Calgary Aviator (R.N.A.S.) Gets Distinguished Service Cross - Squadron Commander Gerald Hervey
Tuesday, October 30, 1917
Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie
A photograph of Gerald Hervey appeared in the Calgary Herald on 31 October 1917.
CALGARY AVIATOR GETS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
Squadron Commander Gerald Hervey Decoratedfor Downing Two Gothas
Tackled Nine of Huns Single Handed
Was Educated in Calgary and Employed by Local Bank
Tackling nine Gothas single-handed and bringing two down into the sea after a thrilling fight at a height of 12,000 feet, was the gallant deed for which Squadron-Commander Gerald Hervey, of the R.N.A.S., was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P. C. B. Hervey, of 546 Fourteenth avenue west, and prior to taking up his aviation course at Toronto in 1915, he was employed by the Bank of Montreal at its Calgary and High River branches.
Squadron-Commander Hervey is second in command of the air defences of Dover,and it was while stationed on duty at that place that he went up after a raiding party of Germans and managed to bring two down. The details of the heroic fight against heavy odds are given in an article, which appeared quite recently in an English paper.
The story reads as follows: "The odds which British pilots cheerfully accept in beating off the raiders are vividly brought to mind by a report of the squadron-commander of the Royal Naval Air Service, issued by the Admiralty.
"This officer had been flying continuously under war conditions in France, bombing and fighting for 18 months."
Saw Ten Gothas.
"When at a height of 11,000 feet," runs his laconic report, "I saw ten Gothas coming inland. I climbed up to them and engaged the one on the right of the formation, about three miles out to sea, at something over 12,000 feet."
"I fired 100 rounds from straight behind his tail at 100 yards' range."
"Bullets were seen to enter the Gotha's fusilage. The machine started into a slow spin."
"I followed and fired 25 more into him to make sure."
"My gun then jammed, and, in trying to clear, I got into a very fast spin with my engine on. I got out of this just in time to see the enemy crash into the sea."
"I then landed; had my gun jam cleared, and went up after the remaining eight Gothas--one had been shot down in flames--and caught up with them at 14,000 feet and engaged them in turn from above and below."
"Then I devoted all my attention to one Gotha, and, after firing 200 rounds into him, silenced both his guns."
"I think that both German gunners must have been hit, as I was able to get within 60 feet of him without being fired at. I finally ran out of ammunition."
Served on Somme
Squadron-Commander Hervey got his pilot's certificate at Toronto, and after completing his training in England, he went to France and served on the Somme for some considerable time before receiving orders to return to the old country for defence duty. He was educated at Western Canada College in Calgary, and is well known to a large number of people in this city. He is a brother of Major Hervey, who went overseas with a mounted regiment from Calgary in 1915.
The distinguished young aviator was born at Stratford, Ont., and is 25 years of age. He has a younger brother also serving in the Royal Naval Air Service in the old coutnry. His father who is superintendent of Dominion parks, received a telegram announcing his decoration.