R.A.F. Form 540


 1 Sep 1942.
The morning was very disappointing. Heavy mist prevented flying. Then it tried to rain, which helped to keep thing unpleasant. In the afternoon, things cleared up a little, and the boys were able to do a spot of co-operation with the Beaufighters of 256 Squadron. They chased each other about all over the aerodrome. We were the “enemy”, and we made low attacks on the aerodrome with the Beaus chasing us – a good show, which pilots of both squadrons enjoyed immensely. There was no operational flying.

 2 Sep 1942.
It rained heavily all the morning. This kept the lads on the grounds, but there was plenty of work to be done. Things had to be packed for our move to Northolt. Maps had to be found and handed over; sector R/T communication code cards had to be dug up and accounted for. Boxes had to be found for packing things. It must have been something like this before Noah set sail!

 4 Sep 1942.
More rain, which stopped flying – and in some ways everybody welcomed a pause in the flying, to get things straight before the great move. So many things have to be remembered, and some things have to be extracted from pilots with a shoe-horn – e.g. maps, and above all, sector R/T code cards. One chalks up notices in English and Polish – “Have you given in your code cards?” Slowly, things come in.


 6 Sep 1942.
A sunny day; and the air party arrives. We are now all at Northolt, with the exception of 11 pilots who have been left at Woodvale as being not sufficiently experienced for operations over enemy territory. All were supernumerary. We are granted a few days of dispensation in which to get things straight. So begins the reverse of what we have just been doing at Woodvale, i.e. unpacking. Maps are obtained from the Sector Intelligence Officer; dispersals are made ship-shape; and the usual warning and nomad map – one showing local balloon barrages and gun-defended zones, low flying area, etc – are put up.
The daily “gen” – letters and colours – are displayed, and intelligence is organised. F/O SAPIEHA, our former Interpreter Officer, who left us in April when the Squadron moved to Woodvale, has joined us again. Right: F/O Sapieha

 7 Sep 1942.
A fine day after the morning mists had cleared. A busy day, too. In the morning the boys renewed acquaintance with the district, and did sector recco flying – particularly valuable to the young new pilots. The was still much to unpack and house properly. In the afternoon the boys put up a fine show of formation flying. There was no operational flying, apart from some help in a Air Sea Rescue job. Between 09.50 and 11.30, F/O NAJBICZ, F/O ZAJAC and SGT MALEC were engaged in this duty. The pilot in the drink was picked up, we learned later.

 16 Sep 1942.
The early morning mist cleared, but there was no sunshine. Visibility was quite good, however, and there was squadron formation flying in the morning. F/LT MIKSA flew to HESTON, and P/O ZIELONKA and SGT LIPINSKI tested an aircraft; F/O NAJBICZ  and SGT MATUS did G.C.I. co-operation in the late afternoon. The days are getting very noticeably shorter. Weather clamped down early.

 17 Sep 1942.
Early mist cleared, to leave an autumn morning – cold, with fair visibility. In the morning, P/O ZURAKOWSKI took the Engineer Officer to the Philips & Powys Works at South Marston, in the Maggie, and also brought him back. F/O TARKOWSKI and P/O CWYNAR each took up an aircraft for testing. In the afternoon the boys went up and chased each other about in the clouds, and later did some formation flying. It was possible, during the day, to button-hole one or two pilots at Dispersal for individual instructions and testing in aircraft recognition. There was no operational activity.

 21 Sep 1942.
Rain – lots of it. The weather was completely non-operational, and the boys were rather bored. It was possible to secure a few victims for aircraft recognition tests, but the cards games at Dispersal were far more atttrcative.

 24 Sep 1942.
Bright sunshine in the morning, but the weather did not look reliable. The whole squadron spent a good deal of the morning doing squadron formation flying. There was more of this in the afternoon, and also mock attacks, the high spot of which was a brilliant display by S/LDR WIORKIEWICZ and F/SGT ADAMIAK.  The weather broke late in the afternoon. Rain came down heavily and a thunder-storm put an and to flying early in the evening.

 26 Sep 1942.
Weather was uncertain in the morning, but it looked as if conditions would clear. The squadron was ordered to MIDDLE WALLOP for readiness for what might have been a major job of work. 308 Squadron went from HESTON.  A Harrow took the Intelligence Officers of both squadrons, and the squadrons themselves arrived at Middle Wallop about noon. They were briefed after lunch, and at 17.05, 12 Spits of each squadron took ofgf to sweep the CHERBOURG PENINSULA area. They were recalled, however, owing to deterioration in the weather, and landed at MIDDLE WALLOP at 17.46, after an uneventful trip.

 27 Sep 1942.
The morning was disappointing. Everyone had hoped that the weather would be good, so that the job could go forward. There was mist, and it did not clear. Pilots were under orders not to leave camp, for reasons of security, and there seemed little to do. However, Intelligence organized a concert, which helped to pass away part of the morning. In the afternoon, the aerodrome was thoroughly explored. In the evening another concert was organised, and several officers living in the Mess at Middle Wallop came to help. The boys delighted everybody with their rendering of Polish folk-songs. Singing went on till midnight.