Gloster Meteor RR engine, returns home after 70 years
70 years ago today, (1 May 2021) Gloster Meteor WA678 came in on its final approach to RAF West Raynham.
At the controls was Flying Officer (59479) Harold Myburgh Taylor and Flight Lieutenant (190550) Francis Alexander Oliver Ralph.
Sadly the aircraft crashed 4 miles short of Raynham and both men on board were killed.
Both crew are buried at St Mary's Church, East Raynham.
Local farmer, Gary Dawes had known about the possible wreckage for some time and recovered the remains of one of the Rolls Royce engines last year with full MOD permission.
Gary, along with some help from local agricultural engineering firm CTM, constructed a beautiful display stand and then offered the engine to us at the RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre.
Following some extremely hard work last year, our friends and colleagues at the West Raynham Control Tower, have put themselves into a position to welcome visitors during one of their Heritage open days this coming September.
It was decided that the engine would be going to our friends at Raynham as this was were it needed to be as a fitting tribute to the lost crew.
Today part of the stricken aircraft finally arrived at RAF West Raynham.
As above, we are currently raising funds to record the names of those lost from RAF West Raynham during WW2, on our existing Memorial. If sufficient funds are raised, Cold War losses, like the one described above, will also be recorded. But we can't do this without your generosity. To donate, please copy and paste into your browser:
Photos are courtesy of Jon Booty, Ian Brown, Kevin Osman and Unknown
L to r Jon Booty, Gary Dawes, Ian Brown; Rolls Royce Derwent Mk 5 engine, pilot's notes, courtesy of former RAF West Raynham Station Commander, Group Captain E Durham RAF (retd), Engine on the stand made by Gary Dawes with assistance from CTM Engineering, Graves at St Mary's Church East Raynham, Fakenham, of the lost crew, WA741 Meteor T7
Photo credit Ted Prangnell, representative of the type
Click on images to full size them