roundel jsl spacer hunter1
F540 Operations Record Book January 1956 .
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. C. Boyack.___ Refs

chasboyack.jpg, 1427 bytes

R.A.F. JEVER 2.1.56        Weather conditions were marginal initially, and low cloud was expected to cover the
airfield.   Consequently the first hour after Met briefing was spent on Aircraft
Recognition Training.   After that, the weather had improved so much that full flying
was begun, and remained in operation all day.
     Training was mostly on high level battle and close formation although there were
two cine and several aerobatic and forced landing practices carried out.   Four night
flying exercises were completed, and two more pilots were checked out for night flying.
     Fg. Off. J.IAnson, normally resident at A.P.S. Sylt as a staff P.A.I. today
completed Exercise 2 of the Hunter Conversion Syllabus with the Squadron.   Fg.Off. Smith
returned to Jever from R.A.F. Lyneham today with yet another modified Hunter.   This one
belongs to No 98 Squadron unfortunately; our aircraft not being ready yet.
                                                          Hunter Flights   27     Hunter Hours   19.00
  3.1.56        The weather today has been excellent and only aircraft unserviceability prevented
us taking full advantage of it.   High level battle formation practices, with pairs
dogfights and Controlled descents was the main training carried out.   From 1115 hours
until 1415 hours the Squadron took part in another interception exercise against
Canberras (Exercise SID), and roughly 10 successful interceptions were made.   Two pilots
carried out G.C.A. practices at Ahlhorn and there were several aerobatic flights.
     Another staff P.A.I. from A.P.S. Sylt flew with the Squadron today, and this too was
a conversion exercise.   Two dusk and four night exercises were completed.
                                                          Hunter Flights   29     Hunter Hours   19:35
     After Met briefing this morning, yet another restriction was placed on our Hunters
this limited the break off range of Hunters in cine attacks to 300 yards minimum above
25,000 ft.   This has been introduced because of the control difficulty in the looping
plane at speeds above .92 MACH.   Apparently there have been instances of "near misses"
on practice attacks caused by this.
  4.1.56        Poor visibility and low cloud prevented us from flying at all today.   As a brief rest
from Aircraft Recognition Training, we were shown two films after Met briefing this
morning.   One film was entitled 'Alliance for Peace' and was on the subject of N.A.T.O.
While the other was about security.   Both films although rather old, were interesting
and informative.   After the films, Squadron pilots were engaged in training as Crew-
Chiefs, and one pilot assisted the Squadron P.A.I. on cine film visual assessing.
     The airfield closed at 12;30 hours for a sports afternoon.
  5.1.56        Poor visibility at first, deteriorated into fog which persisted all day and there
was no flying.   After Met briefing there was a period of Aircraft Recognition Training
followed by a test comprising 30 views of various aircraft.   The Station Intelligence
Officer was quite pleased with the improvement in our standard of recognition.
     After the test there was a lecture on the Hunter fuel system by Fg Off Todman of
98 Squadron, and one on Tactics of Fighter Formations, by Flt.Lt. Powell of 118 Squadron
These lectures were the first of the new Flying Wing ground Training Scheme to be given,
and our own pilots will be giving lectures on various subjects in the near future.
     Heartening news arrived today, when we were told that pairs take - offs and landings
for Hunter aircraft are now permitted provided that a certain modification has been
incorporated.   Fortunately all our aircraft are modified to this standard.   This after-
noon our pilots, including the Squadron Commander, played No 118 Sqn at Soccer, and
unfortunately lost by a considerable margin.
  6.1.56        The same poor weather persisted all day, and once more there was no flying.   After
Met. briefing this morning, the Station Commander read out a signal which intimated
that on interception exercises recently, there have been instances of normal flying
safety regulations being flagrantly disregarded.   The Station Commander emphasised
the importance of flying discipline, and left us in no doubt as to his views on the
     After this brief talk, pilots were engaged on crew-chief training, in addition
to their secondary duties.   One pilot again assisted the Squadron P.A.I. in cine
     This afternoon the Squadron pilots took part in a triangular basketball tournament
with No.s 93 and 118 Squadrons, and succeeded in winning two games out of three.
