American veteran who narrowly avoided death in Second World War tells story at IWM Duxford

PUBLISHED: 17:57 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:57 03 November 2014

Huie Long and the newly conserved P-51 Mustang.

Huie Long and the newly conserved P-51 Mustang.


An American veteran who narrowly avoided death in the Second World War has unveiled an aircraft that tells his stirring story.

IWM Duxford’s painstakingly conserved P-51 Mustang – which will take pride of place in the redeveloped American Air Museum – was revealed by 90-year-old former ace airman Huie Lamb on Thursday.

Huie arrived at Duxford at the age of 20 to serve with the 82nd Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces in August 1944.

On his first mission in the aircraft Etta Jeanne on December 29, 1944, Huie was one of the few pilots to survive when an engine fire forced them to bail out and parachute into the icy cold waters of the North Sea.

He was rescued by another aircraft pilot who spotted him in the water, but a doctor later told him that had he been in the sea for five minutes longer, he would have died.

Huie amassed more than 200 hours of combat flying, destroying an official count of 5½ aircraft in the course of his 61 missions.

The 78th Fighter Group flew a total of 450 missions out of RAF Duxford with a loss of 128 pilots.

“I always enjoy coming back here,” Huie said. “I particularly enjoy visiting the Officers’ Mess, I have a lot of fond memories of being there.

“We had a guy who played the piano at night and we did some singing, although we weren’t very good singers!

“I enjoy visiting the squadron facilities where, when we weren’t flying, we’d read tech orders or play cards.

“Our squadron was based right next to the briefing room, it was a good feeling to go there again.”

IWM Duxford’s conserved and repainted P-51 Mustang represents Huie’s second aircraft Etta Jeanne II, named after – like his first aircraft which did not survive – his younger sister.

Of the newly-conserved P-51 Mustang, Huie said: “It’s unbelievable. I never dreamed I’d see it.

“When I think of all the hard work that has happened to put it in the condition it’s in, it’s heartwarming.”

The P-51 Mustang will form the centrepiece for Huie Lamb’s story, told as part of the new interpretation in the American Air Museum, when it reopens in 2016.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 12:39

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (BCH RPU) now have the power to seize vehicles that have been untaxed for longer than eight weeks.

Yesterday, 12:17

Police in the Fens released a tally of hare coursing and related offences from the past two months that include four arrests and 17 vehicles seized.

Yesterday, 08:53

New locations for services and Christmas-themed activities have been announced for Royston’s parish church after the devastating fire at the weekend.

Yesterday, 07:01

Christmas has arrived in Ashwell, as hundreds of visitors enjoyed the village’s annual festive celebration.

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Royston Crow weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy