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The Year That Was 1959

The following is taken verbatim from 439 Squadron archives.  Rank and decoration are those  held by the individuals at the time of writing. Background details, with rare exception are very scarce, so fresh input is always welcomed. 

22 Dec 58 - 04 Jan 59 The week proved fairly unproductive with respect to flying times. The weather was below limits for phase training all week and was often too low for any at all. Monday practice scrambles, exercises, and singles were carried out, and the Squadron night flew the Paris-Brussels route. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday washed out, with Thursday, 1 Jan. being a holiday. The New Years Eve formal was a huge success, with a cocktail party for the squadron given by the SMU. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with 21 sorties and 26:35 hours.

Jan 5 - 11 The weather was below limits most of the week, and during days of good weather the airdrome was closed to traffic due to icy runways. The first real snow of the year started on Monday and by the end of the week the ground was covered. S/L MacLachlin is contact training with the Squadron. He will be taking over 441 Squadron as the new O.C. on completion of his contacting. During the week exercises, phase training trips for F/Os Pope and Jolly, several singles and practice scrambles flown. A full simulator and T-33 program ran all week. The week ended with a total of 43 sorties and 55:15 hours, to bring our months total to only 55:15hours. 

Jan 12 - 18. The entry this week is a continuation to last week's, with everyday being totally unproductive as far as flying is concerned. The weather was variable, with snow and freezing rain frequently, making the runways and taxi-strips too slippery for flying. During the few periods when the Wing was serviceable, the weather favourable alternates were unserviceable. The Squadron was released Zulu Wednesday noon for another week. F/O Tremblay finally got back from Canada (FWI course) after spending days in Langar and 4 (F) Wing trying to get in. The hockey team is really down to business, having won their last seven games, and F/O Tremblay should help out from now on. Friday finally broke clear and extensive flying was done. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with 26 sorties and 36.20 hours.

Jan 15 - 25. Flying Officer promotion exams were being written during the week, and most of the Flying Officers were studying quite hard. To make it more difficult for them, there was relatively good weather for the first time in a month and the Squadron was flying intensively. F/Os Pope and Jolly finally were able to get a few phase training trips in. S/L MacLachlin started contact training in earnest. The Squadron went on Zulu again, Wednesday at noon. We shared it with 441 due to the exams. General formation work, high and low level, singles, practice scrambles and air tests were carried out during the week. S/L Cannon and F/L Baker later flew to 3 (F) Wing for a conference. F/O Jones arrived from Chatham to join the Squadron on Sunday. From what we hear, he should be an asset to the hockey team, which is winning regularly. They beat 441 again this week. F/O Tremblay has gone to 446 Sqn to help them with gunnery, so he will be away for another month. A new effort at coordinating flying programs was brought out during the week. From now on each squadron puts in a flying program, one day in advance, based on set weather conditions, in order to limit the number of aircraft airborne in case of diversions. The method will limit flying in marginal conditions, but it remains to be seen just how much it will slow it down. The week ended with a total of 144 sorties and 170:45 hours.

Jan 26 - Feb 1 Until Thursday this week the weather was beautiful, with clear skies, heavy cons, and a full moon at night. Flying was carried on to the limits of aircraft serviceability day. Phase training was pushed, many NATO exercises were flown and air-tests, singles and night flying were carried out. The night flying was done on the Paris-Brussels route. Along with flying, a T-33 and simulator program was run. A section of four, F/Os Johnson, Pattee, Campbell and Castledine went to Renfrew for the weekend. The Squadron stood down Friday evening with a total of 131 sorties and 166:15 hours.

