Accident Gloster Meteor F Mk III EE390,
ASN logo
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Tuesday 15 January 1946
Type:Silhouette image of generic METR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Gloster Meteor F Mk III
Owner/operator:124 Sqn RAF
Registration: EE390
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Destination airport:RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Gloster Meteor F. Mk. III EE390: Delivered to 124 Squadron, RAF 18.9.45. Written off (destroyed) 15 January 1946 when collided with EE392, with another Gloster Meteor F. Mk. III of 124 Squadron, whilst flying in formation in the circuit to approach RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Suffolk. The pilots of both aircraft were killed. According to some published reports, the collision was due to both pilots being temporarily blinded by the low winter sun, and thus unable to see each other

The "Gloucester Citizen" of January 16th 1946 reported on the incident, and named the two crew fatalities:

"Dead 'Jet' Pilots Named
The pilots killed when two Gloster Meteor III aircraft collided over the R.A.F. Station, Bentwaters, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, yesterday were F/O J. M. Butson and F/Lieut. J. L. Melia".

Crew of Meteor EE390:
Flight Lieutenant (120729) John Leonard MELIA (pilot) RAF- killed in service 15 January 1946, buried at Chester (Overleigh) Cemetery, Cheshire

On 24-8-45, 124 Squadron moved to RAF Molesworth, for conversion to the Gloster Meteor, the RAF's first jet fighter. In October 1945 the unit transferred to RAF Bentwaters, and in February 1946 to RAF Fairwood Common, before being disbanded at RAF Bentwaters on 1-4-46, becoming No. 56 Squadron RAF.


1. Royal Air Force Aircraft EE100-EZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1988)
2. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.28 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
3. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.34
4. The "Gloucester Citizen" of January 16th 1946
7. 124 Squadron ORB (Operations Record Book) for the period 1/1/1944 to 31/3/1946: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR 27/920 at
8. "RAF Write-offs 1946": Air Britain Aero militaria 1979 p.103:
8. Air Britain Aeromilitaria Summer 2009: p.74

Revision history:

31-May-2021 20:27 Dr. John Smith Added
31-May-2021 20:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
31-May-2021 20:31 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
31-May-2021 21:02 Puck Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]
26-Jul-2023 14:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [[Operator, Narrative, Operator]]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314