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F540 Operations Record Book May 1954.
RAF Museum Hendon. Holds 2nd copy of F540 1945 to 1970.
PLACE DATE TIME SUMMARY OF EVENTS                     COMPILING OFFICER   __Fg. Off. B. Watson___ Refs

BrianWatson.jpg, 6056 bytes

JEVER 1.5.54        Continuing the second full day of 'Wildgoose' the first aircraft were off at 06. 10 -
a pair sector patrol.   The ground early warning of approaching aircraft has proved
almost completely ineffective.   Unable to put the most forward posts further than
5 miles from the airfield, the attacking aircraft had carried out their attacks
before Headquarters could be warned.   'Jim Crow' patrols were maintained all day
with interspersed aerobatics and low flying sorties.   Late in the evening on the last
sortie of the day Flying Officers Laycock and Watson ran off the end of the runway
ending side by side in the overshoot.   These incidents which took place in the wet,
caused no damage to the aircraft.
                                   Sabre Sorties 28    Hours 34.15
                                   Meteor Sorties  2    Hours  1.25
  21.5.54      Prepared for an extra early start this morning 4 pilots of 'A' Flight were ready to
fly by 0500 hours.   Before any effort could be made Operation 'Wildgoose' was stopped
and all flying cancelled for the day.
                                   No flying
  3.5.54      This morning the squadron returned to fly the one serviceable aircraft.   The weather
was cloudless.   The short runway is now taking heavy toll of brake lining and tyres.
When the wind is light and variable pilots are having to use heavy braking early in
the landing run.   With a stiff breeze the aerodynamic braking is very marked.
                            Sabre Sorties 13           Hours         9.55
                            Prentice Sorties 1           Hours         .40
  4.5.54      The aircraft situation has improved little since yesterday - each Flight raising
two aircraft.   The weather remained fine with small amounts of medium and high
cloud which provided cloud flying practise.
                            Sabre Sorties      13         Hours         9.55
                            Prentice hours    .40        Sorties           1
JEVER 5.5.54   The weather this morning was not in the least encouraging but the rain belt was slower
than forecast.   Taking advantage of the morning break two threes of 'A' Flight
flew close formation whilst 'B' Flight used their time on instrument flying.   The
Prentice, Tiger Moth and Vampire also flew a little unofficial formation.   By
slowly diving the moth it was possible to gain enough speed for the Vampire to maintain
position.   The 'break' was ragged !
                            Sabre Sorties      10         Hours   7.30
                            Vampire Sorties    1         Hours   1.00
                          Tiger Moth Sorties    1       hours      .35
  6.5.54      The weather was poor again to-day - low cloud and rain showers.   Restricted again
by aircraft only 12 sorties were flown the whole day; mainly low level close formation.
The squadron stood down at 17.00 hours until Monday.
                                  Sabre Sorties      12           Hours   8.10
                               Tiger Moth Sorties    1          Hours     .35
  10.5.54      With the long weekend over the squadron returned to work the 8 serviceable aircraft.
The total was reduced to 4 by 'Wildgoose' and almost a whole week's efforthas been
required to recover.
     Both Flights carried out close and high level battle formation at 30,000 ft.
During the day as odd aircraft became serviceable.   G.C.A's were practised at AHLHORN.
   To aid Flt.Lt. Bowen - navigation officer - a number of test sorties were fown to
gain knowledge of times to height, power settings and fuel consumptions at range speeds.
Six hours were devoted to this employing 5 aircraft.   The results differed very little.
                     Sabre Sorties      15           hours   17.25
                     Tiger Moth Sorties    1       hours        .30
JEVER 11.5.54      In conjunction with 4 aircraft of 93 squadron, Flying Officer's Ewens, Simms and
Watson flew on Exercise 'Barrage' - a mock bombing raid on Cologne.   To gain more
accurate knowledge of 'jamming' a signals unit has arrived at Headquarters 2md T.A.F.
This morning two successful interruptions were carried out on the formation and V.H.F.
jamming was negligible.   Later in the day when our aircraft took part as interceptors
jamming made the G.C.I. frequency useless and the exercises were abortive.   Even
R.T. between aircraft in formation was affected.
                               Sabre Sorties  11                       Hours              12.30
                          Prentice Sorties     2                       Hours                 1.30
  12.5.54      Exercise 'Barrage' continued to-day with the usual six aircraft simulating bombers
in a further attack on Cologne.   Although a sports afternoon 2 pilots remained behind
prepared to scramble.   After waiting an hour in the cockpits an abortive interception
was carried out.   The jamming was again 100% successful on the G.C.I. chennel.
                            Sabre Sorties    10         Hours    10.25
  13.5.54   Exercise Barrage is now over and the usual assortment of general training has continued.
Pilot Officer Alan Armitage joined the squadron putting the total strength to 30
pilots.   A new pilot is always a dismaying sight not for personal reasons but
because each extra pilot means fewer hours for the rest.
                                  Sabre Sorties                   18            Hours    16.05
                                Tiger Moth Sorties               1             Hours        .50
