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F540 Operations Record Book February 1953 NO 93 SQUADRON.
PRO Kew No. AIR27 Piece 2636 Microfilm Row 1 Draws 52-71 from Duncan Curtis
    2nd MONDAY.            Although it was snowing the runway was not being covered.  However no
flying could be attempted, visibility was poor and the cloud-base was low.  Radio
lectures occupied most of the morning for those pilots not on Battle Flight.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon, there being no improvement in the weather, a lecture
programme was organised at the Squadron hangar.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. Bates went on local leave and Sqn.Ldr. McGregor and Sgts.
Walker and Thomas proceeded to Ehrwald on a Winter Survival Course.
    3rd TUESDAY.         By 10.30 Battle Flight had flown two sorties but had experienced a lot
of petty unserviceability.  Eventually after the servicing of I.F.F. sets - radio
sets - and nose oleos, they were stood down until 13.45 when they were briefed for
a form 'D'.  This was for two pairs attacking S.P. Bofors guns south of Oldenburg.
The first pair went on target at 14.45 and off at 15.00 when the second pair took
over till 15.15.  The attacks were to give the gunners practice in ranging and
tracking, and were apparently satisfactory.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesA new Battle Flight took over then, while the demo team flew as a four
with four more of 4 Sqn. on a practice for the demonstration at Gutersloh.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesBattle Flight succeeded once again, in only getting three aircraft airborne.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesMeanwhile sundry pairs had been practising low level map reading and
    4th WEDNESDAY.   By the time a few aircraft had become airborne, it was snowing
continuously and, having once started, it continued all morning.  Consequently
films started.  The afternoon was completely occupied by a drive through the snow
to Oldenburg, where wet dinghy drill was practiced by the aircrew.  The bath was
warm and very pleasantly built, and the instruction was good.
    5th. THURSDAY.       All hope of flying was soon abandoned as we still had fairly continuous
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFilms, once again, followed a lecture by the S.M.O. but the projector
broke down before they were completed.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe M.O.'s lecture covered 'G' and the ear.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesBattle Flight stood by all day, but were not called upon to fly.
    6th FRIDAY.             The demonstration team were once again up early to get to Gutersloh, but
after several false alarms - finally had to abandon the trip.  So for the third time
the demonstration was put off.  Once again, the projector having been mended, films
were shown - the best of them being a selection of 2nd T.A.F. Combat films.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe second half of the afternoon was occupied in watching a football match.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesBy evening it was still snowing and we had about 2 inches during the
    7th SATURDAY.      Sqn.Ldr. Williamson, who was acting Wg.Cdr. Flying, decided that a little
more physical exercise would not only do everyone good, but would alleviate the tedium
of constant lectures.  So he put forward a scheme for making toboggans of corrugated
iron, and having races.  Each toboggan was to be towed behind a vehicle.  4 Sqdn
were soon using the deep snow of the peri tracks for practice runs.
4sqnpic182.jpg, 21743 bytes
Health and Safety would have a fit today!  [Click to see more].

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesWhen all Sqdn. chores were completed 93 also equipped themselves, and in
the afternoon a very successful race meeting was held.
4sqnpic185.jpg, 20516 bytes
Photos Thanks to Norman Giffin.   Not in original F540.
    8th SUNDAY.  
    9th MONDAY.            This morning was a return to the lecture programme.  After a fine week-
end, the snow had commenced, again.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesF/O Wood proceeded on leave to Ehrwald.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe Signals Section gave two lectures in the morning on transmission and
reception of V.H.F., and on the T.R.1934, which is the current standard equipment in
2nd T.A.F.  In the afternoon Mr Hull gave a Met. lecture.
    10th TUESDAY.         Still snowing.  In the morning the films were shown and pilots attended
a technical lecture.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon, Squadron duties occupied all pilots in various ways,
and a Gunnery lecture was arranged.
    11th WEDNESDAY.  In view of the better weather, an attempt was made to clear the runway
with Vampire jet blast.  By the end of the morning some impression had been made
and the M.T. took over, running up and down and moving the slush.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon an intensive P.T. period was held for both pilots and
ground-crew in the hangar.  All of the 4 Sqdn aircrew also came over.  Leg-work,
team games and vaulting were all practiced in rotation.
    12th THURSDAY.      An Air Traffic lecture followed Met Briefing and was itself followed
by P.T. in the newly finished gymnasium.  The pilots did team-work, vaulting, and
played basket-ball.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon a Squash tournament was arranged between 93 Sqdn and
4 Sqdn.  It was a resounding victory for 4 Sqdn, but since not many of 93 had
played before that was to be expected.  However it was very enjoyable and many
converts were made to the game.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe snow had resumed a steady fall after yesterdays slight thaw.
    13th FRIDAY.              Lectures were suspended while all hands turned to clean the hangar in
preparation for tomorrow's C.O.'s inspection.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon, mops, brooms and dusters were laid aside for an
energetic game of squash.
    14th SATURDAY.     In the morning final touches were put to the hangar.  The Commanding
, when he made his usual through inspection, was quite satisfied, but for a
few minor points.
    15th SUNDAY.  
    16th MONDAY.           The long awaited thaw had begun in the morning.  The perimeter tracks were
levelled with graders and the remaining snow and ice on the runway was loosened by
slow-taxying aircraft.  During lunch-hour the runway surface was virtually cleared
by M.T. running up and down it, so that in the afternoon Battle Flight were able to
fly.  They were scrambled from dispersal, and climbed up into brilliant sunlight to
do P.I.'s.  They let down into the circuit to find rapidly deteriorating conditions.
