Capt Terence Bernard 'Terry' Tully AFC

(on left)

Image courtesy



one of Canada's rarest air mail stamps - only about 9 are known to exist, and they go for about $35,000 each

 b. 18 Dec 1891 in Carracastle, Mayo, Ireland.

RFC from September 1914, then RAF; served in Egypt, and in the Dardanelles in 1916 (just after the Gallipoli campaign had ended in failure). Air Force Cross in June 1918. He left the RAF in June 1922, joined the Reserve of Air Force Officers as a Flying Officer in April 1923, then became a naturalised Canadian and joined the Ontario Provincial Air Service as a pilot.

d. c.7 September 1927, trying to cross the Atlantic from London, Canada, to London, England.

Carling Breweries of Ontario had offered a $25,000 prize to any Canadian or British subject making the flight; eventually, they also agreed to provide the plane, M-202, a Stinson SM-1 Detroiter monoplane named 'Sir John Carling'. Terry, and his navigator [and fellow Irish-Canadian] Lieutenant James Victor Medcalf, gave up their jobs to make the attempt, and were sworn in as 'official carriers of government mail' by the mayor of (Canada's) London. 

Their first flight was made on 29 August, 1927. 10,000 people watched the aircraft take off; it got as far as Kingston, Ontario but had to return to base because of fog. It took off again at 5am on the 1st September, but fog and heavy rain again forced it to land in Caribou, Maine and stay there until 5 September when they flew to Harbour Grace, St. John's Newfoundland.

They set off across the Atlantic at 09:45 on 7 September, and were spotted 30 miles out, flying past Cape St Francis. They were never seen again, however, and an extensive search failed to find any trace. [One bag of air-mail had been left behind, hence there are still a few stamps around].

They had taken out insurance (which paid out $15,000), so that and the $25,000 prize were put in trust for their wives and 3 children.


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