Squadron Leader John Francis JACKSON DFC MID

Service No: 493
Born: Brisbane QLD, 23 February 1908
Enlisted in the RAAF: 2 October 1939
Unit: No. 75 Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 7 April 1942 (Citation Title: For service during flying operations in Libya, Syria and Cyprus)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-8), Mt Lawes PNG, 28 April 1942, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William James Jackson and Edith Annie Jackson; husband of Elizabeth Helen Jackson, of Clayfield, Queensland.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: “This officer has served with No. 3 Squadron since December 1940. He has participated in operations in Libya, Syria and for a short time in Cyprus. He has invariably displayed marked keenness and determination. On one occasion in April 1941, near Benghazi, he participated in an attack against a force of enemy bombers which were harassing our troops. In the combat Flight Lieutenant Jackson shot down 3 enemy aircraft. He has destroyed 8 hostile aircraft.” (London Gazette 7 April1942 page 1556)

Squadron Leader Jackson’s MID was promulgated in London Gazette on 1 January 1942.

Squadron Leader Jackson’s combat record claims are 8 aircraft while serving with No. 3 Squadron in North Africa.

On 10 April 1942, Squadron Leader Jackson was shot down near Lae and evaded capture.

On the morning of the 28th No. 75 squadron’s five serviceable aircraft took off to meet an enemy force of eight bombers with fighter escort. Squadron Leader Jackson led the flight, the other four pilots being Flying Officers Brereton (1), Cox, Masters (2) and Sergeant Cowe (401769). They intercepted the Japanese bombers at 22,000 feet to find the Zeros flying in close cover except for two which were “standing off”. In tight formation the five Kittyhawks made a rear attack on the bombers. The leading Zero dived on Jackson’s Kittyhawk. To evade the attack Jackson stalled his aircraft and spun down, the other four pilots following his example. In the battle that followed Jackson and Cox both lost their lives, one of them having first shot down a Zero. Brereton’s Kittyhawk was damaged and he was severely wounded, but he succeeded in landing safely. When Masters pulled his Kittyhawk out from its spin he found himself some distance out to sea to the south-east of Port Moresby. As he turned back to base he sighted what he took to be a submarine for which several Dauntless aircraft later searched in vain.

(1) Squadron Leader John LeGay Brereton (260697) was discharged from the RAAF on 21 August 1945.
(2) Flight Lieutenant Peter Addison Masters (407330) was discharged from the RAAF on 5 April 1945.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 546


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Pages 543-5
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/38/35


Brown, R. (Russell) Desert Warriors Australian P-40 Pilots at War in the Middle East and North Africa 1941-1943, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4652, 2000
Garrisson, A.D.J. (Arthur Dean John) (O350) Australian Fighter Aces 1914-1953, Air Power Studies Centre Fairbairn ACT 2600, 1999
Wilson, D. (David) The Decisive Factor: 75 and 76 squadrons Port Moresby and Milne Bay 1942, Banner Books Brunswick VIC 3056, 1991
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1988