FourFax Newsletter #5
27 August 2002 by Chris Parker
In This Issue
Committee News The 90th Anniversary Reunion Registered For The Reunion – The List So Far A Word From The Boss – (no, we’re not in trouble) The Membership Database – Who’s Joined ‘Not Members’ Database – Who’s Not Joined News From Members (And Some Non-Members) Dean Ivan Lamb – A Request Thoughts On Aviation The Web Site – What’s There And What’s New Contact FourFax – Who’s Who And How To Contact Them Introduction
Welcome to FourFax Newsletter #5. Just one month to go to the 90th Anniversary Reunion in September so if you haven’t booked yet you’d better get your skates on! NB We need payments by the 9th of September so we can finalise the arrangements. Membership is now up to 427, an increase of over 150 in three months. Our target was 400 by the reunion! Registrations for the Association are still coming in at a steady rate so thanks for telling your friends and colleagues about us. Please register for the Association at the web site if you haven’t already done so.
The last committee meeting took place early in August, just before the Squadron went on block leave, and there’s another planned for Thursday 5 September. Most of the discussion was about the reunion, of course, and the pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place. The next meeting will tie up any loose ends. Once the 90th is behind us we’ll probably hold committee meetings three or four times a year and plan at least one Four Squadron Association event a year.
The 90th Anniversary Reunion
Registered For The Reunion
See Membership Database
A Word From The Boss
As I write this, the Sqn has just returned from a month in Alaska where we took part in Ex COPE THUNDER (CT), operating out of Eielson AFB. We all had a fantastic time there. The flying was excellent – with around 100 jets taking part from many nations it was the biggest CT ever. Great airspace, 100ft up to 50,000ft (we didn’t bother with the top bit!) in an enormous area, excellent ranges for weapons and EW and, of course a good O’Club and BX. The Sqn really acquitted itself well, I believe. Around the target area, we did the deed accurately with the weapons, whilst also proving extremely elusive to the SAM and AAA operators. Stay below 200ft or above 20,000 has my vote if you want to avoid seeing yourself on video in the mass debrief. Air-to-air, inevitably we soaked up the odd kill by a red air leaker, however, the usual Harrier ‘avoid the melee and bravely run away’ tactics, meant that it was literally the odd one.
Social activities also proved to be as good as expected. We are all expert fishermen, white water rafters and moose hunters now. However, the Alaskans can keep their mossies – they are vicious, but thank goodness for DEET repellent.
The trail home was a bit of an adventure and the odd GR7 and VC10 snag cost us a couple of days. Some sampled the delights of a windy beach near Winnipeg whilst others enjoyed a rainy day in Gander (why are they 3 hours off GMT!). Design for reliability is a phrase that springs to mind! But all jets and personnel are home now.
The Sqn is now starting to prepare for our ‘Four’s Four’ billing at Southport Airshow 31 Aug/1 Sep. The 4-ship demo work-up will be interrupted by block leave, however, I am sure we will be ready to wow the crowds up North. The routine will be the same that will feature at our Anniversary weekend (local villages permitting!).
As covered before, from September we will have 2 pilots at TLP in Florennes, Belgium. We are still hopeful that we will be going to Orange, France for 2 weeks in October to continue the Gallic liaison theme that was started in Alaska. Day TLT at RAF Leuchars may involve a couple of pilots from the Sqn only. Then the night season looms to take us through until the fun starts again with Bardufoss, Norway in late February, whilst April should see us in Las Vegas doing close air support missions on AIR WARRIOR.
Oh, and of course we have a few birthday celebrations going on at the end of September. I hope to see you there – it is definitely the party to be at.
Regards, Andy Suddards
The membership list has been updated again and can be found in the Members’ section. I’ve found out how to include more information on the page, so I’ve added members’ career details since leaving IV and comments. It makes it a rather large page to download (150k) but I think it’s worth it.
“Not Members” Database
Not Members Database
News From Members
** From Paul Warren Wilson (84-88): Been a bit busy working on the purchase of our next Catalina (now at the contract stage) and looking for remaining shareholders for our group…
** From Charlie Davis (Aug 80-Jul 82): Thanks for the updates. I have talked to everyone but Rob Gottlich – still no contact. I am looking forward to the reunion!
