The aim of the Jever Steam Laundry is to promote the irreverent camaraderie that epitomised
No 122 Wing's vigorous approach to both professional excellence in the air combat interceptor
role and to riotously enjoyable living at RAF Jever during the golden age of jet fighter operations.
Instructions for Jever Steam Laundry Web Site
Address to reach the site: www.rafjever.org or www.jeversteamlaundry.org
Home page gives mission statement for web site. If you don't like it - Pat King wrote
it. If you do like it - I wrote it. It also gives the details for the next AGM with a map.
Nearer the date it will also have a menu for pre-ordering "dingleberries" from the RAF Club.
Some notes for new users:
1. Any word in green can be clicked with your mouse pointer and it will jump to a
glossary of terms and abbreviations, or in the case of names to a history or that
person's entry in the database. To get back to your jump off position, click on
the back arrow (left pointing at the top of the screen that you are using to
browse the web site e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer).
2. There are 9 databases containing member details:
a. 4 open databases A to C; D to J; K to R and S to Z.
b. 4 Password protected databases as for 2a but with fuller information for
c. 1 with all past Shareholders who have died.
3. Menu Item with a * in front of it means that at present it is empty and
information will be added later.
4. I recommend that you start with the database of members. Go to Steam
Laundry - Share Holders - Current - choose the database containing the initial
letter of your surname - At the top of the display, click the initial letter of your
surname and then scroll down until you find your entry. Check your information
and let me know if it is incomplete or incorrect. Under your name there maybe
the word "Appears", followed by groups of cryptic letters and numbers in green.
These show all the places on the web site where your name or a photograph
appears. You will be able to quickly check out everywhere that you are
mentioned. Click on the back arrow from the location and it will return you to
your database entry. Having looked up your own entry, try finding someone
you may want to contact. At the bottom of this drop down menu is "Died in
last year" which is a quick way to check who has passed on recently.
Most of the video clips in the List of Videos are now also embeded in the appropriate
place in the Sqn and Stn lists of pictures and videos. Therefore, in the green jumps
under the names in the databases of personnel, a choice has been provided to either
return to the Video list [Rtn Vid List} or to return to the embedded copy in the
Sqn/Stn lists [Rtn Sqn List]. This helps when stepping through either the list of
videos or the sqn/stn lists of items.
5. An interesting area is the F540 Monthly Operational Reports. Choose RAF
Jever - Sqn number - Choose the month. These were written every month of
the unit life and classified as secret. After 30 years they were made unclassified
and released on micro-film at The National Archives Kew. I photographed them
with a cheap digital camera and transcribed them when I get home. I have done
225 of the currently available 2,502 F540s. or about 9%. The 5352 Airfield
Construction Branch History has some shots of the base as it was being built.
6. The next area of interest is the AGM photos. Choose Steam Laundry - Past
AGMs - select your year. This will take you to the Calling Notice & Minutes for
that year followed by shareholders' letters, if any, and finally the photographs.
There are lots of attendees that I have had to mark as Unknown, so see for how
many you can supply a name and either give me a ring, send me an e-mail or
even write me a letter giving me an unknown name or correct a mistake I have made.
7. Finally there are many photos of station and squadron life, both social and
8. Before you leave, please sign the Visitors book. Route: Site Information - Pls
Sign Guestbook - Sign My Guestbook - Post - then fill in your details.
9. Send me stories and photographs, I promise I will take care of them and return
them quickly by recorded delivery. Enjoy your browsing!
Description of the Site
There are 4 buttons across the top other than "Home":
a. Steam Laundry - information on our members;
b. RAF Jever - Information on RAF Jever and life during the 11 years of its
existence between 1951 to 1961;
c. German Jever - Information on Jever before and after it belonged to the
RAF. This also has photographic reports on visits back to Jever in 2005, 2006 and 2010;
d. Site Information - Other useful information, see below.
