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F540 Operations Record Book August 1957 NO 4 SQUADRON.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Flying Officer I. Carr.___ Refs
      iancarr.jpg, 1569 bytes  
R.A.F. JEVER 1.8.57      At 05.30 hours this morning the road convoy left R.A.F. Jever for R.A.F.
Schleswigland en route to Sylt.  It was led by Fg.Off M.M. Shearer with Fg.Off D.A.
acting as D.R.  At 08.30 hours the advance party comprising Fg.Off
F.R. Dawson
and Fg.Off I.E. Carr together with Sgt Perkins, M. set off by private
transport so as to arrive ahead of the convoy and have the accommodation ready.  The
road convoy arrived at Schleswigland at 17.00 hours without mishap after a very tiring
drive.  At Jever two aircraft were air tested and became serviceable.  No other flying
took place.
                                        2   SORTIES        1:20  HOURS
2.8.57      The road convoy left Schleswig land at 09.45 hours crossing to Westerland on the
12.50 train, and arriving safely at 14.30 hours.  The airmen were settled in their
billets during the afternoon.  At 19.00 hours the Main Rail Party led by Fg. Off Q.M.B.
arrived at Westerland so that by evening all the Squadron was safely at R.A.F.
Sylt with the exception of a small rear party and the pilots.  At Jever two more
aircraft were air tested and found serviceable.
                                        2   SORTIES             1:20  HOURS
  3.8.57      The morning was spent unloading the convoy vehicles and getting equipment stowed
away in the hangar.  The squadron this year are using 'B' Flight offices but the 'A'
Flight position on the line.  At 11.30 hours all work was completed except the unloading
of a 10 tonner belonging to Number 317 M.T. Squadron which failed to put in an
appearance.  All personnel then dispersed in fine and hot weather to enjoy the August
Grant.  At Jever one air test only was flown the aircraft being serviceable.
                                        1   SORTIES        .45  HOURS
R.A.F. SYLT 6.8.57      Just before noon nine aircraft led by Lt R.W. Parkinson. R.N. arrived safely at Sylt
leaving a pair to be flown up later in the afternoon.  During the afternoon whilst the
aircraft were being re-crystallised, the Squadron pilots had a briefing in F.W. Briefing
Room, first by Group Captain T.W. Kean, O.B.E. A.F.C., then by the Officer Commanding
Flying Wing, Wg.Cdr D.B. Gericke.  After this a more detailed briefing was given by
the Staff P.A.I. attached to the Squadron FLT.LT B.A. I'Anson.  Sqn Ldr. Chapman arrived
later in the afternoon after marching out of his Married Quarter at Jever.
                                        11   SORTIES        4:55  HOURS
  7.8.57      The serious work of our detachment to Sylt began this morning with six aircraft
doing cine on the flag at 5,000', and two other aircraft flying sector recce's with the
pilots who had not been to Sylt before.  Though the weather was fine it became very
hazy but fortunately did not interfere with our programme.  Quite a number of the sorties
were non effective as some unserviceability in cameras and film was experienced.
                                        30   SORTIES        17:55  HOURS
  8.8.57      Much to everyones disappointment the morning dawned with low cloud rolling over the
airfield and contrary to the Met forecast did not burn off until noon.  As the flight
system is now in full swing 'A' Flight had no flying in the morning and 'B' Flight
stepped in as flying commenced at 12.30 hours.  All the programme was cine again as the
range was never good enough to permit live firing.
                                                      28   SORTIES     17:20  HOURS
  9.8.57      'B' Flight started the day off again with a mixture of cine and live sorties on the
flag, being towed at 10,000'.  Scores varied between 11 and 20% though it can be seen
that the Squadron has not yet settled down.  Shortly after 12.00 hours cloud began
building up on the range forcing the tug higher and finally at 14.00 hours all flying
was cancelled/  'A' Flight missed out again due to weather.  Circumstances not
usually expected in the middle of August.
                                        23   SORTIES        14:05  HOURS
  10.8.57      Despite weather conditions which deteriorated throughout the morning 'A' Flight
managed to carry out most of the remaining cine trips on the flag, together with a few
live sorties.  About noon time the cloud increased above 15,000' and all flying on our
range was stopped for the day.
                                                14   SORTIES        8:15  HOURS
  12.8.57      The Squadron began a full days firing today.  However the continual firing of the
guns brought a spate of minor troubles with the aircraft and ten sorties had to be
cancelled or aborted due to unserviceability of the aircraft.  During the morning a front
passed through again limiting flying, nevertheless over 20 effective sorties were
achieved, the day ending with the Squadron Average standing at 14.4%
                                        31   SORTIES        18:05  HOURS
  13.8.57      A fine morning brought hopes of a good days firing as most of the aircraft troubles
had been rectified.  Unfortunately only 16 sorties were effective as four flags were
shot away and the scores lost.  Even so the Squadron average rose to 15.4%.
                                             38   SORTIES        23:30  HOURS
  14.8.57      Another fine day with a full days programme carried out with most pilots getting
at least 2 shoots.  Unfortunately once again the scores were marred by four flags being
shot away and a further two flags folding over.  The flags being used are a new variety which at the moment are causing a lot of trouble.  The squadron average by the end of the
day had fallen to 14.7%
                                                    44   SORTIES        26:05  HOURS
  15.8.57      Very bad weather with low visibility and heavy rain precluding any flying before noon.
At 13.00 hours the first pair became airborne and as the weather improved the afternoons
flying was carried out, though minor aircraft troubles again cut down the number of
effective sorties.  The Squadron average rose again however to 15.2%
                                            19   SORTIES        9:45  HOURS
  16.8.57      A fine day with a full days flying and some good scores recorded.  FG.OFF J.B Cross
scoring the highest individual score up to date with 44%.  Despite all efforts by the
Flag Section we were still dogged with these flags folding over and 11 sorties were
either cut short or aborted for this reason.  Even so the Squadron average rose to
16% by the end of the day.