** From Rod Jones (67 – 69): Thanks for the Newsletter. I have not heard from Collin Medhurst since I last wrote but he did say he did not have a scanner and would have to use Snail Mail for pictures. I gather the AC in the squadron name is for Army Cooperation? Strange, I have never seen this before. Was there a change in status or something? I am pretty sure I will not be able to make the Reunion. I just started a new job with bank North here in Lewiston Maine and will be last man on the totem poll for leave. The yanks seem to think 2 weeks in enough time off for a year. How the hell did it ever get the name “Land of Free, Home of the Brave”? More like “Overworked”. Ah well, now I’m sounding like a whining pilot… 🙂
** From Richard Elwell (Apr 82-Jul 84): Thanks for the latest news letter. I’ve been applying for jobs left, right and centre but no joy so far. I was reminded of a few people when I read the latest letter. When I was stationed at Pitreavie Castle (it’s closed now but it was just north of the Forth road bridge) working in the rescue centre my boss was ex-IV, AVM David Brook. Last I heard of him he was the Home Office Adviser on aircraft accidents. He was on IV in the mid-60s, he was boss of 20 at Wildenrath and Stn Cdr Wittering. When I was in Cyprus I worked with a nav who was on Victors with the late Bruce Cogram. Bruce always kept very quiet about the fact that he was an ex-AEO! Apparently he was a PEdO as well before going aircrew. He used to run around Changi wearing a mae west with lead in it to keep fit. (I was on duty in local when he collided with the F104, that was a very sad day. He’d been up in local only an hour or so before.) Well that’s all from Preston, I’m waiting on a phone call from Manchester Airport!
** From Don Fennessy (Associate Member): Great job with the newsletter! I really appreciate you letting me read it as a mere curious fan. It’s great to have so many friends in all three squadrons. Amazing to hear from Puddy Catt. He was one of my JP instructors at Standards Sqn at Brawdy in 1977. I would have gotten to fly with him in the Meteor on a Monday, but I had my knee damaged in a dining in accident on the previous Friday, and was in a cast for three weeks afterward until reporting to Wittering. Steve Jennings drove me there, and because I couldn’t bend down to tie my left shoe, he did it. What a great guy, and a true IV Sqn gentleman. Also, how can I get in touch with the 3 Sqn guys? This is too much fun. [Try this: 3(F) Sqn Association – Chris]
** From Pete Harris (May 85-Nov 87): Can’t make the Sept reunion – in the USA on holiday for six weeks over that period! Hope all goes well. Also, hope Suds has grown his hair back in time for that! There’s a story there for you! [Tell me! – Chris]
** From Stephen Broadhead (Jun 96 – Apr 99): You might like to put these up in the picture gallery. They were both taken by me from outside HMF on the day the Sqn departed Laarbruch, April ’99. [Thanks Stephen, your pictures are on the web site now – Chris]
** From Adi Pickup (94 – 96): Are you the Chris Parker that has a brother in the Air Traffic world? Was he was OIC ATC charities at Wittering? [Nope, wrong CP- Chris]
A huge favour now – bit cheeky I know, but please pass the following website to all members:
It is a huge RAF charity project I have been doing for the past two years and needs all the publicity it can get. KP flew Gaby Roslin on 11 July… take a peek. [I’m sure the airline pilots here would be happy to take Harry to various exotic places around the world – Chris]
** From Kit Adams (Apr 74-Sep 77): At long last I’ve registered. As I said at Mappy’s funeral I won’t be at the 90th because I’ll be on my honeymoon! We’ll just have to get to the 100th.
** From Les Hendry (80 – 82): I was going through some old albums and found the attached. Any good for the Picture Gallery? [Great, thanks Les – they’re on the web site now – Chris]
** From Paul Mackie (Jan 82 – Aug 84): Have you had a look at 4 Sqn on Friends Reunited opposed to Forces Reunited? There are currently 60 members registered on Friends Reunited under 4 Sqn! And finally, how many people remember the bar, but had difficulties remembering leaving on occasions ? Here are 2 photo’s for the collection. [Oops, forgot to upload those pics, I’ll do it soon! -Chris]
** From Robert Malkin (Nov 87-Jan 90): Love your work! Is there a requirement for a “Groundcrew” section of the site, (I have to go and unearth some Photos from Mumsy’s). Also I don’t know if you are aware, but there used to be a “I don’t believe you said that” book in the groundcrew tea bar (eg. anon: “Oh I see Rambo’s got his Major up”. Mouse: “What rank does that make him then?”). You could sort them into flying site categories for the Harrier years! (just a suggestion, and I think you are doing a sterling job as it is!). [I’ll certainly divide the site up as it becomes bigger – at the moment I’m just keeping my head above water with all the contributions! – Chris]
Looking for:- Dave “Morse” James A mech W, Sean Fuller A mech P, Mark Bucknall L Tech FS, Jim Dudley L Tech FS. All the above were there 87-90 (as far as I know).
