Irish RAF pilot and hero dies aged 98

Irish RAF pilot and hero, Terry Bulloch, known for sinking more Nazi submarines than any other pilot during World War Two has died aged 98.

Terry was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, just south west of Belfast. His father was a linen trader, and he had one sister and one brother.He studied at Campbell College, Belfast. His brother was a flying officer during World War Two, until he was killed in action in 1940.

In the early days of the war, Terry had flown with the 206 Squadron, flying a Lockheed Hudson. On his first mission shot down two German seaplanes and attacked German ships and ports. Later, Terry became a pilot in Coastal Command as the Ulster Squadron Leader for the Royal Air Force, and was more frequently known as ‘The Bull’, since was able to identify Nazi U-boats from the cockpit well ahead of any of his colleagues.

Terry took part in 350 missions and logged more than 4,500 flying hoursduring World War Two and destroyed at least four Nazi submarines, as well as damaging several more in the Atlantic and Bay of Biscay. On one poignant operation that lasted 16 hours, Terry attacked a convoy of German submarines, making them all crash dive. He made 22 submarine sightings and was able to attack 12 times.

At the time Terry was flying a B-24 Liberator bomber and took off from Reykjavik, Iceland. It is reported that Allied ships survived possible attacks from German submarines that day, because Terry’s attack was so successful.

Historians say that Terry had perfect 20:20 eyesight, which helped him to spot the enemy sea vessels in advance.He was determined to find the best way to attack the enemy and would study the German’s military tactics to find a way around them.Terry went on to develop new attacking techniques, which helped to update the Coastal Command’s operations manual.

A documentary programme, called Atlantic Bridgehead, was filmed in the 1990s and included Terry as part of its story line. Its film-makers said that Terry was an upfront, honest and inspirational Irishman, the Belfast reports.

After World War Two ended, Terry joined the commercial sector flying for British Overseas Airways. He set the record for the fastest Atlantic-crossing and made the flight more than 1,000 times during his commercial career.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE