Today at 9am, as part of the Fraternal Order of Police annual ‘Day on the Hill,’ the General Assembly will honor Jim Chavers of Savannah.
Jim Chavers was a member of The Fighting Fourth and during that battle walked the same sands of Iwo Jima as my uncle, T. Henry Roberts. Henry was a sharpshooter and also came back without a scratch. He passed away in 2007.
69 years ago today, Chavers set foot on the island. When asked how he joined the Marines, he replied,
In 1943 the draft board rejected me because I had asthma. I went to the doctor and took shots to overcome that and in 1944 I went back for another physical. I basically talked them into taking me – I told the doctor that I hadn’t come back again to fail. I had intended to join the Navy – I wouldn’t have to worry about allergies aboard ship. But on the train on the way back from Atlanta they asked for volunteers for the Marines. The guy sitting next to me said, “Let’s volunteer!” So that’s how I wound up in the Marines.
In 2012, Chavers donated items he’d collected during his Japanese tour to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
The Greatest Generation, indeed.