  7.1.56        A Squadron Parade was held this morning by Squadron Leader Chapman.   After the
Parade, Met. briefing was held, but due once more to poor visibility, there was no
flying.   The majority of pilots were very busy with crew-chief training all morning,
but two pilots assisted the Wing P.A.I. with mechanical assessment of cine films,
after receiving instruction from him on this subject.
  9.1.56        Poor visibility caused the restriction of "one pair per Squadron" to be imposed
initially and, due to the fact that powdery snow began to fall, a general recall
message was issued.   A pair from the Squadron was last to land, and earned a "Good Show"
comment from the Station Commander on successfully carrying out a pairs landing, in
spite of the poor weather conditions.   This was the Squadron's first ever pairs
landing in Hunter aircraft.   The next pair of aircraft flew shortly after mid-day
and once more a general recall was issued because of deteriorating weather.
From approximately 14:30 hours, one pair at a time from the Wing was allowed to
                                                Hunter Flights   4  Hunter Hours  2.30
  10.1.56   There was no flying initially because of the frozen snow on the runway.   After Met.
briefing there was a period of aircraft recognition training, followed by a lecture
on Meteorology by Flying Officer Boyack and a lecture on R.A.F. Signals Organisation
by Flt.Lt. Topp, the Station Signals Officer.
     After this, flying was limited to one pair per Squadron except for a section of four
which was engaged on Exercise SID, intercepting Canberras.
     Several pilots continued with their crew-chief training.
                                                Hunter Flights   8  Hunter Hours  6.10
  11.1.56        Weather here was fair today with good visibility although the cloud base was about
800 feet all day.   Training was primarily devoted to cine quarter attacks with some
high level battle formation.   Full advantage is being taken of the fact that pairs
take-offs and landings are once more permitted with Hunter aircraft, and from almost
all flights, pairs controlled descents and landings are being made.
     Full flying was the order of the day and the only sports fixture which took place
this afternoon was the Station Basketball match against Oldenburg in the Northern
Area Cup.   Two of our pilots and one airman from the Squadron played in this match,
but unfortunately we lost.
                                                Hunter Flights   31  Hunter Hours  24.05
  12.1.56        The weather was poor all day and by 14:30 hours, was so bad that flying was stopped.
At first this morning, one section of four was allowed to fly from each Squadron,
but this was later reduced to one pair per Squadron.
     High level battle formation with dogfights, and pairs controlled descents and landings,
was the only training carried out.
                                                Hunter Flights   22  Hunter Hours  15.10
  13.1.56        After met briefing this morning, Squadron Leader Browne of No. 93 Squadron spoke to
all pilots on the subject of Control of Descents in bad weather; with particular
emphasis on flying discipline and the importance of flying the laid down pattern.
     After this, one section from each Squadron was allowed to fly until mid-day, when
full flying came into operation.   Visibility was poor to moderate all day.   The main
training done was high level battle formation with dogfights, and several aerobatic
exercises were also completed.   Two more pilots completed their crew chief training
and passed the examination today.
                                                Hunter Flights   34  Hunter Hours  23.20
  14.1.56        A Squadron Parade was held this morning by Squadron Leader Chapman and after this,
there was a short drill session for all airmen conducted by Sgt. Perkins our
disciplinary N.C.O. and supervised by the C.O. and one other officer.   Poor visibility
here, and fog to the south which later spread here, prevented flying all morning
and the airfield closed at 12:30 hours for the weekend.   More crew chief training
was done this morning and one officer assisted the Squadron P.A.I. in some visual
assessing of the Squadron's latest cine film.
  16.1.56        The weather here was good and there was full flying all day.   Unfortunately,
the Squadron had only four aircraft serviceable but a fair day's training was
out.   The accent was again on high level battle formation practice, with the object
of getting our leaders of pairs and fours up to a high standard.   The Squadron flew
eight Hunter night exercises, and two more pilots were given Vampire T.11 night
checks by one of our Flight Commanders.
