Grumman F4F Wildcat

Grumman F4F Wildcat

By the late 1930's the Navy wanted a 300 mph airplane, so the era of the biplane ended.  About 1940, Lambert got to fly the new Wildcat.  With 1200 horsepower it topped 300 mph.

War Clouds gathered.  Now a veteran of five years of flying, Lambert returned to Pensacola in May 1941 to serve a tour as a flight instructor until the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor.


Someone must have been pretty sure war was inevitable, because within seven months, he logged nearly 2,000 hours instructing new cadets almost around the clock.


As you will see on the next page, there were warnings that we might have to fight Japan.

SNJ Texan trainer

SNJ  trainer

Navy pilots were expected to fly everything in the inventory in the 1930's.  For Lambert, it became a life-long habit.  When ashore from the Boise, he sometimes flew the new retractable geared, Grumman F3F-2 that had 950 horsepower and a top speed over 260 mph.

Grumman F3F "Flying Barrel"

Grumman F3F-2

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