roundel jsl spacer hunter1
Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540
F540 Operations Record Book October 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

BrianWatson.jpg, 6056 bytes

R.A.F. Jever 1.10.53.   Due to the weather there was no flying today.   In stead a lecture on the formation of
the Northern Army was given by Captain Hook, the G.L.O.   With the approach of the
winter season we will obviously spend more time in the lecture room than in the air,
which is a tremendous help to the people taking Promotion Examinations - but also very
frustrating !
  2.10.53.   Again no flying, so our time spent in the hangar in crew chief training.
Another officer, Plt.Off. Jack, joined the squadron today.
  3.10.53.   The morning parade was followed by another period of crew chief training, and a
pyrotechnic display under the direction of Flt.Lt. Lind, our Air Trafficator.
The cloud base was so low that, when the Verey pistol was held above the head prior to
being fired, it was under I.F.R.
  5.10.53.   At last the weather has improved, and our Battle Flight made quite a number of sorties,
usually to be split for paired P.I's.   The remainder of the flying effort was devoted to
cine quarter attacks in preparation for our Sylt detachment scheduled for the 11th of
this month.
                                           Vampire  20.50 hours     26 sorties
                                           Meteor   1.00     hours        1   sortie
  6.10.53.   Our rocket programme on Meppen Range was cancelled in the morning when the first
two pairs were informed, whilst in the waiting area, that there was no R.S.O. present.
So Fg.Off. Giffin leapt into a Vampire and flew to Ahlhorn, from whence he was whisked
to Meppen in a fast car.   He arrived just in time to inform Jever that the weather was
deteriorating rapidly and that the afternoon programme would probably have to be cancelled.
It was !   So more cine quarter attacks were the order of the day.
                                   Vampire  19.25 hours     35 sorties
                                   Meteor     1.00   hours     1   sortie
  7.10.53.   The C.F.S. Examining Wing flew with two pilots   , Fg.Off's Clayton and Sanders, before
returning for lunch and (maybe) afternoon sport, spelt Nan Able Peter.   4 ,
engaged in cine, were diverted to Oldenburg, when a short endurance clamp caught them
on the hop.                     Vampire  5.10 hours     10. sorties
                                         Meteor   2.40     hours       3 sorties
  8.10.53.   Battle Flight, after a chaotic start (entirely beyond our control) mustered 8 aircraft.
However, 4 of these aircraft had to land at Gutersloh when they found themselves short
of fuel and a very long way from home.   Other than Battle Flight, very little flying
was done.   More pilots were checked by C.F.S. and a few cine sorties completed the
days total.                                 Vampire  21.45 hours     30 sorties
                                                   Meteor      1.30     hours     2 sorties
  9.10.53.   Early this morning the advance party left for Sylt with Plt.Off. Simms in charge.
So the unfortunate Simms will miss the Autumn Ball, to be held this evening.   But
possibly it is the C.O's plan to save his soul ?   Unlikely, because the party is
scheduled for an overnight stop at HAMBURG !   The aircraft were fitted with their drop
tanks and the scene is set for the departure of the air party on Sunday morning, (Watch
this space for news from Sylt).
                                             Vampire  .10 hours     1 sortie
                                             Meteor 1.00   hours     1 sortie
  10.10.53.   The rail party left for Sylt at 06.30 hours.   The remainder of the squadron took
advantage of the station stand down to recuperate from the Ball.
  11.10.53.   The air party moved to Sylt, with the exception of the Meteor and Fg.Off. Sanders,
who will follow as soon as possible.   On arrival the usual procedure applied, talks
from the Station Commander and Wing Commander Flying and so to be. early in preparation
for the flying tomorrow.
                                  Vampire  9.00 hours     12 sorties
  12.10.53.   The pilots who are at Sylt for the first time, started with cine.   Without exception,
their filns showed them to be opening fire a long way out of range, and in most cases,
breaking off the attack at about 500 yards.   The more experienced pilots averaged
a reasonable score, which we hope will be improved upon as the squadron settles down.
                                          Vampire  16.55 hours     33 sorties
  13.10.53.   Fog in the morning prevented the early sorties being flown.   However a clearance
made it possible to continue with the rest of the programme later in the day.
The Meteor became serviceable in the afternoon and was flown from Jever arriving at Sylt
at 16.30.                                      Vampire  7.40   hours     15 sorties
                                                     Meteor        .30   hours     1 sortie
  14.10.53.   The weather made air firing impossible, so the pilots assembled in the crew room for
a lecture by Flt.Lt. Taylor, a Staff P.A.I.   The harmonisation on the aircraft was checked
to ensure that there will be no wastage of rounds on that account.
The afternoon was given over to sport when two teams played soccer against teams from
98 and 3 Squadron, the score being 3-3, and 5-3, respectively.   Congratulations
to 3 Squadron - it doesn't often happen !