** From Bruce Monk (Jul 74-Sep 77): I was impressed with the Four Fax photo gallery and am sure there are many great photos out there. I have a collection of slides from our era on Harriers and would be glad to contribute, what format is best? I have attached a pic of me getting my own back after winning the bum bomb yet again. [JPEG format is best with the images reduced to 600 x 800 pixels at a resolution of 72 dpi – that way the file size will be kept down to around 100k but they’ll still look good on screen – Chris]
** From Smoky Greene (Nov 76-Jun 79): Outside chance I can get there in Sept but will try. I commend you for organizing and supporting the Association. All the best, Smoky
** From Eric Smith (Jan 61-May 62 and Nov 64-Jun 67): Many thanks for your letter of 1st July which arrived surprisingly quickly for the Spanish postal system. I think, all being well, I am making plans to attend and will write to the Mess and book a room for the weekend of the 27th and 28th September. I have also taken up the opportunity to register with your website at and look forward to a new burst of information. I have taken the liberty of copying this reply to Jock Beaton who was with me when I was CO as I’m sure that he too, might like to attend if he can get back from the States.
** From Bob Grant (69-73 and 83-86): Hi, I was told about your site by an ex plumber from 4 Sqn, Bernie Stayt, who served with me on the Sqn between 1983 to 1986. I was saddened to hear of the deaths of Sqn Ldr Gaby Hayes, and Gary Jones, both of them served on the Sqn during 1970 at Wildenrath. Gary broke a leg playing football for the Sqn, and I believe he was found to have diabetes. Times have changed, since we reformed at Wittering as 4 Echelon Sqn, flying Hunters, because Kingston were on strike and Harrier deliveries were at a premium. In fact, when we went to Germany in the summer of 1970, we still didn’t have Harriers of our own and were flying two MK9 Hunters and a T7 left behind from the old 4 Sqn!
** From Alistair Steele (80-83): I was at Gutersloh from 1980 to 1983 and was a flt line mech as an SAC. My nickname was Algie. You nearly took me up for a flight once. I am now living in Riyadh Saudi Arabia working for BAe Systems. There are a few ex-4 Sqn people out here that I’ve bumped into.
** From Patrick Leach (94-95 (Honorary) and 99-01 STANO): I was the OCU stude in the back seat of your last T4 trip back in 87! Since then flew with all Sqns in HF but only as honorary member of IV when Boggy was Boss at Laarbruch. Last bits were QWI at 1(F), OCU then HF STANEVAL at Cottesmore (as a QWI!) but covering both bases; left in 2001 and now one year into BA Airbus LHR. I’m on ‘reserve’ i.e. standby for BA until 29 Sep incl but should be able to get at least one day free for the 90th weekend. My wife Janie is BA Purser and we have a 22 month old boy called Toby, so the BBQ day is the most appealing until I get a better picture of work as the weekend approaches. All the best, Patrick.
** From George Brown (Mar 88-Mar 91): First of all congratulations on the site as it keeps growing. [Thanks! – Chris] I have attached a few photos for you to add to the web site. One is of Rob Adlam in the GR3 at Osnabrook in 1990. Another is of me all ready for the exercise phase of the Deployment again in Osnabrook. And the last is the whole Sqn photo outside HAS 3 in 89. Hope these help the site grow. See you at the reunion.
** From Captain Michael H. Mietzner, 17 Wing Winnipeg Public Affairs Officer: Good day. I am the Public Affairs Officer for 17 Wing Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. A number of IV Squadron Harriers have staged through my unit over the past couple of days enroute from an exercise in Alaska to your home station. This e-mail is to draw your attention to a media interview conducted with one of your pilots in my presence. The interview was requested by the host of the local “The Afternoon Edition” radio show for our national public radio broadcaster, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC – Radio One) which is equivalent to your BBC.