                                                Hunter Flights   29  Hunter Hours  18.20
  17.1.56        The Squadron are supplying four aircraft as Battle Flight for the remainder of the
week, and a fair start was made today with a total of 21 flights.   After the first
flight on which three Venoms were intercepted, the Battle Flight took part in Exercise
Sid, and about eight Canberras were claimed as destroyed throughout the day.   There
was no flying other than Battle Flight as only four aircraft were serviceable.
                                                Hunter Flights   22  Hunter Hours  15.40
  18.1.56        Battle Flight flew once this morning before flying was cancelled because of poor
visibility and low cloud.   There was no other flying although Battle Flight was
at readiness until 18:00 hours; and all officers busied themselves with their
secondary duties and some more crew-chief training was carried out.   The airfield
closed at 13:00 hours for a Sports afternoon.
                                                Hunter Flights   4  Hunter Hours  2.40
  19.1.56        Battle Flight took off at 08:35 hours this morning and after one practice
interception were diverted to Oldenburg along with nine other aircraft from Jever.   Shortly after their arrival, four aircraft
took off from Oldenburg and were diverted to Ahlhorn and the same weather state, with
frequent snow showers and very low cloud, persisted all day.   Battle Flight remained
at readiness all day at Oldenburg, even to the extent of having a sandwich lunch,
but it was nearly 16:00 hours before the weather improved sufficiently to permit our
aircraft to fly back to Jever.   A Vampire T.11 air-to-ground range programme was
worked out, but of course had to be cancelled because of the weather.
                                                Hunter Flights   8  Hunter Hours  4.20
  20.1.56        The airfield colour state was amber all day, but of course Battle Flight attempted
to keep going.   Unfortunately on two flights, serviceability was poor and only one pair
of aircraft managed to get airborne.
     On most Battle Flight exercises, Practice Interceptions were done, although four
were also intercepted.   The standard of control again varied from poor
to good, and on one or two flights the controller complained most of the time that we
were "in the dark" to him.
     We have found that we are being vectored-in quite often to a position for a head-on
attack, and many interceptions are only successful because visual alterations to
vectors, are made by leaders.   All too often we are "in the dark" to the controllers
and spend much of our flight showing contrails, and informing the controller of our
                                                Hunter Flights   21  Hunter Hours  16.35
  21.1.56        A wind of 35 knots with gusts up to 50 knots at 20 - 40 degrees across the runway,
prevented all flying, even from Battle Flight.
     After Met. Briefing there was yet another discussion on the controlled descent
pattern in force here.   This sprang from an incident yesterday when there was
an apparent danger of collision between two aircraft.   The Wing Commander Flying
emphasised the importance of letting the controller know if things are not working
out as planned, and of the pilots intentions.   He also pointed out that the person
flying the aircraft was primarily responsible for its safety.   Pilots were engaged
with their secondary duties for the remainder of the morning, and the airfield closed
at 13:00 hours for the week-end.
  23.1.56        Poor visibility and snow prevented any flying training from being done today,
even Battle Flight having to stay on the ground.   Due to shortage of staff in
Flying Wing Headquarters, there were no lectures given to the pilots, but Squadron
officers were busy all morning erecting new training aids in the Briefing Room.
Some cine film assessing was also carried out.   This afternoon, all officers,
except those working, took part in Sports and the Squadron Basketball team narrowly
lost to Number 93 Squadron.
  24.1.56   Flying got off to a good start, being limited only by the number of aircraft
serviceable.   At 10:20 hours however, a general recall was issued and the next
pair of aircraft which took off at 13:00 hours were also recalled,after only 15
minutes.   From 15.00 until 16:15 hours, flying was limited to one pair per Squadron
and consequently, comparatively little training was done.   The main weather factor
was a succession of heavy snow showers of considerable duration, and the snow has,
naturally, made taxying fairly difficult.