Feb 2 - 8 The weather was generally good again this week, with for forming (sic) in an inversion layer after Thursday. The Squadron commenced Zulu on Wednesday for another week, this time carrying the whole load. It means at best, that every pilot on the Squadron on all day everyday, and that aircraft requirements are high. To make it worse this week, six to seven pilots were sick with the flu. Flying was general during the week, with the bulk being made up by exercises, practice scrambles, night flying, singles and a little phase training. The section of four finally got back from Renfrew Wednesday afternoon, after being fog-bound in Scotland for six days. On Friday morning a surprise exercise was laid on. The five minute Zulu section was scrambled after re-jugging with big drops, and their mission was to fly to Decci, Sardinia , rendezvous with the flag on a range, and fire of all guns. Each aircraft had 260 rounds per gun, and after 12 passes at the flag the rounds were fired into the ocean. The score was 9.5% with several stoppages. The aircraft landed, were turned around and returned from Decci the same day. F/Os Tidball, Rice and Burke participated, while F/O Coles was u/s on start-up here. F/O Jones to able to start phase training with single trips and F/O's Pope and Jolly finished their low level trips. F/O Jim Foy and his wife arrived from Chatham to join the Squadron. The week ended with a total of 110 sorties and 137:50 hours.

Feb. 9 - 15 This week was not to productive, both due to weather and to sickness. The weather was clear but fog was quite persistent all week. At one point the Squadron was down to sixteen pilots, which meant all serviceable pilots were on continuous Zulu until Wednesday noon. Any flying that was done was done at about 1500 hrs. when the fog lifted a little. A small amount of phase training was done, several practice scrambles, and some general air fighting. The Squadron was stood down Thursday afternoon for a three day weekend, to give everyone a chance to rest after all the Zulu's and flu. A beer call for all pilots was held in the Officer's Mess, which enabled many cases of beer, owed by various individuals, to be paid for and consumed. The week ended with a total of 36 sorties and 96:50 hours.

Feb 16 - 22 This week the same old inversion was with us, causing fog almost every day. Tuesday and most of Wednesday the weather was beautiful with flying carried out to the limit of aircraft serviceability. The rest of the week the visibility usually got high enough to fly shortly after noon. While not flying, lectures and meetings held, along with a sports program on Friday. On Monday a talk on this years Escape and Evasion exercise was given. Phase training was pushed for F/O's Pope, Jolly, Jones and Foy, and several flags were airborne on Tuesday. When ever the weather permitted Frag orders were completed. The Squadron night flew on Tuesday evening on the Paris-Brussels route. The Squadron stood down on Friday for the weekend with a weekly total of ** sorties and 150:30 hours. 

Feb 23 -  Mar 1 The weather would have been good, except that practically every morning fog hampered operations until 1100 hrs. A section of four, F/O's Turner, McQueen, Brown and Ulson, who had been in the U.K. for the weekend, returned on Monday. Flying consisted of Exercises, air fighting, phase training and a little flaging. Phase training was pushed to the limit and F/O's Pope and Jolly are now combat ready with F/O's Jones and Foy coming along well. From now on towing and cine exercises will be dorm whenever possible in preparation for Sardinia on ** April. The week ended with a total of 144 sorties and 166:55 hours.

Mar 2 -  Mar 8  The week turned out to be fairly good. Weather was above limits most of the time, and the Squadron went on Zulu Wednesday noon. Phase training was pushed once again, with several flag trips now and then. Practice scrambles were flown regularly. F/O Jones finished phase training on Tuesday, and F/O Foy on Saturday, so that every pilot on the Squadron is combat ready. Several pilots returned from leave, F/O's Tidball, Joy, Burke, and Castledine. On Friday F/O Foy had a few anxious moments after striking a bird in the intake, but made it to the field. F/O Small is going to Italy on an investigation (car accident). The hockey team ended the season in third place but lost out to 441 Sqn. in the semi-finals. The week ended. with a total of *58:05 hours and *** sorties

Mar 9 - 15 The Squadron was on Zulu until Wednesday noon. Flying consisted of practice scrambles during Zulu, with flags taking priority in Thursday and Friday. Many Squadron pilots went on leave this week in order to finish it by the end of March. The pilots that were left were consequently able to fly quite a bit. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 186:20 hrs and 158 sorties. 

