Tuesday, 1 February, 1944
It was windy and cold with 10/10ths low layer cloud all day. There were two non-operational sorties carried out today on local flying. Today, Air Vice Marshall W.F. Dickson, CB, DSO,CBE, AFC, presented our Squadron with its approved Squadron crest. All of the airfield personnel and the members of the Squadron were on parade for its presentation and were formed up on the inside of a hollow square of the Squadron aircraft. The Squadron’s crest is a Wolf’s head on an airforce crest with the motto: “Stalk and Strike” below it. The Squadron was released at 1300 hours today.
Wednesday, 2 February, 1944
It was dull and windy with 10/10ths layer cloud between 1,000 and 2,000 feet all day. There was only one non-operational sortie carried out today on a cannon test. One flight was on immediate readiness all day with one flight at 60 minutes notice.
Thursday, 3 February, 1944
It was 10/10ths low cloud this morning with showers. It broke up a bit around noon to about 8/10ths cloud. The Squadron went on a sweep this afternoon but no enemy aircraft were seen. There were four non-operational sorties flown on cannon tests and practice dive-bombing.
Friday, 4 February, 1944
The weather was 10/10ths cloud early this morning that broke in the late morning to about 5/10ths cloud with a slight snowfall. The Squadron took off on a sweep this afternoon from Manston but no enemy were encountered. The Wing swept the Ghent and Ypres area. There were eighteen non-operational sorties carried out today on local flying, cannon and aircraft tests.
Saturday, 5 February, 1944
The weather today was sunny with a few scattered clouds. There were twelve non-operational sorties flown today on local flying and aircraft tests. The Squadron took off this morning and swept Biville, St. Germain, Pontoise, Beauvais and Lille airfield but no enemy aircraft were sighted. The Squadron landed at Friston and then some of the aircraft went on another sweep this afternoon around Cayeux, Abbeville, and Amiens area. Four enemy aircraft were seen on the ground at Abbeville.
Sunday, 6 February, 1944
It was sunny in the early morning with very little cloud. It became hazy as the sun rose with the visibility improving around noon. The Squadron took off on a sweep this afternoon covering 72 Marauders bombing Cormeilles-en-Vixion. The Wing then swept the Gisor, Dieppe area. Two enemy aircraft were seen but soon disappeared in cloud. There were nine non-operational sorties carried out on local flying and aircraft tests.
Monday, 7 February, 1944
It was 10/10ths cloud all of the morning and part of the afternoon. Later, in the afternoon this improved to about 5/10ths cloud and sunny. Six non-operational sorties were completed today on cine-gun practice, low-level cross-country, sector recco and local flying. One flight was on immediate readiness this morning and at noon, a bad weather state was put into effect with one section on immediate readiness, two sections at 15 minutes notice and the other flight released.
Tuesday, 8 February, 1944
It was sunny with early haze in the morning with a few scattered clouds. The Squadron went on two sweeps today around St. Omer, Douai and Amiens areas but no enemy aircraft were seen. There were eleven non-operational sorties carried out today which included local flying, sector recco, and a low-level cross-country. Our pilots ferried four new Spitfires Mk IX B’s from Dettling to Kenley.
Wednesday, 9 February, 1944
It was sunny and bright this morning with a few scattered clouds later on in the day. The Squadron took off early this morning on a sweep and as escort to bombers going in on Poix airfield. No enemy aircraft were seen. This afternoon, the Squadron took off on another sweep over Abbeville, Merrville, Arras and Amiens areas. Enemy aircraft were reported but none were seen. There were fourteen non-operational sorties carried out today that included low-level cross-countries, cine-gun practice, local flying and aircraft tests.
Thursday, 10 February, 1944
It was sunny this morning with some scattered cloud. In the afternoon 10/10ths cloud developed with occasional snow. The Squadron went on a sweep this morning but no enemy aircraft were sighted. Another sweep was planned but later cancelled on account of the weather. There were ten non-operational sorties today on aircraft tests, local flying and familiarization flying on the new Spitfires Mk IX B’s.
Friday, 11 February, 1944
Today was dull with 9/10 – 10/10ths low cloud which broke at times. The Wing took off this morning and landed at Manston. From here, they took off on a sweep over Cambrai, Le Coteau and Bethune areas but no enemy aircraft were seen. There were 28 non-operational sorties today, which included aircraft tests.
Saturday, 12 February, 1944
It was dull with 10/10ths cloud. There was no flying carried out today. The Squadron had one flight on immediate readiness and one flight at an hours notice until dusk.
Sunday, 13 February, 1944
There was 8/10ths to 10/10ths high cloud and dull for most of the day. The Wing took off this afternoon as third fighter sweep over the Beauvais, Amiens and Cambrai area. No enemy aircraft were sighted. There were nineteen non-operational sorties today that included local flying, familiarization and aircraft tests on the new Spitfire IX B’s.
Monday, 14 February, 1944
It was sunny with scattered cloud that changed to about 8/10ths cloud in the afternoon. The Squadron took off on a sweep at noon today but no enemy aircraft were encountered. Nine non-operational sorties were carried out on aircraft tests and local flying.
Tuesday, 15 February, 1944
The weather was sunny and bright with only a few scattered clouds until the afternoon when more cloud developed. Two sweeps were carried out today but no enemy aircraft were seen. After the first sweep the pilots were to take off on another one twenty minutes after landing. There was a mad rush for awhile but, shortly after the briefing, the sweep was cancelled. Nine non-operational sorties were completed on aircraft tests and local flying.
