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Library Reference Number: 169

Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson, DFC, AE, MID, ARICS

Jack Burgess, Saltire Branch PRO.

Born in the final stage of world war one, Andrew Jackson on leaving school completed his studies to become a Chartered Surveyor. In 1938, perhaps of his interest in figures and calculations, he chose to study navigation when he volunteered for the RAFVR, and was based at Training Command, Glasgow. Posted to No.15 O.T.U. Harwell, he then joined No.115 Squadron 3 Group in May 1940, flying Wellingtons. Shortly after, he joined No.149 Squadron still flying Wellingtons based at Mildenhall. This squadron began the war with an attack on the German fleet in September 1939. Once the night bombing campaign began, the squadron‟s only break came when it converted from Wellingtons to Short Stirlings, and then from the Stirling to Avro Lancaster aircraft.

Andrew completed his first operational tour of 30 missions at a time when aircrews were entrusted to go it alone, with crew captains being given opportunities to use their own initiative regarding routes and modus operandi. This is reflected in Andrew's personal accounts he contributed to the Saltire Branch Web Library and publications. The titles speak for themselves such as “Before the Advent of the Bomber Stream” and “The First Raids on Berlin.”

There is no doubt that Andrew Jackson greatly enriched the value of our Branch Archives with his personal eye-witness accounts of those early operations carried out by the Royal Air Force. He also gave a much greater insight into the numerous theories of „was Britain really in danger of being invaded?‟ Supposition is turned into real factual evidence, when Andrew described his personal account of flying over to the French channel ports and the Low Countries to help destroy the vast number of invasion barges assembled ready to invade Britain. He describes how in one night, 60 invasion barges were destroyed. It takes little imagination to figure out why those barges were being prepared, now that the British Expeditionary Force had struggled back from Dunkirk in the face of the triumphant German offensive. Only the continued ongoing destruction of German invasion barges rapidly building up to a substantial number in Le Havre, Flushing, Ostend, Dunkirk and Calais prevented the German Occupation Forces entering Britain, as they had done with all the other countries throughout Europe.

As opposed to casual observers or theorists, Andrew Jackson had the distinct advantage of being personally involved in RAF operations long before most of us had earned our flying badges Fortunately, Andrew was willing to contribute some of those experiences to our Branch, either by Newsletter, website or book publication. He was also never slow to point out, that although he admired Fighter Command‟s place in the Battle of Britain, Bomber Command also had a major role in the encounter. This Andrew pointed out in no uncertain manner in his account “The Role of RAF Bomber Command in the Battle of Britain.” The inference here being, that now the British ground forces had been thrown out of France, RAF Bomber Command had now taken the role of front-line troops in order to regain a foothold in Occupied Europe. This assertion was repeated in a number of Andrew‟s contributed accounts. He also emphasised the sad fact that when German armament production was moved into heavily populated areas, it was inevitable there would be civilian casualties - the tragedy of human shields!

Entering RAF service before the commencement of WW2, Andrew Jackson was in a strong position to give his views on the changing types of aircraft necessary to match the more modern thrust of the Luftwaffe at the outbreak of hostilities. This he covered in his account “The RAF Transformation During the 1930s.” Completing his first tour of operations, he then joined 49 Squadron flying Handley Page Hampden and Manchester aircraft. Then joining No.207 Squadron flying Lancasters he completed his second operational tour of 32 missions. Andrew was then appointed to several senior posts within the realm of Navigation rising to the rank of Squadron Leader. From 1953 - 1963 Andrew was a member of No.3603 (City of Edinburgh) Fighter Control Unit; when the FCU was disbanded, No.2 Maritime HQ Unit was staffed by personnel of the former 3603 FCU.

Andrew became an Associate, Royal Institution Chartered Surveyors, and fortunately for us, decided to join his local branch of The Aircrew Association. Attending mainly at Edinburgh, he attended other venues when possible.

Members of Scottish Saltire Branch of the ACA have already been commended for their valuable contribution to military aviation archives. Andrew Jackson was a major contributor to this valued recording process, bringing a wealth of eye witness accounts from his personal experience. Some of those titles appearing in our published books are mentioned under, with the corresponding index number in our branch website library in brackets.

Library Reference 002 - The First Raids on Berlin
Library Reference 005 - Before the Advent of the Bomber Stream
Library Reference 006 - Invasion in the Offing
Library Reference 040 - Battle Cruisers Break Out
Library Reference 068 - Manchester L7200
Library Reference 083 - Role of Bomber Command in Battle of Britain
Library Reference 091 - The RAF Transformation in the 1930s

The Funeral Service for Andrew Jackson took place on 9th February 2009 at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh attended by several ACA members. We shall miss Andrew‟s regular attendance at Edinburgh meetings and his willingness to contribute valued material from his wealth of experience.

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