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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20692
Last updated: 22 February 2020
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Date:29-JUN-1953
Time:day
Type:Gloster Meteor T Mk 7
Owner/operator:500 (County of Kent) Squadron Royal Air Force (500 (County of Kent) Sqn RAF)
Registration: WF775
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mereworth, 2 miles South of RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent
Destination airport:RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent
Narrative:
Gloster Meteor T.7 WF775, 500 (County of Kent) Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) 29 June 1953 when crashed two miles south of RAF West Malling, Maidstone, Kent. Both crew killed. The Meteor was making an asymmetric approach to RAF West Malling under GCA (Ground Controlled Approach). At approximately two and a half miles from touchdown, the aircraft assumed a nose up attitude, rolled to starboard, and dived into the ground. The cause of the accident is believed to have been a stall: the aircraft's speed had been allowed to decay below the minimum safety speed, and further airspeed was lost when the aircraft assumed its nose up attitude.

There was a brief newspaper report in "The Times" (London) June 30th 1953:

"The pilot & navigator were killed when a meteor jet on a training flight from the RAF station West Malling crashed into a field at Mereworth yesterday. Three crash tenders from the RAF Station which left for the scene of the crash were in collision. An RAF jeep and a wireless car belonging to Kent Fire Brigade were also in collision. A third collision occurred with an RAF ambulance and a road sweepers vehicle."

Crew of Meteor WF775:
Flying Officer Dick Hinxman RAF (Service number 150723, aged 29)
Pilot Officer James Garth Rooke RAF (Service Number 2455334, aged 22)

Flying Officer Hinxman's obituary was published in the magazine of his former school (see link #8):

"OBITUARY.
We deeply regret to record the death of Dick Hinxman in June this year. He was one of two who lost their lives when a Meteor Jet plane, in which they were flying, crashed on a training flight near Mereworth, in Kent. Hinxman entered Churcher's Preparatory School in 1935 and he left Churcher's College in 1912. In 1939 he was awarded his Tackling Bar, and in 1941 he became Vice-Captain of Rugger. In his last year with us he was Captain of Rugger, C.S.M. of the J.T.C., First Class Shot, Home Guard Instructor, and a College Prefect, Captain of Nelson House. In 1942 he joined the R.A.F., and later he began a career with British European Airways. He had been married just over a year, and his wife was an air-line stewardess. His last visit to the College was in November, 1950, when he played for the Old Churcherians XV.
He was the outstanding player on the field in that match. Hinxman's personality was marked by geniality and a really inspiring courage. He was a sportsman in the best sense of the word, and his infectious cheerfulness gave great joy to those who knew him. He will be sadly missed by all his contemporaries, both masters and boys."

There was a tragic post-script to the above accident: The Times also reports that on 10 November 1953 that "Roland Hinxman, 69, Estate Agent & Auctioneer was found dead in his office at West St, Arlesford yesterday, a gun was beside him". Roland Hinxman was the father of Flying Officer Dick Hinxman, and there is a connection to be drawn between the sudden and violent deaths of father and son within six months of each other...

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.146 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 12)
3. Last Take Off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cumings p 383
4. Portsmouth Evening News - Tuesday 30 June 1953
5. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WF
6. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4599.0
7. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/39929/supplement/4245/data.pdf
8. http://churcherscollege-heritage.daisy.websds.net/Filename.ashx?systemFileName=CCSCHN1953_007_014oct.pdf&origFilename=CCSCHN1953_007_014oct.pdf
9. https://www.myheritage.com/names/roland_hinxman


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Jun-2008 02:12 JINX Added
14-Jun-2013 18:25 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Destination airport]
13-Feb-2020 00:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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