Bullock, Peter William

Peter was born on the 7th September 1924 in Mt Gambier, South Australia. The family moved to Townsville and he attended Townsville Grammar School where he achieved his Senior Certificate.

Peter joined the RAAF  on the 20th December 1942, ITS Kingaroy Queensland. 5 EFTS Narromine, 5 SFTS Uranquinty. The photo is of him as a Flying Officer in his cockpit at Strauss Strip, NW area, in early 1944. He was then posted with approximately twenty other pilots to 2 OTU Mildura. He was one of two pilots to graduate to Mark Vc Spitfires.

Peter was then posted to 452 Squadron, Darwin on the 21st December 1943. It was there when he was a member of this squadron, which embarked on the epic flight to Perth in March 1944. He later converted to Mark VIII Spitfires in June 1944.

In July 1944, with Lysle Roberts and without escort, the two pilots flew two clapped out old Spitfires from Sattler, Darwin to Oakey in Queensland.

The interesting photo on the right was taken under the wing of a Mustang in Zamboanga (Southern tip of the Philippines) in October 1945. From left: F/L “Tiny” Boehm (escort pilot), F/L Peter Bullock, F/L George Voges (79 Squadron), F/L Cliff Smee and F/L Lysle “Joe” Roberts of 457 Squadron.

Peter finished his tour on the 30th October 1944 and applied to be posted to air to air gunnery school at Cressy, Victoria. Unfortunately the school had closed and he was subsequently posted to test and ferry flight 2 AD Richmond where he joined his friend Lysle Roberts for the next 12 to 18 months.

The two of them flew probably 12 types of aircraft, single and twins, but mainly Spitfires, Kittyhawks and Mustangs all over Australia, Papua New Guinea, Halmaheras, Biak, Noemfoor, Moratai, the Philippines and Borneo.

A letter from Peter Bullock said, “Reading Lsyle Robert’s mailbox letter in the March issue of Spitfire News magazine, brought back many memories of the numerous ferry trips we did together on Spitfires, Kittyhawks and Mustangs in the SWPA.  Bringing back clapped out Kittyhawks from Neomfor and Labuan and losing a number of pilots was distressing, particularly as these aircraft were, in the end, just left at Oakey Airfield in Queensland to be stripped by locals for souvenirs”

Lysle remember that, “On the 28th October 1945, the CO called Peter and I into his office and informed us that Melbourne had requested two experienced Mustang pilots to fly over a Victory Parade in Collins Street. On the 29th, this is just what we did for one and a half hours. Incidentally the trip down to Richmond Laverton took one and three quarter hours and one and a half coming back.”

Peter was discharged in May 1946, and when asked about the highlights of his Military Service, he laconically replied, “I survived.” We think we understand you, Peter. Good luck. 

Footnote: In 2009, members of the Spitfire Squadrons who served in Europe, North Africa, Malta and the South West Pacific were invited to attend a dedication ceremony to commemorate their Squadrons involvement in the war. Peter (Centre) travelled to England and attended the service at St. Clements Dane Church along with his old friend Lysle Roberts (left) and Joe Barrington (on the right, 451 Squadron). And so the wheel turned a full circle.

Lysle Roberts, Peter Bullock and Steve McGregor
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association