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glen-fruin-ahbre-wTHE Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment based in Helensburgh during the Second World War operated the world's largest indoor water testing tank at Glen Fruin.

Like the operations based at Rhu Hangars, the facility in the glen carried out work which was cloaked in secrecy, says Robin Bird who wrote ‘Top Secret War Bird of World War Two’, which is about MAEE and his father who served there, photographer Bob Bird.

dennis-royal-25.02.09-cutout-wThis article is reprinted from the Gareloch and Rosneath Peninsula Website by kind permission of Dennis Royal
and website administrator Margaret Isaacs.

ROSNEATH'S prestigious royal connection of some 68 years ended in 1939 with the death of H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll — but World War Two was to bring a very different significance to the area.

Rene_TaverneA SHY Frenchman who won some of his country’s highest honours during and after World War Two spent the final 22 years of his life in retirement in Helensburgh.

Rene Taverne, who met his wife Leda in Dunoon during the war, lived at 7 Scott Court, James Street. He died in the Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria, on November 27 1993 at the age of 77, and Leda died there too, six years later, at the age of 89.

Col-Findlay-final-wA HELENSBURGH man who served as a County Councillor for 23 years was a First World War hero who won the Victoria Cross, the top award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Colonel George de Cardonnel Elmsall Findlay was born on August 20 1889 in Cardross and died suddenly at his burgh home, Drumfork House, on June 26 1967.

bothaCREW and passengers aboard Flight 1549 which ditched in the Hudson River in New York on January 15 2009 may have the Second World War work of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Helensburgh partly to thank for their survival.

So too the crew of the helicopter and 18 oil rig workers rescued in the North Sea 125 miles off Aberdeen in February may have benefitted.

paddy-boyde-wONE of the most bemedalled soldiers in the British Army was married to a Helensburgh woman and lived in the burgh for nearly 20 years after retiring from the army.

Regimental Sergeant Major Richard Thomas Boyde, MBE, DCM, of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, retired from the regiment on December 13 1966 at the age of 54 and after 33 years service.

scot1MAEE Helensburgh was dreading the prospect of a white Christmas in 1941.

The Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment secretly moved to the Helensburgh area from Felixstowe when war broke out in 1939, with work being carried out at Rhu Hangers.

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