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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 66313
Last updated: 6 April 2020
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Type:Gloster Meteor T.Mk 7
Owner/operator:209 Advanced Flying School Royal Air Force (209 AFS RAF)
Registration: VW430
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Thicktorn Manor, Ashill, 3 miles SE of RAF Merryfield, Somerset -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Weston Zoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset.
Destination airport:RAF Merryfield, Somerset
On 12/2/54, a flight of 7 Meteors from 209 Advanced Flying School took off from Weston Zoyland at 10 p.m. for night flying practice. A separate crash occurred on the runway by Gloster Meteor F4 serial number VT313 at Weston Zoyland runway, blocking it. The flight commander was instructed to fly to RAF Merryfield. Fog reduced visibility down to 1000 yards at Merryfield so the flight leader decided to return to Weston Zoyland where five aircraft made a successful landing on the grass besides the blocked runway. Meteors T7 WH244 and VW430 both crashed within minutes of each other by flying into the ground.

One (VW430) crashed at Ashill near the Ilminster/Taunton road, whilst the other (WH244) crashed near Stocklinch. Meteor VW430 crashed at Ashill, near the Ilminster/Taunton road, approximately 100 yards from Thicktorn Manor House, which was, as the time the home of Air Vice-Marshall M.L.Taylor. The aircraft exploded on impact, and burning wreckage was strewn across three fields.

Pilot Officer Roy James TILLEY, RAF (pilot, Service number 4019072, aged 25) - killed: Pilot of Meteor VW430
Pilot Officer Frederick Ernest FRY (pilot, Service Number 579460, aged 26) RAF - killed: Pilot of Meteor WH244

At the inquest at RAF Merryfield, the Coroner was told that Pilot Officer R.J.Tilley was identified by the contents of his wallet, and was buried at Weston Zoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.154 ISBN 0-85130-290-4
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 11)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.26
4. Wings Over Somerset: Aircraft Crashes since the End of World War II By Peter Forrester
5. Chard & Ilminster News - 20 February 1954
7. .

Related books:

Revision history:

07-Jul-2009 05:11 PeterF Added
20-Jan-2010 19:26 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Nature, Narrative]
30-Nov-2012 05:00 Nepa Updated [Time, Operator, Location]
14-Jun-2013 18:00 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type]
05-Apr-2020 19:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Apr-2020 19:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Source]
06-Apr-2020 08:56 Iwosh Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
06-Apr-2020 16:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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