A HELENSBURGH man lost his life piloting a bomber in a night raid on the industrial Ruhr area of Germany during World War Two.

John Ralph Hubbard, known to all as Johnny, was 27 when his Manchester bomber L7518 on a mission to Essen was shot down by a night fighter and crashed near the village of Warmenhuizen in the north west Netherlands on the night of Wednesday March 25 1942.

A TEST pilot at RAF Helensburgh during World War Two had a son who he would be very proud of.

Squadron Leader Frank Squire’s son Peter was born shortly after his father left Rhu when the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment returned to Felixstowe in August 1945.

VOO-DOO was used once in World War Two. Its use in 1943 is not widely known, and less so its link to Helensburgh.

‘Voo-doo’ was a Hadrian glider towed across the Atlantic Ocean by a two-engined Dakota.  The dangerous, never before attempted mission took off from Montreal in Canada.

THE CAPTAIN who ferried Consolidated Coronado JX470 to RAF Helensburgh in April 1943 had earned a place in aviation history.

Dana Gentry could have told test pilots at the officers mess in Rhu of his flying exploits crossing the Atlantic, if he had the mind to.

A MEMBER of a well-known Loch Longside family, who was honoured after a successful military career, also had a colourful private life.

Major Charles James Brooman-White CBE, whose son was to become Under-Secretary of State at the Scottish Office, had the odd problem with the law in his youth, was named in a divorce action, and in later life left his wife to live with another woman.

A HELENSBURGH man was one of the ship’s company declared ‘missing believed killed’ when the battlecruiser HMS Hood was shelled and sank on May 24 1941.

The sinking by the German battleship Bismarck was one of the largest World War Two losses of life for the Royal Navy, and it sparked a huge pursuit of the Bismarck, which was destroyed three days later.

CONSIDERABLE research has been undertaken into the parts played by Helensburgh and district men and women in both World Wars.

But there are still many gaps, including details of the huge contributions of two burgh families about which much more information is wanted.

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