5th of March 1958 - Operation Jumpmoat II.

 

  • The operation Jumpmoat II narrated by the pilot who ferried the CF-100 s/n #18717, which will be later coded AX33
  • Article based on a text from : F/O "Turbo" Tarling du 428th "Ghost" Squadron. (RCAF)
  • Original documents supplied by F/O "Turbo" Tarling  (Briefing - Guides - Maps etc.)

 

Between November 1956 and August 1957, the RCAF re-equip four Air Division squadrons with CF100 Mk.4B aircraft.
Flying jet fighters across the Atlantic is not something new, Sabres had pioneered the route in 1952 on operation "Leapfrog"
CF-100's followed in 1955 on "Random 12", and in 1956-57, on four separate "Nimble Bat" operations.

In late 1957 and early 1958, RCAF crews from 410th and 428th Uplands Sqn will also ferry Belgian CF-100 Mk.5 aircraft on operations Jumpmoat.
F/O "Turbo" Tarling of 428th "Ghost" Sqn (*) is one of the pilots selected to deliver a Belgian aircraft.
It is a heady experience for a 20 years old...

 

(*) After being disbanded for the first time in 1945, the 428 Squadron is re-formed as a night-fighter squadron at Uplands (Ottawa - Ontario) on 21 June 1954.
The squadron is now the 428 All Weather Fighter Squadron 428 AW (F) Squadron
The 428 AW (F) Sqn will be finally disbanded on 31 May 1961.

  • Picture A580305-01: F/O Turbo Tarling and navigator F/L Doug Williams from 428 AW (F) Squadron at Uplands in 1958.
  • Picture A580305-02 & -03 :  F/O Turbo Tarling and navigator F/O Ron Hammon from 428 AW (F) Squadron at Uplands in 1959.
  • Picture A580305-04 : The 428 AW (F) Sqn flight-line at Uplands (Ottawa) in 1957. 

 

Jumpmoat II

Jumpmoatt II is scheduled for March 5 - 7 March 1958 and we are to ferry 16 CF'100's ; from #18699 to #18717, excluding 702, 703 and 715.
My navigator, F/L Doug Williams and I are assigned to #717.

On Monday March 3rd, a final shakedown flight is scheduled, and on Tuesday a last briefing is given.

A lot of behind the scenes preparation has been done to get us to this stage ; groundcrew servicing the planes day after day, technicians repairing the inevitable snags, orderly room staff preparing claims, sending messages, arranging inoculations, support aircraft and equipment readied for deployment, and now maps, letdown plates, schedules, and a comprehensive briefing guide are being distributed to all crews.
The guide is complete in every detail ; alternate, emergency fields, bail-out/ditching, rescue, enroute procedures, frequencies, agencies to contact...

Years of experience, trial and error, and lessons learned, passed down to make things safer and easier for us.

Wednesday March 5 is clear and mild. 

The weather briefing begin promptly at 0800 with a recitation of the upper level winds and actual as well as forecast weather for the entire route to Goose Bay, Labrador, the first stop.

Weather minima for Goose and Keflavik Island, our next stop, had been set at 2,000 ft ceiling and three miles visibility.
Goose is satisfactory, but expected to drop rapidly later in the day so we are anxious to leave.
Lastly, the Task Force Commander is outlining procedures ; an airspace reservation is allotted, flight plans are filed.
The four sections of four aircraft each would depart in formation at ten-minutes intervals under GCI control (Ground Controlled Interception), proceeding via Sept Iles to Goose Bay, letting down in pairs on a beacon approach and GCA. (Ground Controlled Approach)

The next two hours are going quickly as last minutes details are attended to and aircraft bellies are loaded with baggage.
This is another luxury with the Mk.5 ; where there had once been eight guns and ammunition cases in the Mk.4, a cavernous luggage compartment is now available. An adept crew can have the access panel undone and lowered in less than a minute. 

At 1121, "Delta" section (ours) is airborne and Jumpmoat II,  lead by F/L Bob Fallis, leaves for Goose Bay, 764 nm away.

