Lambert's Avenger over the Pacific

Lambert returns to the Essex from his final combat mission, Nov. 14, 1944

Flying directly into murderous ground fire from well-defended positions, planes from four carriers struck Japanese shipping in Manila Harbor on Nov. 13 and 14, sinking a cruiser, 6 destroyers, 7 loaded transports, and destroying buildings, oil tanks, and docks essential to the enemy.  It was a stunning blow to what little remained of the Imperial Navy in the Philippines.


For two months our planes had been equipped with "windows" - aluminum strings that caused the enemy's radar-guided anti-aircraft guns to fire behind the planes.  It worked well until they finally caught on and compensated.  As a result, Lambert saw several Navy planes shot down in this battle.


The Japanese lit smudgepots in the city and on the hillsides in a futile attempt to blackout the targets, but only created a general haze.  Returning safely to the ESSEX was a nice way to end a tour of duty.


After six and a half months of combat, Lambert's Torpedo Squadron VT-15 left their aircraft behind for a replacement squadron VT-4.  At Ulithi Atoll, they hitched a ride boarded the BUNKER HILL (CV-17) that was headed for a month-long overhaul in Seattle.  On Nov. 18, 1944 Lambert and his aircrews steamed to safety.

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