One of the last of the Greatest Generation, 97-year-old Pete Lambert is one of the few veterans still alive who flew and fought in WWII, and he lives in Shasta County.
“I’m 97 going to heaven,” said Lambert jokingly.
Lambert flew B-17 bomber planes and had over 30 missions during the WWII.
“I went to Berlin four times and I went to Frankfort couple times. D-day, I flew twice,” said Lambert.
He lives in Cottonwood with his best pal, his dog Ronald, and has a big family that includes 25 grandchildren.
Lambert said he always loved to fly.
“My brother was a doctor and he flew way back when I was 5-years-old, he took me up flying so I always knew about flying,” said Lambert.
He shared a few memories that brought joy remembering the past.
“You know I only had to fly a 34 because I was a lead pilot. But I asked to fly 35, and I flew as a tail gunner because I wanted to fire a 50 and I didn’t see a thing,” chuckled Lambert.
For him, other stories were harder to tell like the time when his crew stood by his side, barely escaping death during a mission.
“We went to Munich, got shot and it knocked the engine out. I had three engines. I asked the crew if they wanted to bail out over Switzerland. I told them I was going to come home, and so they all stayed with me and we made it.”
He had some pictures to give a glimpse of what it was like during the war and how he earned some awards.
“That’s me, that’s my co-pilot…” said Lambert with a photo of him and his crew.
“It has been a long nice life… some bad, some good,” said Lambert.
He said he’s one of the lucky ones.
“I’ve been lucky. 97 is…next year I mean about three months, August. I gonna tell them 98 and it’s getting late,” said Lambert.
We honor you, Pete Lambert.