Tribute to Flt Lt Ken Lambden

One of the RAF’s oldest and most distinguished squadrons paid tribute to one of its world war two veterans recently, when 208(R) Squadron from RAF Valley carried out a flypast at his funeral.

Ken Lambden was a Spitfire pilot with 208 Squadron in the second world war, and died recently at the age of 91.

Former Flight Lieutenant Lambden was born in 1923, and joined the University Air Squadron when he was studying at Oxford University. He joined the RAF in 1943 and trained as a pilot in South Africa. In October 1944 he joined 208 squadron in Italy, where the Allies were battling stiff German resistance. The squadron’s role was to gather photographic intelligence, which meant flying straight and low while being shot at by the enemy. The squadron was also tasked with ground attack, disrupting enemy supply lines and communications.

The current role of 208(R) squadron, based at RAF Valley is to train future fast jet pilots for the RAF, Royal Navy and provides International Defence Training for some foreign air forces. It also trains Qualified Flying Instructors, and supports other RAF and Royal Navy squadrons who operate the Hawk T1. The flypast was carried out by Flight Lieutenant Nigel Wharmby, a flying instructor with 208(R) squadron. The aircraft used - Hawk XX350 - has been specially painted to celebrate the centenary of WW1 ahead of 208(R) Squadron’s own centenary in 2016.

A spokesman for the family said: "It's a great honour and our father would have been very proud that the squadron is remembering one of their own in this way”. The family would like to thank the RAF and 208(R) Squadron, in particular, who have always shown genuine interest in former pilots like our dad. He was regularly invited to the squadron base at RAF Valley and they have marked his significant birthdays."

Current Officer Commanding 208(R) squadron, Wing Commander Chris Kidd said; “We have a great esprit de corps here on 208, and this extends beyond the squadron to our veterans and their families which means we will always do what we can to pay tribute to our distinguished forbears. I would like to extend our condolences to Ken’s family, but also pay tribute to a remarkable man, fighter pilot and member of the 208 squadron association”.

Editor: Sqn Ldr Dave Williams.  Photographs: Cpl Andy Ferguson

Top: Flt Lt Ken Lambden with his Spitfire.     Middle: 208 Squadron Centenary Hawk T1 “XX350”.
Bottom: Flypast by “XX350”.  

This article first appeared in                                            Read Ken’s obituary here:
the Royal Air Force Website and the RAF Valley Website.  

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20150610 - Lambden Obituary