roundel jsl spacer hunter1
previous thumbnails next
did not inspect the PSI gardens. I afterwards wondered how Herr Goldbaum would have described someone more important than God, had he done so.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesMonday, July 5th, was perfect weather. I flew two sorties, each of an hour's duration. The first was solo handling practice at all altitudes, with aerobatics, followed by authorised low flying. The second was, in effect, a low flying, map reading, cross-country. It was a necessary exercise, little practised in the past, and certainly not in a Sabre. I had to be very quick and accurate reading the map when flying at over 500 knots at only 300 feet above the ground. Such is necessary when doing intruder work, the Squadron's secondary role. Flying a constant height above ground, looking out for flocks of birds, masts and tall buildings, while following an accurate track checked against the map, kept me extremely busy and demanded a high level of concentration. It was possibly more demanding, and certainly more hazardous, than close formation flying in rough air. Anyone on the ground would not have heard my approach. The first intimation of my presence would have been a sudden horrendous overhead noise when, on looking up they would see my classic Sabre low-level trail of black smoke disappearing, from their point of view, at treetop height. None of us could have been very popular on such exercises.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesMy Log Book tells me that on the following Thursday I flew as No.2 in a fourship formation at dusk in a tail chase. The Squadron record is at variance with this but I well remember this tail chase in increasing darkness. It grew dark to the point when I was following the light from the leader's jet pipe before we switched on our navigation lights. We landed in total darkness. The sortie was recorded as night flying of one hour's duration.

Video showing SEN-016 clip from Ken Senar's film.   TITLE: "Sports Day 1954".   The annual station sports day was a major event and, with Jever being a particularly large camp, it was exceptionally well attended, taking on an almost festive air.   There was an excellent running track and good facilities for all field events.   The sequence mostly depicts the longer track events.   In the distance are older Luftwaffe buildings (including the GSO - German Service Organisation - Mess and barracks) and a range of newer ones in NATO colours.   Field events are taking place in the background.   Seating was provided for visiting spectators, families, and non-competing officers.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe next two days marked the occasion when Jever hosted the 2nd TAF sports event. WRAF competitors were housed in the upper floor of Flying Wing Headquarters which was specially partitioned off for their benefit. There was no formal Squadron activity, with most personnel enjoying their time as spectators. It was at this time that I shared my room with one of the visiting RAF competitors. Jever came 7th, with Headquarters Unit, 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force being the winners. Some of us wondered whether HQ had 'pulled rank' and temporarily posted in, on their strength, some keen sportsmen for the event. Being HQ they would never have admitted it if they had. Never before had I seen the Station so busy with so many personnel present on those two days.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesWhilst these sports and the preceding parades and other distractions do nothing to enhance flying hours, my recording of them here explains why so little flying was done when compared with that in the month of May. It must be remembered that Squadron pilots were all mustered as part of the General Duties (Flying) Branch of the RAF, and, as such, there were times even when flying on Active Service (as we were at that time), that the General Duties aspect took precedence. In an active war, as opposed to the Cold War which we were then prosecuting, things would perforce be very different.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAnother week elapsed before I flew again, firstly as No.2 in low level battle formation. That was until my aircraft flying controls decided to malfunction and I made a hasty return to base, burning off fuel as I went so as to reduce my aircraft to below its maximum landing weight. After some nifty work by the ground crew the aircraft was declared fit to fly by afternoon. I was detailed to carry out the air test, quickly found everything satisfactory and spent the rest of the 50 minute flight cavorting around, but not in, the multitude of cu-nims created by strong thermals rising from the North German plain.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe entire week commencing Saturday July 17th was devoted to Exercise Dividend, a NATO exercise in which UK defence systems were tested. We were to emulate Eastern Bloc 'enemy' raiders, simulating waves of bombers. Squadron
previous thumbnails next
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes