RAF Gibraltar had the opportunity to commemorate the service of an RAF veteran who returned to the Rock, 73 years after he was last here.
Roy Moore, a former serving Airman visited RAF Gibraltar during a short stopover in Gibraltar on Tuesday.
Mr Moore was 22 when he served with 202 Sqn RAF. At the time the Squadron operated Catalina ‘flying boats’ for which Roy was a navigator. Wing Commander John Kane, Station Commander and Squadron Leader Dave Pickard,, Executive Officer RAF Gibraltar met Mr Moore as he disembarked a cruise ship which had stopped off in Gibraltar for a day visit.
A surprise to the veteran, he was thrilled to see that his short stay would be hosted by the RAF of today.
The visit commenced with lunch in the Gibraltar Officers’ Mess where he was joined by some of the officers from RAF Gibraltar. Immediately, Mr Moore started to reminisce with great fondness about his time serving with the RAF in Gibraltar.
After lunch and a short drive to the Station Headquarters, he had the opportunity to check out some of the historical displays in the HQ RAF Museum in the Mouchotte Building. Many of the items he observed related directly to his time in Gibraltar and he was able to give much valuable insight into what these historical pieces mean to those that are featured in them.
The group then moved to the third floor where Mr Moore was able to chat with the Station Commander and other RAF personnel. The HQ has a small archive which includes records dating back to 1921 and he was again able to shed some light on how these related to him time on the Rock.
He was then interviewed for BFBS radio providing listeners with an insight of Roy’s time here back in 1945. Following this, the veteran met with more RAF Gibraltar personnel to share some of his experiences of the Rock in wartime with those who enjoy it in peacetime. Some of his experiences were fascinating.
Mr Moore spoke of sleeping in his Catalina at night to stop it being sabotaged and of hiding the aircraft inside the Rock to protect them from getting bombed by the Axis forces. He was also involved in anti-submarine warfare against the U-Boat menace who were trying to break through the Strait of Gibraltar to wreak havoc on Allied shipping in the Mediterranean. Flying in the most austere conditions to aircraft, Warrant Officer Moore helped prevent the fall of the Mediterranean and subsequently Africa.
To conclude the visit there was time to take Mr Moore on a short tour around the Rock to further rekindle his memories. The Station Commander and Executive Officer then escorted Roy back on to the ship to continue on his travels, with some new memories added to those from his time in Gibraltar 73 years ago. He was absolutely delighted to have had the wonderful opportunity to visit the RAF station, especially during the period of RAF 100 celebrations.
The RAF team received a massive amount of insight into Gibraltar in the Second World War from the veteran, and will no doubt take this knowledge into modern day Royal Air Force Gibraltar.
The Station Commander said: “It was a privilege to host Roy and his companion Anna. His stories of the comradery between his crew during their tour at Gibraltar were inspiring and we were delighted to have the opportunity to commemorate the memories of them with Roy who, at 95, is the only crew member still living.”