Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Justice Marion Chambers

Details
  • Also Known As: "Jumping Joe" Chambers
  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel (Highest Rank: Colonel)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Assault Battalion Landing Team, 25th Marines,
    4th Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 19 - 22, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 3d Assault Battalion Landing Team, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19-22 February 1945. Under a furious barrage of enemy machine-gun and small-arms fire from the commanding cliffs on the right, Col. Chambers (then Lt. Col.) landed immediately after the initial assault waves of his battalion on D-day to find the momentum of the assault threatened by heavy casualties from withering Japanese artillery, mortar rockets, machine-gun, and rifle fire. Exposed to relentless hostile fire, he coolly reorganized his battle-weary men, inspiring them to heroic efforts by his own valor and leading them in an attack on the critical, impregnable high ground from which the enemy was pouring an increasing volume of fire directly onto troops ashore as well as amphibious craft in succeeding waves. Constantly in the front lines encouraging his men to push forward against the enemy's savage resistance, Col. Chambers led an eight-hour battle to carry the flanking ridge top and reduce the enemy's fields of aimed fire, thus protecting the vital foothold gained. In constant defiance of hostile fire while reconnoitering the entire regimental combat team zone of action, he maintained contact with adjacent units and forwarded vital information to the regimental commander. His zealous fighting spirit undiminished despite terrific casualties and the loss of most of his key officers, he again reorganized troops for renewed attack against the enemy's main line of resistance and was directing the fire of the rocket platoon when he fell, critically wounded. Evacuated under heavy Japanese fire, Col. Chambers, by forceful leadership, courage, and fortitude in the face of staggering odds, was directly instrumental in insuring the success of subsequent operations of the 5th Amphibious Corps on Iwo Jima, thereby sustaining and enhancing the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Justice Marion "jumping joe" Chambers
Medal of Honor Recipient Justice Marion "jumping joe" Chambers
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Washington, District of Columbia
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: November 1, 1950

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: February 2, 1908, Huntington, Cabell County, WV, United States
  • Died: July 29, 1982
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (6-5813-A-9), Arlington, VA, United States
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