  • Picture A580305-05 : F/L Bob Fallis (RCAF)
  • Picture A580305-06 : F/O Al  Ferridge (RCAF)
  • Picture A580305-07 : CF-100 #18714 (AX30)

There was a slight delay after arrival but fuel was no problem so we just waited our turn ; logged time was 2:20.
One half hour later Goose clamped in for the night in wet snow but that was tomorrow's worry ; right now there were other things to do.
A debriefing was followed by briefings on search and rescue facilities plus a USAF film of the route from Goose to Keflavik, and still another briefing by the liaison officer on station facilities.
Our two-piece immersion suits were hanging up and waiting for us, last seen back in Ottawa in February when we were fitted. The support groundcrew had taken care of things as usual.


Thursday March 6 was overcast and drizzly at Goose but Keflavik was forecast to remain clear all day.

After the briefings we struggled into our "dip" suits. Most decided to wear summer flying suits underneath for added warmth ; long underwear was not yet standard isssue. None of us, however, had thought to pull on an extra pair of socks before zipping up so the better part of the 3:30 enroute to Kef was spent stomping feet inside those cold, floppy rubber boots.
After donning bulky winter jackets and Mae Wests, we then waddled en masse to the aircraft.

The distance from Goose to Keflavik worked out to 1,299 nm. First position check-point was abeam Cape Harrison.
To help us navigate across the water there were five orbiting SAR "Duckbutt" aircraft (*) carrying radio beacons, and two Ocean Station Vessels OSV  (**) 

  • (*)   Duckbutts were USAF Grumman SA-16 amphibians.   S for Search and Rescue - A for amphibians.
  • (**) OSV were ocean going vessels from US Navy, French Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy assigned to patrol an ocean station. These ships were specially equipped to take comprehensive meteorological observations both at the surface and aloft. They were providing assistance to the military as well as civilian air crew during their navigation across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
    This March 1958, the US Navy ship WAVP-378 Half Moon is patrolling within the station Bravo.

 

Jumpmoat II Route Map

 

The "Duckbutt" beacons were short range and rather unreliable, so two CF-100s would tune them in while the other two tuned in the much stronger OSV beacon.
Flight conditions were perfect ; sunny, smooth air and a nice tail wind; remnants of contrails left by the 12 CF-100s ahead of us were still visible.
Below was a solid undercast making it impossible to see "Duckbutt Alpha Alpha" or OSV "B" as we passed overhead.
Approaching Prince Christian on the southern tip of Greenland, the cloud suddenly parted. We slid by "Duckbutt Alpha Bravo", OSV "A" and "Duckbutt Alpha Charly" and then, in the distance, Iceland appeared.
Radar contact with GCI was soon made, then a descent and handover to GCA at Keflavik.
Welcome heat was now blasting out of the cockpit vents, almost thawing everyone out by the time we had landed and taxied to the ramp.

 

Friday, March 7, was clear and just pleasantly cool, a great day for flying the final leg to Belgium.

Delta Section was off at 0845 and Beauvechain would be 1,177 nm. later.
"Duckbutt Alpha Delta" and "Alpha Echo" guided us across the water until the beacon at Stornaway, Scotland, could be picked up.
It was disappointing to find most of Scotland and England covered by cloud but the occasional tantalizing glimpse was offered as we coasted down the length of the island. A few brief looks at Holland and then into descent again.

Everything happened so quickly here in Europe ; unlike the vast expanses of Canada, the small countries were packed together.
Touching down at Beauvechain, we saw a farmer cultivating the land between the runways. The winding taxiway to the ramp was more like a small country road.

 

 

We were in Belgium. Logged time was 3:15.
Including shakedown flights Doug and I flew a total of 31:35 in 717, 9:05 of that time on Jumpmoat II.
It had been a perfect trip.

 

F/O "Turbo" Tarling
428 th "Ghost" Squadron

 

 

 

 

 

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