Hamilton County


Lt. John B. Chambers




W. C. Pilot Back After Naval Tour

Lt. John B. Chambers, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Chambers of this city, is home on leave from naval duty in the Pacific as a member of the famed Air Group Fifteen during which time the Webster City aviator was awarded the air medal and took part in 37 combat missions against enemy held territory or while engaged in various fleet actions.

Lieutenant Chambers was his squadron’s material officer for the past year and during an attack on Luzon in the Philippines his plane scored a torpedo hit on a cruiser in Manila bay. According to an official naval release, the lieutenant participated in the following actions.

Marcus island, May 19-20; Wake island, May 23; Saipan, Pagan and Rota islands, June 11-13; Bonin islands, June 15-16; fleet action, June 19; Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota islands, June 21 to Aug. 5; Palau, Sept. 6-8; Mindanao, Sept. 9-10; Visayas, Sept. 12-14; Luzon, Sept. 21-22; Visayas, Sept. 24; Nansei Shoto, Oct. 10; Formosa, Oct. 12-14; Visaya and Luzon, Oct. 21; Luzon, Nov. 5-6, and Manila, Nov. 13-14.

Group Fifteen’s commanding officer, Commander David S. McCampbell of Los Angeles, is the navy’s highest scoring pilot with a total of 334 airborne Jap planes destroyed—the greatest number ever shot down by an American pilot during a single tour of duty. During the action Oct. 24, the commander bagged nine planes and scored two “probables” to achieve a combat record for a single action.

During its tour the air group destroyed 312 planes in the air, 348 on the ground and probably destroyed or damaged, in the air and on the ground, 388 more.

Another record was hung up against enemy shipping with 174,300 tons of merchant shipping and 77,200 tons of warships sunk and 38,500 tons of merchant shipping and 217,450 tons of warships damaged.

After its leave period is completed the air group will resume combat operations.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Dec. 18, 1944

John Berry Chambers was born Oct. 9, 1918 to Michael Joseph and Agnes J. Berry Chambers. He died Aug. 12, 1993 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Lt. Commander Chambers served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. He was an aviator and served with the Torpedo 15 Squadron on the U.S.S. Essex where he received the Navy Cross. He was discharged on June 1, 1946 and continued in the Navy reserves retiring as a lieutenant commander in 1969.

His Obituary: John Berry Chambers

Son of Michael and Agnes (Berry) Chambers. On Nov. 21, 1941, he entered the Navy and was discharged on 1 June 1946. On Nov. 9, 1943, he married Alice Kennedy in Pawcatuck, Conn. After his discharge, he returned to Webster City and was a letter carrier with the U.S. Post Office until 1968. He then became a rural mail carrier until retiring in 1979. His wife died Nov. 8, 1977.

He is survived by sons & daughters-in-law, Patrick and Sandy Chambers and Michael & Kimberly Chambers, all of Webster City, Joseph and Shelly Chambers, Davenport, Thomas Chambers, Washington D.C.; daughters & sons-in-law, Maureen & Don Seamonds, Kathleen & Arlin Dickinson and Bridget Chambers, all of Webster City, Mindy Chambers and Scotland Brown of Champaign, Ill; 15 grandchildren; one g-granddaughter; sister, Patricia Whitney, Waterloo; and brother, William Chambers, Spencer.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; son, John Michael in infancy; brothers, Francis “Red” Chambers and Father Robert Chambers; and sisters, Mary Mueller and Margaret Murphy.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Aug. 13, 1993