The interview should be aired this afternoon just before suppertime here in Winnipeg. It was a quick who are you, how long have your flown, how long on this aircraft, what’s the Harrier like, what are you doing here and so on type interview. The reporter also took a short MPEG movie with his digital camera, which was narrated by the interviewee as another pilot was doing his pre-flight checks prior to starting the jet (explaining what he was doing and describing the jet).
The subject of the interview was Squadron Leader Andy Lewis of IV Squadron. The reporter indicated that the MPEG clip would be placed on the CBC Radio website. Although I haven’t found the clip yet, as it may not be there yet, I expect it will be somewhere on the web site (below).
As a note, the all of your aircraft experienced a 24-hour delay due to bad weather at Gander, their next stop. With this in mind, the reporter may return for their departure to get some more audio and video for the website (documenting their departure only, no more interviews) in 24 hours when they (hopefully) do leave. Thought you’d want to know this had happened.
** From Iain Huzzard (Jan 84-Oct 86): Good to be back in touch. Met Tom Hammond in Manchester a few weeks ago and he told me that the Association had come back to life. Got very disillusioned with Loganair and finally threw in the towel (or, maybe, threw out the toys) last summer. Consoled myself by buying a Honda Gold Wing and touring round UK with Mrs H (the original) on the jump seat. Joined BRAL as training captain on the ATP in September – entertainment level modest but stress level zero.
I am based at Manchester but still living near Glasgow in the hope of re-location. Life is good. Hope to make the reunion, roster permitting. I am in touch with a few of the mates on your “missing list” so will spread the word. All the best, Huz.
** From John Hickie (Honorary Member): My only claim to be eligible to attend the Sqn 90th Anniversary was to have been attached to the Sqn Detachment in Belize as GLO in 1970. Steve Jennings was Det Comd and the pilots were Bob Marston, Al Holman, and ANOther, my senility has crept in! On our return there was a Sqn party and the Bos, (Ian Dick), invited Mary and myself. At the “do” he declared me an Honorary Member and gave me a Sqn T Shirt! Needless to say I was extremely pleased but did not take it to mean life membership! As Mary and I have a lot of friends ex 4, I thought that it would be fun to “call in” my Hon membership and ask to come to the Open Day bit on the Saturday where we would undoubtedly meet up with old friends, as indeed we did on the 3 Sqn 90th Anniversary. [We’re honoured to have you as an Honorary Member, John! – Chris]
For those members attending the Association 90th Anniversary Dinner on 28th Sep and who were not at Gutersloh in the 1980’s, or not members of the Officers’ Mess, the following might be something to look for, or be of interest. In the early 80’s the Officers’ Mess decided to commission a series of paintings to depict the history of the airfield at Gutersloh. The series would look at the period covered by the Luftwaffe and the RAF up to and including the Lightning era, and the Harriers and helicopters would be covered separately.
After some research the following facts had come to light. Firstly, in the Second World War, the first British night bomber to be shot down was a Whitley, downed by a Messerschmitt operating out of Gutersloh, and the German pilots account of the action was available. Secondly, three of the four Squadrons currently at RAF Gutersloh had flown from the Station before. 18 Sqn, Chinooks, had flown Dakotas during the Berlin Airlift, 3 Sqn had been based at Gutersloh flying Vampires, and 4 Sqn had flown Hunters from the Station. The artist commissioned to do the work was a Sqn Ldr John Stevens, an Engineering Officer and Member of the Guild of Aviation Artists. Sponsors for the work included Karl Miele, (head of the household electrical manufacturers at Gutersloh) for the Berlin Airlift, Herr Claas, (Claas Combine Harvesters at Harswinkle), Rolls Royce, BAe, and I cannot remember who the fifth was. When completed all five were hung in the Officers’ Mess Dining Room.
On the closure of RAF Gutersloh the series was split up with the 3 and 4 Sqn paintings going to RAF Laarbruch and thence to Cottesmore where they now hang in the Officers’ Mess dining room. For anyone looking at the two paintings, the ground below the 3 Sqn Vampires and the “Fours Four” is based on photographs of the period of RAF Gutersloh. In other words the paintings are historically correct!
