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F540 Operations Record Book August 1953 NO 4 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2590 Microfilm Row1 Draws 52-71
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                  COMPILING OFFICER   _____Flying Officer Sanders.__ Refs

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R.A.F. Jever 5.8.53.        Due to Exercise 'Coronet', and the August grant, the monthly returns for July have
not yet been completed.   So this is a non-flying day, whilst people work long and
furiously in gathering together the necessary statistics.
  6.8.53.   There was not a lot of flying, our main effort being devoted to sorting ourselves out
after the exercise.   The hangar is once more in its usual orderly state.
         The unfortunates who need instrument re-rating were strapped into the rear seat of
the Meteor and made to climb heavenwards at the required number of feet per minute.
         That, in itself, is quite straightforward - but to ask a mere pilot to turn through
a certain number of degrees in a certain number of minutes at the same time!
         A few sorties were flown to Wunstorf, to carry out G.C.A. practices.   Apparently,
the ground - crews of this all Venom station were completely baffled when asked to
provide starter trolleys !
                               Vampire Sorties  10 - 6.45 Hours
                               Meteor    Sorties    4 - 3.15 Hours
  7.8.53.   The Meteor was used for I.F. practice, and for checking - out of the new pilots,
Plt.Off's Mitchell, Richardson and Gray.   Plt.Off. Simms, who last month suffered from
undercarriage retraction trouble, was again checked in the Meteor, and then flew a
Vampire sortie quite successfully.
         Our present C.O. , Squadron Leader P.G.K. Williamson D.F.C. is due to leave shortly
and our new Squadron Commander, P.W. Gilpin D.F.C. arrived this
evening.   The Officers of the Squadron paraded in the bar, for introduction and for the
purpose of the wining - in.   A pleasant occasion.
                                     Vampire Sorties  22 - 16.35 Hours
                                     Meteor    Sorties    4 -   4.10 Hours.
  8.8.53.   The rehearsal for the A.O.C.'s parade was slightly longer than usual.   Yet, despite
this, and despite the fact that the weather was rather warm, there were no cases of
personnel having to fall out.   Everyone seems to be bearing up very well but trying
very hard.
  10.8.53.   Again it is the duty of No 4 Squadron to provide Battle Flight.   This means that
the pilots taking part will fly almost as often as they could wish.
         Today's standard of G.C.I. control suggests that the controllers are pretty
inexperienced, but no doubt they will improve as the week progresses.
         One particular interception found our section at 32,500 feet, and still
climbing - and still being advised that " - your target is 4,000 feet above -".   Some
time later, a small, bewildered voice said "Catfish Tartan, I am returning you to base.
     Pigeons are - - - - " . .
         Fg. Off. Clayton went to Oldenburg for an I.R.T. and returned triumphant.
                            Vampire Sorties  20 - 16.40 Hours
                            Meteor    Sorties    4 -   1.40 Hours
  11.8.53.        Today showed a great improvement in the standard of G.C.I. control.   Of seven
interceptions, only 1 was abortive.
          Several sorties of battle formation practice were flown, including snake climbs
and descents.   Exercise "Momentum" starts, for us, on Sunday, and it is unlikely
that we will have to carry out snakes.   The greatest difficulty is experienced in a
snake Q.G.H., with the course corrections which are usually necessary.
          Fg.Off. Laycock has also been on an I.R.T. and he was successful, too.   But of
course - only the best for No 4 Squadron.
                           Vampire Sorties  28 - 26.05 Hours
                           Vampire Sorties  10 -   6.30 Hours  (Night)
                           Meteor    Sorties    4 -   1.55 Hours
  12.8.53.   Due to the preparations for "Momentum" which will be taking place on Saturday, the
weekly A.O.C.'s rehearsal was held today.
          Battle Flight took up their position at the end of the runway at 10.00 Hours, and
were scrambled once, before being stood down for sports afternoon.
                               Vampire Sorties  8 - 5.25 Hours.
  13.8.53.   The weather is still beautiful, but unlikely to remain so, according to the meteorological
         Quite a number of sorties were flown by the Squadron, including Battle Flight, low
and high level formations, and aerobatic trips.   Plt.Off. Bradley collected a Vampire
from Sylt - he has,in fact, collected so many aircraft from so many places, that he is
regarded as a tame ferry-pilot now!   But he sees the world!
                       Vampire Sorties  29 - 25.00 Hours
                       Meteor    Sorties    2 -   1.05 Hours.
  14.8.53.   Battle Flight were released to take pat in the R/P and A/G programme, and to prepare
the aircraft for Exercise 'Momentum'.
         Unfortunately, it is impossible to use the range in the morning, due to the low
cloud base.   (Met. were correct yesterday!   Bring out more flags! )   However, in
the afternoon the cloud lifted, and we were able to fire away with gay abandon,
producing some very reasonable results.
          A section of four, practising cross-over turns at 37,000 feet found them not so
very difficult.   Judging by the results in Vampire aircraft, our turns at that height
in Sabres will be immaculate.
                         Vampire Sorties  25 - 20.20 Hours.
  15.8.53.   After a Squadron parade, and a few sorties to Meppen range, we ceased flying for lunch.
          The afternoon was then spent in fitting drop tanks for our first "Momentum" trip,
scheduled for the wee, small hours of tomorrow.
                           Vampire Sorties  7 - 5.20 Hours
                           Meteor    Sorties  1 -   .40 Hours
  16.8.53.   The first formation took off in the morning with six aircraft.   One went U/S in the air,
so only five eventually landed at Merryfield, after being intercepted by Meteor and
Sabres a number of miles before the English coast.
          The second formation, in the afternoon, managed to field six aircraft, and again
were successfully intercepted by the defending forces.
