Major William C. Chamberlin, 2/8
Serial Number - 05929
Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines
Awarded the Navy Cross for action on Betio island during 20-24 November 43:
"For oustanding leadership and uncommon valor, and disregarding personal saftey. Chamberlin cleaned out machinegun nests along the saewall and, although wounded, directed operations on the extreme left of the beachhead. He led attacks against numerous bunkers and commanded the destruction of an important enemy bombproof."
Maj. Chamberlin was from Seattle, Washington. He was wounded on Betio.
"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Major William C. Chamberlin, United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service while serving as Executive Officer of the Second Battalion, Eighth Marines, SECOND Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 24 November 1943. Although wounded during landing operations, Major Chamberlin promptly reorganized the remnants of three companies of his own battalion and another company of a reinforcing Battalion in the most important and hazardous sector assigned to his forces. Personally directing the yard-by-yard advance of these assault units, he repeatedly exposed himself to intense enemy grenade and rifle fire in changing position from one flank of a three hundred yard front to the other and, by his own brilliant leadership and gallant conduct, inspired his men to tremendous endeavors which resulted in the successful completion of an extremely difficult mission. Major Chamberlin's splendid tactical ability and indomitable fighting spirit in the face of grave peril reflect great credit upon himself, his valiant command and the United States Naval Service."
copyright 2001 Wheaton, Illinois
Created 30 June 2001 - Updated 20 January 2020