A POPPY Cross is placed each year at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment memorial at Helensburgh’s Kidston to mark Remembrance Day — and in 2021 it had special significance.

The memorial, erected by Helensburgh Heritage Trust and the Airfields Conservation Trust, not only commemorates those killed while serving with RAF Helensburgh during World War Two, but also the hundreds of men and women who once served there.

THE SEARCH is on for information about some of the people who served at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment on Garelochside during World War Two.

The images with this article are of members of staff at the establishment, which was officially known as RAF Helensburgh.

RAF HELENSBURGH had on its books during World War Two the last two Supermarine Stranraer twin-engined flying boats operated by the RAF.

The Stranraer was a design by Reginald Mitchell, who also designed the Schneider Trophy winning seaplane and also the Supermarine Spitfire.

ARTISTS, photographers, wordsmiths, all had a role to play at RAF Helensburgh during World War Two.

Home to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, it was the country’s only flying boat base devoted to testing ways of waging war against U-Boats.

THE Facebook post was succinct: “Afghanistan, I weep for you.” The surprise was that the author runs a bed and breakfast establishment at Arrochar.

But to anyone who knows Brenda Steele MacCrimmon, it was no surprise that the proprietor of Fascadail on Loch Longside felt that way.

OF THE scores of flying boats and seaplanes belonging to RAF Helensburgh during World War Two, only one remains today.

In keeping with a cloak and dagger past, the aircraft is now on public display with a new name and civilian identity.

RAF HELENSBURGH had close links with the Blackburn Aircraft Company in Dumbarton during World War Two.

They worked jointly on the Sunderland flying boats which were built at the Denny yard in the shadow of Dumbarton Rock and then had their airworthiness checked at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Rhu.

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