Home Air Royal Air Force names third Poseidon MPA after submarine-hunting WWII pilot

Royal Air Force names third Poseidon MPA after submarine-hunting WWII pilot

Terence Bulloch DSO* DFC* RAF
Photo: Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force announced late May that the third of its future nine Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has been named after the highest scoring pilot in Coastal Command in WW2.

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

Born in Lisburn, County Antrim, Squadron Leader Bulloch joined the RAF in 1936. Serving with Coastal Command, Squadron Leader Bulloch and his crew shot down two German seaplanes and sank four German U-boats, and severely damaging several others.

Before the introduction of the long-range Liberator (B-24) bomber, attacks by packs of U-boats were exacting a heavy toll on the Allied shipping bringing essential supplies across the Atlantic.

Squadron Leader Bulloch. Photo: Royal Air Force

On the 12 October 1942 Bulloch sank a U-boat Mid-Atlantic when flying a Liberator of CXX Squadron on detachment at Reykjavik, Iceland. Then on 8 December the same year, during a convoy escort, he attacked a U-boat wolf pack, sinking a second U-boat and attacking another with the two remaining depth charges. He and his crew then attacked five other submarines with cannon and machine gun fire.

His final U-boat was sunk in the Bay of Biscay on 8 July 1943 flying a Liberator of 224 Sqn from St Eval, Cornwall.

The pilot’s flying log book recorded 350 operational sorties, 4658 flying hours including 2059 hours on operations. Squadron Leader Bulloch passed away in 2014 aged 98.

The RAF fleet of Poseidons will provide a maritime patrol capability, specifically working side-by-side with the Royal Navy in securing the seas around the UK and abroad. The air force announced its submarine hunters achieved initial operational capability in April this year, two months after the first of nine aircraft arrived in Scotland. The second Poseidon landed in the UK in March.

RAF Poseidon