Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Way We Were ::: 1944 ::: CANADA

The GLOSTER METEOR I (pictured above) was the only Allied jet fighter to attain operational status during WW II.

Produced by the British aircraft company Gloster, this fighter jet entered service with the RAF in the summer of 1944. It actually beat the German Me-262 jet fighter (by a few days) to enter operational status thus becoming the first active fighter-jet of WW II.

Because of its high speed capability (585 mph) the Meteor was immediately employed to counterattack German V-1 Rockets that the Third Reich were launching against Britain on a daily basis.

TWO CANADIAN PILOTS flying Meteors for the RAF scored victories early on in this campaign.

August 16th, 1944 Flying Officer W. McKenzie (616 Squadron) shot down a V-1 that he intercepted while on patrol.

Then, on the very next day, Flying Officer Jack R. Ritch (also of the 616) happened upon two RAF Tempests that were attempting to shoot down another V-1. Soon enough they broke off chase and the V-1 continued on toward London, unchallenged.

Jack then pulled his Meteor fighter-jet right up behind the V-1 at a range of about 150 yards astern. A long machine gun burst was fired. The V-1 finally rolled over, proceeding to fly straight into the ground, and exploded, at just before 7 am, four miles southeast of Maidstone, which is only 38 miles from London, England.

This photo of a Gloster Meteor was taken in 1944 by a Canadian gal, and shows keen public interest in the "marvel" of Britain's FIRST JET.

This photo has had only very minor touch-up. Save that for later.

I own the copyright to this photo. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nope. The Meteor was NOT the first active fighter jet of WW11. It entered service on July 27 1944. The previous day, Lt. Alfred Schreiber of the Luftwaffe, flying the Me 262 A-1a W.Nr. 130 017, downed a Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft. Me 262s were already in operational service before that date.