Roman ruins near Orange including the amphitheatre which is
reported to be one of the best preserved in existence.
          Meeting National de L'air.     As far as the squadron aerobatic team were
concerned, their display went as well as any they have done yet.   They carried out
their new routine with the addition of commencing with a loop of six a/c a vic of 5
(including Fg. Off. C. Taylor) and Flt. Lt. K.J. Goodwin in the box.   These 2 detached
immediately; Flt. Lt. K.J. Goodwin climbing to height for his sonic boom with which he
arrived a split second after the team had finished their formation aerobatics with a
bomb burst.   Other aerobatic teams performing were the French Ouragons and the
U.S.A.F. Skyblazers.
After the show two more Frenchmen, Captain Richard and Captain Anquetil flew
Squadron Hunters and Lieutenant Foster of the Skyblazers flew Flt. Lt. K.J. Goodwins
a/c.   The Frenchmen and the American were all very much taken with the
Hunter.   Capt. Anquetil in fact dropped a sonic boom on the airfield during his sortie.   Our pilots, although grateful for the opportunity of flying it, were not impressed
by the Mystere 2, it is very underpowered rather like a Vampire and does not handle
well at high Mach numbers.   The French Squadron at Orange has actually previously
been equipped with the Mystere 4 which is quite a good aeroplane and powered by a
Tay instead of a Nene.
  Monday 10th           A fair days flying was done at Jever in reasonable weather, various exercises
were carried out including some low level battle drill.   The aerobatic team left Orange
in the forenoon and arrived back at Jever having refueled at Dijon only.   Soon after
climbing to height from Dijon Fg. Off. C. Taylor had a flame out, fortunately he was
able to relight lower down and both he and Flt. Lt. K.J. Goodwin (who had
accompanied him landed at Etainne, where they refueled.   On run up the engine
appeared satisfactory so they left immediately for Jever, when overhead Fg. Off. C.
again had some trouble with his engine surging frequently, until he landed.
Flt. Lt. A.J. Colvin returned off leave.
  Tuesday 11th           Visibility was very poor throughout the day.   The Squadron flew one pair to do
a weather check at 0845 hrs. after which Squadrons were allowed to fly staggered
pairs until about noon when restrictions were lifted.   The cloud associated with the
approaching warm front in the afternoon did not hamper training.   Both high level
and low level sorties were carried out.   So far this month the Squadron has achieved
176.15 Hunter hrs.   Fg. Offs. D.S. Chadwick and D. Exley proceeded on leave.
  Wednesday 12th           15 Hunter sorties were carried out in the forenoon, and one Vampire trip.   The
Squadron was stood down for sports in the afternoon.   Most of the pilots spent the
afternoon and evening preparing the mess for the Summer Ball which takes place on
  Thursday 13th           Some cine quarter attack sorties were carried out but the majority of exercises
today were low level navigation, map reading and pin pointing.   12 dusk and night
Hunter sorties were done, and Flt. Lt. B. Watson ('A' Flight Comdr.) took Fg. Offs.
and A.G. Clifton for night checks in the Vampire T.11.   Fg. Off. Clayton-Jones
returned off leave.
  Friday 14th           The weather started to clamp fairly rapidly at 16.45 hrs.   However by then a
good days flying had been completed.   A section of four were airborne at the time
but landed safely at 17.10 hrs.   More low level exercises were carried out besides
some at high level.   Lt. T.F.B. Young (R.N.) had a flame out while commencing a
descent after a fuel tank booster pump failure, but relit successfully.   Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M.
led the aerobatic team on a practice sortie with Fg. Offs. W.R. Clayton-Jones
and C. Taylor flying instead of Fg. Offs. D.S. Chadwick and D. Exley who are on leave.
A total of 30 hours 40 minutes were flown today which leaves us only 55 1/2 hours to
our target for the end of the month.   Fg. Off. A.J. Landon returned off the Escape and
Evasion exercise during which he successfully evaded capture, although he returned
to a very much weakened state.   The summer Ball was held in the officers mess in
the evening.
  Saturday 15th           The Squadron attended a Station Commanders parade in the morning on the
occasion of the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, after which the Station was stood
down for the weekend.
  Sunday 16th           Most of the officers attended a Battle of Britain thanksgiving service in church
this afternoon.   Fg. Offs. J.P. Busby, R. Garthwaite and P. Leigh-Lancaster returned
off leave.
  Monday 17th           Limited flying was carried out until noon only, as the Squadron was preparing for
the move to Leeuwarden for the NATO Exercise 'Stranglehold' and 'Whipsaw'.
          In the evening a presentation of an engraved salver was made to Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M.
from the Squadron officers; he was to have left the Squadron, but he is now
remaining in command until he goes to the Staff College in January.   Tonight was the
last time on which the present entire compliment of officers would be together.
