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Thread: Meteorological Experimental Unit

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    Default Meteorological Experimental Unit

    Hello All,
    I have just been looking for something else in Sturtivant & Hamlin, FT&SU1912+, when I came across (again!) the Meteorological Experimental Unit (MEU). I may have flown this kite before. If so, I apologise for flying it again!
    S&H say that the MEU “Arrived” (not ‘formed’ – thus indicating that it had been ‘formed’ elsewhere?) at Watton on 8 Dec 58. It was attached to the Central Signals Establishment (CSE). S&H say “its fate unknown”!
    However, checking in their CSE entry we find the same ‘arrival’ date, but a Disbanding date of 12 Jul 1965.
    I have checked in TNA (but I’m not very good at this!!) and can find a number of files with the combination of ‘Meteorological’, ‘Experimental’, and ‘Unit’, words in the title(s) but none specifically appearing to deal with the activities of the MEU.
    The only comment I can make is that in my Met Office career I had never heard of the MEU.
    This (1958-1965) was a period in The Cold War where we were each trying to find out what The Other Side was doing. Aircraft might “stray” into another’s territory, and when discovered by Them (who either complained – or shot them down!!) We could say “it was a navigational error by a Met recce flight”. What better “proof” of innocence could be seen than by having a MEU at the CSE?
    Does anybody know what the MEU did? – or know who does?
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Meteorological Experimental Unit

    Brian,
    Tks. That's very much the same as in Sturtivant. It doesn't tell us what they did, and there's nothing I can find in TNA. Which makes me think the MEU was a spoof, or 'cover', for SIGINT work.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Meteorological Experimental Unit

    Lyffe's post referring me to RAFWEB seems to have disappeared???
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Meteorological Experimental Unit

    Might have been me, Peter. I attempted to delete my post on belatedly realising I'd not read your post correctly, but for some reason the 'Delete' button did not want to play ball. Apologies for the confusion folks.

    Brian

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    Default Re: Meteorological Experimental Unit

    Grey cells work very slowly these days, not that they were ever very fast, but a long time ago, whilst writing a history of the HQ Bomber Command met office, I interviewed Ron Zobel, who became the Chief Met Officer there in 1953. At the time the Cold War was intensifying and Ron was detached to the Government Communications HQ (GCHQ) tasked with reviewing existing meteorological services and how best they could be utilised for the V-bombers which were just entering service. One outcome of his subsequent paper was the establishment of a Met Intelligence unit at HQBC - I know from my own time in the met office at HQBC this was a very small and highly secretive unit and we never knew what it did.

    My interpretation might be flawed, but the probable connection between GCHQ and the Central Signals Establishment points to the MEU being connected to the development of specific met forecasts by the collection of met data during the cold war era.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 2nd August 2021 at 12:58. Reason: Corrected ambiguous statement in last sentence

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Meteorological Experimental Unit

    I have just been made aware (by an ex-Mobile Met Unit colleague) that the Meteorological Experimental Unit (MEU) at Watton was the use of that airfield for various U-2 operational activities which had been ‘hidden’ under the cloak of that Unit's name. There is, apparently, a TNA file (TNA AIR 40/2749) but I’ve not accessed it.
    HTH (it does!!)
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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