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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20664
Last updated: 3 February 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:500 (County of Kent) Squadron Royal Air Force (500 (County of Kent) Sqn RAF)
Registration: WF640
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 mile NNW of Headcorn, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF West Malling, Kent
Destination airport:
WF640: Delivered to the RAF 6 MU Cosford 28.6.51; Issued to 12 MU 15.10.51. Entered service with 500 (County of Kent) Sqn, Royal Aux AF 14.1.52 coded H. Based at RAF West Malling, Kent.

Written off when collided with WK805 during camera-gun attack and abandoned 1 mile North-North West of Headcorn, Kent, 7.11.53. Pilot of WF640, Pilot Officer R.C.S. Cockell injured after ejecting from his Meteor at 15,000 feet and 320 knots IAS (Indicated Air Speed). The pilot of the other Meteor F.8 (WK805) was killed.

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Yorkshire Evening Post" - Saturday 7 November 1953):

One pilot was killed and another baled out when two Meteor jet fighters collided near Headcorn (Kent) today. The pilot who baled out and landed near Sutton Valence, was Flying Officer Cockell. He was taken to hospital with a fractured leg. The pilot who was killed was found strapped in his ejector seat, several miles away.

Eighty-two year old farmer William Sharp missed being struck by a hurtling 18ft. piece of fuselage by only a few seconds, said his sister, Miss Emily Sharp. He was walking by an oak tree near his farmhouse, Poplar Hall, Headcorn, when the wreckage crashed down, missing a barn near which men were working, and tearing large boughs from the tree."

Meteor WF640 was acting as the target aircraft as a tailchase/camera gun exercise with Meteor WK805 as the pursuer. The pilot of Meteor WF640 commenced a series of barrel rolls around Meteor WK805. The two aircraft collided, with Meteor WF640 losing its tailplane, and its fuel tanks exploded.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.152 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 Colin Cummings p 426
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985)

Related books:

Revision history:

06-Jun-2008 22:10 JINX Added
14-Jun-2013 18:27 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
24-Oct-2017 21:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
03-Feb-2020 22:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
03-Feb-2020 22:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

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