         As a morale booster, a number of airmen were flow in the Meteor, whilst the pilot
was practising asymmetric flying.   They seemed to enjoy it immensely, and it is un-
fortunate that they cannot all be given air experience.
                            Vampire Sorties  35 - 47.20 Hours
                            Meteor    Sorties    3 -   2.10 Hours.
  17.8.53.   A very welcome day of relaxation.  
  18.8.53.   Drop-tanks were left on the aircraft, and a number of long navigation flights were
carried out, at both high and low levels.
          The night flying was undertaken by 'B' Flight, with sector recces, for the newer
pilots and cross-country trips for the others.
                             Vampire Sorties  26 - 34.25 Hours
                             Vampire Sorties  10 -   6.40 Hours  (Night)
                             Meteor    Sorties    1 -     .45 Hours.
  19.8.53.   Six aircraft undertook another "Momentum" today, and planned to attack Bristol, then
return to Oakington to refuel, as the Met. forecast for Merryfield was rather dis-
couraging.   However, due to an 80 knot headwind, there was a marked lack of fuel.
So - Merryfield again!
         There we met some pilots of the 112th (Pursuit) Squadron - late of Jever, now of
Bruggen.   A little hand shaking, with uncomplimentary comments from both sides, and
it was time for us once more to leave U.K.!
                            Vampire Sorties  23 - 35.00 Hours
  20.8.53.   A day devoted entirely to moving all our equipment from our present hangar into No 4
hangar, on the southern side of the airfield.   Much time was saved due to the airfield
being "Red", as we were able to drive our lorries across the runway, instead of having to
take the long way "home".
  21.8.53.   Still the move is in progress, with much hurrying and scurrying hither and thither.  
  22.8.53.   A rehearsal for the A.O.C.'s parade was followed by an early lunch, and briefing for
another "Momentum".   The target was Birmingham, but, as usual, we were intercepted
by Sabres and Meteor before the coast was reached.
         Only five aircraft left Merrytfield for the return flight, the other one going U/S
with R/T troubles. (English beer is best!)
                            Vampire Sorties 12 - 21.50 Hours
  23.8.53.   "Momentum" sorties for the day were cancelled, due to the weather.
                               Vampire Sorties 3 - 2.25 Hours
  24.8.53.   Again the Squadrons were allowed to stand down, as compensation for their valiant efforts
over the weekend.
  25.8.53.   Battle Flight for the week is 'B' Flight's responsibility.   Quite a number of sorties
were flown by the them, but only a few individual trips of aerobatics by the rest of the
         One more serviceable aircraft was provided by Fg.Off. Sanders, who returned from
Merryfield in the morning.
         A dining-in cum dining-out night received the enthusiastic support from No 4 Squadron
officers, as it was in honour of Sqn.Ldr. Gilpin and Sqn.Ldr. Williamson - in and out
                          Vampire Sorties 25 - 19.35 Hours
                          Meteor    Sorties   2 -   1.00 Hours
  26.8.53.   Today's A.O.C.'s rehearsal was followed by general squadron duties, the flying being
done solely by Battle Flight.
                                Vampire Sorties 5 - 4.10 Hours/TD>
  27.8.53.   The flying was very varied, consisting of high and low level formations, cine and
individual sorties.
         In the past, cine practise with the G.G.S. has been sadly neglected, even though
it is most important that a fighter pilot should be able to use his gun sight
         Night flying was not cancelled, so 'A' Flight carried out cross-country flights,
terminating with a Q.G.H. at base.
     Vampire Sorties 35 - 29.35 Hours (Day)       Vampire Sorties 9 - 6.15 Hours (Night)
                                                   Meteor    Sorties 1 - .45 Hours.
  28.8.53.   A day devoted exclusively to R/P and Air - to -Ground firing at Meppen Range.,   Some
of the pilots were carrying out their R/P and A/G exercises, and obtained results
which show that much effort and concentration will be required in the future.
                           Vampire Sorties 29 - 22.10 Hours
  29.8.53.   A range programme had to be abandoned due to weather, so a number of cross-countries
were flown instead.
         A new pilot Plt.Off. Hancock, joined the squadron, and Fg.Off. Bridson returned
from Uxbridge, where he has been preparing himself for the presentation of the
Squadron Standard in a few week's time.
                           Vampire Sorties 13 - 10.05 Hours
  31.8.53.   Low level; battle formations, with mock R/P attacks, were flown, mainly for the benefit
of the less experienced pilots.
          Most of the Squadron had more cine practice, with the "older hands" dog-fighting.
          Those films should be quite interesting, and very instructive.
                          Vampire Sorties 41 - 30.05 Hours
                          Meteor    Sorties   3 -    1.30 Hours.
          The main event of the month was Exercise "Momentum" - a test of the U.K.
Defences - in which we simulated bomber aircraft, attacking various targets from bases
on the continent.   It should be recorded that on every occasion we were successfully
         The remainder of the flying was a normal, except that the good weather allowed
us to take advantage of our allocation for Meppen range.   This is very unusual, as
will be verified by any person who has experienced the North German climate for
a period.
          Early in the month our new C.O. arrived, Sqn.Ldr. P.W. Gilpin D.F.C. , and later,
Sqn.Ldr. P.G.K. Williamson D.F.C. left us.   Whilst we shall miss Sqn.Ldr. Williamson,
we extend a very hearty welcome to Sqn.Ldr. Gilpin.
                                                       Vampire   Sorties 425 - 397.35 Hours
                                                       Meteor      Sorties   29 -   18.55 Hours.

Compiled by.....AESanders........F/O                                     Authorised by.....PWGilpin....S/Ldr
                         (AESanders)                                                                             (PWGilpin)
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