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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gloster Meteor (Meatboxes) RAAF 77. Squadron Korean War

RAAF 77 Squadron
 flew Gloster Meteors (Meatboxes)
during Korean War
During the Korean War ; "MIG Alley" was named by US fighter pilots who flew over the northwest of North Korea by the Chinese border. It became the place of many dogfights between mainly US F-86 Sabre jets and Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-15.

However, the British built Gloster Meteor also participated in some of the fighting though not successfully on the jet v jet dogfight level. It was more successful as a ground attacking jet.


Limited service towards end of WWII

The British jet had seen service in the later part of the Second World War, but had quickly become out matched by new innovative jets when the Korean war started.

The Australian Air Force (77 Squadron) had been using old Mustangs and wanted to convert to jets. They hoped for the US F-18 Sabre jets, but the Americans did not have enough spare. Therefore, Australia took a squadron of British Gloster Meteor jets that were first generation jets going against second generation MIGs. This was better then using Mustangs but still short of capability in the air against the Soviet built jets, which could climb higher then the Meteor’s 20,000 feet and was more manoeuvrable.

George Hale
The Australians nicknamed the Meteor, “the Meatbox” and when they turned to ground attack, they were used to their best capabilities by the Australian Air Force. In this part of the conflict, 38 Australian aircrew were killed with another 7 imprisoned. Korean and Chinese ground forces suffered the fury of the Meteor’s ground attack as the craft could straff with bombs, rockets and 20mm cannon. In air to air duels three MIGs were also claimed. One pilot (George Hale) was responsible for two MIG kills. This was an achievement of great credit.












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