When one reads those RAF squadron's operations record books (ORB), quickly gets tired of expressionless facts stating, which bores with usually laconic and very repetitive sentences. But sometimes the chronicler happened to be a bright lad with the sense of humour and tongue in chick attitude, who here and there put some of his personal comments adding flavour to the otherwise very dull prose. One of those was F/O A. J. Chandler - God bless the chap - and below You'll find my selection of his entries to the 308 ORB.
Bad weather, little flying. Jumby (a dog. WR comment) has become useful as a sort of Alphonse. Many introductions to the fair sex effected by him.
F/O. Snell posted from 501 Squadron. By God they come in swarms.
Attack in morning. Mist in afternoon prevents flying. Party at the Chace in the evening. Station C.O. attends. S/Ldr. Grant-Ferris leaves minus trousers, Officers, prs., one.
No flying. This does not prevent a HE111 flying over at great height. A. V. M. UJEJSKI pay a visit. British and Polish ensigns hoisted. P/O.s KAWNIK CHCIUK, and Sgt. PARAFINSKI decorated with the Polish Cross of Honour. March past Poles. Two English Officers /Younghousband and Breffit/ suddenly find that fours have been formed round them and they have to go by goose stepping. Breffit’s performance caused unusual applause.
F/Lt. Nikonow arrives for instructional duties. F/O Hughes attached for educational duties, which will consist largely of writing letters to Lloyds, Burberrys and Gieves.
Trying out Spit’s. Pilots take to the machines at once – very manoeuvrable and lighter to handle. 1 F/Sgt. And 8 A.C.H. s arrive from Syerston. No one knows why, but they will come in useful.
Demonstration flights over Birmingham and Coventry during lunch hour, to cheer up the workers. Pilots consequently late for lunch. By great condescension on the part of the authorities, they are given a meal.
Bozek turned back twice on the way to Rhosneigrr on account of bad weather. Carrying with him precious cargo, 1 bulb ( electric ) – probably now be sent by post. Night flying cancelled.
S/Ldr. Orzechowski goes on leave. Reinforcement flight to Colerno. Slight mess up, owing to Ops. Trying to be too clever. Reports and Counter reports – Not going to let the Top Op get away with it.
3rd May Celebrations. Service in Blister Hangar. C.O. , Mother and Czech delegation attend. Station defence officer mistakes bell rung during Mess for gas alarm.
Coldish weather. Usual flying. Squadron very amused by reports that two of the officer were seen to wolf a 3lb. jar of jam during tea – are the officers still alive?
Usual flying activities. Still trying to find jam culprits.
Raining. Nothing much doing. Telephone communication between Ops. And Dispersal out – which lead those bright young things to make report that none of the dispersal operators were at their posts.
Getting ready to move. Thomas and Moszynski go to spy out the land, and bring reports of land flowing with milk and honey. General relief at being moved to another Sector.
Advance party under F/O Zbyszynski leave for Chilbolton. Lorries arrive and are loaded. Farewell party in Mess for two Squadrons. 3lb jar of jam handed over to F/Lt. Braunston as reparations.
Rain in morning. C in C. Southern Command snooping about in the morning.
Funeral of P/O. Wielgus at Northwood Cemetery.
In evening Sweep. 306 Sent on different course. Squadron by itself run into 60 ME.s. S/Ldr. Pisarek, Sgt. Schiele and P/O. Retinger each get one ME. Sgt. Widlarz two probables. Not understandable why the Squadron is sent over by itself just after a wing had been over and brought all the Jerries out. Lucky that the whole Squadron was not wiped out.
No operational flights. P/O. Wandzilak arrives back. Fatted calf killed.
Circus 108A. Wing as top escort over Argues. 308 in middle. M.E.s sighted on the way to St. Omer. Big scrap results. S/Ldr. Pisarek, P/O. Retinger and Poplawski get one each and bring score up to 50. Celebrations at Rubens. Jumby having failed some time ago to beat off a stern attack gives birth to puppies. P/O Chciuk writes latter from p.o.w. camp. Apparently he shot down one ME. before getting strafed himself – so Squadron’s score is really 51.
Fighter sweep over France cancelled because of bad weather. Interception practice with 303 Squadron in afternoon. U Saw, Prime Minister of Burma, accompanied by his secretary U Tin Tut visited the Station. Whilst looking over the Dispersal point they requested one of the pilots to a demonstration of a “bale out” —– Tut! Tut!
Move to Woodvale by train – journey lasts whole day – we arrive in darkness and learn the worst. G/Cpt. Pawlikowski “the Peacemaker” tells the pilots that conditions are worse in Rusia or Tobruk – but they at least draw field allowances.
