Military Wiki
Sir Peter Terry
Born 18 October 1926(1926-10-18) (age 95)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Other work Governor of Gibraltar

Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter David George Terry GCB (born 18 October 1926) is a retired senior Royal Air Force commander.

Royal Air Force career[]

Terry joined the Royal Air Force in the ranks as an RAF Regiment aircraftman 2nd class on 17 July 1946.[1] His potential for officer service was quickly recognized and Terry was commissioned as a pilot officer in the RAF Regiment on 29 May 1947.[2] Spending the next nine years as a junior officer in the RAF Regiment, Terry transferred to the General Duties Branch in April 1956.[3] As Group Captain Terry was station commander of RAF El Adem, Libya, from 1969 to 1970. He was there in September 1969 when Colonel Gaddafi overthrew King Idris of Libya in a coup. Terry oversaw withdrawal of British troops from El Adem and Tobruk in March 1970.

Terry was appointed the Assistant Chief of Staff in the Plans and Policy Division of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1975.[4] On returning to the United Kingdom, Terry took up the post of Vice-Chief of the Air Staff on 25 March 1977.[5] On 30 April 1979, Terry was appointed Commander-in-Chief of RAF Germany. Following promotion to air chief marshal[6] he was appointed Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe at SHAPE on 9 April 1981. Terry remained as Deputy SACEUR until 16 July 1984 and he retired from the RAF several months later.[7]

Governor of Gibraltar[]

Terry was Governor of Gibraltar from 19 November 1985 to December 1989[8] During his tenure as Governor, Terry authorised the SAS to pursue Provisional IRA members as part of Operation Flavius.

The PIRA bombing[]

On 18 September 1990 the PIRA attempted to kill Terry at his Staffordshire home in retaliation. The attack took place at 9 pm at the Main Road house. The shooter(s) opened fire through a window hitting him at least nine times. His wife, Betty, Lady Terry, was also shot and injured, near her eye.[9] The couple's daughter, Liz, was found suffering from shock. Terry's face had to be rebuilt as the shots shattered his face and two high-velocity bullets lodged a fraction of an inch from his brain.[10] The then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said that she "was utterly appalled and deeply grieved" by the shooting.[11]


In 2006, Terry was installed as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.[12]


  1. "No. 37758". 11 October 1946. 
  2. "No. 38035". 1 August 1947. 
  3. "No. 40998". 8 February 1957. 
  4. "No. 46526". 25 March 1975. 
  5. Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Council Appointments
  6. "No. 48547". 9 March 1981. 
  7. "No. 49939". 26 November 1984. 
  8. Michael Brufal. "Governors of Gibraltar (1945 onwards)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  9. Rule, Sheila (20 September 1990). "I.R.A. Raid Wounds an Ex-British Aide". New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  10. "IRA gun attack on ex Governor". Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  11. "Remarks condemning IRA attack on Sir Peter Terry ("deeply grieved")". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  12. "Queen attends Order of the Bath". 2006-05-17. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
Military offices
Preceded by
M J Beetham
Assistant Chief of Staff (Plans and Policy Division)
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

Succeeded by
K A Williamson
Preceded by
Sir David Evans
Vice-Chief of the Air Staff
Succeeded by
Sir John Nicholls
Preceded by
Sir John Stacey
Commander-in-Chief RAF Germany
Also Commander of the Second Tactical Air Force

Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Kennedy
Preceded by
Sir John Stacey
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe
Succeeded by
Sir John Gingell
Preceded by
Sir Jack Harman
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe
With G Luther (to 1982), G Kießling (1982 to 84) and H J Mack (1984 onwards)

Succeeded by
Sir Edward Burgess
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir David Williams
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Sir Derek Reffell

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