                                                42   SORTIES     23:50  HOURS
  17.8.57      Another bad day for weather with the cloud building up and continually putting the
range out so far as firing is concerned.  Even out of the flags fired upon two were
lost and two others folded up.  The shoots that were countable were just average and so
the Squadron average remains at 15%
                                                          33   SORTIES        18:25  HOURS
  19.8.57      Starting the week with fine weather, and with seven serviceable aircraft, brought
hopes of a full days shooting.  Unfortunately once again flags folding over for no
apparent reason, cut down the number of effective sorties.  Towards the evening, cloud
began to form on the range, but all sorties were carried out before the range went
completely.  The Squadron average at the end of the day being 16.9.
                                                42   SORTIES      23:05  HOURS
  20.8.57      Our last day at low level, the prospect increasing the low level average by an
appreciable amount was dashed in the morning as the first eleven sorties were cancelled
due to the passing of a warm sector which effectively precluded flying until 1030 hrs.
During the afternoon good scores were achieved, the best being Fg. Off W,B, Maish with
56%.  Once again 16 sorties were aborted due to flag trouble.  The Squadron average
at the end of the day the average had risen to 17.3
                                    31   SORTIES        18:05  HOURS
  21.8.57      Expectations of firing at 20,00 ft. this morning were dashed by a cloud layer from
15,000 ft. to 23,000 ft  The first sortie was carried out at 10,000 ft., the subsequent sorties
at 15,000 ft. and the remainder at 20,000 ft.  There was again flag trouble but very
few sorties were aborted through many pilots were unable to fire their total rounds.
Squadron averages at the end of the day were 17.4% Low level and 19% Medium level.
                                          36   SORTIES        22:10  HOURS
  22.8.57      Although the weather was showery with thunderstorms, it did not appreciably interfere
with the days programme, in which the remaining Low level sorties were fired out.
Despite usual trouble the medium level sorties were mostly effectives.  At the end of
the day the medium level average remained at 17.4% whilst the medium level score
raised to 21%
                                         36   SORTIES           22:00  HOURS
  23.8.57      Another bad start to the day, with the first 12 sorties cancelled due to weather
over the airfield.  Flying finally began just before noon and carried on uninterrupted
until evening, Medium level average then being 21.2%
                                      34   SORTIES        21:15  HOURS
  24.8.57      A disastrous day as far as flying was concerned the first four sorties were cancelled
then a flag was put up, which unfortunately was shot away by the second pair, the remaining
sorties were cancelled again due to weather.
                                              6   SORTIES        2:50  HOURS
  26.8.57      A new week but no change in the weather altogether 20 sorties were cancelled due to
weather problems, also another flag lost in the sea.  Out of 17 sorties flown only 7
returned a score  Squadron Medium level average being now only 21.1%
                                        17   SORTIES           10:00  HOURS
  27.8.57      At last a full days programme carried out on the range.  The number of abortive
sorties was again rather high.  Nevertheless some good scores were returned and the
average was raised to 22.1%
                                               39   SORTIES        23:10  HOURS
  28.8.57      The last firing day of the detachment.  A valiant effort made to raise the Medium
level average.  The weather was good and for a change there were very few abortive sorties.
   This afternoon a new pilot joined the Squadron, Sqn Ldr. T.J. Mc Elhaw, who is to be our new
Squadron Commander taking over from Sqn. Ldr. J. R, Chapman on the 2nd of next month.
Sqn. Ldr. T.J. Mc Elhaw joined the Squadron from his job as Flight Safety Officer at
Munchen Gladbach.  In the evening a Squadron " dining in" night was held in a private
room at the Weinstube in Westerland in order to bid farewell to Sqn. Ldr. J.R. Chapman.
During the course of the evening, the "Boss" was presented with a silver cigarette box
engraved with the Squadron crest and the signatures of all the members of the Squadron.
                                            36   SORTIES      21:25  HOURS
  29.8.57      As this was to be an open day for R.A.F. Sylt, no flying was done in the morning
and as much packing was carried out as possible so as to facilitate a speedy clearance
from Sylt.
     During the afternoon the station was on show to about 10,000 people from the
Island, including a large number of Luftwaffe officers and cadets  Number 4 Squadron
did their bit by providing a flypast of seven Hunters led by Sqn. Ldr. Chapman.
                                    8   SORTIES      3:25  HOURS
  30.8.57      The day was spent packing the road convoy in preparation for an early start on the
morrow.  The aircraft led by Sqn. Ldr. J.R. Chapman did a flypast over Sylt before
returning to Jever.
                                      7   SORTIES        3:30  HOURS
  31.8.57      The road convoy led by Fg. Off. M.M. Shearer left on the 0500 ramp to Neibull, and
after an uneventful journey arrived safely at Jever at 1700 hrs.  On the final days
scores being checked and certified it was found that the Squadron Medium level average
of 22.8 was a record for Hunters flying at Sylt.  Furthermore our stoppage rate of 883 was
the lowest stoppage rate on high velocity ammunition recorded at Sylt.
                                            NO   SORTIES        NO  HOURS
      (T.J. MCELHAW)                                                
Squadron Leader,                                             
Officer Commanding,                                       
Number 4 Squadron.