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News > Of Interest > A New Poseidon Aircraft Has Been Named After Terry Bulloch (2320)

A New Poseidon Aircraft Has Been Named After Terry Bulloch (2320)

In May 2020 A New Poseidon Aircraft Was Named After Terry Bulloch (2320), The Top U-Boat Hunter Of WW2

In May 2020 A New Poseidon Aircraft Was Named After Terry Bulloch, The Top U-Boat Hunter Of WW2

The Poseidon MRA.1 ZP803 currently being completed in the USA sports the name ‘Terence Bulloch DSO, DFC, in recognition of the pilot who made the greatest number of attacks against submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic.

In May 2020 the RAF announced that the third of nine new Poseidon aircraft would commemorate Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch (2320) from NI who who made the greatest number of sightings and attacks in Coastal Command against German U-boats in WW2. By the end of the war he had been credited with sinking four, twice the number by any other pilot.

Terry joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission in 1936 and trained as a pilot before flying Ansons in Coastal Command, becoming a Pilot Officer in May 1937. By early 1940 he had transferred to No 206 Squadron at the same airfield RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk, flying American-built Lockheed Hudsons, patrolling the French, Dutch and Belgian coastal areas, including a number of hazardous trips during the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk. He attacked and damaged a German floatplane forcing it to land on the sea where he then bombed it. He also bombed the Channel ports being used in Hitler’s preparations to invade England in September 1940. He then had a short detachment to Coastal Command at RAF Aldergrove, Co. Antrim. From this airfield, the RAF conducted convoy escorts and anti-submarine patrols over the Atlantic. At the end of the year, he was awarded the DFC, which was soon followed by a mention in despatches. By December 1940, “The Bull” was a Flight Lieutenant and due for a rest. This rest period, he spent in the USA training to fly American bombers to the United Kingdom. On 13th of April 1941, he piloted the first Boeing B-17 across the Atlantic for use by The RAF Bomber Command. He also trained in the USA on flying the B-24 Liberator and flew one to the United Kingdom on 21st of June 1941. On one occasion, flying a B-17 Fortress, he took just over eight hours to reach Prestwick in Scotland, a record flight across the Atlantic at that time. With the arrival of the B-24 Liberators, some of which Bulloch had delivered, No 120 Squadron was formed at Nutts Corner, Belfast and Bulloch joined as a Flight Commander. They were the first Coastal Command Squadron to make use of American-made Liberators and Terry had experience in flying these American planes. He helped train other pilots including fellow Ulstermen Brian Bannister, Eric Esler, and Jack Harrison. On October 21 1941, Bulloch made the Squadron’s first attack against a U-boat but abandoned it briefly to attack a Focke Wulf 200 Kondor aircraft that was shadowing the convoy he was protecting. The Kondor left the area rapidly and Bulloch resumed his hunt for the submarine. He spotted a periscope and dived to attack with three depth charges. The attack was inconclusive and he was credited with a “damaged vessel”. Bulloch developed new techniques for attacking U-Boats whilst with 120 Squadron. Eventually, parts of Coastal Command’s Operations Manual was rewritten as a result. His “perfect vision” was an asset that enabled him to spot German U-Boats earlier than most other pilots. Over the next nine months of patient patrolling, Bulloch made six more U-boat sightings. He damaged U-59 as it returned to Brest and, two days later, he seriously damaged U-653, forcing it to return to Brest where it spent six months being repaired. In September he was in Iceland and on October 12 he achieved his, and the Squadron’s, first confirmed “kill”. His depth charges virtually blew U-597 out of the water and it was last seen tipping vertically before disappearing. Over the next two weeks he sighted and attacked four more submarines and on November 5 he sighted another two. Attacking one of them from bow to stern, his aim was accurate and his depth charges destroyed U-132. He was awarded a Bar to his DFC, the citation commenting, “his power of leadership is outstanding”. After his memorable sortie of December 8, he became an instructor but took the opportunity to test new equipment, including a battery of eight rockets fitted to the nose of his aircraft. He was attached to No 224 Squadron and, on July 8 1943, he was on patrol near Cape Finisterre when he spotted the conning tower of a submarine in the wake of a fishing boat. He attacked and fired his eight rockets in pairs from fifty feet. He pulled up and re-attacked with his depth charges. U-514 outbound to South African waters was destroyed with all hands. At the end of his tour, Bulloch refused to be rested and he joined a long-range Transport Squadron flying converted Liberators across the Atlantic. Later he flew with a special RAF Transport Squadron on routes across the Pacific. Towards the end of the War, he was seconded to BOAC and after his release from the RAF in July 1946 he joined the airline as a Captain. By the end of the Second World War, Squadron Leader Terence Malcolm Bulloch had completed 350 operational missions. This totalled 4,569 flying hours including 1,721 hours on B-24 Liberators. After 1945, he joined British Overseas Airways Corporation and continued to set records. By his retirement, he was the fastest pilot to cross the Atlantic, an ocean he had crossed 1,113 times.

Terence Malcolm Bulloch was born on February 19th 1916 in Lisburn. He was the second son of Samuel Bulloch and Elsie Bulloch of ‘Montreagh’, 1 Belsize Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim. Terence had a twin sister Yvonne Bulloch. The family did not stay long in Lisburn, moving first to Malone Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim and then to 23 Ormiston Crescent, Belfast, Co. Down. Terry’s education took place at Mourne Grange School, Kilkeel, Co. Down and Campbell College where he was the Pipe Sergeant Major in the Officer Training Corps and an excellent rugby player.  On leaving Campbell Terence worked in the linen industry. He was also an active member of the Irish Hockey Union, the Shakespearian Society, and The Ulster Reform Club. He married Elsie, a woman with Huguenot ancestry. Terry enjoyed his retirement, living near London with his second wife Linda. He played golf regularly despite suffering back problems attributed to the many hours spent at the controls of the B-24. In 2012, he appeared on the BBC documentary ‘Dig WW2’ alongside historian Dan Snow. His older brother Flying Officer Hugh Larmour McLean Bulloch died on a bombing raid in January1940. Squadron Leader Terence Malcolm Bulloch died on 10th December 2014 aged 98 years old. He was cremated at Chiltern Crematorium London. A replica of the Squadron Leader’s medals is on permanent display at the Ulster Aviation Society, Long Kesh, Co. Antrim.


 

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