     The main training carried out was close and high level Battle Formation, although
some cine and aerobatic flights were also done.   It is interesting to note that one
of our old pilots, Flt. Lt. N.H. Giffin who has returned to us for a fortnight under
the first-line re-inforcement scheme, today had his first flight in a Hunter.   When,
he left the Squadron we were still equipped with Sabres, and it was hoped that during
his stay here, he would be able to complete the Hunter Conversion Syllabus.   However,
he has been here eight days and so far has only flown once, due to Battle Flight
commitments and weather.   It is nevertheless hoped to get him a few more flights
before he leaves us to return to R.A.F. Syerston, where he is instructing.
                                                Hunter Flights   19  Hunter Hours  11.55
  25.1.56        The snow which has troubled us recently, was added to slightly last night and as
below-freezing temperatures prevailed all day, flying was impossible because of icy
taxi-ways and runways.   After Met. Briefing there was a period of aircraft recognition
followed by an aircraft recognition test conducted by the Station Intelligence Officer.
The standard of recognition appears to be steadily improving.
     The airfield closed at 13:00 hours for Sports, and all officers took part in Sports
this afternoon.
  26.1.56        Poor weather once more, restricted flying today.   One Section per Squadron was
the limit to begin with, but this was later reduced to one pair per Squadron.
before flying commenced however, a brief talk on the Winter Survival School at
Bad - Kohlbrub was given to all pilots by Flying Officer Madelin, who recently
completed the fortnight's course there.
     The main training carried out was cine work, but some close and battle formation
exercises were also done.
                                                Hunter Flights   16  Hunter Hours  12.45
  27.1.56       More snow fell last night and as temperatures were still low all morning, the
taxi-ways were completely unusable all morning, in spite of very stout efforts by
the M.T. Section's snow-ploughs and hot sanding machine.   After lunch, however,
limited flying, e.g. one pair per Squadron, was permitted and some cine training
was carried out until flying ceased at 16:00 hours.   Flt. Lt. Giffin managed to get
in his second Hunter flight late this afternoon.
                                                Hunter Flights   7  Hunter Hours  5.45
  28.1.56         A Squadron Parade was scheduled for the morning but was unfortunately cancelled
because of the slippery conditions underfoot.   For the same reason there was no
flying all the morning and after Met Briefing, all pilots were given a talk by the
Station Commander, Group Captain Hughes.   This talk was completely impromptu, but
as it ranged over many sides of Service life and flying it was extremely informative
and interesting.
     After this talk, Squadron pilots were busy with their secondary duties until
12:30 hours when the airfield closed for the weekend.
  29.1.56         Today saw the return to the United Kingdom of Flt. Lt. Giffin.   While on his
fortnight's training with the Squadron, he only managed to fly five times, but in
view of the weather we have had, he considered himself quite fortunate in getting
two flights in the Hunter.
     This afternoon, two of our pilots played Basketball for the Station against
Prince Rupert's School, Wilhelmshaven.   The game was very close and resulted in
a win for the Station by 24 points to 23.
  30.1.56         Continuing low temperatures kept our snow and ice hard-frozen all day, and the
taxi-ways were not usable all day.   After Met, Briefing, Flying Officer Smith
lectured all the wing pilots on the principle of the gas turbine engine, and training
thereafter was done on a Squadron Basis.   Four more of our pilots were today checked
out for driving snow-ploughs.   This brings our total of snow plough drivers up to
five.   Other pilots were engaged all day with their secondary duties, and there
was no flying.
  31.1.56         The condition of the taxi-ways was slightly better this morning than of late,
and limited flying was permitted initially.   After 10.00 hours, the limits were
increased to two pairs airborne simultaneously and consequently, quite a good
day's training was completed.   An attempt was made today to make up slightly
for the amount of cine training we have lost because of bad weather.   In addition
to this, some aerobatic exercises and some high level battle formation practices
were also done.
                                                Hunter Flights   29  Hunter Hours  21.00
                                                                                                                              Hunter Totals for Month
                                                                                                                              Flights 302 Hours 218.55
      RChapman                                   CBoyack                                                
(J. R. CHAPMAN)                         (C.Boyack)                                             
Squadron Leader,                       Flying Officer,                                        
Officer Commanding                  Compiling Officer                                 
Number 4 Squadron                   Number 4 Squadron