I read with great interest the article (Chronicle, May 1) regarding the proposal to erect a memorial plaque to Norman Jackson VC - which I think is a wonderful idea.
People who perform these extraordinary feats of bravery deserve much more than just another story in the history books, to let the people in the area where they lived know who they were and exactly what they did to achieve such a high accolade.
When I read this article it brought back a flood of memories for me personally as I had been told of Norman Jackson's exploits first-hand as a child by my uncle, who lived in Hounslow for much of his later life and was the navigator on the same aircraft.
Of course, as a child to me it was all Boys' Own stuff and I did not recognise the deadly reality of the event at the time.
My uncle, Flt Sgt Frank Lewis Higgins D.F.M, R.A.F.V.R, was the navigator of Lancaster ME 669 - Prefix 'O' 106 pathfinder squadron, Bomber Group 5.
His wife Peggy was my father's sister, for several years after the war uncle Frank was a steward at Hounslow Cricket Club, during which time he lived just across the road in Standard Road.
From 1968 until 1969 he was the licensee of the Sawyers Arms, in Feltham, later taking over the tenancy of the Queen Victoria pub on the Bath Road (now demolished), which stood opposite SS Michael & Martin's Church. This he held until his death in the March of 1976.
Of course, the story of Norman Jackson's deed is well known, an armada of 226 aircraft consisting largely of Lancasters accompanied by Mosquitoes set off to bomb the factories of Schweinfurt, in Germany. 106 Pathfinder Squadron's initial task would have been to drop flares to light the way for the following bombers.
The details of Norman Jackson's deed would send a chill down the spine of present day stunt men, this was for real. Climbing onto the wing of a burning aircraft travelling in excess of 200mph at 22,000ft in the dark under constant barrage of flak from the ground and being repeatedly attacked by the deadly Focke-Wulf 190 night fighter.
Although Norman Jackson, my uncle and other members of the crew survived to be captured, we should not forget their pilot, Fred Mifflin D.F.C, and rear gunner Flt Sgt Norman Johnson, who failed to bail out and went down with the aircraft and are buried in Durnbach Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Germany. Not to mention the other aircraft which failed to return from the mission, including 16 Lancasters (seven crew).
BARRY RAYMOND Beavers Lane, Hounslow.