Ronald Sykes

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Ronald Sykes
Born 3 March 1899
Stockton-on-Tees, England
Died 15 September 1977 (aged 78)
Bredon, Gloucestershire, England
Allegiance England
Service/branch Aviation
Years of service 1917 - 1920
Rank Captain
Unit No. 9 Squadron RNAS, No. 203 Squadron RAF, No. 201 Squadron RAF
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross, Russian Order of Saint Stanilas
Other work Served in Russia 1919 - 1920

Captain Ronald Sykes was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories.[1]

World War I service[edit]

Sykes joined the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1917. In September, he joined 9 Naval Squadron to fly a Sopwith Camel in Roy Brown's flight. On the 20th, he shot down an Albatros D.III out of control, and was in turn shot down by Paul Baumer. Sykes evaded capture by the Germans and swam the Yser River to return to friendly forces. In March 1918, he joined Raymond Collishaw in 3 Naval Squadron. On 30 May, he scored again, driving down a Fokker Dr.I triplane. In early August 1918, he moved to 201 Squadron as a flight commander. On the 12th, he teamed with Robert McLaughlin and H. R. de Wilde to destroy two Fokker D.VIIs. Sykes would destroy another D.VII on 2 September, and drive one down on 9 November 1918.[2][3]

Postwar service[edit]

In 1919, Sykes served in northern Russia. His Camel's tension wires snapped, dropping him behind Russian lines. He was repatriated in 1920. He left the Royal Air Force and became an engineer.[4][5]

Honors and awards[edit]

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

"Lieut. (A./Capt.) Ronald Sykes, 201 Squadron. (FRANCE)

An excellent patrol leader, who displayed marked gallantry on 27 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 As soon as the hostile aeroplanes had withdrawn, he returned and fired a number of rounds into the infantry at 200 feet, causing many casualties.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."[6]

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/sykes.php Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  2. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/sykes.php Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  3. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 356. 
  4. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/sykes.php Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  5. ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. p. 356. 
  6. ^ http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31170/pages/2047 Retrieved 20 February 2010.

References[edit]

Above the Trenches: a Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.

External links[edit]