Hancock Field Dedicates Street In Honor of Chief Robert Chamberlain

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Duane Morgan
  • 174th Fighter Wing/PA
A dedication ceremony was recently held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York during which a street was named in honor of retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert C. Chamberlain.

Family, friends, colleagues from both the military and civilian worlds witnessed the unveiling of "Chief Chamberlain Drive", named in honor of his 32 years of dedicated military service.
Maj. James Oaksford served as the host for the dedication ceremony. "He was a professional through and through with a great attitude and caring smile. I know this first hand having served in many Honor Guard details with the Chief," said Oaksford.

Chief Chamberlain served in the military from 1969 to 2001, with his final 22 years spent at Hancock Field's 174th Fighter Wing. Chief Chamberlain held many positions during his time in the military. He started in accounting and finance, then moved to recruiting and then went back to accounting and finance. Chief Chamberlain completed his career in the Civil Engineering Squadron where he obtained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

Chief Chamberlain was born in Auburn, NY, raised in Camillus, NY and attended West Genesee High School from which he graduated in 1966. He received his B.S. Degree from Columbia College in 1985. He also served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Chief Chamberlain is survived by his wife, Shirley (Cross Connal); daughters, Gretchen Powers, Alexandria, Jennie and Jodi; stepdaughters, Michele Wells and Jennifer Stanton; 11 grandsons, two granddaughters; sister, Charmaine McKela; and brother, Michael; one nephew, one niece, his mother-in-law, Ida Cross and several aunts and uncles.
"He was caring, compassionate and lived his core values not just while he wore his uniform but at home as well," said his daughter Alexandria. "I don't think he ever had a bad day and if he did you would never know it."

"He was very humble and when it came to awards you wouldn't have ever known that he received one. He could've been named Syracuse Man of The Year and it wouldn't have made a difference to him. He would still come home to us girls and have dinner with us," continued Alexandria. "He would rather see us win an award and talk all about that rather than focus on himself. That's just the type of man that he was. He definitely would have have been proud to receive this honor."