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The Airmen's Stories - P/O O E Lamb


Owen Edward Lamb was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 10th May 1917, the son of Gordon Edward Lamb and Agnes Isabel Lamb.

Early in 1939 he applied for an RAF short service commission, was provisionally accepted and sailed for the UK on May 6 in the RMS Rangitane.

On 12th June 1939 Lamb began his elementary flying training at 10 E&RFTS Yatesbury and in late August moved to 2 FTS Brize Norton. With training completed Lamb was posted to 7 AGS Newton Down in February 1940 for a gunnery course, after which he went to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge to convert to Hurricanes.



On 13th April Lamb began a Specialist Armament Officers Course at No. 1 Air Armament School at Manby. He went to 5 OTU Aston Down on 31st August for a Hurricane refresher course and joined 151 Squadron at Digby in mid-September.

Lamb volunteered for overseas service in early November and joined 73 Squadron at Debden. The squadron embarked on HMS Furious on the 10th, en route for the Middle East. They flew their Hurricanes off to Takoradi on the 29th and then flew in easy stages to Heliopolis via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Khartoum, Wadi Haifa and Abu Sueir.

On arrival, the squadron was attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert. 73 Squadron became operational on its own account at Sidi Heneish in early January 1941.

The Luftwaffe mounted a heavy attack against Tobruk on 14th April 1941 with a force of more than ninety fighters and bombers. 73 Squadron was operating from within the perimeter defences that day and took off to engage the enemy, Lamb in Hurricane I V7766.

After the action, Lamb failed to return, his body was later found and buried in an isolated grave near the Tobruk-Bardia road. After the war Lamb's remains were re-interred in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.



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