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Decorated Caribbean World War II veteran pilot dies


A HIGHLY decorated war veteran aged 96 from the Caribbean died last week.

Ulric Cross, from Port of Spain, Trinidad, passed away on October 4.

Nicknamed "The Black Hornet" by his squadron, he is thought to be the most decorated Caribbean airman of the Second World War.

Cross, who was born on May 1, 1917, worked for the Trinidad Guardian, before spending four years at a solicitor’s office.

He was employed by the Railways when he joined the RAF in the UK.

He once said: “The world was drowning in fascism and America was not yet in the war. So I decided to do something about it and volunteered to fight in the RAF.”

Cross was known to be a fearless pilot and was involved in a number of high profile daytime attacks on France and Germany.

On August 18, 1943, he took part in a raid against Berlin, which acted as a diversion to a full attack on Germany.

His aircraft was damaged and he was forced to crash land on an airfield in Norfolk, where his plane stopped short of a quarry’s edge.

After the war he moved into a number of high profile positions, including a post at the BBC in London.

In 1958 he went to Africa to practice law and in 1967 he became High Court judge in Tanzania and chaired the Permanent Labour Tribunal.

In 1971 he returned to Trinidad where he served as judge of the High Court and, from 1979, of the Court of Appeal.

His contribution to the Law Reform Commission of Trinidad was recognised by the country’s Prime Minister, who said: “Some of his judgments changed the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Cross also served as a High Commissioner in London and took on ambassador roles to Germany and France.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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