Steam Laundry - clicking on this menu tab gives a drop down menu containing the
a. Board Members - e.g. President and Secretary - current and past;
b. Shareholders - Gives access to 4 open databases and 4 password protected
databases, Breakdown of membership by background, and Past
Shareholders. This is where your information will be;
c. Message Forum - Place to pass messages to one another;
d. Notice Board - Place to advertise you or your services;
e. Contributors List - List of those who have contributed to building the site;
f. Golden Shares - Description of Golden Share and present and past holders;
g. Past AGMs - Vast area listing all the past AGMs, their minutes and
photographs of those present. Also letters written to the Secretary between
AGMs telling him of their activities.
RAF Jever - has the following areas:
a. Jever Station - History, chronology & status of F540s being transcribed for
the 6 squadrons, illustrations of the station social life (currently 1955 to 61);
and pictures from around the station;
b. 122 Wing - Pictures of people and aircraft from Flying Wing;
c. 2 Sqn - History, short one page from Air Historical Branch web site, and
longer detailed history, Chronology and the F540 Monthly Operational
Records transcribed from the originals in the National Archives at Kew,
list of aircraft airframe numbers and their dates on the Sqn, and pictures of
personnel and life on the Sqn, finally any interesting stories about the Sqn;
d. 4 Sqn - As for 2 Sqn above;
e. 93 Sqn - As for 2 Sqn above;
f. 98 Sqn - As for 2 Sqn above;
g. 112 Sqn - As for 2 Sqn above;
h. 118 Sqn - As for 2 Sqn above;
i. RAF Regiment units - As for 2 Sqn above;
j. Performance data on the Hunters, Sabres and Swifts.
Including transcribedcopies of Pilots Notes for:
Vampire FB 5 and 9.
German Jever - Has 2 sub-menus:
a. Luftwaffe to 1951;
b. History of GAF Jever after the RAF left
in 1961, including illustrated reports on the re-visits;
Site Information - This drop down menu has 8 items:
a. About - Mission Statement, Notes on Using the Site, number of visitors since
Sep04, and a detailed explanation on what the site is all about.
b. Copyrights - Explanation of the source of the information and caveats about
its use without permission;
c. Visitors' Book - Please sign this - I get very lonely;
d. Contact Us - Details of how to contact me or the designer Dr David Annal;
e. Glossary - Very large list of terms and abbreviations so that anyone can
understand, even if they were not in the RAF;
f. Books & Films - Information about items of interest to members;
g. Links - Green jump connections to other web sites such as the Air Historical
Branch web site in MOD, and the new II (AC) Sqn web site;
h. Latest - Complete list of items as they were added to the web site since it
was begun. If you have not been for a while this is the place to see, at a
glance, what is new since your last visit. Each item is provided with a green
jump link so that you can go straight to that location in the web site if it
interests you. At the top the number of visitors is repeated with an analysis
of traffic dates and times. There is also a comparison of the number of
pictures contributed by each unit and the total number of pages on the site.
Count of the Number of Visitors to the Web Site since 12 September 2004
What is This Site About?
The Jever Steam Laundry was founded in the bar at RAF Jever Officers' Mess during 1957/58.
The first Annual General Meeting was held in December 1957 at Dirty Dick's, a tavern near Liverpool
Street Station, London. This was a popular "watering hole" for personnel posted to RAF Jever.
They would congregate there for a few beers prior to catching the overnight Harwich boat train back
to Holland/Germany, and thence by road to RAF Jever which is in the North of Germany near
Wilhelmshaven. This was just in time for Met briefing on Monday morning. The tavern, and its
sawdust strewn floor, has long since disappeared under Liverpool St Station but a new version has
popped up nearby. The minutes of that riotous first meeting are recorded under the past AGMs.
(Click to see)
Jever was under the control of the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1961. This was an exciting
period in European history. It was only the strength of NATO that stopped the westward advance of
communism. The front-line units which formed the spearhead of that show of force were part of the
2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF). This eventually became the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (2ATAF)
and one of its components was RAF Germany.
