Originally assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) Serial WK683. Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on August 20, 1952. Served with 77 Squadron, RAAF, during the Korean War.
The aircraft returned to Australia and was converted to a Meteor U.21 drone. It was struck off charge on January 8, 1964.
MiG-15 Victory in Korea
On March 27, 1953, the aircraft was being flown by George Hale on an armed reconnaissance mission. The flight of four Meteors intercepted a number of MiG-15s at which time Hale claimed one probably destroyed, and one damaged.
According to the Squadron Operations Record Book:
"...The flight had proceeded to the Haeju area when (1) MIG-15 was sighted chasing (2) F-80s (2) more MIG-15 came into view and the Meteors engaged them. A77-446 received Major damage and returned to base. The remaining Meteors continued and claim (1) MIG-15 probably destroyed and (1) MIG-15 damaged then returned to base".
According to the Temora Aviation Museum website:
"On 27th March 1953 at approx 1420 hrs while on armed road reconnaissance, Hale, with Sgt David Irlam saw two MiG.15 fighters which they immediately engaged but at the same time were attacked by two more MiGs. Irlam was hit and took no further part in the engagement. Hale engaged one of these MiGs scoring hits and observed the Soviet fighter roll over and dive from [5,000 to 4,000] feet emitting dense black smoke. Hale was attacked by two more MiGs which he also engaged then a third MiG pair attacked him from behind. Hale scored hits on the lead MiG of this third group which emitted dense white smoke or fuel vapour that almost completely obscured the aircraft. Both MiGs commenced a steep near vertical climb and Hale started to attack the lead's wingman when his cannons stopped firing, out of ammunition. The MiGs departed and Hale turned and headed for Kimpo at low level. Hale was credited with one MiG probably destroyed and one MiG damaged. Thus ended the last air to air combat operation in which the RAAF has been engaged to this date".
The cockpit from A77-851 is currently on display at the South Australian Aviation Museum.
The aircraft currently operated by the Temora Aviation Museum in the markings of A77-851 is actually ex-RAF Meteor VZ467 / VH-MBX.
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile.
77 Squadron Operations Record Book (NAA: A9186, 104)
ADF Serials - Meteor A77-851
Korean War Nominal Roll - G S Hale
Temora Aviation Museum - Vale George Hale
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January 9, 2018