The third of nine P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has been named after the highest scoring pilot in Coastal Command in the Second World War, say the Royal Air Force.

Poseidon MRA1 tail number ZP803 is currently being completed in the USA and 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. He was known for his flying skills, innovative tactics and perfect eyesight.

Squadron Leader Bulloch

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. 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.”

In April this year, the RAF has formally declared Initial Operating Capability for its brand-new P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

The British Poseidon MRA Mk1 fleet currently comprises of two aircraft with seven more to be delivered. According to the Royal Air Force, Poseidon will now be patrolling the seas, “hunting potentially hostile submarines and helping to defend our nuclear deterrent”.

Air Commodore Richard Barrow, Poseidon Senior Responsible Owner said:

“We’ve just declared an initial operating capability for our Poseidon aircraft, on time on 1st April 2020. It’s a really exciting time for us in this programme, which is moving fast and the team at RAF Lossiemouth has delivered some great results in very quick time. We’ve still got a long way to go with introducing this next generation capability into Service, but Poseidon is a game-changer, not just for hunting submarines but for a range of other roles from anti-ship warfare, maritime reconnaissance and long-range search and rescue tasks.”

The RAF added in a release:

“It uses the very latest in cutting-edge technology to detect, identify and monitor hostile contacts both above and below the waves. It can carry up to 129 sonobuoys to search for enemy submarines and can be armed with Mk54 torpedoes if required to attack enemy submarines. Our Poseidon aircraft are operated by 54 Squadron and 120 Squadron, who are currently flying from Kinloss Airfield in Moray, Scotland. Poseidon will move to its permanent home at RAF Lossiemouth later this year once the refurbishment work on the runways and airfield infrastructure has been completed, including the new Strategic Facility which is being delivered by Defence Equipment and Support. Our second Poseidon squadron, Number 201 Squadron, will also stand up later this year.”

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David Barry
David Barry (@guest_505886)
11 months ago

Good to see a hero being remembered.

Joe16 (@guest_505912)
11 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Agreed, I look forward to learning about other heroes of the Battle of the Atlantic as new aircraft are delivered!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_505908)
11 months ago

Were the previous Nimrods named?

And what of the other larger RAF types? Why no names for them? Or are there?

I mean officially, not like the Chinook BN.

Cam (@guest_505955)
11 months ago

I don’t remember them printed on the sides of the plane Daniele.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_505975)
11 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Might be mistaken, but my memory is telling me the old VC10’s of 10 and 101 Sqns also had names.

Lusty (@guest_505981)
11 months ago


julian1 (@guest_505982)
11 months ago

clunky, spanner and rivet

G Hanson
G Hanson (@guest_505992)
11 months ago

Think they were named after RAF VC winners

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_505998)
11 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

Ahhhh, of course GH. Remember now.

Lusty (@guest_506029)
11 months ago

I did some digging, if you’re interested. Some airframes used names, while some were taken from decommissioned airframes and put on those still in service. Here’s a list of names used:

George Thompson VC
Donald Garland VC
Thomas Gray VC
Kenneth Campbell VC
Hugh Malcolm VC
David Lord VC
Lanoe Hawker VC
Guy Gibson VC
Edward Mannock VC
James McCudden VC
Albert Ball VC
Thomas Mottershead VC
James Nicolson VC
William Rhodes-Moorhouse VC
Arthur Scarf VC
Leonard Cheshire VC

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_506030)
11 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Some illustrious names there…

G Hanson
G Hanson (@guest_506039)
11 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

It would be nice if they named one after John Cruickshank VC the last living World War 2 VC who was a Coastal Command pilot and turned 100 this May. A Catalina pilot flying from the Shetlands. Or Lloyd Trigg VC for that matter, he too was a Kiwi Costal Command pilot flying a Liberator out of East Africa. His VC was unique as it was awarded upon the testimony of the crew of the U Boat he was attacking as no one survived from the crew to tell the story.

Andrew (@guest_506052)
11 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

I think the problem is, there are more heroes needing recognition than P8 planes to be named….

G Hanson
G Hanson (@guest_506055)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

True we probably need twice as many P8s than we have on order.

4th watch
4th watch (@guest_506495)
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I suggest the RN names the T31 Frigates after naval heroes.

Lusty (@guest_506060)
11 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

I support that idea!

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding (@guest_506089)
11 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

I support the idea.. of all Poseidon aircraft being named with a VC hero.
Sadly 9 aircraft isnt enough we should have at least 18 aircraft with 2 aircraft always ready for training ..
We live in unprecedented times with russia trying to bully itself around europe.
China is also becoming a threat.

ChariotRider (@guest_506131)
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

Given Boris Johnson’s honerable declaration regarding UK Hong Kong Overseas Nationals (I’d forgotten about that type of status until this week) I’d say we were firmly in President Xi Jinping’s little Black Book.

4thwatch (@guest_506497)
11 months ago
Reply to  Lusty


Steve Salt
Steve Salt (@guest_506483)
11 months ago
Reply to  G Hanson

Definitely in support with both of your suggestions, John Cruikshank VC would surely have made the news on his 100th birthday but for CoVid 19. Any readers who don’t know his story should simply look it up on Wiki, it’s astonishing.

Richard Pontin
Richard Pontin (@guest_506094)
11 months ago

When I flew the VC10 in BA it was called the quoirboy. Baring in mind who built it you can no doubt work out why.