Mar 16 - 22 Once again this week Squadron strength was decreased by the number of pilots on leave. Many trips were flown on the flag, with general flying, night flying and exercises filling in the remainder. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 154:15 hrs and 13* sorties.

Mar 23 - 29. This week was the same as last with many pilots still on leave. F/O Mayberry arrived on the Squadron from Chatham to start flying. Flying was curtailed, and several days the Squadron stood down. The long Easter weekend, (five days) was beautiful and saw a number of Squadron members go to Holland. The week ended with a total of only 58:50 hrs and 5* sorties. 

Mar 30 - Apr. 5  Most of the members were back from leave and the Squadron was at full strength once again. Zulu started once again on Wednesday. The Squadron is conserving flying hours as much as possible in anticipation of a large scale exercise in two weeks. We want to keep enough hours to flag in the week before going to Decci 9 Apr.  While on Zulu only one scramble per section was flown, plus night flying when ever possible. A SHAPE alert was called on Thursday and everyone was called out. The Squadron had no trouble meeting it's requirement of eighteen aircraft airborne in 1 hour. Even by keeping the number of hours down to a minimum, the Squadron still finished the week with a total of **:55 hrs and 171 sorties.

Apr 6 - 12  The Squadron was on Zulu until Wednesday noon, and all pilots were available. Once again the hours were being conserved and only one scramble per section was flown. On Thursday and Friday exercises and several singles were flown. The weather was below limits for flaging. A briefing for exercises Top Weight was given on Friday and the Squadron stood down for the weekend in anticipation of being called out on Sunday. The weekly total was 105:40 hrs and 83 sorties.

Apr 13 - 19  All personnel on the Wing were called in on Sunday evening in readiness for exercise Top Weight. Top Weight was a full scale NATO exercise with many different air forces and aircraft types taking part. Flying started on Monday noon and continued from dawn to dusk on Thursday. Maximum effort was achieved, with one hundred percent aircraft serviceable throughout. Each pilot flew four sorties per day and on Tuesday and Wednesday the Squadron flew 138:10 and 143:15 hrs respectively. This was just about a record for a Day Fighter Squadron. Kills were claimed on many aircraft types, with the bulk of sorties being flown on Fighter sweeps and Airdrome Defence. When the exercise was over on Thursday the pilots got pre-Decci shots and proceeded to the mess for a small party. The Squadron stood down Thursday afternoon for the weekend with a total of **:50 hrs and 330 sorties.

Apr 20 - 26. The Squadron really hit it lucky this week with good weather every day. Flagging took preference over everything, frags being cancelled on Thursday until after Decci. Towing was done to the limit of aircraft serviceability all day everyday with most pilots getting 3 or 4 trips a day. The hours are really mounting and at the end of the week the Squadron hit 997:30 for the month. F/L Norris left for Chatham and the Fighter Leader's Course and F/O Brown has been chosen as a permanent member of T-bird flight. He is leaving for Canada for the UICP course The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 304:35 hrs and 3*1 sorties.

Apr 27 - May 3. Monday and Tuesday the Squadron prepared for the trip to Decci. Jug tests for the big drops were carried out and briefings on safety equipment and the trip were given. On Wednesday twenty two aircraft left for Sardinia for two weeks air to air firing. Sector recces were given to the new pilots on arrival. The trophy shoot was held on Thursday, each pilot flying two trips. Six guns were fired, with a total of three passes per trip. The Squadron average for the day was 14.6*s Thursday was an Italian Holiday, while Friday and Saturday the weather was CAG, and firing was done at 20050 feet. F/O Reiffer took an aircraft to Marville for the weekend. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 189:** hrs and *** sorties. The total hours for the month of April was a record 1160 hours. 

