December 16, 1881 (New York City) – March 21, 1956 (Norwalk, CT); 74 years old
Married Elizabeth Nichols Chamberlin (1888-1983) on July 19, 1919, in Bridgeport, CT.
Two daughters, Elizabeth N. Chamberlin Howard (1920-1979) and Martha E. Chamberlin Sloane (1925-1988).
One son, Ward B. Chamberlin III (1921-2017). He was a pioneer in public broadcasting in New York and Washington DC. He helped launch the career of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
Appointed a 2nd Lieutenant on August 15, 1917, at Plattsburg Barracks, New York, NY.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant on August 16, 1918.
Promoted to Captain on March 26, 1919.
Honorable discharge on May 12, 1919.
Unit: 77th Infantry Division, 157th Field Artillery Brigade, 307th Infantry, Company L
Born to Ward B. (1833-1903) and Elizbeth Frances “Lizzie” Barker Chamberlin (1943-1921). One half-sister, Eliza H. Chamberlin (1857-1860).
Wounded in the Oise-Argonne offensive at Merval, France on September 14, 1918. Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star Medal with cluster, and the Purple Heart Medal. Participated in the Baccarat sector, Vesle sector, Oise-Aisne offensive, and Meuse-Argonne offensive.
Served as Vice President of the Greater Norwalk Improvement Association. Active in the Democratic Party in Norwalk. Was a candidate for councilman in the Fifth Ward. Also served as the air raid warden for Wilson Point (Norwalk) in World War II.
Citation to accompany the award of the Distinguished Service Cross
General Orders No. 46, W. D., 1919
“The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Ward B. Chamberlain, Captain, U.S. Army for extraordinary heroism in action near Merval, France, on September 15, 1918. While leading his company in attack through terrific shell fire, Captain Chamberlain was severely wounded in the right hand, this wound rendering his entire right arm useless. Despite his weakness from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated until forced to do so.
Major General, Commanding”
From the book “Blair Academy and the Great War; A Record of the Part Played by Students and Alumni in the World Conflict of 1914-1919”
February 2, 1919
“General Orders No. 10.
“I desire to record in the General Orders of this Division, a tribute to the valorous conduct of the following officers and enlisted men who have distinguished themselves by their splendid courage, service, and sacrifice:
“First Lieutenant Ward B. Chamberlin, 307th Infantry – On September 11, 1918, the 3rd Battalion, 307th Infantry, was holding the ridge at Merval, with the enemy in front and on the right flank. Shortly after noon, some men thought to be Boche, were seen moving into position along a ridge on the left flank. As their continued presence there would have made the position of the 3rd Battalion untenable, it was considered desirable to send a small patrol across, which by exposing itself would draw fire and thus verify the presence and strength of the enemy. Volunteers were called for from the nearest group of men; but owing to the fact that they had for two days been under continuous shell fire in an exposed position, their nerves were in no condition to undertake this work. Lieutenant Chamberlin, however, volunteered and insisted on going on this patrol, although accompanied only by a guide and one other officer.”
February 21, 1919
“General Orders No. 14.
“1. I desire to record in the General Orders of this Division a tribute to the valorous conduct of the following officers and enlisted men who have distinguished themselves by their splendid courage, service, and sacrifice:
“First Lieutenant Ward B. Chamberlin, 307th Infantry, while in command of Company L in the flank attack of the 3rd Battalion on Grand Pre, October 15, 1918. During the operations which resulted in the capture of that city, he moved his company with great tact and unflinchingly exposed himself to the continual sweeping artillery and machine gun fire of the enemy for seven hours in pursuance of his duty. He was so successful in advancing and holding his gains, and so attracted the enemy’s fire and attention as to allow the troops of the 1st Battalion to cross the river in front of the city unobserved. His actions at all times were a source of inspiration and courage to his men.”
According to obituaries, burial was “private.”