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Who were these MAEE staff?

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DO you recognise anyone in this Second World War photo, taken about 1942-3 at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Rhu, which was officially known as RAF Helensburgh for security reasons?

Retired Merseyside local newspaper editor Robin Bird, whose father Bob was a photographer at MAEE and took this picture, has written and published one book about the top secret establishment, ‘Top Secret War Bird of World War Two’ — and he is hoping to find out who is in the picture for his next book.

He says that the man seated centre in the front row would appear to be the head of department, and he is surrounded by RAF and WAAF personnel and civilian trades people.

MAEE at Rhu was a mix of RAF and civilians carrying out research on seaplanes, anti-submarine weapons and air sea rescue until in 1945, at the end of the war, the establishment returned to Felixstowe where it was disbanded in 1953.

maeeRobin said: “Unfortunately there are no names on the back. MAEE does not have an old comrades branch or an RAF Squadron association to keep people in touch.

“Perhaps someone may recognise a face — many MAEE people had digs in local houses — I know it is a long shot!”

Family problems have delayed the publication of Robin’s second book, ‘Secret Air Force of World War Two’, but he is still determined to publish all the new information he has managed to accumulate.

Robin added: “It is a fascinating story not previously told in full. MAEE tested all types of seaplanes and flying-boats and used land-based aircraft to make drops of the Barnes Wallis Highball bomb designed to sink the German battleship Tirpitz.”

Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 July 2012 14:00 )  

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First 2016 Open Meeting

r.b.cunninghame-graham-wThe first Open Meeting of 2016 is on January 27 at Helensburgh Tennis Club at 7.30pm, when Lachie Munro will describe 'The Many Lives of Robert Bontine Cunningham Graham — the Uncrowned King of Scotland'.

Winter Talks 2015-16

  • Wednesday September 30 2015 — Melissa Simpson: Hermitage Park: past, present and future
  • Wednesday October 28 — AGM at 7pm; Fraser Noble of McGruers: My family has been building boats since the 11th Century
  • Wednesday November 25 — Sir Malcolm Colquhoun and James Pearson: The Clan Colquhoun and the History of Helensburgh

  • Wednesday January 27 2016 — Lachie Munro: The Many Lives of Robert Bontine Cunningham Graham — the Uncrowned King of Scotland
  • Wednesday February 24 — Sue Furness, Fiona Jackson: Hidden Heritage of a Landscape — Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers
  • Wednesday March 30 — Fiona Baker: Boutcher's Banks — the Genesis of Helensburgh?

Meetings are normally in the upstairs room at Helensburgh Tennis Club, Suffolk Street, at 7.30pm.

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