No 77 Squadron begins conversion to Gloster Meteor jets

07 Apr 1951

On 7 April 1951 No 77 Squadron was withdrawn from Korea to Iwakuni, Japan, to begin replacing its propeller-driven Mustang fighters with Gloster Meteor jets.

Fifteen single-seat Meteor F.8 and two dual-controlled T.7s had reached Japan on the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Warrior on 24 February, followed by 22 more F.8s on 23 March. The decision was made to withdraw the squadron entirely from Korea to effect its conversion, in preparation for the unit assuming a role in air-to-air combat.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) was responsible for providing instruction to RAAF personnel on the Gloster Meteor jets. However, none of the RAF instructors had any experience flying against the MiG-15 fighters in service with the Communist forces in Korea. Neither were any instructors sent from Australia to provide specialist tuition in tactics and weapons employment, as was usual practice.

The Squadron re-entered the air war over Korea in mid-July 1951.

Related aircraft

  • Meteor