Aircraft Type Photo
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]
Photo: 2009 Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone). Released by the author to the public domain.
BELOW: Gloster Meteor NF.11 WM245 of 151 Squadron RAF Leuchars.
(Photo taken at Blackbushe Airport, Hants, in 1955).
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.
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 seat—although, 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 sea—as he believed—he 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 coins—presumably 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:
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."
Photo: Courtesy, Archie Liggat
BELOW: Another view of the demolished building.
Photo: Courtesy, Archie Liggat
There are no photos of this aircraft crash site in the Photo Gallery.
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 22 Aug 1953
New Gilston [map]
(General Store and Post Office)
Nearest large towns:
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Refs: N/A
Present Condition: All wreckage removed by RAF recovery teams.
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
Gloster Meteor History and Design Links
RAF and Related Links
Rare footage of Gloster Meteor type in action 1945 (YouTube video, 48 seconds)
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Gloster Meteor F8 WA933
New Gilston by St Andrews, Fife