Thomas Francis Netterville Gerrard joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1914. He was confirmed in the rank of Flight Sub-Lieutenant on 21 November 1914 and promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 1 January 1916. He was again promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 1 January 1921.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Cdr. Thomas Francis Netterville Gerrard, R.N.A.S.
In recognition of his services during an air fight on the 4th June, 1917. This officer led his flight against 15-20 hostile aeroplanes, and alone had ten engagements with these machines.
He attacked one, and fired sixty rounds into its cockpit at point-blank range, the enemy machine rolling over and over for 3,000 feet, and then falling vertically out of control.
He then attacked another enemy machine which had dived on to one of our machines from behind, and with the help of a Scout he shot it down, the enemy being seen to crash to the ground.
Another hostile scout was then attacked by pilot, end-on, and received a long burst at very close range, the enemy going down in a spin, but apparently righting himself lower down.
During this last encounter Flt. Cdr. Gerrard's machine was riddled with bullets, but, by fine piloting, he landed safely, although all but his lateral controls were shot away and his machine damaged to such an extent as to require return to Depot for complete rebuilding.
This officer has now destroyed at least seven hostile aircraft. He was on active service in France and Belgium from April to September, 1916, and during that period performed much valuable work.