Ronald Moyes: Tail gunner

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Front Lines

Stephen J. Thorne/Legion magazine

Ronald Moyes: Tail gunner


They had come in out of the darkness at 600 kilometres an hour, a pair of Focke-Wulf Fw 190 night fighters, closing fast and guns ablazing 18,000 feet (5,500 metres) over the German homeland.

Sitting in the coldest, most vulnerable spot on a seven-man Halifax and Lancaster bombers, tail gunner Sergeant Ronald Moyes, the 18-year-old son of an immigrant farmer from Coquitlam, B.C., would pick them up at about 550 metres out.

Tracking the incoming enemy with his four .303-calibre machine guns on a single trigger, their ammunition belts running the length of the aircraft, Moyes would call out over the radio to the skipper up front, “fighter, corkscrew starboard” or “fighter, corkscrew port.”


Veterans Benefits Guide
Military Milestones
Military Milestones

© National Portrait Gallery, By Bassano Ltd., London; NPG X154339

James Forbes-Robertson and the Monchy Ten


“Forbes said, ‘Stand to,’” wrote Sergeant Anthony James Stacey in his diary. “The rest followed him.”

In his entries, Stacey reflected on not only on his time with the Newfoundland Regiment, but also serving under the renowned Lieutenant-Colonel James Forbes-Robertson, who was one of nine other men who stood guard of the French village of Monchy-Le-Peux in April of 1917. They would later be known as the Monchy Ten, with Forbes-Robertson commanding the victory during the larger Battle of Arras and earning the Distinguished Service Order for his actions at the village. He had previously received the Military Cross and would later receive the Victoria Cross while serving with the Border Regiment.


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