|About The Association|
Between 1936 and 1969 maritime air operations were under the control of Coastal Command. On the formation of Strike Command in 1969 the former 18 and 19 Gps of Coastal became 18 Group N and S within Strike Command. On 1 April 1996 Nos. 18 and 11 Groups amalgamated so combining UK air defence and maritime forces under a single AOC. On 1 April 2000 the service was reconstructed yet again with all maritime forces being placed in No 3 Group under a Royal Navy officer as AOC.
Many squadron associations exist within the old Coastal framework but there was felt to be a need for a wider association which would embrace personnel of all ranks who have been or who are currently involved in maritime air operations. The concept of the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association (CCMAA) was launched in 1995 by a committee of serving and retired maritime air personnel, headed by Air Vice Marshall Andrew Roberts.
The aim of the CCMAA is to enhance comradeship by maintaining contact between past members of air, sea and ground crews and their modern day successors whilst preserving the traditions of and learning from past and present maritime operations. As the CCMAA develops we would hope to assist and co-operate with Service charities where appropriate and in time be able to represent the interests of any members who need help from such charities. In addition we publish our own newsletter or magazine, "Constant Endeavour" detailing articles of interest, meetings, functions and general maritime aviation news. This newsletter is normally produced twice a year in the Spring and Autumn.
The association as a whole meets once a year, combining the General meeting with a weekend of visits and social gatherings. In 2005 some 100 members descended on Newquay to combine the regular AGM and Dinner with a service at St Eval Church on Sunday morning. Details of both the AGM and Church Service are covered elsewhere on the web (link?) however sufficient to say all went very well. The membership is spread throughout the UK and overseas therefore it is impossible to mount one gathering and not disappoint some members who are too far away to attend. To that end Regional meetings, “get togethers”, are encouraged. At the moment we are hopeful that a regional group will grow at Kinloss, the present day home of Maritime aviation and some more small gatherings will be organised in the South East.
While there are many regional acknowledgements to the work of Coastal Command there was no national monument to those who gave their lives. In October 1998 the CCMAA formed a small team of volunteers to study the feasibility of a Commemorative Project the aim of which was to create a suitable National Coastal Command Memorial. Air Vice Marshal David Emmerson, a former CO of 206 Squadron and Chief of staff at HQ 18 Gp before retiring in 1991, led the study team. The teams report was favourable however the task was considered to be beyond the capability of the Association. A new organisation called the Maritime Air Trust was formed specifically to organise the memorial, under the patronage of HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and the chairmanship of Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough.
The trust's work became a reality when on Tuesday 16 March 2004 a service of thanksgiving and the dedication of a memorial to those who served with Royal Air Force Coastal Command took place in the presence HM The Queen, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and HRH, Prince Michael of Kent. The memorial, to ‘Constant Endeavour’ - Coastal Command's motto, is in the South Cloister of Westminster Abbey.