** From Brian Bambrick-Sattar (80-83): Hello everyone! Not sure if any of you remember me, I was the Army GLO Clerk and served on IV (AC) Sqn from Nov 80 to Dec 83 (4 Site). By pure chance I stumbled across the IV (AC) Site and have seen that there is to be a 90th Reunion over the weekend 27/28 September 2002. Unfortunately, I will be in Italy at a family wedding and will not be able to make it and just wanted to say “hello” to you all and I hope that those of you who manage to go have a fantastic time.
Just to keep those of you who are interested in what has happened to the token “Green Job” since my IV (AC) days, I left RAF Gutersloh in 1983 for the UK and back to the Army. I have served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Gulf War, Germany and UK. Married Becky Turton in 1983 (father was a teacher at Kings School), we had two girls (Amy Victoria 1987 and Grace Elizabeth 1989) –
we divorced in 1992. I then remarried Kerry Bambrick in 1999 an RAF Stewardess (cannot get the RAF out of me for some strange reason) and we have one girl (Ellie-Mae 2 years old and one on the way, due in November this year). Changed my surname in 2000 to protect the innocent and to keep the Bambrick bit alive. Now in my last 6 months of service as a WO1 (was selected for commission as an officer, but turned it down as I needed to finally leave the Army to get a foothold in civvie street –
Kerry runs two companies and wants to settle down in Derbyshire). Currently working in Reigate for the internet company who provide the MOD Reunited website. I do hope that you are all well and I would love to hear from the any of the Aircrew/Groundcrew that remember the GLO Clerk (Mogli)! All the best, Brian.
** From Des Roberts (Apr 75-Dec 77 and Jan 79-Jan 80): Talking of work, my current position finishes at the end of August, so in the immortal words of Yossa Hughes, ‘Giz a job!’
** From Glenn Edge (Jun 77-Nov 80, Jun 82-Oct 84 and Nov 86-Sep 89): It is with much regret that I will be unable to attend the reunion as I leave for 6 months in Saudi next Monday and won’t be back until the end of Feb. However, I hope all goes well and that everyone ahs a great time. If you get the chance, please pass on my regrets to those who have put so much effort into the grand occasion. [Sorry to hear you’ll miss the reunion, Glenn. Enjoy Saudi! – Chris]
** From Mark Sanderson (87-90): If anyone knows the whereabouts of Tony and Paula Lewis, please tell them to join the members list as we want to see them at the reunion. thanks from Mark (fingers) Sanderson, James (George) Brown, Si Barnes, (pond life linies )
** More from Mark: Hi Chris, I do hope you can help. James Brown and myself, both ex-four, are supporting a fund-raising event in aid of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, reg. charity no. 1067331. We have approached local businesses in the Nottingham area and have received items such as return flight tickets to Europe, ?150.00 food and drink hamper, video recorder etc, and need to sell 2000 tickets before Sept 7th, which is our charity day at the local club, Bingham Bowling Club. This is where you come in.
Could you support us by e-mailing everyone on your 4 Sqn database with the info and suggest they all buy a ticket (or more if they so desire), and send a cheque made payable to ‘Bingham Bowling Club’ and post it to my home address which is: 16 Brownes Road, Bingham, Nottingham, NG13 8EF. We would really like your help, as we are running out of time and still have about 1000 tickets to sell. If you would like to contact the charity to confirm this is genuine, please be our guest, as this is a charity we support on a regular basis, (in the spring I did a 10,000+ parachute jump to raise money for them. Regards, Mark.
** From Bob Glasby (Associate Member): I’ve attached a few pics of the IV (AC) Sqn Mosquito FB VI TA122 (UP-G) which I’m helping to restore at the Mosquito Museum, London Colney. I’ve got loads more.
TA122 served with 605 RAuxAF where it flew its only wartime sortie on 4th May 1945 . It was transferred to 4 Sqn at the end of WWII on 31st August 1945 when 605 Sqn reformed as 4 Sqn. It served post war in Germany at Celle, Wahn & Gutersloh. The aircraft was struck off charge on 30th June 1950 and later sold to Delft University in June 1951 for ?15 where it was used as an instructional airframe. In 1958 TA122 was moved to a smaller building requiring the wings to be sawn off at the roots!