May 4 - 10. S/L Day arrived in Decci after his investigation, and F/O Reiffer returned from Marville; F/L Craig came to fire a few trips. The weather was excellent at the beginning of the week, and the Squadron moved up to 30000 feet. Friday and Saturday were washed out with heavy rain showers. S/L Cannon and F/O Tidball went to Marville on an aircraft exchange. The Squadron stood down with a weekly total of 065:50 hrs and 316 sorties.

May 11 - 17.  G/C Williams and F/L Liggett arrived for three days of firing. The weather was not the best with heavy CU and Q and rain showers. Tuesday noon flying was washed out completely and everyone hit the mess for a last fling. Taxi-tests were done on the aircraft Wednesday morning, and the Squadron returned to Marville at noon. The final Squadron averages were MAP at *** and 13.5 at 30,000. Thursday was a holiday and limited flying was done on Friday. The Squadron stood down for the long weekend (Victoria Day) with most of the single boys off to Hamburg, The weekly total was 148:55 hrs and 146 sorties.

May 18 - 25. F/L McNaughton and F/O Hallworth joined the Squadron from Chatham while the Squadron was in Sardinia and are busy phase training as much as possible. The Squadron hours have been reduced to 600 hours per month. Flying has been limited to 30 hours a day, with Frag orders taking a good portion of this time. F/O Blessin (445) is flying, with us for the next while. He is on the Fighter weapons course and is getting checked out in the F-86. A section of four (F/Os Johnson, Campbell, Olson and Castledine) went off to Scotland for the weekend. The Squadron stood down with 100:35 hrs. and 85 sorties. 

May 26 - Jun 3 F/L Baker was posted to Calgary and left the Squadron this week for a week's leave in the U.K. prior to embarking for Canada. S/L Cannon has gone down to Wing Oerations to replace S/L **** as Ops O. S/L Day takes over as 439 Squadron O.C. on the 1 Jun 59.  On Monday night a one night Escape and Evasion exercise was held with eight Squadron pilots participating. The exercise was over an eight mile route with Gendarmes and M.Ps patrolling. A lecture on the main E & E exercise was given by F/L Lowe. The Squadron hours were up to the limit, and only one scramble per section was taken. F/O Blessin's training was pushed. Zulu started at 1300 hrs. on Wednesday for another week. A double scramble for the R.A.F. Staff College was demonstrated on Thursday. Night flying was done with the eight high state pilots. The weekly total was *07:50 hrs. and 166 sorties. The total for the month of May was 788:15 hrs

Jun.4 - 7. The Squadron hours nave been cut to 575 per month commencing 1 Jun. Zulu finished at noon on Wednesday with one practice scramble per section. Night flying was done throughout Zulu. Phase training was done on F/L McNaughton and F/O Hallworth. Exercises were pushed in order to fulfill quarterly commitments and several tows were done for 445 Sqn. F/O Blessin went to 42l Sqn. for his Cine work. The Squadron held a party on Friday evening in the Airmen's mess, and there was a good turnout. The Squadron stood down with 191:00 hrs. and 154 sorties. 

Jun 8 - 14. On Monday morning a lecture was given by S/L Day, bringing the pilots up to date on procedures etc. The weather was CAVU most of the week, with flying being held down by the limits. Phase training was done every day with other flying consisting only of Frags. The Escape and Evasion exercise "Terider Hook" was held from Wednesday to Saturday with sixteen 439 Sqn. pilots participating. The weather was fairly good but very cold at night. The week ended with a total of 66:55 hrs and 70 sorties.

Jun 15 - 21. Monday morning a lecture was given by Mr. Parker, the British Intelligence Interrogation officer, on methods of obtaining information. The weather was beautiful all week and F/L McNaughton and F/O Hallworth became combat ready. On Thursday the C.O.'s hand over parade was held. Fifty two aircraft flew by in formation, sixteen from 439 Sqn. Again flying was limited to exercises and filling commitments, with quite a number of low levels and visual recces. The week ended with a total of 118 sorties and 134:30 hrs. 

