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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20902
Last updated: 25 June 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:615 (County of Surrey) Squadron Royal Air Force (615 (County of Surrey) Sqn RAF)
Registration: WH280
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Hemingstone, 7 miles North of Ipswich, Suffolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:RAF Biggin Hill, Bromley, Kent
Destination airport:
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WH280: delivered 16/11/1951. Operational service career was with 600 (City of London) Squadron, and 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron. RAF Biggin Hill (coded "A")

Written off (destroyed) 26/8/56: Meteor WH280, while flown by the leader of a defending aircraft formation in a practice interception exercise, was struck by Meteor WE853 (also of 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron) which was attempting to rejoin the formation. Both aircraft crashed, killing both pilots in each aircraft. Both aircraft came down near Hemingstone, 7 miles North of Ipswich, Suffolk

Crew of Meteor WH280
Flying Officer William Michael LACEY, RAF (pilot, Service Number 2455474, aged 25)

Earlier in its service history WH280 suffered the loss of its canopy resulting in damage to the aircraft and the possible involuntary ejection of its pilot. The details are contained in UK National Archives file BT233/148 (see link #5).

Although the file is concerned with the fatal loss of Gloster Meteor F8 WH747 and its pilot F/O C.L.I. Muntz at Chelsfield, Kent on 25 April 1953, it contains documents concerning WH280 (at the time with No. 600 Squadron RAF) that suffered a canopy failure on the same day at 700 feet and 450 knots IAS. The disintegration of the canopy damaged the centre section, fuselage and tail of the aircraft. In addition the slipstream also sucked the ejection seat blind from it stowage, threatening to set the seat off and eject the pilot, Flt Lt J. M.Cormack who was participating in the same exercise as F/O Muntz. Cormack was able to take action which enabled him (unlike Muntz) to land safely. He was a witness at the Court of Inquiry into the loss of WH747.


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.182 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 49)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.209
4. 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron ORB (Operational Records Book)(Air Ministry Form AM/F.540) for period 1/1/55 to 31/3/57: File AIR 27/2713/3 at
5. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/148:

Related books:

Revision history:

10-Jun-2008 07:08 JINX Added
10-Jan-2012 15:55 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Source]
05-Jun-2019 06:59 Richard Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
25-Jun-2020 18:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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