Wednesday, 16 February, 1944
There was 10/10ths low cloud and fog in the morning to the late afternoon with poor visibility and continual showers all of the day. There was no flying carried out today, the weather being unfit. The Squadron was officially released at 1630 hours.
Thursday, 17 February, 1944
Another dull day with 10/10ths low cloud and a slight drizzle all day. There was no flying carried out today, the weather being unfit. A bad weather state was put into effect this morning at dawn and our Squadron had one section on immediate readiness and two on 15 minutes notice.
Friday, 18 February, 1944
We had some snow fall today and almost a gale blowing – very bad flying weather. There were no operations carried out today and only four non-operational sorties were completed.
Saturday, 19 February, 1944
The visibility was very bad today and the Squadron was released at One PM. There was no operational flying carried out today and only eleven non-operational sorties were completed. F/L J.A. McKelvie was married today to Flt. Officer Neila Wallace Ross. The marriage took place at St John’s Church, Hook, in the parish of Newham in the county of Southampton. The pilots attended this wedding and, of course, there was a celebration afterwards.
Sunday, 20 February, 1944
There was some scattered cloud and good visibility today. There were two operations carried out today. The first one from Bradwell Bay proved uneventful. On the second Ramrod, the Wing penetrated to the Brussels area when F/L J.G Trull’s engine failed. After instruction over the R/T by the Wing Leader his engine still failed to pick up and he was instructed to bail out at 3,000 feet. We are all hoping that F/L Trull will walk back and rejoin us. There were 28 non-operational sorties carried out today.
Monday, 21 February, 1944
There was some high cloud but good visibility today. There was one operational sweep carried out today and the Wing penetrated to the Rotterdam area but the operation was uneventful. There were eighteen non-operational sorties carried out today. After a few false alarms it was definitely decided that we are going to Hutton Cranswick in Yorkshire for a few weeks of bombing and gunnery practice. We leave on Wednesday.
Tuesday, 22 February, 1944
The day began clear and clouded up in the late afternoon with snow. There was one Ramrod carried out today and the rendezvous was made north of Brussels. No enemy aircraft or flak was experienced on this operation. F/O A.J.A. Bryan proceeded by road with the ground crew to Hutton Cranswick. The weather at base was unsatisfactory after the ramrod and our aircraft landed at forward bases.
Wednesday, 23 February, 1944
The weather was dull and cold. There were no operations carried out today. Our aircraft returned from the forward bases today but the weather was unsuitable for our aircraft to fly to Hutton Cranswick today. The convoy that travelled by road arrived at Hutton Cranswick today and were looking in vain for our kites.
Thursday, 24 February, 1944
The weather was clear in the morning and remained so for most of the way to Hutton Cranswick. The Squadron clerk, six pilots and the telephone operators arrived at Hutton Cranswick by rail today. They had to wait at the station for 2 hours before transport came to take them to the aerodrome. Today, 26 sorties were carried out on air-to-air firing and dive-bombing.
Friday, 25 February, 1944
The weather was clear all day and cool. Today there were 54 sorties carried out on our dive-bomb training. Outside of this, there was nothing of interest to report.
Saturday, 26 February, 1944
It was dull for most of the day with rain and unsuitable for flying. Only two sorties were carried out on dive bombing today. Nothing of interest to report.
Sunday, 27 February, 1944
The weather was unsuitable for flying. The pilots did quite a bit of skeet shooting today, as there was no flying carried out at all today.
Monday, 28 February, 1944
There was a heavy snowfall today. It was cold and quite unsuitable for flying. No flying today but this week has turned out to be quite a good rest for our pilots. We are beginning to wonder if the weather will be good enough for the aircraft to return to Kenley tomorrow.
Tuesday, 29 February, 1944
It was a dull day. The only flying that was done was the return of the aircraft to Kenley. The Orderly room equipment was all packed up and will be going by road tomorrow. The Officers who came up by rail are returning the same way tomorrow along with the Squadron clerk and one of the telephone operators. Word came through at the last minute that the servicing personnel were to remain up here and wait for the next squadron to arrive. Everything had been all packed and everyone was a little brassed off at receiving such late notice. Our aircraft took off at 1655 hours and landed at Kenley at 1800 hours. Out of the week at Hutton Cranswick, we flew only two full days, as the weather was unsuitable all of the rest of the time.
403 Squadron Establishment and Flying Times for Month of February 1944
No. of Officers – Flying 26
No. of Officers – Ground 1
No. of Airmen – Flying 1
No. of Airmen – Ground 2
USA Personnel in RCAF
No. of Officers – Flying 3
No. of Officers – Ground nil
No. of Airmen – Flying 1
No. of Airmen – Ground 1
Flying Times for the Month
Tiger Moth: _ 3:15
Aircraft on Squadron Strength: 18 Spitfire Mk IX B
MJ570 MJ985 MJ887 MJ845 MJ988 MK306
MJ355 MJ986 MJ876 MJ980 MJ664 MJ352
MJ480 MJ356 MJ563 MJ942 MJ939 MK179
1 Tiger Moth T.7402
Our Casualties for the Month: 20-2-44 F/L J.C. Trull -missing
Enemy Casualties: NIL