FROM STAFF REPORTS
May 30, 2013
West Virginia state Senators Ron Stollings (D-Boone) and Art Kirkendoll (D-Logan) and state House of Delegates Representative Josh Nelson (R-Boone) and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Daniel Boone Post 5578 out of Madison officiated at the dedication. There were also many other honored officials such as Danville Mayor Mark McClure and Madison Mayor Sonny Howell, Boone County Commissioners Mickey Brown and Eddie Hendricks, Boone County Magistrate Chuck Byrnside and a host of cherished family and friends in attendance.
The resolution for the bridge naming reads, the West Virginia Division of Highways has named the bridge crossing the Little Coal River in Danville, bridge number 3-85/8-0.37, the Naval Chief Boastswain Fred L. Byrnside and Army Captain Dora Jo Chambers Byrnside Memorial Bridge.
Fred Byrnside and his wife, Dora Jo Byrnside, were both military veterans who served their country proudly.
Fred Byrnside had a long and distinguished Naval career, serving active duty from January 1938 until October 1955, and then in the Reserves until 1966. He retired with the rank of Chief Boatswain.
Fred Byrnside served in World War II and was captured by the Japanese in 1942. During his captivity, Fred endured unspeakable atrocities and hardships at the hands of the Japanese, including the infamous Battan Death march in the Philippines. Fred was held prisoner in the Funatsu prisoner-of-war camp until the wars end in 1945.
By the grace of God, Fred Byrnside survived his ordeals, when all at home believed him to have been killed. But when Fred was liberated from that prison camp, he still felt the call to service. When others may have felt they had done enough, or had endured enough on behalf of their country, Fred chose to re-enlist and continue serving the country he so loved.
Fred Byrnside was proud of his service in the U.S. Navy, and while he seldom talked about the horrors he endured as a prisoner, he was always ready to relate stories of his other military experiences and what it meant to be a member of the U.S. Navy.
Fred Byrnside was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Ribbon, Philippine Defense Service Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, Army Distinguished Unit Badge with One Oak Leaf Cluster, American Defense Service Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, China Service Ribbon, Victory Ribbon of World War II, Pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon with one Bronze Star; and Presidential Unit Citation.
Dora Jo Chambers graduated from Marshall College in 1941, and joined the U.S. Army (WAC) in 1943. She served during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign and served in New Guinea and the Philippines.
During her service in the U.S. Army, Dora Jo Chambers was promoted to the rank of Captain, which was a notable accomplishment for a young woman at that time.
Dora Jo Chambers was awarded the American Campaign Medial, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation and Womens Army Auxiliary Corps Service Medal.
Fred Byrnside and Dora Jo Chambers Byrnside were married after Dora Jos tour of duty ended in 1946, and they returned home to Danville in 1955, when Fred retired from active duty. Fred served as the postmaster of the Danville Post Office, while Dora Jo raised their children and later taught at Scott High School when the children were grown.
Fred Lincoln Byrnside passed away on Jan. 3, 1980, and Dora Jo Chambers Byrnside passed away on Jan. 3, 2010. They have one deceased son, Robert, and are survived by their children, Fred Byrnside and wife, Emma, of Danville, Ellajo Thompson of Knoxville, Tenn., and Lois Byrnside of Dunedin, Fla.; and seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
It is only fitting that we so honor Fred and Dora Jo Byrnside for their dedication and selfless service to their country, and for their contributions to the Town of Danville and Boone County. Therefore, be it resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia (Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 9) that the West Virginia Division of Highways has named the bridge crossing the Little Coal River in Danville, bridge number 3-85/8-0.37, the Naval Chief Boastswain Fred L. Byrnside and Army Captain Dora Jo Chambers Byrnside Memorial Bridge. And the signs be made and placed.
The Clerk of the Senate is directed to forward a copy of the resolution to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and to the children of Fred and Dora Jo Byrnside.