My Grandfather was Basil A. Pearson 870794 A.Flt R&I SECTION 617 SQDN. He worked on Guy Gibson s Aircraft as engine fitter.He told me many stories about Guy asking for him to prepare engines for him, as his were very highly tuned and reliable.He also sometimes worked on AJ-D Which was a plane they used to practice for the raid for two months before,it was a standard mk1.
When Gibson left Basil extensively worked on KC-H Leonard Cheshire s plane for his entire time in 617. Cheshire would talk with the ground crew after a raid standing or sitting under the wings telling them how it went and what needed working on on the plane to improve it etc. He also worked on the planes that hit the Tirpitz. He told me they had to put modifed engines in the planes.The latest merlin variant,which was in short supply, so the took them out of new Lancs from other squadrons.This involved lots of engine changes!!
Photos of Basil Pearson who worked on Gibsons planes AJ-D (fitted with blue tinted windows) for synthetic night flying. This plane did 3/4 flights a day with different crews. Gibson flew it about 5 times. My Grandfather also worked on AJ-G Gibsons Dam raid plane. KC-H was flown by John Cockshott and Phil Martin Flew it on the second Tirpitz Raid 29/10/43.
Basil Pearson worked on Ken Brown s Dam plane at Scampton. On 30 August 1943 he flew with Ken Brown and John Pulford (from Gibsons Crew) to Conningsby with the rest of Ken s ground crew. Ken was still involved in low level upkeep tests and also high level S.A.B.S practice bombing at this point. Basil transfered to Woodhall Spa with Ken in Jan 44. Even at this point they were still doing low level UPKEEP test flights for a possible target in Italy (another Dam)
The photo shows KC-M approx 9/1/44 after being ferried to Woodhall from Conningsby. Basil is 5 from left, head only!! behind Dudley Heal who is squatting.
Thanks to Andrew Lee & Mrs J Feneron