They did not fly again.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOne Air Test was flown.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSqn.Ldr. McGregor, Sgt. Walker and Sgt. Thomas returned from Ehrwald.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe thaw continues.
    17th TUESDAY.         The weather, being warmer, naturally gave fog and low cloud, with some
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesA technical lecture on the Goblin II was given by Sqn.Ldr. Dunlop.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThis was followed by P.T. at 11.00, which everyone greatly enjoyed.  At
least the bad weather is giving an opportunity for getting in some continuous exercise
than is provided by the afternoon sports.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon an Aircraft Recognition lecture was held in the Squadron,
and this was followed by handling quiz, the questions of which were taken by Flt.Lt.
from the Pilots Handbook for the Vampire.
    18th WEDNESDAY.  Still foggy with the customary low stratus over the whole area.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAn extremely ill-made and propagandist film on Soviet Russian life was
shown first thing after Met. briefing.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesWork was carried on in the Hangar until 11.00, when pilots retired to
the gymnasium for some more P.T. to complete the morning.
    19th THURSDAY.      The whole day was spent in the Hangar hoping to fly, and doing what jobs
were necessary.  In the afternoon an Aircraft Recognition lecture was held, after a
long discussion on weapons available to, and their employment in 2nd. T.A.F.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe weather continued too bad to fly and Battle Flight was
held at one hours availability almost all day.
    20th FRIDAY.             The weather not having improved, or even changed at all, lectures were again
held.  The first concerned rockets and their construction, preparation and use.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe second was a highly involved Met. lecture on Pressure Distribution and
methods of plotting pressure gradients, and obtaining high level winds.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesBattle Flight was at one hours availability.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesF/O Standish proceeded on leave.
    21st SATURDAY.      The usual Commanding Officers parade was held in a cold wind on the
parade ground.  Afterwards an Aircraft Recce lecture was given in the Squadron Hangar.
Rifles were handed in and the weekend commenced.
    22nd SUNDAY.  
    23rd MONDAY.           Conditions were more promising but did not really clear enough to follow
the projected R/P programme.  However, after lunch a full cannon programme was in
operation.  Conditions were not too good, with a low cloudbase and bumpy air, but
some good scores were nevertheless put up.  The cloud cover made visibility on
the range fair.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSqn.Ldr. McGregor went to WUNSTORF and back during the day.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFlg.Off. Bates returned from leave.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes1863 rounds were fired with only one stoppage.
    24th TUESDAY.         In much better conditions the range programme got away to an early start.
A slight morning mist prevailed, but this soon cleared into a general
haze.  As the morning went on and the sun came round into line with the range, it
became increasingly difficult to see the targets in time to fire.  Also a heavy layer
of cloud came over at 1,400' and the shortening of the dive made firing practically
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAfter lunch rocketing was abandoned, and cannon firing substituted.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesConditions were good for this.  In all 600 rounds and 63
rockets were fired, with no stoppages and one hang-up.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSome low level sorties were flown and a pair of aircraft took over calibration
runs in conjunction with an Army radar unit near by (This was because the visiting
Mosquito went U/S).
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesA full night flying programme was flown off.  Each pilot flew twice and only one
untoward incident occurred when Flt.Lt. Pearch lost his cockpit lighting, but landed
    25th WEDNESDAY.  In perfect conditions a full days flying was enjoyed.  Once again the
Squadron had the range and R/P was flown all day.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn addition two aircraft did three radar calibration trips until the Mosquito
again became serviceable and took over once more.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe weather had definitely cleared up and the whole zone was under the influence
of an area of high pressure, with cloudless skies and light variable winds.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes86 rockets were fired, with 2 hang-ups.
    26th THURSDAY.      Once again an early start was made on the range.  The programme was just
getting under way when four aircraft were put on Battle Flight to augment 4 Sqdn.  They
did two trips in the morning, and each time got good targets.  The first time they
found 8 Thunderjets and the second, two Lincolns.  One aircraft returned with an U/C
light U/S.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThis of course robbed the range programme of aircraft and pilots but a fair
number of sorties were flown.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes77 rockets were fired for 3 hang-ups.
    27th FRIDAY.             The Squadron were on Battle Flight, and were lucky in getting Form 'D' through
for an attack on Mandorf G.C.I. station, with an away landing and a further attack on
the return journey.  This took all morning and they were stood down on return.
Map reading conditions were none too good owing to mist on the way down, but the
attacks were highly successful and the pin-pointing for pull-up was accurate.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThe rest of the aircraft were on low-level cross countries.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIn the afternoon Battle Flight did one sortie of P.I.s and returned to find no
firefighting facilities on the airfield because F/O Bates had just crashed with engine
failure on take-off.  [Vampire FB5 VV222].  He was unhurt.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesA few others had some low-level cross countries - but after the accident, all
flying ceased for the rest of the day.
    28th SATURDAY.      A large ground attack commitment prevented the Squadron attending the
parade, but in spite of getting the aircraft ready, no one flew because of the heavy
mist prevailing at take-off time.
           Total hours flown            -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes109.55 Vampire.        .45 Meteor.
     Sorties flown                    -1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes178  Vampire.         1    Meteor.

     Ammunition expended  -        20 m.m.           2,665 rounds.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesR/P1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes226.
     A month of extremely poor weather has severely curtailed flying.  The chief
difficulty has been the shortage of pilots owing to leave, courses and extraneous
commitments.  Whilst strength is now back to fourteen, a figure which is too low to
keep a half squadron available and meet all other needs.  The manning level in the
trades is also falling without any prospect of immediate relief.  One of the factors
affecting this is the practice of leaving personnel on unit strength when they are
detached to lengthy courses, some of them for periods of six months.
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