Feb 082012

Cpl Raymond Samuel Orr

Birth: May 28, 1946 Mint Hill, Mecklenburg Co., NC

Death: Jan. 15, 1967 Quang Nam, Vietnam. USMC

Cpl Raymond Samuel Orr native of Matthews, NC was 20 years old and was not married. It was reported that Raymond died from an undetermined explosion. His body was recovered.

Written by:
Victoria Mackey, Correspondent
Indian Trail Newspaper

As the Viet Cong started firing at the platoon of tired, dirty, and battle fatigued Marines, they fell to the ground or behind a tree if they were lucky. Corporal Raymond Samuel Orr was lying on the ground next to his best buddy. Orr had killed several Viet Cong within his gun sites and his buddy was killing them too. After several minutes of the fire fight, Orr realized that his friend had been mortally wounded and was lying right beside him dying.

A gush of emotions ran over Orr. He wanted to get up and do anything he could to keep his buddy alive; radio in a medic, let the others in his platoon know what was happening, and put his hands on his buddy’s body to keep his blood from flowing onto the ground. But he couldn’t because if he got up, or even moved, he would be shot himself. He continued to shoot at the Viet Cong as he listened to his buddy’s screams and cries for help. It was all Orr could do to maintain his composure and continue shooting, while listening to his best friend in that foreign jungle die beside him; after a few minutes, the screaming and cries for help stopped. His buddy was dead and he did nothing to help him. Orr was consumed with guilt although he logically knew that under the circumstances there was nothing he could have done for his friend.

Orr would not be consumed with guilt for long because he was killed in a fire fight a few weeks later. The Marines told his family that he was killed in Quang Nam, South Vietnam as a result of exploding shrapnel from an undetermined explosion. Willis Orr, of Mint Hill, brother of Corporal Orr, stated that his brother told him how upset he was over seeing his buddy die right beside him during the fire fight. Willis does not think that his brother got over it before he died within weeks in another firefight. Raymond Orr was born on May 28, 1946 in Mint Hill, North Carolina, the son of Anjay and Bernice Montgomery Orr. There were thirteen children born to the family however most of them died before they became adults. The adult children were Raymond, Willis, Travis, and Anjay, Jr.

Willis stated that their Grandfather Adophus Orr bought land in Mint Hill and moved his family from the Hickory Grove area in Charlotte. All of Raymond’s family lived beside each other on that land. He was very athletic at J.H. Gunn High School, playing baseball and basketball. When he graduated in 1964, he immediately joined the Marines. Willis stated that Raymond wanted to join the Marines because they were the meanest, roughest, and toughest men of the United States military. Some of Raymond’s buddies from high school decided to follow him into the Marines. Raymond completed basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina and he was sent directly to Vietnam where he became a rifleman. Willis remembers that he received the Purple Heart but he could not remember the names of the other medals.

He was the son of Mr. Anjay Orr, Sr. (1915 – 1978) of Matthews, NC. He served with Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, 3rd MAF. He was awarded The Combat Action Ribbon (CAR), The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.

Burial: Mowing Glade AME Zion Church Cemetery Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC.

(Source: Posted with permission of Tom & Jim Reece, #46857744; finding NC Vietnam KIA/MIA’s gravesites; Reconfigured and submitted by: Ron Yates)

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