Percy, who was known as Colin, was born on the 21st November 1920 in Strathfield, New South Wales, and he enlisted in the RAAF in Sydney on the 20th July 1941
After completing his training, Colin joined 457 Squadron in October 1943, and completed his tour in August the folllowing year. When he was posted to the Squadron, it had just been returned to front-line service on the 20th January 1943. It had been part of 1 Fighter Wing, defending Darwin, but was then transferred to the newly formed 80 Wing and moved to Sattler on the 13th May 1944. During the Squadron’s time as part of Darwin’s air garrison, it detached aircraft on several occasions to Milingimbi, Drysdale, Perth and Exmouth. The Squadron was re-equipped with an updated version of the Spitfire, imported from Britain, which arrived in a grey and green camouflage scheme. This led to the Squadron nicknaming itself the “Grey Nurse Squadron” and adorning its aircraft with a distinctive shark’s mouth on the nose.
By early July 1944, the air defence of Darwin had been handed over to several Royal Air Force squadrons, allowing 457 Squadron to be employed in ground attack, and occasionally maritime attack roles for the rest of the war.
The group photo is of 457 Squadron in 1944. From left to right:
Top row: Ian C. “Geoff” Chandler, Gilbert G. “Harpo” Marks, Christopher V. “Vince” Madigan, Ronald H. Bolton, Wilfred G. “Wally” Dial, Allen C. Beckwith, J. Lysle Roberts and Frederick M “Fred” Fuernhardt.
Middle Row: Frederick J. Inger, Kenneth D. McLeod, James H. “Jim” Greaves, Percy Colin Lambert, Bob Bawden, James E. “Jimmy” Summerton, Richard L. “Dick” Due, Trevor R. Russell, Angus A “Gus” Haynes, Alexander H. “Tex” Morton, Thomas F. “Frank” Payne, Albert L. “Smoky” Lumley.
Seated: James E. “Jim” Milne, Bob Addision, Arthur J. “Nat” Gould, Lloyd L. “Danny” Boardman, Thomas H. “Tommy” Trimble, Alfred “Alf” Glendinning, Southwood C. “South” wwCreagh, Unknown, Adjutant, Alfred V. “Noel” Ede and L. Allen Leeming.
When Colin left 457 squadron, he became a Flying Instructor at Uranquinty and Mildura Operational training Units (OTUs).
Colin of Mildura and Irymple, Victoria, died on the 10th September 1995. Don Lambert, who brought the sad news to our attention wrote: “‘Dad had a life-long passion for aviation, which he passed on to me, so I knew he would have wanted his mates to know of his passing away.”
The Spitfire Association