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
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