If you examine the history of the squadrons serving at RAF Jever you will see the progression
of re-equipment from Vampires through Sabres, Hunter F4s to eventually the "Queen of the Skies" the
Hunter F6. New aircraft brought improvements in performance and capability and also serviceability
problems. Squadrons took it in turns to provide, during daylight hours, two aircraft on Battle Flight
standby. These had to be airborne within strict time limits and were armed and ready to go. They were
frequently scrambled to intercept suspected or threatened incursions from the East. The Russians were
always probing to test the resolve of NATO and often the aircraft of 2TAF were the first to show a
fierce resistance to these probes. (Click to see an example)
We must not forget the contributions of the two Fighter Reconnaissance squadrons, 2 and 79.
No 2 Squadron was based at Jever and were the eyes of the land and air forces. Their role was to
penetrate at high speed and very low level to bring back pictures of enemy targets and photographs
to enable battle damage assessment. The Swift was not a successful fighter at high level but was
extremely stable in low level flight. For this demanding role it was ideal. The recce squadron
pilots were more experienced and were always on at least their second fighter tour.
For the Hunters in the day fighter role the training necessary to be able to fire the Hunter's
four 30 mm Aden cannons effectively and to win in the air combat role, was extensive and planned in
great detail. Only the best were posted to the Hunter squadrons in RAF Germany. In addition to the
day fighter interceptor role, the RAF Germany Hunter squadrons, unlike their UK counterparts, also
had a 20% ground attack role in support of the NATO army units. There was little point in winning
the air war if NATO had been overrun on the ground. The low level ground attack role was demanding in
its own right and you will see mention of low level and air to ground gunnery sorties mixed in with
air to air cine and practice for the annual air to air live firing camps which were held at the RAF
Armament Practice Station at Sylt.
The visit to Sylt was the highlight of the Hunter squadron's training year. The command gave a
trophy, called the Duncan Trophy, to the highest scoring squadron. Once a new pilot was declared
"operational" his scores at Sylt had to be counted in the competition. The squadron could not afford
to "carry" or hide weak pilots. They all had to be well trained. When the day fighter Hunters were
finally disbanded in Germany in December 1960, the final winner of the Duncan Trophy was No 93
Squadron. (Click to see) This was a remarkable achievement since the winning Sylt detachment was
done with no warning because of unexpected technical difficulties with the airfield at Jever. There
were normally months of pre-Sylt work up.
Pilots were generally on tours of duty lasting about two years so there was a constant need to
train new pilots. Aircrews and all the supporting ground personnel were fiercely proud of the
performance of 2TAF, in general and RAF Jever in particular. This meant that everyone worked hard -
and, as this site also records, played hard.
I remember being interviewed on arrival, as a nervous young Pilot Officer joining No 93 Squadron,
by the very fierce Wing Commander Geoff Atherton, Officer Commanding No 122 Wing at Jever. Geoff was
a typically uncompromising Aussie who put the fear of god into us all on the three squadrons 2, 4 and
93. I was particularly impressed when he told me "You better be an Above Average pilot or I am
shipping you back to the UK. I have 200 Above Average pilots waiting in the UK to take your place."
As a freshly qualified pilot, who was by no means Above Average, I was suitably impressed. Later I
was less impressed when I was told that the new station dentist had been welcomed by the Wing Commander
with the same phrase "...I have 200 Above Average dentists waiting in the UK to take your place".
The Jever Steam Laundry has met every year since the squadrons were disbanded. The records of
those meetings are in the AGM minutes. (Click to see) The spirit of camaraderie lives on, though
many of us are now old and grey. The next meeting is advertised on the web site's home page.(Click to see)
I would like this site to be a permanent reminder of those happy days and to be a repository of
stories, documents and photographs which will live on after we are gone. Please send me your
memorabilia - everything is important when building a feeling for the decade. I promise to copy it and
return the originals to you promptly. Please also let me have your comments and ideas on the site.
(Click to see how)