Later the fuselage was moved to the Royal Netherlands Air Force Museum and put into storage. It was finally presented to the Mosquito Museum in 1975 where it was again put into storage. A new wing was found for the aircraft, this being a wing from TW233, a sea Mosquito, sold to Israel after the war. The wing was found in Kibbutz Beit-Alfa. This wing was kindly transported to the UK courtesy of EL-AL airways. This wing is now being restored ready to be fitted to TA122 fuselage.
I was in the RAF for 13 years, mainly on 51 Sqn and in the Electronic Warfare Unit. I also spent a couple of years on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Finally if your members can help me with any info of photos of Mossies, I would be extremely grateful. I need all the help I can get. Regards, Bob. [We’ve made Bob an Associate Member of the Association – Chris]
** From Pat King (61-63 and 70-72): Sqn Ldr Jeff Jeffreys (Rtd) who lives in close to Brampton is secretary of the Jever Steam Laundry (JSL – too difficult to explain the reason for the name) – an association of discreet (former?) fighter pilot beer drinkers of the long gone No 122 Wing who gather annually in London for continuation training. No IV Sqn was on 122 Wg and Jeff is an ex IV Sqn pilot and will have a contact list of members from those days. Hope that’s of some use. AM Sir John Sutton, ex IV Sqn of those days, lives near Cottesmore at Stretton – Tony McKeon knows him. Sorry I don’t have address/tel # of either Jeff or Sir John however both are ‘in the book’ or were. Would someone please contact them. Looking forward greatly to the Reunion and enjoy this site and all the news. Best Regards – Pat King
Dean Ivan Lamb – Request For Information
From Peter Breen
I am seeking information on Dean Ivan Lamb who is reported to have been a member of No 4 Squadron between January/February, 1915 and 1917 when he was shot down and invalided back to the United States. I am gathering information on Lamb for a biography I am writing of his life and times and am trying to fill in three major ‘gaps’ in his life.
Dean Lamb, (1886 – 1955), was a soldier of fortune, pioneer pilot, World War 1 ace in the Royal Flying Corps, barnstormer, air mail courier and later test pilot. He is also credited with establishing the Honduras Air Force in 1921 and was perhaps involved in setting up Bolivia’s Air Force in 1924. He served in the American Military Aviation Transport section in 1942-45 and flew transport missions in Burma and India. He retired from the USAAF as Lieutenant Colonel in 1953 and committed suicide in 1955 after prolonged illness. Lamb was born at Cherry Flats, Pennsylvania, served in three major wars (Philippines, WW1 and WW11) and as a machine-gunner or pilot in at least 10 revolutions in Central and South America. Lamb caught the ‘flying bug’ and made his first solo flight on May 6, 1912. Lamb and Philip Rader are credited with history’s first air fight in 1913 in the Mexican Civil War. Both used pistols in what was a ‘put-up’ job to please their respective Mexican employers.
Lamb joined the Royal Engineers in 1914, served in France until January 1915 when he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and is credited with having shot down five or eight aircraft. He was a sergeant when discharged in 1917. Lamb writes in his book, ‘An Incurable Filibuster’: “Too much has been written about the Great War for me to attempt any addition. Suffice to say I was transferred to the RFC and served at the front until ’17 when I was ordered back to England for rest at an easy job, but was shot down by raiders and invalided to the States, where I remained until the end.”
At one point in his book Lamb mentions that he flew RFC ‘plane 2122’ in France. (He is reported in later newspaper articles to have been the first pilot to down a Gotha bomber over Britain. However this feat is attributed to another RFC pilot in December of 1917). Several potted Who’s Who biographies list him as flying with No 4 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, between 1915 and 1917.
There appears to be dispute among World Way 1 air specialists and history buffs whether Lamb was an ace in World War One. He is listed in a National Geographic article (1918) as having 8 confirmed victories (Ray Collishaw, perhaps Canada’s greatest fighter pilot and among the world’s great air commanders, is credited with 13 victories so the list was obviously dodgy). Lamb is also listed in Air Aces Homepage (compiled by Allan Magnus) as serving with RFC Number 4 Squadron with 5 confirmed victories as an American ace flying with the RFC. He is also listed as having 8 confirmed victories in another site. Lamb himself never mentions whether he was an ace or not. In fact he only mentions the First War in the paragraph quoted above.
Lamb’s life until 1923 is, except for those war years between 1914 and 18, fairly well documented and can be checked out through other sources. (I have yet to check with both the British Army and the RFC for records). WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN AERONAUTICS, The Blue Book of American Airmen, Floyd Clymer Publications, Los Angeles CA, 1925 (Compiled by Lester D. Gardner), states in Lamb’s listing: “Royal Engineers (1914); his WWI service was spent with the Royal Flying Corps’ No. 4 Squadron, where he was credited with 8 air victories, French and Belgian Fronts, and as an instructor and as a “London defence” pilot (1914-17). It also records that he received the DCM with citation and the MM with Citation as well as the French and Belgian Croix de Guerres and Star of 1914.
The DCM citation says: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Notably on July 7, when, flying at an altitude of 15,000 ft., he attacked a large formation of Gotha biplanes, driving one down, where it was captured with its crew. He immediately engaged three more of the enemy, continuing the combat until his Observer was killed and himself severely wounded in the right foot. He fainted from loss of blood and exhaustion but retained sufficient consciousness to land his machine. This non-commissioned officer has previously destroyed seven enemy aeroplanes and has proven himself a skilful and courageous pilot.”
Lamb was commissioned in the American Air Force in October, 1918, after his discharge from the RFC and was based in New York on special duty where he worked with the British Aeronautical Mission. Several other correspondents have disputed whether Lamb ever won the DCM or MM. Two have described him as a ‘fake’ and his record as ‘100 per cent bullshit.’
The years 1914 and 1918 are salient to any biography on Lamb and his later suicide in 1955. Obviously I need confirmation or otherwise of his service in 4 Squadron, his DCM and MM. Does 4 Squadron have records of these awards? Is there a possibility that lamb was put in for awards but did not receive them? (As you can see I’m getting a bit twitchy about that period of Lamb’s life. All his “Boy’s Own Annual” deeds and assertions check out through other sources – except for the 1914-18 period – which seems for some reason to have raised the ire, even fury, of several specialists and aeroplane buffs!)
I would be most grateful if No 4 Squadron has any records of Dean Ivan Lamb, or if any RAF/RFC historians have records of him. I have been searching for a unit history of 4 Squadron during the RFC and early RAF period but so far have been unable to find one. Has a unit history been published?
I would appreciate of any help at all you might be able to give me, or people I can contact for more information to fill out the three gaps in Lamb’s life.
Thoughts On Aviation
Contributed by Don Fennessy
The three most common expressions in aviation are: “Why is it doing that?”, “Where are we?” and “Shit!” Progress in airline flying: now a flight attendant can get a pilot pregnant Airspeed, altitude or brains: two are always needed to successfully complete the flight I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous We have a perfect record in aviation: we never left one up there! “Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I Am At 80,000 Feet and Climbing” – Sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location on Kadena AB Okinawa You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3 – Paul F Crickmore The three best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life to experience all three at the same time If the wings are travelling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter – and unsafe Federal Aviation Regulations are written by lawyers to promote violations and lawsuits Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it An accident investigation attempts to place blame on the hapless for brief lapses To err is human; to forgive divine – and neither is FAA policy When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten – Robert Livingston, ‘Flying The Aeronca’ The only time an aircraft has too much fuel on board is when it is on fire – Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, sometime before his death in the 1920s If you can’t afford to do something right, then be darn sure you can afford to do it wrong – Charlie Nelson I hope you either take up parachute jumping or stay out of single-motored airplanes at night – Charles A. Lindbergh to Wiley Post, 1931 Never fly the ‘A’ model of anything – Ed Thompson When a prang seems inevitable, endeavour to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity, as slowly and gently as possible – Advice given to RAF pilots during WWII The Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you – Attributed to Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot A pilot who doesn’t have any fear probably isn’t flying his plane to its maximum – Jon McBride, astronaut Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you – Richard Herman Jr., ‘Firebreak’ It only takes two things to fly: airspeed and money What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, the pilot dies It’s better to break ground and head into the wind than to break wind and head into the ground Without ammunition the USAF would be just another expensive flying club If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to I give that landing a 9… on the Richter scale Basic Flying Rules:
Try to stay in the middle of the air Do not go near the edges of it The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space – it is much more difficult to fly there