To the end of 1953.
Following my trip with the Station Hockey Team to Holland and Fassberg, I
arrived back at Jever to fly three times on Sunday, November 1st, totalling 2 hours
and 10 minutes, including 15 minutes IF
. The weather was clamping down with the
onset of winter but the usual ranging and tracking exercises were carried out, as was
a tail chase following battle formation
practice. In increasing cloud, the final sortie of
the day involved battle
and close formation work.
I did not fly the next day, but the day after, following 40 minutes aerobatics, I was detailed to fly to Gütersloh with some letters from our Station Commander
for the second time in my life, to deliver a Senior Air Staff Officer's pyjamas back to
him after he had forgotten to pack them during a recent visit. There was no problem
with the 25 minute flight there, but before the ground part of my mission was
accomplished the weather closed in and Gütersloh airfield closed down. Fortunately
I had my beret with me, but that was all. Using borrowed items from other Officers I
spent the night in the Orderly Officer's room in the Mess. Next day the weather
lifted a little and I was allowed to return, taking half an hour, with 10 minutes
instrument flying in dense cloud on the way. The aircraft I used for this sortie, a Mk
5, was VV221
which I had previously flown at Pembrey and, in its earlier days, was
used when the original Pilot's Notes were written up at Hullavington in 1948.
I flew 3 battle formation
sorties on the day I set off for Berlin with the Hockey Team. On return I flew dual in a Meteor with my Flight Commander
me the Meppen air-to-ground firing range, close to the Dutch border. Other
pilots had flown many live-firing sorties there since my arrival. It would
soon be my turn. That evening I flew my first night flight from Jever, primarily to
see what could be seen in the area after dark.
Winter weather prevented almost all flying for the next fortnight during which, had I not signed on for a Short Service Commission, I would have completed my
National Service and been demobbed. I was very happy with what I was doing.
The bad weather didn't stop us
using the parade ground, nearly
wearing our legs down to stumps on
it. We were practising as a Supporting
Squadron for the parade to be held
at the time of the presentation of their
Standard to Squadron
by Marshal of
the Royal Air Force, Sir John
On the day of the parade,
Friday, 20th November the weather
was kind, and I found myself not on
parade but assisting with showing
and guests to their
places as spectators. I then became a
spectator as well.
With the parade over, the
Standard was marched to the
Officers Mess for display. An
excellent and very relaxed formal
luncheon then took place, with guests
and all Jever
The embroidered silk Squadron
display in the Officers Mess dining-room.