Mid-air collision Accident Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 WE974,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 20653
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Date:Thursday 3 January 1957
Type:Silhouette image of generic METR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Gloster Meteor F Mk 8
Owner/operator:74 (Tiger) Sqn RAF
Registration: WE974
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Hales, 17 miles SE of RAF Horsham St Faith, Norfolk, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:RAF Horsham St Faith, Norfolk
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WE974: Delivered 26/1/1951. Delivered 27/5/1951 to 65 Squadron coded "N". Cat.3(R) damaged in flying accident 25/9/1953: repaired on site and returned to service 9/1/1954 back to 65 Squadron coded "S". Transferred 7/9/1956 to become "G" of 74 Squadron, at RAF Horsham St. Faith.

Written off (destroyed) 3/1/1957: During a dog fight at 9,000 feet WE974 ("S" of 74 Sqn RAF) collided with WA879 ("G" of 74 Sqn RAF) crushing the cockpit. The seat of Meteor WA879 was automatically ejected and struck the underside of WE974 killing the pilot. The other pilot in Meteor WE974 (F/O R.G.Baillie) ejected through the canopy but his chute did not open properly and he was killed. The aircraft crashed near Hales, Norfolk, approximately 17 miles south east of RAF Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk

From a contemporary local newspaper report ("Shields Evening News" dated January 4, 1957):

"The two RAF pilots killed when their planes crashed about 11 miles south-east of Norwich yesterday were Flying Officer W.R. Taylor, of Cleethorpes, and Flying Officer R.G. Baillie, of Edinburgh, the Air Ministry announced today.

It is believed the two planes crashed after a mid-air collision. Both were from the RAF station at Horsham, St Faith, Norfolk."

Crew of Meteor WE874:
Flying Officer Ronald George Baillie, RAF (pilot, aged 27)

Note that exact location of the crash varies with different sources, it was south east of Norwich, but various sources give the crash location as "11 miles SE of Norwich", "12 miles SE of Norwich" and "near Hales, 17 miles SE of RAF Horsham St.Faith"


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.184 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft WA100-WZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1983 p 90)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.228
4. http://www.ukserials.com/losses-1957.htm
5. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1248757/
6. http://www.planetrace.co.uk/1950-1959_26.html
7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43688219@N00/25288564328
8. http://web.archive.org/web/20170421194235/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/PROJECT/YEAR_Pages/1957.htm#jan
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hales

Revision history:

05-Jun-2008 22:50 JINX Added
29-Jun-2011 02:16 angels one five Updated [Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
29-Jun-2011 03:26 angels one five Updated [Departure airport, Source]
21-May-2014 14:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Jun-2014 01:34 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
28-Jun-2014 01:34 angels one five Updated [Location]
10-May-2015 16:49 Angel Dick one Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location]
16-Jul-2020 20:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
18-Jul-2021 09:22 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Operator]

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