Ross Pearson - 102 Squadron
There were three crews. And one went out for this, his conversion. It would be probably his last flight on this. Hit the church steeple, killed the crew. So it was another ... you began to realize that it's going to be a risky business. We went then to an English squadron. 102 Squadron. The Ceylon squadron. I think it was originally supplied by the people of Ceylon.
We didn't know this at the time, but the position was, it had suffered the highest losses in Four Group. It suffered the highest percentages losses in Four Group. And it had the highest losses in any Whitley squadron and third-highest losses in Bomber Command. And at one stage, they had to take Four Group off operation for a short period. And our men, in particular, had to be taken off because they didn't have enough crews to man the planes.
We weren't on it then, but if I'd have known, I'd have resigned, I tell you. Then when we went to Pocklington, 102 Squadron. I must say, that was the top squadron in the Air Force. I mean, the Lancaster blokes, they wouldn't know that, but it was. I had to get that commercial in, and I wouldn't have said that if he wasn't here. So I joined the squadron on the 9th of June.