When I heard that Jack Lamb, who assumed management of Lambair from
his father Tom, founder of the company, had died in January 2009 I
decided to add a biographical page to the site. But there is a very
to Jack Lamb which appears on the Vintage Wings site, and since
we could not add to that significantly, we instead go back to earlier
days to share stories about Jack's father Tom from a book I have
about The Pas, Manitoba where the Lambs lived for a time.
My family were also residents of The Pas about the same time. Jack
Lamb believed he remembered my grandfather working in the Lamb store.
It may well have been a Lamb Airways plane which took my father to
the hospital in The Pas when he had a serious accident at the
Sherritt-Gordon mine in Sherridon. Many years later when I was old
enough to take flying lessons I discovered that my father wouldn't go
up with me. He said that when he was a young man in The Pas someone
took him up and scared him so much that he swore he'd never fly
again. Now I'm wondering if that might have been one of the Lambs.
Tom Lamb and my grandfather, Theodore Dupas, were involved together
in a sad end to a sled dog race in 1921. Theodore, who was running a
team in the race and wrote about the event, had discovered evidence
of another team having gone through the lake ice and marked the
location. He wrote: "Next morning I saw Mr. T.H.P. Lamb Sr.
asked him to send a dog team to keep on the search from my mark...
and he volunteered to send Tom Lamb, his son with an indian..."
Along with police from The Pas they located the body of the famous
Walter Goyne sitting upright in the sled and nine dogs below the ice
in 8 feet of water.
Norseman CF-BHS in Montreal in 1945 It flew for Lambair for thirty years
Tom Lamb with his new Norseman in Montreal
Tom Lamb and his father T.H.P. Lamb
Standing: Doug, Don, Dennis, Jack
Sitting: Father Tom and Connie
Tom Lamb in his office
From the book "The Pas - Gateway to Northern
Manitoba" published in 1983. Account written by Tom Lamb's
"In the year 1935 Tom was feeling the need for quicker
transportation and so, at the age of thirty-seven, he took flying
lessons. He soon had his pilot's license and bought his first plane,
a beautiful four-seater Cessna. What a convenience it was and before
long he had a charter service license and had more work than he could
handle... so more help was engaged, including a licensed air mechanic."
"Unfortunately, some... years later this first plane was 'washed
out''... when for some reason he failed to gain sufficient altitude
and landed in the trees, but thankfully no one was hurt and his three
passengers were put up at Cumberland House while Tom paddled down the
river to The Pas. And, so, temporarily, his flying was over, but in
1945, he was into it again when he bought his first Norseman, the
long-lasting and hard-working CF-BHS, then a Moth and from time to
time other planes. In the meantime, his sons were growing into
teen-agers, and one by one they took lessons and got their pilot's
licenses... and Lambair grew and grew."
"Their motto 'Tell us where you want to go' has always been the
story of this northern airline. (The full motto was "Don't ask us
where we fly - tell us where you want to go. RD)
Bases were at The Pas, Thompson, and
but in time Thompson became the centre of operations."
"One is safe in saying that very few square miles from Winnipeg
to beyond the Arctic Circle have not seen a Lambair plane overhead.
Endless loads of mining equipment of all kinds and other supplies
have been set down in many bleak spots that someday could be bustling
mining towns, freight of all kinds transported and passengers of
wide-ranging occupations and interests have looked down from Lambair
planes on a cold and uninviting country, and many have seen mercy
flights from far-ranging areas."
"As this is being written one trip comes to mind. Tom was in the
South Indian-Wabowden area and not expected back for a few days, but
suddenly the big Norseman flew in, flying low over the house and
office, low enough to show one of the skis hanging loose. Immediately
fire-fighting equipment and Dr. Crawford were rushed out to the base
at Grace Lake. It was a tense moment as the landing on the frozen
lake was made, on one ski, and the plane skillfully brought to a
stop. He had flown in to bring a woman with a broken ankle to the
hospital. She was strapped to a stretcher and from her place on the
floor called up to Tom to ask what that noise was (the flapping ski).
Giving her his famous smile he shouted back that the wind always made
that noise! If the poor soul had only known that between her and
eternity was the grace of God and a seasoned bush pilot!"
"...while (on a trip) in Australia he got wind of a plane which
in the war had been shot down over New Guinea and though fully
serviceable was for sale. He bought it and wrote to me that he knew
he could have flown it home but Jennie (Tom's wife) wouldn't let him!"
"Lambair was expanding and many of their planes could tell
exciting stories. One of which had bullet holes to show it had been
in one of the wars in the Congo, in Africa, and this one Greg, the
eldest of the brothers, along with another pilot and a mechanic, flew
home, via Brazil for re-fueling and then up the east coast of North America."
"Another was flown from Norway and still another from
Afghanistan, in this case Jackie (another brother) being the one of
the pilots - all serviceable planes but struck off from the various
Pilot Ted Stull, Elwood Mason, Tom Lamb
loading a Junkers W 34