Son of Butte family who died in Navy training exercise ‘packed more life in 29 years than most could ever imagine’


Navy pilot Lt. Richard “Max” Bullock was a fearless dreamer.

Bullock was born in Butte on Feb. 13, 1993, to Robin and Bill Bullock. He was 29 years old and had been in the military for seven years when he died near Trona, California on June 3, after the FA-18 Super Hornet he was flying crashed during a training exercise.

For Bullock, being in the Navy was a step toward his goal of becoming an astronaut so he could one day mine asteroids in space, according to his family.

Max’s father, Bill, said this was a dream Max held since his second year of college at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he graduated in fall 2015 with degrees in business management and global logistics and supply chain management according to commencement documents from UAA.

In 2020, he enrolled at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and started pursuing a second degree in aerospace engineering, a degree he was still working toward when he died. He first started working toward a degree in space mining at the Colorado School of Mines, but put it on hold until he could complete his engineering degree.

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