B-29-wreckageAN American Boeing B29 Superfortress crashed in Succoth Glen, Argyll, in January 1949, killing all 20 people on board.

The plane came down in bad weather, and to this day a large amount of wreckage still remains. The site is marked with a memorial cairn.

martynside_elephantA HELENSBURGH man was the top Scottish flying ace of the First World War.

Major John Ingles Gilmour had 39 ‘victories’ to his credit — in other words he shot down 39 German aircraft.

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.

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.

airborne-lifeboat-mk.1-wRETIRED newspaper editor Robin Bird has now nearly completed his research for a book, Secret Air Force of World War Two, about the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment based at Helensburgh between 1939-45.

MAEE was a secret wing of the Royal Air Force and tested seaplanes, radar, Leigh Lights, torpedoes and depth bombs as part of the war on U-Boats.

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.

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