The South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM) has gifted to Air Force the cockpit/forward fuselage of Gloster Meteor A77-851 (aka ‘Halestorm’), the aircraft in which Sergeant George Hale shot down a MiG-15 during the Korean War.

Director-General of Air Force’s History and Heritage Branch, Air Commodore John Meier, said Air Force was pleased to accept this significant historical fighter aircraft from SAAM.

“This generous donation highlights the great cooperation between Air Force and the Australian aviation museums in general, and SAAM in particular,” Air Commodore Meier said.

“History and Heritage Branch now intends to fully restore Halestorm prior to putting it on public display.”

Halestorm not only had a distinguished service career in Korea but was also a pioneer aircraft for emerging technologies – following the war, Air Force converted Halestorm into a drone and used it to conduct aviation trials at Woomera.

Volunteers from SAAM later recovered and refurbished the cockpit/forward fuselage and put it on display for two decades.

President of SAAM Nigel Daw said they were “proud to gift Halestorm to Air Force, so even more members of the Australian community will have the opportunity to see this aircraft and learn about its history”.

The History and Heritage Branch expects the Halestorm restoration – which will include merging the cockpit/forward fuselage to another Meteor – to take at least 18 months.