Jun 22 - 28 On Monday seven pilots visited Yellowjack for the day. Zulu started Wednesday noon for another week. The Squadron is allowed 700 hrs this month. A fairly good flying program was therefore carried out. A few flags got airborne but the weather did not cooperate. Most of the flying consisted of frags, singles and practice scrambles. Night flying was scheduled every night but was washed out due to weather. The week ended with a total of 190:10 hrs. and 159 sorties.

Jun 29 - Jul 5  Zulu finished Wednesday at 1300 hrs. and Wednesday afternoon the Squadron stood down for the afternoon. Practice scrambles were flown with odd frag orders and flag trips for the hour and a half boys. Thursday, seventeen night trips were flown in order to finish the quarter. The monthly total for June was 650:45 hrs. Eight pilots flew to Rahn for Capt. Quigley's going home party, which proved to be quite a smash. They returned on Saturday. The week ended with a total of 61:05 hrs. and 75 sorties.

Jul 6 - 11. It was CAYU and extremely hot all week. Monday the Squadron was stood down for AQ& the day. On Tuesday a full simulator, T-33 and flying program were run. F/L Norris returned from Chatham (Day Fighter Leader's course) on Tuesday, in time to make the Zulu schedule starting Wednesday. During Zulu practice scrambles, several flags and singles were flown. Night flying was done on week nights. F/L McNaughton had a generator failure and landed at ** Wing and F/O Pope had a hang up and returned to base. Both got in alright. The week ended with a total of 20:20 hrs and 189 sorties.

Jul 13 - 19. On Friday morning S/L Day, flying number two on a practice scramble, crashed on take-off and was killed. The accident took place approximately two miles off the runway and the aircraft burned. The investigation resulted in an obscure classification. During the week practice scrambles were done while on Zulu, with night flying as often as possible. Singles were flown to fill in smuares. The Squadron prepared for deployment to Rocroi, and was stood down Friday noon after the accident. The weekly total was 108 sorties and 135:05 hrs. 

Jul 20 - 26. The Squadron flew to Racroi on Monday afternoon and got settled in with a minimum of confusion. S/L Day's funeral was held on Tuesday and the whole Squadron attended. On Tuesday evening personnel returned to Rocroi by bus. The weather during the first part of tent living was excellent and flying was fairly heavy. Zulu started on Wednesday with each section getting a practice scramble each day. The weekly total by Sunday evening was 148 sorties and 164:55 hrs.

Jul 27 -  Aug 2  Zulu finished up Wednesday afternoon and rain started at the same time. On Thursday flying was washed out completely, and Friday the Squadron was finally able to take-off at noon for the return to 1 (F) wing. Not much flying was done during the week, with a minimum. of practice scrambles and only a few singles. On arrival at Marville on Friday the Squadron stood down for a long weekend (August lat) The weekly total was A sorties and 68:05 hra. 

Aug 3 - 9. This was a short week with Monday a holiday and the Squadron going on three weeks compulsory leave on Friday. Most of the flying consisted of Frags, with singles thrown in to fill squares. Flying continued off the Taxi strip while the work was in progress on the runways. The weekly totals were 91 sorties and 110:50 hrs. 

Aug 31 - Sep 6. The Squadron returned to work today after three weeks leave. Most members visited other countries and all in all the weather was excellent. F/O's Campbell and Castledine left for Canada by Comet for the Fighter weapons course and will not return until Christmas. Six of the pilots are doing a short ground tour (18 days) after a small low flying skit, which means that the Squadron is rather short for Zulu. The Squadron has two new pilots. F/Os Schaan and Stuart reported from Chatham while we were on leave and phase training is being started. F/L's Norris, Ainsley, Lewis and F/O Turner went to Farnborough for the Air Show on Wednesday. This week word came through on our new O.C. He is to be W/C MacKay from Trenton (C.F.6.) and will arrive shortly. Singles were flown on Monday so the pilots could get back in shape, and by the time Zulu started at 1300 hrs on Wednesday, sections were up air fighting. On Zulu each section got one trip, either a practice scramble with 3 (F) Wing , a four vs four, or a flag trip. The weekly total was 18, sorties and *14:10 hrs. 

