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Barton P. Chambers

Company E-1

10 May 1939 - 28 July 2014

Place of Death: Pace, FL

Interment: TBA

It is with great sorrow and regret that I must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Bart Chambers, on July 28, 2014, in Pace, FL, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. 

Bart is survived by his wife, Susan, her daughter Danielle and husband Jeff Koehler, and their sons Jaxen and Tysen. 

A celebration of life for Bart's family and friends will be held at Rodizio Grill, 605 E. Gregory Street, Pensacola, FL, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, on 23 August. 

Internment is private. 

Condolences may be sent to Susan at 4277 Essex Terrace Circle, Pace, FL  32571. 

In lieu of flowers, Susan has asked that donations in Bart's memory be sent to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown,  MD 21741-5030.

Well done, Bart.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\E-1 Bart Chambers.pdf


A few days before his death, former paratrooper and U.S. Army Captain Barton "Black Bart" Patrick Chambers promised his beloved wife Susan he would stick around long enough to kiss her on their upcoming wedding anniversary.

He kept his word, making his final jump early in the evening of the 27th of July.

Bart was the first of two children from the marriage of Barbara Barton Chambers and John Harlan Chambers, and was born 10 May, 1939, at Ft. Screven, GA. His sister Beatrice was born four years later.

A warrior born to warriors, Bart and his father were both West Point graduates. Bart's was the class of 1961. After West Point, Bart attended Officer's Artillery and Jump School courses, serving at Ft. Sill, OK, Ft. Bliss, TX, and Ft. Benning, GA. Next he was shipped overseas to West Germany, to serve with the 81st Airborne at Erlangen and Wiesbaden. After his tour in Germany he returned to Fort Sill, where, in 1966, he was severely injured in an auto accident. Due to his disabilities, he was Honorably Discharged in 1967.

Two years later, Bart went to work for the government as a civilian undercover agent in Vietnam. At the time, aiming to debilitate U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam, the Vietcong was heavily involved in the drug trade. By any perspective, at the time Bart's was one of the most dangerous jobs one could have, in one of the worlds most dangerous places.

Bart's Vietnam adventure ended when he was shot five times by someone he trusted. That he survived the ordeal was a miracle, and he carried one of the bullets in his abdomen the rest of this life.

His hard-charging military and intelligence work had come to an irrevocable end. Shipped back to the States, he recovered and eventually found work as an engineer with a Washington DC construction firm.

If you assumed this adventurer was a macho-man with little depth, you'd be wrong. As a son, a brother, a husband, and a friend, you couldn't find a warmer, more loyal, more consistent and more generous character. He was well educated and a voracious reader. During his later years, one of his favorite pastimes was to sit in his living room reading poetry while stroking Waldo the cat, who lay across his lap.

Bart was spiritual, not religious, and he loved life, the outdoors, and nature. Although it paid well, his engineering job didn't satisfy; in 1978 he found the job that he loved for some twenty two years - at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. In keeping with his keen concern for nature and conservation, Bart worked at Coastal Zone Management, involving marine biology and the ecology.

His entire working career was spent on behalf of the country and land that he loved. Retiring in 1999, he took residence in Pensacola where he romanced and married the lovely Susan Orcutt-Roberts, 27, July, 2001. Later that year, Bart's sister Beatrice passed away.

Bart is survived by his loving wife Susan, her daughter Danielle and husband Jeff Koehler and their sons Jaxen and Tysen, whom "Papa Bart" treasured; and by the many paratrooper reunions across the country, where he and his friends could visit and jump together once more, for the sheer fun of it.

Bart's family and friends will privately celebrate his remarkable life at Rodizio Grill, 605 E. Gregory Street, Pensacola, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, on 23 August. No flowers, please. Bart was a strong supporter of Doctors Without Borders. Many thanks also for the wonderful cancer treatment provided Bart over several years, by Dr. Thomas Tan, of The Woodlands

Geronimo Bart, happy landings!!

Published in Pensacola News Journal on Aug. 8, 2014

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:


Cullum No. 23749-1961 | July 27, 2014 | Died in Pensacola, FL
Cremated. Ashes Scattered over the Gulf of Mexico.

Barton Patrick “Bart” Chambers was born into an Army family in an Army hospital in Georgia. His father, John Harlan Chambers (USMA Class of 1938), and his great uncle, Raymond Oscar Barton (USMA Class of 1912), served as proud patriot examples to Bart. Bart was particularly pleased to acknowledge his great uncle’s role as CG of the 4th Infantry Division during the invasion on D-Day at Utah Beach.

Bart’s four years at USMA were highlighted by his loyalty to the rack, to his steadfast presence walking the Area, and his loyalty to Sandy, whom he married after graduation.

Bart resigned from the Army after six years on active duty. His assignments during those six years included troop duty in Germany with a corporal missile battalion and as a paratrooper in the 5th Airborne, 81st Artillery Regiment. He was particularly fond of his paratrooper assignment. His final assignment on active duty was as a battery commander at Fort Sill, OK. With orders in hand to the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, Bart decided on a career change and resigned from the Army in 1967. This career change was also influenced by a serious automobile accident, which resulted in his honorable discharge from the Army.

He decided at this point to go to Vietnam “to see what the fuss was all about.” He was employed by Continental Air Services in Vietnam for most of his time there. After roughly seven years in Vietnam, Bart returned to the U.S. His one-word description of his experience in Vietnam was “surreal.”

On returning to the U.S., Bart spent much of his time traveling around the world and “living on a motorcycle” for a while. He received an engineering degree from George Washington University in 1977. He then went to work as a scientist for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for many years before retiring in 1997. Those years with NOAA were spent with Coastal Zone Management, where he was involved with marine biology and ecology. His work was primarily in the Louisiana wetlands, but he also worked in other wetlands throughout the United States. Bart was focused to a great extent on nature and conservation issues.

Bart was known to those who knew him best as a “free spirit” and that often placed him in some strange, awkward situations, as he personally describes in the several articles he provided to his West Point Class of 1961’s “Fifty Years of Service” yearbook. These articles describe the difficulties he experienced in his early years of service in Germany while he struggled to both marry and divorce the same lady in the same year. Another article describes how he obtained an 8-foot-long python during his years in Vietnam, which presented Bart and the rest of his Vietnamese co-habitants some incredible challenges. Bart was shot and seriously injured while in Vietnam (the circumstances never fully revealed). To suggest that Bart possessed unique qualities, and may have often appeared to march to a drumbeat that differed from others, is possibly an understatement. He was very bright, intelligent, well read, and certainly led a very colorful life. 

Bart married his last wife, Susan, in 2001. Susan describes him as a “remarkable, wonderful man with many unique qualities.” He was a voracious reader, had a remarkable singing voice, was a true romantic, and was a most interesting conversationalist. Much of his time during his retired years was spent reading and working out in the gym. He never had children and was once quoted as saying, “Children should be seen and never had.” On the other hand, he had a very special, caring relationship with Susan’s children. After a courageous five-year struggle with cancer, Bart passed away on July 27, 2014, exactly 13 years to the day that he and Susan were married. Susan describes his last five years as truly remarkable, as he never uttered a negative word regarding his terminal illness and never once took pity on himself during the many medical procedures he endured. He refused a feeding portal and all pain medications right to the end and was quoted as saying, “I want to experience the whole thing to the last act.”