How Australian Meteors Fought MiGs in Korea

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The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter aircraft and was the only jet aircraft the Allies used in engaging combat operations during WWII.  

Entering Service

The Meteor first entered service in WWII, and while it was used in actual combat, it never fought against its German counterpart Me-262. 

The service that took it into the next war, the Korean War, wasn’t the Royal Air Force but the Royal Australian Air Force. 

Against the MiG-15

Since the RAAF was unable to buy F-86s Sabres from the US, the Australian government bought the best fighter that Great Britain could offer. 

During that time, the Meteor was outdated in comparison to the F-86 Sabre and even the MiG-15. However, it had some advantages over the MiG such as low-level maneuverability, but its straight wings limited its speed to around Mach 0.82. MiG-15 can handle well over Mach 0.9.

First Mission

The first mission the RAAF’s Meteors faced Soviet-flown MiG-15s took place on August 29, 1951, when eight Australian Meteors divided into two flights performed a fighter sweep in the Chonju area in conjunction with 16 F-86 Sabres. 

Other Encounters

On September 5th, 1951, Australian Meteors again met with the MiGs. Eight Meteors flew in two flights, and their task was escorting RF-80 recon airplanes. 

As Meteors continued to confront the MiGs, the first claim was made by Flight Lt. Dawson on the 26th of September, claiming damage on a MiG-15 while flying an escort mission near Anju, North Korea.


Despite all of this, it was clear that MiGs were far superior in terms of rate of climb, speed, and performance in high altitudes. Thus, it was subsequently withdrawn and used as a ground attack aircraft instead where MiGs were rarely encountered.