Sep 7 - 13. While the Squadron was on Zulu several flag trips were done. Phase training on F/O's Schaan and Stuart was pushed with the weather holding CAVU. The Squadron had plenty of frags in order to get caught up for the quarter. F/L Chapman and F/O Coles left for the Flight Safety course this week, and will be away for two months F/O's Burke , Olson and McQueen went to Aalborg for the weekend. The weekly total was 141:50 hrs and 1*3 sorties. 

Sep 10 - 20 The Squadron was stood down on Monday for the holiday missed last Zulu. F/O's Pattee and Carter ferried aircraft to Preswick (Scotland) and return, and F/O's Burke, Olson and McQueen returned from Aalborg. A practice scramble for the CAS of the New Zealand Air Force was given on Tuesday. The Squadron flagged all week while phase training was pushed. F/O's Schaan and Stuart were combat ready on Friday. Frags were flown every day. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 149:45 hrs and 114 sorties. 

Sep 21 - 28. W/C MacKay and F/O Slater arrived from Chatham to join the Squadron. W/C MacKay will be going to 3(F) Wing to do some contact training. Flagging was started in earnest, although frags and phase training were pushed. A section of 4 landed at Oldenburg and one at Ramstien. F/O Olson ferried an aircraft to Renfrew and return. F/L's Norris and McNaughton and F/Os Pattee and Pope went to Copenhagen for the weekend. Night flying for this quarter was finished on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning the weather was semi-restricted for the first time in about six months. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 100 sorties and 107:30 hrs.

Sep 29 - 4 Oct. Flagging was the main program for the first part of the week, with everyone getting several trips. A section landed at Colmar on exercise Balance on Tuesday. Zulu started 1300 hrs Wednesday. Practice scrambles were flown daily, with phase training on *** and flag trips when ever possible. The weather was still CAVU every day. A double scramble was done for the RAF Staff College on Thursday. The Squadron finished the week with 159 sorties and 173:15 hrs.

Oct 5 - 11 The Squadron finished Zulu at noon Wednesday after getting one practice scramble per section. F/O Slater was phase training and flags were put up daily. The weather still held CAVU. The Squadron stood down for the weekend with a total of 199 sorties and 144:45 hrse. 

Oct I2 - 18. The Squadron was stood down on Monday for Thanksgiving. Fog started setting in in the mornings in preparation for winter, hampering flags and phase training to a certain extent. A new syllabus of training was issued, cutting out all low level flying, thus putting Sabres back in the air. F/O Slater's phase training went well and he became combat ready on Thursday. The Squadron night flew on Wednesday and Thursday nights, while T-33 and simulator were pushed in order to get ahead before going to Decci. F/O Johnson left the Squadron to become Wing Maintenance Test Pilot. The week ended with a total of 109 sorties and 108:45 hrs. 

Oct 19 - 25. W/C MacKay took over 439 Sqn. officially on Monday. Lectures were given on Monday and Wednesday mornings on intelligence and the CF-104. The weather was not too good with fog in the mornings. A few flags got Off the ground but most of the time weather hampered operations. The Squadron stood down with a total of 85 sorties and 100:55 hrs. 

Oct 26 - Nov 1 This week the effects of winter weather were beginning to be felt. Low cloud, rain and no alternates persisted daily with only Tuesday being an exception. On Tuesday the Wide pages check text 

Nov 2 - 8 Several afternoons the weather lifted enough to do some flaggjng but generally law cloud and fog persisted. Many pilots were sick and grounded with head colds, and all in all the week was not very productive. The weekly total was 33 sorties and **:10 hours, with the Squadron standing down for the weekend. 

