28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Allen T. Lamb, Jr.
Captain Allen T. Lamb, Jr., won the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight as a Tactical Fighter Pilot over North Vietnam on 22 December 1965.
On that date, Captain Lamb participated in a strike on an SA-2 missile site on the Red River approximately fifty miles northwest of Hanoi, North Vietnam.
Despite accurate anti-aircraft fire and the knowledge that another SA-2 missile site was in the immediate area, Captain Lamb repeatedly made strafing passes at hazardously low altitudes to assure the destruction of the target. Through excellent teamwork and superb airmanship, Captain Lamb was able to find and destroy an SA-2 missile site that was not previously known to exist.
TRIBUTE TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALLEN LAMB
Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Lt. Col. Allen Lamb, a retired Air Force pilot from the great State of North Carolina, for his many years of service to his country as a combat pilot and the important role he played in the development of U.S. Air Force tactics.
Lt. Col. Allen Lamb selflessly dedicated 20 years of his life to serving his country in the United States Air Force. During his service, he saw combat during both the Korean war and Vietnam war, while piloting a variety of aircraft from propeller-driven heavy bombers to the most advanced jet fighters of the era. Lieutenant Colonel Lamb had an uncanny ability of surviving the mid-air accidents that occurred on a few of the many combat and training missions that he participated in, and he is notable for successfully ejecting from four-engine, three-engine, and two-engine airplanes at different points during his career.
From protecting his B-26 bomber as a tail gunner from Soviet MIG pilots over Korea, to being distinguished as the first American pilot to successfully destroy North Vietnamese surface to air missile-SAM-sites in an F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet, Lieutenant Colonel Lamb’s Cold War service consisted of many hazardous and diverse assignments.
Although it is difficult to narrow all of the spectacular and death-defying accomplishments of Lieutenant Colonel Lamb’s career down to one specific achievement, his participation in the first “Wild Weasel” strike against a North Vietnamese SA-2 SAM site is particularly notable for the significant influence it had on future Air Force tactics.
In 1965, early in the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force was losing a considerable number of planes during the strategic bombing campaign in North Vietnam due to the effectiveness of deadly Soviet-supplied SA-2 SAMs that were strategically scattered throughout the country. As a result, the Air Force developed a daring solution to counter the SAM threat that involved using agile F-100 Super Sabre and F-4 Phantom fighter jets to detect and suppress the missile launching sites. The innovative Air Force mission” was soon given the name “Wild Weasel” because the anti-SAM mission was reminiscent of the way a hunting ferret enters the den of its prey to kill it.
In late 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Lamb was given command of leading the first Wild Weasel mission, Wild Weasel I. On this mission, which took place just over 50 kilometers from the North Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Lieutenant Colonel Lamb and his navigator Jack Donovan flew extremely low on multiple strafing runs and were successful in destroying a SA-2 SAM site that was not previously known to exist. Both men were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the Air Force for their efforts.
Lieutenant Colonel Lamb respectfully declined receiving the Silver Star award when he was offered it because his crewman Jack Donovan was not also included. Wild Weasel I demonstrated that the Wild Weasel project was an effective method of identifying and eliminating enemy SAM capabilities, and it was essential in saving the lives of American bomber pilots as they continued to conduct missions over North Vietnam until 1973. Lieutenant Colonel Lamb completed the first, second, and third Wild Weasel kills during the war, and the tactics he was instrumental in developing during the Wild Weasel missions are
still utilized in modern Air Force operations to suppress enemy air defenses.
As a U.S. Senator, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a North Carolinian, I am pleased to recognize and honor Lt. Col. Allen Lamb for his impressive career of military service, his critical role in the development of U.S. Air Force tactics, and his steadfast commitment to our country.