Medal of Honor recipient Justice Marion Chambers (February 2, 1908-July 29, 1982) was born in Huntington. He attended Marshall College (now University) but moved to Washington D.C. before graduating. He attended law school at night, earning his degree in 1932. He worked for several federal agencies, including the Bureau of Investigations, the U.S. Treasury, the Justice Department, and the U.S. Maritime Commission.
Chambers enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1930 as a private and was commissioned as an officer in 1932. Called to active duty in 1940, Chambers took part in some of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific. Chambers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Iwo Jima campaign in February 1945. On February 19, Chambers led an assault battalion that landed under heavy enemy fire. During an eight-hour battle, Chambers led his troops in the capture of the high ground. On February 22, he was wounded and removed from combat.
Chambers retired from the Marines as a colonel in 1946. President Harry Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor on November 1, 1950. After leaving the military, Chambers served in a number of federal positions, including staff advisor to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He died at Bethesda Naval Hospital after suffering a stroke, and his remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Wayne County honored Chambers with a plaque at the courthouse on May 11, 2002. The U.S. 60 bridge connecting Cabell and Wayne counties was named the Colonel Justice M. Chambers Memorial Bridge in 2004.
This Article was written by Henry Franklin Tribe
Last Revised on October 04, 2012
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Kenneth, John. Medal of Honor Winner Justice Chambers Dies. Washington Post, August 1, 1982.
Massey, Tim. Wayne to Honor Late Col. Chambers. Herald-Dispatch, January 9, 2002.
Withers, Bob. Bridge Will Be Named for Local War Hero. Herald-Dispatch, April 30, 2004.
Colonel Justice M. Chambers (oral history transcript). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps, 1988.
Cite This Article
Tribe, Henry Franklin "Justice Chambers." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 04 October 2012. Web. 27 February 2017.