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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 21359
Last updated: 11 August 2020
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Date:18-OCT-1957
Time:day
Type:Gloster Meteor T.Mk 7
Owner/operator:CFE CF Royal Air Force (CFE CF RAF)
Registration: WL368
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Dunnikier House Hotel, 2 miles N of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF West Raynham, Fakenham, Norfolk
Destination airport:RAF Leuchars, Fife (ADX/EGQL)
Narrative:
Gloster Meteor WL368 was lost with two on board when it crashed two miles north of Kirkcaldy on October 18, 1957. The cause is believed to have been engine failure, after which the aircraft struck trees between Kirkcaldy High School, then under construction, and Dunnikier House, now a hotel.

The aircraft, a Meteor T.7 two-seat trainer, was en route from its departure airfield of RAF West Raynham, Norfolk, to RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, when it was diverted to RAF Leuchars, Fife, due to deteriorating weather conditions there.

Eyewitnesses said the pilot stayed with his aircraft to prevent it from crashing into a built-up area which included Templehall School (now demolished and the site developed for housing), and turned away from children on the sports field, but suffered the fatal crash as a result.
Crew:
F/Lt (607284) Michael John WITHEY (pilot) RAF - killed.
SAC (1930851) Daniel McLOUGHLIN (passenger) RAF - killed.

According to an eyewitness account: "I actually saw this aircraft as I was coming out of school. One engine was on fire which made it stand out. I ran all the way to the eventual crash site but was stopped from getting too close the flight path of this aircraft. Was not as described, in so much as it was not flying over Templehall School as my route home was St Kilda Crescent, then Cumbrae Terrace, then up towards Dunnikier Estate, and aircraft was too my left at all times, so about 70 yards away from school playing fields"

A plaque, arranged by Kirkcaldy Civic Society, was unveiled on Monday, September 8, 2008, to commemorate those who lost their lives in the accident.

The inscription reads:
"This plaque is dedicated to the memory of Flt. Lt. Mike Withey and SAC D. McLoughlin who courageously gave their lives, when their aircraft, a Gloster Meteor MK VII, crashed near this site on 18th October 1957. A tribute received at that time from the head of Templehall School reads: "To the grateful memory of Flt. Lt. Michael John Withey whose actions as a pilot immediately before his death saved a school and its pupils from a major disaster".

The plaque was unveiled by Mrs Maureen O’Mara, sister of the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Mike Withey, and the inscription was read by RAF Group Captain Andrew Dipper. Unfortunately, the family of Senior Aircraftman D McLoughlin (from Glasgow) could not be traced.

One source states that the passenger had a suitcase on his lap during the flight and at the moment of impact [sic][see link #10]. The remains of Meteor T.7 WL368 was Struck Off Charge as Cat.5(scrap) on 21/10/1957

Sources:

1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.193 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 73)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.268
4. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1957.htm
5. http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/GlosterMeteorWL368Kirkcaldy
6. https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5E5Y8_in-memory-of?guid=ec7ea2c8-3c2c-4ca0-a9b8-24d6549efb3b
7. Photo of memorial: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwshack/5543263052
8. Close up of memorial plaque: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwshack/5542684363/in/photolist-9rMGXv-9rQEYU-Tjg1cq
9. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6528945
10. https://www.pprune.org/search.php?searchid=10361770
11. http://www.ukserials.com/results.php?serial=WL


Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Jun-2008 07:12 JINX Added
08-Jul-2008 11:02 JINX Updated
21-Sep-2008 08:14 Veronica Hall Updated
01-Jul-2010 04:58 jock Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Aug-2013 02:17 Anon. Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
12-May-2015 07:57 yari Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
18-Feb-2018 20:20 mrgerrym.54@gmail.co Updated [Operator]
23-Mar-2020 22:00 DB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
11-Aug-2020 15:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Aug-2020 15:34 Yety Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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