Nov 9 - Nov 15  Monday and Tuesday were taken up with getting ready for deployment to Sardinia.  The weather was very poor, but it lifted enough for the Squadron to get off on Wednesday starting at 11 hours. Arrival in Sardinia was without incident, and after a briefing by W/C Lee, CO, AWN, everyone  got settled in. The weather was no better in Sardinia than it had been in Marville, and the remainder of the week was socked in. A few cine trips were flown on Saturday. The week ended with a total 78 sorties and 77:10 hours.

16 Nov - Nov 22 The week turned out very well with good, or reasonable weather every day. The trophy shoot was run on Monday, with an average of 17.3". FAD Turner was top man on the trophy shoot. The 20,000 foot firing, up an Wednesday, F/O Tremblay having, the highest overall average at 20,000 feet. Squadron 20,000 foot average was 22.3. The 30,000 foot firing went a little more slowly, with Cine only on Saturday. F/O Pattee attended the Intelligence Course in 4 Wing. The weekly total was 381 sorties and 320:10 hours.

23 Nov - 29 Nov The weather was not as good this week but the missions were finally completed on Friday. Cloud on the range prevented firing on two days this week. F/O Ainsley brought a Sabre in  with a cocked nose wheel, and the main gear collapsed just before stopping. Very little damage was done and F/L Ainsley was unhurt. F/O Tremblay flew the aircraft home with the gear down, and landed in Chaumont for refueling. The Squadron returned to Marville on Saturday. The weekly total was 217 Sorties and 181:30 hours.

30 Nov - 6 Dec  The Squadron took over the Zulu commitment on Monday from 441 Squadron, who had been holding it while 439 was in Sardinia. Night flying was scheduled every night in order to quotas wound up for the quarter, but weather washed out all plans. Almost no flying was done during the week at all. The Squadron stood down on Friday to make up for the day lost on arrival from Sardinia. The total weekly time was 11 Sorties and 12:05 hrs.

7 Dee - 13 Dec The weather improved slightly this week. No flying was done on Monday or Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Squadron again started Zulu with 441 Squadron. ****, was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday nights. A *** exercise, Rapid Reflex, was called Friday morning at 0950  hours. All pilots arrived at the Squadron in short order, Night flying was done and the exercise  terminated at 1100 hours the some day. **** was done on Zulu over the weekend, and the weekly total was 100 sorties and 135:30 hours.

14 Dec - 20 Dec This week four pilots all from the FTTU course at 3 Wing and four pilots went to Zeisbrucken for decompression.  Most of the flying was made up of air fighting trips, singles, and night flying on Tuesday evening. F/Os Groskorth and Racivil started their phase training, while F/O Boinrich, the newest member of the Squadron struggled to got his T-33 and simulator in. The Squadron stood down on Friday, and the weekly total was 79 Sorties and 98:00 hours.

21 Dec - 27 Dec  The typical Northern France winter weather *** little for Christmas spirit this week. Rain, fog, and high winds to a ********** prevailed all week. The Squadron's night flying commitment was finished on Monday night, while Tuesday was silent between a CO's Blister Parade in the morning and the Squadron Christmas party in the afternoon. Once again Zulu was shared with 441 Squadron, hots and lives only being flown over the festive season. A section four went to Bitsburg on a Round Robin, while phase training was done on F/O's Groskorth and Heinrich whenever weather permitted. The weather lifted enough for Air Tests on Sunday. on Christmas Day dinner was served to the boys at the ORT. The week finished with a total of ** sorties and 55:50 hours.

28 Dec 59  - 3 Jan 60  'Not much flying was done this week. The Squadron stood down on Thursday for the rest of the week, while the New Year's Ball was a big success. The weeks total was 39 Sorties and ** hours.

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