          The squadron was the scene of other presentations and a squadron party in the
officers Mess.   Wg. Cdr. V.C. Woodward D.F.C., who, in August relieved Wg. Cdr. West
in command of 122 Wing, also attended and made a short speech on the occasion of
his first meeting the Squadron informally as a whole.   The Inter Flight Gunnery trophy
was presented to 'B' Flight by 'A' Flight Commander Flt. Lt. B. Watson.   Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M.
presented the Vampire model known as the 'Good Show' Trophy to Fg. Off.
, the Squadron Adjutant in recognition of his successful Hunter forced
landing on June 5th.   The Sabre Trophy was presented to Fg. Off. Leigh-Lancaster for
obtaining the highest individual gunnery results for 1956 with an overall average of
  Thursday 18th           At 06.00 hrs. the whole Squadron, except for the ten pilots who will be flying
tomorrow, moved off by road for Leeuwarden, Holland.   Officers men and equipment
were contained in 9 Magirus lorries, (two towing trailers), 3 Landrovers, 1 Borgward
lorry and one Mercedes breakdown truck.   Some officers travelled by private car.   The
convoy arrived at Leeuwarden at 13.00 hrs. having stopped at the frontier and later for
lunch.   The distance travelled was 126 miles.   93 Squadron corporals and below are
sleeping in a barrack block, officers and S.N.C.O.s in the Royal Netherlands A.F.
Sergeants Mess.   The whole R.A.F. detachment here have their meals from a field
kitchen and at a tented messing site set up on the airfield near dispersals.   This is
manned by our own personnel from Jever.
stationpic769.jpg, 27300 bytes
             Field Kitchen for Exercise Deployment to Leeuwarden.  [Not from F540.]
Fg. Off. B.A.E. Sanderson remained behind at Jever owing to a badly sprained ankle.
  Wednesday 19th           Since flying will be strictly limited during these exercises, the opportunity has
been taken to get some of the aerobatic team aircraft on minor inspection, and only ten
a/c are being taken to Leeuwarden.   In the forenoon a ten aircraft formation trip was
carried out - flying past over the airfield in a pyramid formation, and later a ten
a/c tail chase was done over the airfield.   In the afternoon the ten a/c flew to
Leeuwarden using high level battle drill on the way, during which they were engaged
by some Dutch Hunters.   A comprehensive briefing was given by R.N.A.F. Officers on
the weather outlook for the first exercise, on air traffic control at Leeuwarden and on
exercise 'Stranglehold' itself, which is to take place on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday.   Eight individual local sorties were carried out after the briefing.   Exercise
'Stranglehold' is to test the Air Defence of the United Kingdom.   The attacking forces
consisting of all NATO air forces in Northern Europe, Bomber Command and Training
Command will make a series of coordinated raids or approaches on England.   The
Hunters of 4 and 93 Squadrons and of the Royal Netherland's Air Force based at
Leeuwarden will approach East Anglia to within 30 miles before turning back to base.
  20th             The weather remained fine as it has been since Tuesday, but due to the southerly
breeze, the industrial haze from the Ruhr has drifted North.   Visibility over Holland
was even worse today, about a mile at most, possibly because of an inversion up to
5,000 ft.   There is every indication that the weather will remain as it is for some days,
limited flying was done, mostly battle drill and the aerobatic were airborne for a
practice sortie.
  21st             Exercise 'Stranglehold'.     The squadron took part in three raids during the day.
The first one being at 06.15 hrs. besides the 24 sorties flown on this exercise other
flying was carried out between raids.
  22nd             Exercise Stranglehold.     The squadron took part in three raids, flying 25 sorties.
The aerobatic team also got airborne for a practice.   Fg. Off. D. Exley brought another
a/c from Jever this morning to replace one here that requires engine rectification.
  23rd             Exercise 'Stranglehold'.   Being Sunday the Royal Netherlands Air Force did not
fly today: however 4 and 93 Squadrons were permitted to fly in the afternoon as many
a/c as they could put up for a single raid: they each flew ten.   This was the last raid of
the exercise.   The opposition over the last three days has been disappointing.
From the defending forces point of view the weather was ideal: being cloudless with
persistent contrails over a wide height layer.   Our speed was limited to .9 Mach.
In spite of all this only one successful interception was carried out on any of our
four trips.   Several times the fighters passed close by, but on such a course that they
could not make an attack; a proof that without A.I. radar it is almost impossible to judge
the targets' relative course and range in the final stages of an interception at these
high altitudes even if the target is contrailling.   Fg. Off. Davis who has been on a
re-enforcement attachment to the Squadron since the end of August, left for Jever today
to await his return to the U.K.   Fg. Off. J.E. Pigdon proceeded on leave, having had
his tour on the squadron extended to 3 1/2 years.
  24th             Preference was given to 'A' Flight for flying which took place this forenoon only.
