Gloster Meteor F.Mk.1

Gloster Meteor F.Mk.1

Shown here is the second production Meteor F.Mk.1 (EE211/G). These early Meteors provided good training for American bomber crews now faced with attacks from Me 262s.
Of the twenty Meteor Mk.Is built (EE210-229 inclusive), only sixteen were actually delivered to the Royal Air Force (EE213-222 and EE 224-229), the others being retained for trials purposes. These were powered by 1,700 lb.s.t. Rolls-Royce W.2B/23 Welland I engines. One, the first production Meteor F.Is (EE210),in accordance with an agreement with the Americans, was shipped in 1944 to the U.S.A for evaluation by the Americans at Muroc Army Air Field (today Edwards Air Force Base), California, in exchange for a Bell YP-59A Airacomet. No.616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron, based at RAF Culmhead (6 miles south of Taunton Somerset), was selected to be the first RAF Squadron to re-equip with the Meteor, receiving its first two Meteors F.Is on July 21, 1944. These (EE213 and 214) were not fully operational and were employed for training purposes only, but six fully effective Meteors Mk.Is did reach the Squadron two days later allowing a detached flight of seven aircraft to move to RAF Manston (North Kent) to counter the German V-1 missile attacks on London and the South-East. On August 4th one of these (EE216) piloted by Flying Officer Dean scored the first confirmed victory by a British jet fighter. With his guns jammed, Dean managed to destroy a V-1 flying-bomb by tipping the missile over with his wingtip, and thus causing it to crash. On the same day, Flying Officer Roger shot down a second B-1 near Tenterden. In total RAF Meteors would account for the destruction of thirteen V-1s during the summer of 1944.

Between the 10-17th October 1944, four of the Squadron's Meteors were detached to RAF Debden (3 miles SE of Saffron Walden), to take part in an exercise with the United States Army Air Forces 2nd Bombardment Division and 65th Fighter Wing, to enable defensive tactics against the Luftwaffe's Me.163 and Me.262 fighters to be devised.

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