Gloster Meteor WA821

Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: Of 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU), RAF Chivenor, seen arriving for RIAT 86. Last noted flying in Australia as VH-MBX in the markings of A77-851.


a gloster meteor f. mk 8 with gear down for landing


Photo: 1986 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation


Released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 only as published by the Free Software Foundation. [Wikimedia Commons]



BELOW: Gloster Meteor F8 / WH291 at Abingdon.


raf gloster meteor f.8


Photo: 1973 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation


Released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 only as published by the Free Software Foundation. [Wikimedia Commons]



BELOW: Gloster Meteor F. MK. 8. The wheeled trolley in front of the aircraft is a trolley acc, containing lead acid accumulators (batteries) used for starting the aircraft's engines.


gloster meteor in museum


Photo: 2006 Stahlkocher


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. [Wikimedia Commons]






Aircraft Type and Background


RAF Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 / WA821



The Gloster Meteor was developed during WWII and was the first jet fighter in service with the RAF before the end of the war.


The Meteor entered operational service in 27 July 1944—just behind the German Messerschmitt Me262. The Messerschmitt Me262—also a jet-powered aircraft—had been under development for some time before the Meteor. It entered operational service on 26 July 1944—one day before the Meteor.

Initially, the Meteor was powered by two W2B turbo-jet engines designed by Frank Whittle. However, this type proved unsatisfactory, and the Whittle design was later passed to Rolls-Royce who produced a modified version with greater thrust. This was the W2B/23 Welland enginethe type later fitted to the production model Meteor Mk I. Some models, however, were equipped with Rolls-Royce Derwent engines.

The first RAF squadron to receive the Meteor fighter (in 1944) was 616 Squadron. This squadron engaged their new Meteors against the V-1 flying bombs. After some initial difficulties with their guns, this Meteor squadron managed to shoot down a fair proportion of V-1s.

The Gloster Meteor T.7 (F-IV airframe) was a two seat advanced fighter trainer (pilot and pupil). The T.7 variant was used by both the RAF and the RN (FAA).

Being a training aircraft, the Meteor T.7 had dual controls and was unarmed. It had an extended fuselage (0.76m / 2ft 6in longer) to accommodate the second cockpit.

The F.8 variant featured on this page had a longer fuselage, increased fuel capacity, a standard ejection seat and other improvements to the airframe and electronic systems. This variant saw active service between 1950 and 1954.





Aircraft Accident Details


F/O Hoadley (24) was flying Meteor WA821 of 222 Sqn. when it crashed in bad visibility near Stonehaven. The aircraft hit the ground and skidded across a field hitting 2 stone walls and breaking up. The pilot died in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. [This information was kindly provided by Alan Leishman.]



(Note: The following text extracted from Brenchley War  Memorial appears to contain some errors regarding the aircraft serial number and the location of the crash. See footnotes below for more details.)


Extract from Brenchley War Memorial Records.


"At the time of Owen’s death whilst flying a Gloucester Meteor F.8 jet aircraft (No. WA882 1 ) during a low level exercise, his squadron was based at R.A.F. Leuchars, Fife, Scotland.


"On Friday 25 July 1952 there was a very thick sea mist, (known locally as a Harr), which had spread inland to cover the town of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to the south of Aberdeen.


"The whine of the Owen’s flying Meteor jet was heard flying unseen above the streets of Stonehaven, and only a few seconds later it crashed into Bennachie 2 which is the highest hill in eastern Aberdeenshire."





1) WA882: F/O Owen Hoadley was flying Gloster Meteor WA821—not WA882. WA821 crashed near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire on 25 July 1952. However, another Gloster Meteor aircraft being flown by a P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (WA882), crashed in February 1952.


2) Bennachie: The memorial at Oxen Craig,  Bennachie, Aberdeenshire states that the pilot who died there when his Meteor crashed was P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (22). The memorial record also states that this pilot was flying WA882 at the time of the crash at Oxen Craig near Bennachie.






Aircraft Pilot Casualty


The pilot who died in the accident involving Gloster Meteor WA821 was:

  • F/O Owen Harry Hoadley (24), RAF; Service No.3039511.





[Fom the Second Supplement to The London Gazette, 7 January 1949.]


Royal Air Force / General Duties Branch
Appointment to commission.
As Pilot Officers, short service (four years on the active list and four years on the reserve):

Pilots IV

9 Dec. 1948.

Ernest Sydney CHANDLER (3039492)

James Peter DOUGLAS (3211132)

William George HESTER (3084292)

Owen Harry HOADLEY (3039511)

Brian Anthony OWENS (3039529)

Kenneth Henry PIGRUM (3039303)

Graham Trevor SMEATON (3044746)

 [From the Supplement to The London Gazette, 3 January 1950.]

On the 9 December 1949, Owen Harry Hoadley was promoted from Pilot Officer (P/O) to Flying Officer (F/O).



Additional extract from Brenchley War Memorial Records.

"HOADLEY, OWEN HARRY. Flying Officer, 3039511.

222 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Died Friday 25 July 1952. Aged 24.

Born 21 February 1928.

Son of Albert E. Hoadley and Annie E. Hoadley (née Somers).

Buried All Saints Churchyard, Brenchley, Kent.

Commemorated on the Armed Forces National Memorial, Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, and in the Royal Air Force Roll of Honour, St. Clement Danes Church, Aldwych, London.

Owen’s birth was registered in the Tonbridge, Kent, Registration District during the first quarter of 1928.


Owen had carried out some of his R.A.F. training in South Africa, as he was amongst a draft of Royal Air Force aircrew personnel which arrived at Southampton on 25 September 1948, onboard the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company Ltd ship “Durban Castle.”


The 17,388 ton ship had sailed from Durban, South Africa, via East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Madeira. The R.A.F. draft was en-route to R.A.F. Burtonwood, Warrington, Lancashire."







Crash Site Photos


At the moment, there are no photos of this crash site; but any contributions would be very welcome.





















Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 25 July 1952


Accident Site:

(near) Stonehaven [map].


Region: Aberdeenshire


Nearest towns or villages:




Nearest large town or city:  Aberdeen (N)


OS Grid Ref: N/A


GPS Refs: N/A


Present Condition: Unknown.




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: WA821.


Operator: RAF (222 (Natal) Squadron)


Operating Station: RAF Leuchars


Station Location: Leuchars, Fife.


Current Station Status:

RAF operations will cease in 2013. The station will then be taken over by the army.


Current Station Name (Until Closure): RAF Leuchars






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