Gloster Meteor F.Mk.111

Gloster Meteor F.Mk.111

Shown here is a Meteor F.Mk.111 of No.616 Sqn. During the last few months of the war No.616 Sqn operated its Meteors in Belgium on air combat and ground attack duties.
The first (Welland-powered) Meteor F.IIIs were delivered to No.616 Squadron at RAF Manston, on 18 December, 1944 and on the 17th January the Squadron moved to RAF Colerne, Wiltshire, where the Squadron's remaining F.Is were replaced. On the 20th January 1945, one flight of No. 616 Squadron joined No.84 Group of the 2nd T.A.F. at Nijmegen, Belgium. The Meteor's of this Flight being painted white overall in an unsuccessful attempt to draw the German Messerschmitt jets into combat. They undertook their first operational sortie on April 16, 1945. In March 1945 they were joined on the Continent by the Meteor F.IIIs of No.504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron, but sparse enemy aerial opposition resulted in the new jet aircraft being employed principally for ground attack, and the Meteor never had an opportunity to show its paces against the Luftwaffe's jet fighters.

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