A note on sources and credits
As far as possible photographs that are not mine are posted here with permission; thank you to all contributors to 'Jet & Prop', especially photographers Tad Dippel, Neil Cotten and Nico Charpentier, the editor of the magnificent 'Avions' magazine Michel Ledet and Jean-Yves Lorant, author, researcher and archivist at the Service Historique de la Défense, Paris. Images from the IWM and Roger Freeman collections are published here under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence. Occasionally some images on this site have been 'reposted' from facebook or ebay. They are used non-commercially in an educational context to depict historical events. If such is deemed necessary they can be removed on simple request. Contact me at falkeeins at aol.com. All rights reserved.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
27 July 1944 - first Gloster Meteor sortie, Flying Officer Bill McKenzie RCAF of 616 Squadron
On this day in 1944 an RAF Gloster Meteor Mk 1 jet flew the first operational sortie of the type - in the 616 Sq log the entry read ‘History is made!’ An anti-diver patrol (so called after the way the V-1s flamed out then dropped from the sky) was flown by Flying Officer Bill McKenzie RCAF of 616 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, based at Manston on the north-east Kent coast. He later shot down a V-1 on 16 Aug 1944 as the following report confirmed;
Consolidated Diver Report 616 Squadron, Manston F/O W. McKenzie, R.C.A.F. 16 August 1944
After an uneventful scramble, F/O McKenzie was about to land at Manston when Control (Kingsley 11) passed information that Divers were coming in. F/O McKenzie was sent back to orbit approximately 5 miles S.E. Ashford at 3000 ft. One Diver was seen flying on a course of 320 degrees at 1000 ft, at speed of approximately 360 mph. F/O McKenzie positioned to 700 yards behind and 500 ft below Diver at approximately 0938 hrs. A Mustang was seen to attack from line astern and fire from 250 yards. No strikes were observed and the Diver continued on a straight and level course. The Mustang then pulled upwards and broke away. Immediately F/O McKenzie attacked from astern at range of 400 yards and fired a 4 second burst. Strikes were seen all over Diver and starboard wing fell off. Diver then rolled over on its back and went down to explode on ground approximately 6 miles southeast of Maidstone at approximately 0940 hours. This position and time has now been confirmed by Royal Observer Corps at Maidstone.
CLAIM: 1 Diver destroyed by F/O W. McKenzie (R.C.A.F.) SQUADRON: 616 Squadron AIRCRAFT: Meteor Mk I CALL SIGN: Hugo 19 WEATHER: Hazy, visibility 5 miles TIME UP: 0910 TIME DOWN: 0950
source; RAF FB page