DATELINE: RAF Invergordon, Scotland, May 2 and 3, 1940 . . .

Lieutenant Haakon Offerdal arrives in Norwegian Heinkel 115. Flying boat Cabot arrives from Helensburgh.

THURSDAY JUNE 6 2019 was the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy which were to change the course of World War Two.

It was marked in Helensburgh that night when the Victoria Hall hosted an anniversary concert organised by Helensburgh Rotary Club and featuring the HMS Neptune Volunteer Band and the local Military Wives Choir.

THE Golden Hind on the Gareloch must have been an impressive sight — not Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind of 1580, or a replica, but a flying boat of the same name.

This was in 1940, and it could fly with a wing span of 134 ft compared to the 19 ft width of the galleon.

WINTER frosts caused problems at RAF Helensburgh during World War Two — resulting in difficulties when handling, servicing and launching flying boats.

This meant that test flights were often postponed or delayed, and schedules were missed.

A NAVAL officer from Helensburgh led a United Kingdom team which helped rescue seven Russian sailors from a trapped submarine — actions which resulted in thanks from president Vladimir Putin.

The leader of the team was Commander Ian Riches, who lived in Victoria Road and since retiring from the navy has made his home in Perthshire.

THE GARELOCH was the starting point for one of the most important top-secret missions of World War Two.

DV-967-G-w

WHEN Hogmanay 1942 was celebrated at RAF Helensburgh, pilots of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment were about to start the New Year testing Johnnie Walker . . .

However it was not the whisky, but a potential lethal cocktail made up of the explosives Torpex, RDX and TNT packed into a 400-500 lb self-roaming bomb powered by an attached bottle of compressed hydrogen.

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