18 sorties were carried out which included the aerobatic team doing two practice
trips.   Fg. Off. B.A.E. Sanderson rejoined the Squadron from Jever by air, his ankle
now fully recovered, bringing the Squadron strength at Leeuwarden up to 12 a/c and
19 pilots.   Apart from those working on 2 a/c primary inspections, the Squadron stood
down in the afternoon.   2 games of football were played; first 4 and 93 Squadron
officers versus R.N.A.F. officers, won by us by 5 goals to 3, and then the airmen of the
two Squadrons played the Dutch airmen, losing to them 3 - nil.
  25th             This forenoon 'B' Flight had priority for flying and a total of 19 sorties were
flown.   2 sections got airborne for P.I.s under the control of the Dutch G.C.I.
stations but generally both trips were rather abortive.   There was no flying in the
afternoon, instead general rectifications and four primary inspections were completed,
so that there will be 11 aircraft serviceable for exercise 'Whipsaw' tomorrow.
In the evening Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M. Browne and three other officers of No. 93 Squadron
had dinner with Colonel Hofstede A.F.C. the Officer Commanding Leeuwarden, and
some of his R.N.A.F. Officers.
  26th             Exercise 'Whipsaw'.     No flying was possible from Leeuwarden due to fog which
kept the airfield clamped all day.   This exercise is a SHAPE sponsored atomic
exercise mainly to test the G.C.I. defence of Holland, Belgium, France and Southern
U.K. against a threat from the East.   The attacking forces are all those squadrons
based in Germany for the exercise with the addition of S.A.C., Bomber Command and
various atomic task forces.
  27th             Exercise 'Whipsaw'.   Owing to the weather no sections were scrambled until
09.10.   The squadron flew 16 sorties on the exercise today, but were given
disappointingly little trade; however 2 Canberras and a B.45 were intercepted.   The last
section to get airborne did not take part in the exercise as they took off at dusk and
instead did local flying in pairs.   A total of 25 sorties were flown today.
  28th             Exercise 'Whipsaw'.   A cold front which covered all the low countries prevented
our flying until 14.00 hrs. when we moved in to cold sector conditions with very strong
wind.   Sorties consisted of both high and low level sweeps which were disappointing
through inaccurate G.C.I. control.   Judging from the contrails there appeared to be
plenty of trade about, and the last sortie of the day and exercise produced the best
results at least 7 Canberras were intercepted successfully at heights up to 45,000 ft.
  29th             The detachment at R.N.A.F. Leeuwarden ended today, and the Squadron flew
back to Jever at 11.15 hrs. escorted by 20 Dutch Hunters, a token symbol of N.A.T.O.
co-operation, and all took part in a forty plane close formation flypast at Leeuwarden
and Jever led by Sqn. Ldr. D.F.M. Browne.   This brought the hours flown on
operational type to 428, so that once again we have comfortably exceeded our
target.   The Squadron stood down for the weekend at lunchtime.
Operational Type Day Night  Sorties
Hunter Mk.4 414.30 18.45 571
Training Type      
Vampire T11.          28.55             5.20              46        
         443.25             5.20          617     
  2nd   Fg. Off. A.J. Landon proceeded to Wunstorf for escape and evasion exercise.  
  14th   Fg. Off. A.J. Landon returned to the Squadron.  
  28th   Fg. Off. Davis returned to the U.K. after completing his re-enforcement attachment with
the squadron.
                            September has been our most fruitful month for flying hours and for
variety of operational practice since April, 1955.   The target was comfortably exceeded for
the seventh successive month.   The re-introduction of low flying was very welcome as
greater accuracy is now required by the pilot on navigation exercises.   The aerobatic
team flew to the Marseilles area to perform at the Avignon National Air Day Display.
Otherwise before Exercise Stronghold/Whipsaw normal Squadron syllabus routine including
night flying was carried out.
          The Squadron flew into R.N.A.F. Leeuwarden on the 19th with all 11 a/c.   During the
first phase of three days 54 sorties were flown in the form of seven fighter sweeps
to the U.K. coast.   The squadron although trailing at 42,000 feet were rarely
intercepted successfully.   The second phase consisting of 41 interceptions and patrol
sorties, was more productive as Canberras and B.45s were generally successfully
intercepted, although G.C.I. control was not always accurate.   At the end of the
exercise N.A.T.O. cooperation was demonstrated by a mass formation fly past of 20
R.A.F. Hunters and 20 Netherlands Hunters.   The squadron has now flown over 3,100 hrs.
on operational type this year, which is within 50 hrs of the planned annual target up
to the end of September.
      Signed:-      (D.F.M. BROWNE.)                                                   
Squadron Leader                                                     
Officer Commanding                                               
No. 93 Squadron                                                      

CERTIFIED TRUE COPY       signed G Talbot                                                                
(G. Talbot)                                                                       
Flying Officer                                                                 
Date:-  13th May, 1958                                                        Adjutant,                                                                         
No. 93 Squadron                                                          
[Suspect this was a certified copy to replace a lost or damaged report for Sep56 as Gordon Talbot did
not arrive on the squadron until 28Feb57.]                                                                                                           
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