Gloster Meteor F8 WA933

New Gilston by St Andrews, Fife

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: Gloster Meteor NF.11 WM167 (now, privately owned) at the Classic Jet Air Show (now, Cotswold Air Show), Kemble, Gloucestershire, in June 2005. [Wikimedia]

 

See recent photo here, at Flickr.

 

Meteor NF11

 

Photo: 2005 Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone). Released by the author to the public domain.

 


 

BELOW: Privately-owned ex-RAF Hawker Hunter T7A (RAF code WV318, civil registration G-FFOX) flies with privately-owned ex-RAF Gloster Meteor NF.11 (RAF code WM167, civil registration G-LOSM) at Kemble Air Show (now, Cotswold Air Show), Kemble Airport, Gloucestershire, England. [Wikipedia]

 

Hawker Hunter and Gloster Meteor flying in formation

 

Photo: 2009 Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone). Released by the author to the public domain.

 


 

BELOW: Gloster Meteor NF.11 WM245 of 151 Squadron RAF Leuchars.

 

Gloster Meteor NF 11

 

 (Photo taken at Blackbushe Airport, Hants, in 1955).

Photo: RuthAS

 

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Gloster Meteor F.8 / WA933

 

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 F.8 version featured here was a later variant of the Gloster Meteor jet. This type was equipped with Derwent 8 engines and had a stretched fuselage.

Unlike earlier variants, the F.8 was fitted with an ejector seatalthough, on the occasion featured below, a combination of cloud and very low flying meant the pilot had no opportunity to activate it in time.

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

The pilot of this Gloster Meteor had taken off from RAF Leuchars to take part in air exercises.

 

Aircraft was flying as number 2 with WK861. Aircraft began shallow descent from 2000 feet , thinking they were over the sea. Leader saw ground at 650 feet and pulled up violently striking some trees. He managed to get back to base. WA933 hit the [New Gilston] village post office and broke up. [Details in this paragraph were kindly provided by Alan Leishman]

 

Had the pilot being flying at 650 feet over the seaas he believedhe would have been in little or no danger. However, the New Gilston area sits at an elevation of about 700ft (213m) above sea level.

 

The area over which the pilot was actually flying was almost entirely farmland; except for the small isolated village of New Gilston, which lay between the fields.

 

When the aircraft crashed onto the village general store and Post Office, ammunition and wreckage were spread over the immediate area. The only goods to survive the crash onto the general store was a case containing 12 bottles of whisky!

 

Firemen recovered some charred banknotes and blackened coinspresumably from the Post Office.

 

There was no loss of life among the villagers. However, the Postmaster and storekeeper, Mr Ramage, together with his wife, lost all their possessions and had to move into another building temporarily.

 

New Gilston school, and another building nearby, also suffered some damage to their roofs.


 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Sadly, the pilot died when this aircraft struck the buildings. His name was:

  • F/O David E Rock

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

BELOW: The remains of the Post Office and general store after being struck by the Meteor F.8 jet aircraft.

 

The caption below the image reads:

 

"workmen make a start to clear the wreckage."

 

demolished PO and general store

 

Photo: Courtesy, Archie Liggat

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the demolished building.

 

another view of the demolished building.

 

Photo: Courtesy, Archie Liggat

 

 

 


 

Photo Gallery

 

There are no photos of this aircraft crash site in the Photo Gallery.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

 

Accident Date: 22 Aug 1953

 

Accident Site:

New Gilston [map]

(General Store and Post Office)

 

Region: Fife

 

Nearest towns or villages: Largoward (E) or Lower Largo (SW)

 

Nearest large towns:

Leven (SW) or St Andrews (NE)

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Refs: N/A

 

Present Condition: All wreckage removed by RAF recovery teams.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

Registration or Serial: WA933.

 

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

 

 


 

Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields

 

 

 

 

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