JEVER 14.5.54      The weather was perfectly clear today with visibility well over 10 miles.   Taking
the opportunity the Squadron flew 5 fours and 1 six to 25,000' for high level battle
and tail chase.   Flying in a contrail layer a number of good cross over
turns could be seen from the ground.
                                  Sabre Sorties               34       Hours    23.25
                               Meteor Sorties                   1       Hours      1.05
                          Tiger Moth Sorties                 1         Hours     .20
  17.5.54      After a weeks fine weather, low cloud this morning came as a direct contrast.
By 1100 hours the cloud base had lifted from 600 ft. to above 2,500 ft. with gaps
rapidly widening.   Having started with low level sorties in the new low flying area
at Schleswig the trend continued until after lunch.   In the afternoon 9 lengthy sorties
of high level battle formation were flown.
                                Sabre Sorties            33          Hours    30.50
  18.5.54      The weather continued fine again allowing a steady stream of high level battle
                                    Sabre Sorties       30          Hours    35.25
                                    Meteor Sorties      1            Hours      .45
  19.5.54      Only Instrument Training Flight flew.   Low cloud and rain caused two fours to
close down at 09.30 and prevented further flying.   This weather seems likely to stay.
                                      Meteor Sorties       2       Hours    1.25
  21.5.54      The Inspector General visited the squadron having flown from Buckeburg in poor
weather.   Air Marshal Guest spoke to all pilots calling at the squadron during his
tour of the station.
                      Prentice Sorties      2    Hours .50  Meteor Sorties  1   Hours .45
JEVER 24.5.54      With only six flying days left to the end of the month and over 200 hours to go
to the target the squadron flew early and late.   The fifteen aircraft soon dwindled
to seven but steady practise of of low and high level battle formation was carried out.
                                             Sabre Sorties         42         Hours 50.35
                                             Meteor Sorties        2           Hours    1.25
  25.5.54      For the second day running the squadron flew early and late.   The visibility in
the lower layers was poor in the northern plain but picked up during the day as the
cumulus developed.   In fours with formation and stream take-offs general sorties
of high and low level battle formation were flown with odd navigation asnd solo aero-
batics flights.
                       Sabre Sorties       34               Hours      35.45
  26.5.54      Due to the Flying Wing Athletics Competition - won by us handsomely - flying stopped
promptly at 12.30 hours.   Making use of the limited time 12 sorties were flown of
medley formation - involving frequent, fast, formation changes.
                                 Sabre Sorties       12   Hours  12.25
  27.5.54      A further new pilot, Pilot Officer Pearce first flew to-day having arrived last
Friday evening.   The usual comments apply.   Within reach of 150 hours for the
week no late flying was done to-day.   'B' F;ight flew 4 fours in high level battle
'A' Flight having only 3 aircraft most of the day simulated sixes.
                            Sabre Sorties       30    Hours  21.05
  28.5.54      The grind to perfect the high level battle manoeuvres continued again to-day.   ASince
the beginning of the month there has been a noticeable improvement in the handling
of the Sabre especially in the circuit where the Wing Commander has spent a great deal
of time noting and criticising take-offs and landings.
                       Sabre Sorties 29      Hours  32.15
JEVER 31.5.54      Due to bad weather all day there was no flying.  
           Summary for the month
  This is the seciond month of operating the Sabre and already all are much
more familiar with the aircraft and equipment.   Turn round times are much quicker,
scrambling times are satisfactory resulting in more flying being done.
General flying has been done this month with the emphasis on operating in formations
at all altitudes at high speeds.   A marked improvement is noticeable in the flying
at high altitudes.
     Lectures were given on days unfit for flying together with instruction for the pilots
on servicing their aircraft.
     All told this has been a satisfactory month.

                                                                   Sorties                 Hours.
    Sabre                                                       365                      368.40
    Meteor                                                       4                            3.15
     Vampire                                                   7                            4.25
     Prentice                                                   6                            3.40
     Tiger Moth                                               5                            2.50
     TOTAL                                                 387                     382.50
                                                                                            Compiled by.........B.Watson.....Fg.Off.
                                                                                                                     (B. WATSON)

                                                                             Squadron Commander.....PWGilpin........Sqn.Ldr.
                                                                                                                             (P.W. GILPIN)
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