Brigadier General Keith W. Lamb:
California Citizen Soldier
Brigadier General Donald E. Mattson
California has many heroes and Keith Lamb is one of them. He typifies many of his generation who experienced the challenges of the 1930's, demonstrated courage in World War II and went on after the war to build his life and become a respected member of his community.

General Lamb's initial experience with the military began as a member of the California Cadet Corps in 1936, at Grant Union High School in Sacramento. He attended the first phase of the Citizens Military Training Camp at the Presidio of Monterey. The completion of four required summer camps would lead to a reserve commission. However, after graduation from high school in 1939, he joined the California National Guard serving in Battery D 143rd Field Artillery Regiment of the 40th Division. Soon, he attained the rank of sergeant. The division was activated in March, 1941. In 1943, Sergeant Lamb traded his sergeant's stripes and crossed cannons for the gold bars of a second lieutenant and pilot's wings

General Lamb, then a lieutenant belonged to the 8th Air Force's, 100th Heavy Bombardment Group, nicknamed 'The Bloody One-Hundred". They were assigned the daylight bombing of Germany. The group was authorized 48 B-17s. They lost 229 B-17s during a two-year period in Europe. Keith Lamb brought his plane safely back to the base after bombing runs on two different occasions with only two of four engines operational.

He was on the first shuttle mission to Russia. On these missions, they would fly over Germany on a bombing mission, be refueled and rearmed in Russia, and make another bombing mission on the way back to England.
For his courageous acts as a pilot of the "Bloody 100", he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

With the required 35 missions completed, he was reassigned back to the United States. He then served as a pilot in the Air Transport Command at Long Beach Army Air Field, and later Stockton Army Air Field. At Stockton Army Air Field he later became a twin engine flight instructor.

With the war's end he was ordered to McClellan Army Air Field for separation. Before he left active duty he married Marian Doyle. Like millions of returning veterans he got on with his civilian endeavors and pursuits, raising a family, obtaining his law degree, starting a practice, serving as a public defender, teaching law, and developing businesses. In the process, he became a respected member of the community
By 1947, for the second time, he became a Californian Citizen Soldier. Over the course of his service in the California National Guard, he became a key senior officer, serving in the combat arms and various staff
positions in the 40th Armored and 49th Infantry Divisions, State Headquarters and the Selective Service System.

He retired with 41 years of federal and state service. For his outstanding contributions to state and nation the Governor of the State of California placed him on the retired list as Brigadier General. A veteran and Cold War warrior who's federal and state military service distinguished him as one of California's outstanding citizen soldiers.
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Updated 8 February 2016