This information is contributed by Marshaleigh Orr Bahan
Marshall West Orr was born 13 May 1902 and died 14 November 1950 in Asheville, Buncombe County North Carolina. His parents were Thomas Finley and Minnie Lee West Orr. His obituary in the "Asheville Citizen" 15 November 1950 stated; "Orr, who gave his age as 18, enlisted in tne U. S. Navy when he was just 15 years old, and served in France for two years during World War I. He was Buncombe County's youngest World War I veteran, and his mother was the county's youngest "war mother." His service record from National Personnel records Center show: He enlisted 4 October 1917 in Raleigh, NC. He gave his birth date as 13 May 1899 and listed his address as 40 Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC with next of kin his father, Thomas Finley Orr. He was described as being 5' 6" tall, weighing 128 1/2 pounds with medium blue eyes, dark brown hair and a Ruddy complexion. He had a number of personal characteristics, marks, etc. He qualified as a Marksman and scored very well on his examination and was recommended to be a Seaman 25 June 1918. He served on the U. S. S. Minnesota, the U. S. S. El Sol, "Gladiola", and U. S. S. Hopewell. On 26 August 1919 he received an honorable discharge. On 20 September 1935, he wrote to inquire about a commission in the Naval Reserve. The response stated that, "The Bureau does not contemplate the establishment of any new Naval Reserve Divisions, since the funds appropriated are only sufficient to maintain the divisions at present in existence. Any appointments of officers in the Naval Reserve in Asheville or vicinity would therefore of necessity be in the Volunteer Naval Reserve." Marshall West Orr was awarded a Cross of Military Service by the United Daughters of the Confederacy; his grandfather, Ephraim Marshall Orr having served in Company K, Regiment 62 nd, N. C. Infantry and died as a POW at Johnson's Island, Ohio on 20 October 1863. Several direct ancestors saw service or provided services during the Revolutionary War including: Lambert Clayton, Joseph Henry and Robert Orr.
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