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World War II vet from Oklahoma jumps from airplane 60 years after almost twice being forced from one

Ed Lamb, 88, of Oklahoma City, said it took $195 and the death of two concerned wives to finally push him to jump from an airplane. As a tail gunner in World War II, orders to bail out from his bomber were rescinded twice at the last second.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: February 24, 2013

/articleid/3758722/1/pictures/1962104">Photo - Ed Lamb, 88, gives the thumbs up after his successful parachute jump Saturday at Cushing Airport. Lamb was twice ordered to parachute from damaged aircraft during World War II and now, years later, he has fulfilled his dream to jump again.  Photos By David McDaniel, The Oklahoman
Ed Lamb, 88, gives the thumbs up after his successful parachute jump Saturday at Cushing Airport. Lamb was twice ordered to parachute from damaged aircraft during World War II and now, years later, he has fulfilled his dream to jump again. Photos By David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

He said he was inspired to finally jump after reading about another veteran's sky-dive in The Oklahoman in September.

Twice since then, Lamb attempted to sky-dive, but both times, weather conditions changed his plans.

Strapped onto an experienced instructor, he kept his cool as they stepped out of the door of the plane and began to free fall, he said.

“It was pretty chilly up there, but outside of the cold everything was perfect,” he said. “I wasn't even excited; just kind of a stroll in the park.”

Mark Lamb said his father is well known for keeping cool about things. It was his nature at work, as a father, and even when telling war stories. In fact, it was well after Mark grew up that he learned some of the details of his father's wartime experience.

“He never really talked about it unless you asked him questions, but later he started opening up about it more,” Mark Lamb said. “As his kids got older we were very fascinated with him and proud of what he did. They say it's the ‘greatest generation' and we definitely agree with that.”

Ed Lamb said his matter-of-fact approach to jumping Saturday was a stark difference from 60 years ago.

“Yeah, the adrenaline gets to pumping when you're being shot at,” he said, laughing. “Just something about that tends to turn on the juices.”


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