Machines are tested and inspected. Squadron gets permission to billet officers and pilots. General relief. Complete collapse of revolution.
a.m. Squadron at 30 minutes. No flying in morning. Pilots taks cover from attacking clay pigeons which are ultimately destroyed and a victory is accorded by the Intelligence officer.
p.m. 1 section do formation flying. F/O. Paley returns from Exeter. Signal that Squadron is to proceed to Ipswich for weeks air firing on 14th.
08.15 1 Section called to scramble and patrol base for 45 minutes. 1 Flight at readiness until 13.00 hrs. Intelligence Officer gives talk on latest tactics and e/a. F/Sgt. Majchrzyk receives the rank of W.O. and 4 Cpls. advance to A/Sgt. Meanwhile at the H.C.C. (Hutton Cranswisk Court Martial or Hutton Cricket Club) the D.P.M. opening up on a sticky wicket makes a good beginning. Sgt. Marshall, playing a peaceful game, knocks up 12 with Cpl. Shepherd for the loss of 0 wickets. After the lunch interval F/Lt. Hughes puts on his googly bowlers and for the loss of only an additional 10 runs, gets the whole side out. The Accused (cpl Zaprawa hereinbefore-mentioned to be known herein after as such as aforesaid), batting without cap, and Sgt. Marecki, reply with a century before Sgt. Marecki retires. Cpl. Glegolski takes his place and together with the Accused brings the game to a successful conclusion. The Police team have have had a lean season this year and it is thought that Sgt. Marshall will not qualify for a place in the all Yorkshire eleven.
Foggy again in the morning. Ground personnel have instruction in grenade throwing. In afternoon weather improves, and usual training exercises are carried out. Spot of bother in connection with “workers playtime” when it was suddenly announced that the Players usin the Cranford Cottages Pavilion would be deprived of their Gentlemen, and receive a daily batman allowance of 2/- in lieu. the Gentlemen in the main pavilion would still press trousers, and baths could still be had providing the 5” mark was not abused.
Cloudy, and misty. Link training carried out all day. Training flying, consisting of cloud flying, formation flying, dusk flying,, and usual training exercises. Two pilots take off in morning to strafe locomotives in Northern France. They achieve their object, but F/O Kijakowski is hit by ground defences, and on the way home, his machine dives straight into the sea, and nothing more is seen of him. P/Lt. Koc who was with him could not contact him over R/T. Pay parade. Moral-Good!!! Night flying carried out from 00l45 to 06.20.
In the morning, pilots lectured on the activities of intruders and one section is held at readiness. In the afternoon, link trainer practise is carried out and 8 pilots are held to night readiness. Great sensation caused in the Squadron by the return of F/Lt. Koc who was reported on the 3rd of the month, but as yet the details of his escape are an official secret. News of his return caused queer reactions. Those who saw him without hearing the news of his return thought that they themselves had been killed and had met F/Lt. Koc in heaven. Optimists? Those who were told the news, thought that it was a joke in rather bad taste and this led almost to quarrels. Everything was soon smoothed over and F/LT’s Koc’s health was drunk in wine which he had brought over – some people even had a banana.
Squadron took part in the Station Battle of Britain parade. Much amusement was cause d by the Squadron dog – small nondescript mongrel – trotting along uninvited beside F/L Najbicz who led the Squadron in the March Past. The dog stole the show but F/L Najbicz did his best to maintain a military bearing. Later normal training flying proceeded.
1943-10-10 - 1943-10-13 Heston
The weather was bad and the Squadron practically grounded. With effect from 11th , F/O T. Hajduczek is posted to No 16 S.F.T.S.
There was a great thrill for the Squadron on the 13th. F/Sgt. Sznapka who baled out over BERNAY on 16th August last, walked into Dispersal. The story of his escape must still remain “most secret” but it can be said he got across to Spain and after spending nine days in Pamplona gal, was handed over to the British Authorities. Crossing the Pyrenees, he found a stray donkey, removed its bell and rode for 6 hours; in the end he had a job to get rid of the beast.
At mid-day the Squadron made an uneventful sweep over the Some Estuary area in support of “Crossbow” operation. Later they made a much more eventful sweep to Rubens Hotel, S.W. – Squadron party. Everyone / ultimately ! / returned to base without loss.
The life starts from the morning. We are up to Bradwell Bay and from there as a high cover with Marauders. Object Gilse Rijen in Holland. Huns have forgotten us and guns are probably on inspection too.