  15.10.53.   The weather was very much the same as yesterday so again, there was no flying,.
The checking of the harmonisation continues, and revealed that a few aircraft
required to be re-harmonised ; thus proving the effort worthwhile.
  16.10.53.   The bad weather still with us, so Fg.Off.Ewens undertook to lecture the squadron
on gunsight and sighting theory.   After this, we paid a visit to No. 3 Squadron where
the Sabre pilots very kindly answered our questions regarding their aircraft.
  17.10.53.   Every range was operating except Amrum which had been allocated to our squadron.
However, it became more or less serviceable for a while, of five aircraft which
took off, only two fired.   Plt.Off. Jack flew with the squadron for the first time on
a Meteor dual check, followed by a sector recce in a Vampire.
                                         Vampire  3.20   hours     6 sorties
                                         Meteor     .35   hours       1 sortie
  19.10.53.   Lectures given by Fg.Off.Ewens on the G.G.S. and by Sqn.Ldr. Gilpin on Instructional
technique.   To ensure that the latter had been inwardly digested, everyone was made
to deliver a short lecture on any subject.
  20.10.53.   No flying. so the bad weather lecture programme continued.  
  21.10.53.   No flying,.   reharmonisation and checks are carried out at every opportunity, and so
far we seem to have done more harmonisation than firing sorties.
  22.10.53.   The day started very well, but deterioration in the weather prevented air to air firing,
from mid-morning onwards.   Several pairs climbed through the cloud to carry out cine
quarter attacks.
                                      Vampire  9.50   hours     16 sorties
  23.10.53.   As air to air firing was not possible, the pilots took part in ground to air firing -
skeet shooting !   The results were quite gratifying, especially as a number were
doing it for the first time.
A rugger match between pilots and groundcrew resulted in a win for the former.   The
score I cannot remember - I have no head for such large figures !
  24.10.53.   A number of successful shoots were carried out, but the mist curtailed the programme.
Four aircraft carried out a battle formation sortie; which, at Sylt is quite an event.
  25.10.53.   A full programme was flown, but the scores produced were rather disappointing, with a
few exceptions.   This was due mainly to people opening fire before they were within
                                 Vampire  15.20   hours     28 sorties
  26.10.53.   As the weather was unsuitable for flying the morning was taken up by talks
and discussions, and the afternoon by a soccer match.
  27.10.53.   This is most depressing.   Apparently the weather has hit an all time low for the month
of October.   A few cine sorties were flown, and the rest of the day was devoted to
lectures.   The C.O. and Fg.Off. Beaton left for Jever in the Meteor carrying out ins-
trument flying on the way.
                                             Vampire  2.10   hours     4 sorties
                                             Meteor     .20   hours       1 sortie
  28.10.53.   The Meteor made two I.F. Sorties from Jever but the weather at Sylt was such that it
was unable to return today.   All the squadron and permanent staff took part in an
Evasion exercise, which entailed being transported to Marsum by coach, walking back to
the airfield and reaching the office of the Flying Wing Adjutant without being captured.
The incentives were (a) The first evader to arrive would win a bottle of wine and
(b) The Flying Wing Adjutant is a W.A.A.F. Officer.!
                                         Meteor     2.05   hours       2 sorties.
  29.10.53.   A period of aircraft recognition was followed by a debriefing on yesterdays exercise. The main purpose of this debriefing was to discuss ways of improving any future
exercises of this nature.
  30.10.53.   The full day's programme was flown; with 'B' Flight producing some reasonable scores.
However, the results of 'A' Flight firing were disappointing, and no apparent
explanation could be found in the film.   Fg.Off. Beaton returned from Jever in the
Meteor, and Sqn.Ldr. Gilpin and Flt.Lt.'s Lee and Vasey went to Wahn to attend No. 2
colour presentation.
                                        Vampire  14.30   hours     27 sorties
                                        Meteor     1.25   hours         2 sorties
  31.10.53.   The approach of an occlusion made flying impossible.   A number of aircraft were due
for compass swings and these were carried out

          This has been a most unfortunate month as regards the squadron flying times.
Since our arrival at Sylt we have very few days when it has been possible to fly
a full programme.   This spasmodic flying is not conducive to a high air to air average,
and the less experienced pilots are not getting the practice which they need.   The
C.F.S. Examining Wing visited Jever, and flew with a number of pilots.   Their reports
showed that the standard of the pilots tested was quite satisfactory.

                                         Monthly totals

                          Vampire      153 hours           257 Sorties
                          Meteor         12.05 hours        15 sorties

                       Compiled by.......AESanders......Fg.Off.  Authorised By.....PWGilpin..Sqn.Ldr.
                                              (A.E.SANDERS.)                                            (PWGILPIN)

Previous F540 List of F540s Next F540