Was Dean Ivan Lamb The Real Indiana Jones?

Written by Outdoor Beasts Staff on July 28, 2016


Who was Dean Ivan Lamb…

And what does he have to do with Indiana Jones?

You’ll be surprised.

Was Dean Ivan Lamb The Real Indiana Jones?

Dean Ivan Lamb doesn’t waste any time. As his 1934 autobiography, The Incurable Filibuster: Adventures of Col. Dean Ivan Lamb, opens, he’s in a gambling house somewhere Uptown in New Orleans, at the wrong end of a crooked monte game.

Fed up, he says “you lose,” pulls his Colt, grabs the money from the table and hops on a waiting streetcar, shoving a bill into the conductor’s hand to get going. Exit the 20-year-old Lamb, pursued by mob.

The book that follows is basically more of the same, a boozy boy’s own adventure story with Lamb as its square-jawed, slightly squiffy hero. From the Panama Canal Zone to the Mexico-United States border to the highlands of Bolivia to the pampas of Southern Brazil, Lamb fought and schemed and caroused and carried on with rare vigor, serving in revolutionary and not-so-revolutionary armies and air forces (he learned to fly in 1912) in at least half a dozen Latin American countries.

And if most of those air forces consisted basically of him and him alone, he also served two years in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, at the end of which he was given a medical discharge due to injuries sustained while shooting down one of the giant German Gotha bombes which had begun raiding London. (Uncharacteristically, he skips over this truly heroic episode.)

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