Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O R L Lamb

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O R L Lamb


Robert Lionel Lamb joined 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 as an Aircrafthand. Called up on 24th August 1939, he began training as an Air Gunner with the squadron and in early 1940 he was sent to 5 BGS Jurby for a gunnery course with other airmen from 601.

With the course completed, they returned to the squadron at Tangmere to find that 601’s Blenheims had been replaced by Hurricanes. In May the newly-qualified air gunners were posted to 600 Squadron at Manston to replace men lost when the squadron lost five aircraft on a daylight raid on Waalhaven airfield, Rotterdam on 10th May.


Above image courtesy of the collection of P/O AJ Glegg, 600 Squadron.


Lamb was commissioned from Corporal on 24th June 1940 and served with the squadron until 5th December when he was posted to 256 Squadron, then reforming at Catterick with Defiants.

In the early hours of 8th May 1941 Lamb, flying with P/O D Toone, shot down a He 111 of KG55. It crashed in the River Dee Marshes, Bagilt, Flintshire.

Lamb went on to serve with 35 (Pathfinder) Squadron, operating Halifaxes from Graveley.

On 20th December 1943 he was returning from a sortie to Berlin in Halifax II HR986. When nearly at their home airfield a Target Indicator exploded and set fire to the aircraft. The pilot, S/Ldr. DJH Sale, gave the bale out order but Lamb found that his parachute had been burned. The crew remained aboard and Sale made a successful landing, all the crew escaping before the aircraft exploded.

Lamb’s 23rd sortie, to Leipzig, was on 19th February 1944. His Halifax II HX325 was shot down by a night fighter at Beedenbostel near Celle.

F/Sgt. K Knight was killed in the aircraft but S/Ldr. DJH Sale, S/Ldr. GHF Carter, F/Lt. BO Bodnar, F/Lt. HJ Rogers, WO GH Cross and Lamb baled out safely and were captured.

S/Ldr. Sale later died in hospital.

Lamb was held in Stalag Luft III.

Freed in May 1945, Lamb was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Squadron Leader.

He died in 1992.


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