Although the majority of aviation-related VCs were awarded to pilots, one did go to a Flight Engineer – this is Norman Jackson’s story
Norman Cyril Jackson was born in Ealing, Middlesex on April 8, 1919 and was adopted by the Gunter family while he was a small baby.
After schooling he qualified as an engineering fitter and turner; a career that meant he was exempt from enlistment. Nevertheless, he decided to volunteer for military service and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in 1939. Jackson initially served as an engine fitter and in January 1941 he was assigned to a 95 Sqn, which was operating Sunderland flying boats on the West African coast near Freetown, Sierra Leone.
He continued in this role for 18 months but the opportunity to retrain for flying duties tempted him and he applied for training to become a flight engineer; returning to Britain in September 1942 to begin his studies.