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Today in History

Name: Ronald Sykes
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Order of St. Stanislas, 2nd Class with Swords
Ronald Sykes
Country: England
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Units: 3N, 9N (RNAS)
201, 203 (RAF)
Victories: 6
Born: 03 March 1899
Place of Birth: Stockton-on-Tees
Died: 15 September 1977
Place of Death: Bredon, Gloucestershire
Ronald Sykes joined the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1917. In September 1917, he was assigned to Roy Brown's flight in 9 Naval Squadron. On 20 September 1917, he scored his first victory but was wounded when his Sopwith Camel was shot down near St. Pierre Capelle by Paul Bäumer of Jasta Boelcke. Sykes escaped capture by swimming the Yser River. Reassigned to 3 Naval Squadron in March 1918, he scored his second victory while serving under Raymond Collishaw. Joining 201 Squadron in August 1918, he scored four more victories by the end of the war. In 1919, while serving with the Royal Air Force in Russia, Sykes was captured when his Camel crashed in a lake near Archangel. He regained his freedom the following year in an exchange of prisoners.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
"Lieut. (A./Capt.) Ronald Sykes, 201 Squadron. (FRANCE)
      An excellent patrol leader, who displayed marked gallantry on 27th September. While engaged in dropping bombs on enemy infantry in a sunken road he was attacked by four enemy aeroplanes. Out-manoeuvring them, he retired west. As soon as the hostile aeroplanes had withdrawn, he returned and fired a number of rounds into the infantry at 200 feet, causing many casualties. He then dived on another party of fifteen, who became so demoralised that they surrendered to one of our men."
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 20 Sep 1917 1510 9N Sopwith Camel (B3906) Albatros D.III (OOC) St. Pierre Capelle
Image 2 30 May 1918 1810 203 Sopwith Camel (B6378) Fokker DR.I (OOC) Fournes en Weppes
3 12 Aug 1918 1100 201 Sopwith Camel (B7190) Fokker D.VII (DES) 1 St. Christ
4 12 Aug 1918 1100 201 Sopwith Camel (B7190) Fokker D.VII (DES) 1 St. Christ
5 02 Sep 1918 0715 201 Sopwith Camel (D9669) Fokker D.VII (DES) Lagnicourt
6 09 Nov 1918 1445 201 Sopwith Camel (F5941) Fokker D.VII (OOC) Bois de Princemaille

1 Shared with Capt H R de Wilde (C143) and Lt Robert McLaughlin (B6398)
Sopwith Camel Aces of World War 1
by Norman Franks, Harry Dempsey (Illustrator) / Paperback / Osprey Publishing (March 25, 2003)
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