Orluff Oram was born on June 4th, 1920 in Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah to Alma Merrill Oram and Blanche Eliza Hunsaker. "Orluff was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
"Orluff attended district school at Honeyville and Pegram, Idaho; and Box Elder high school." Orluff was only 16 when tragedy struck in 1936. Orluff's brother Alma Vernon Oram died in October, and then Orluff's mother, Blanche passed away In December.
For a brief time, Orluff worked at the Blackington Canning Company.
Orluff enlisted in the US Navy on November 12, 1940 and progressed through the ranks from Apprentice Seaman (January 1941) through Seaman Second Class (March 1941), Fireman Third Class (September 1941), Fireman Second Class (March 1942), and finally Fireman First Class (August 1942).
Orluff served aboard the USS Monssen (DD-436) which had the distinction of serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. The USS Monssen participated in several key World War II Pacific battles and missions including the Doolittle Raid, the battle of the Coral Sea, the battle of Midway, and the battle of Guadalcanal.
At 0150 hours during the dark and early morning of November 13, 1942 , the USS Monssen along with several other U.S. Naval Ships engaged the Imperial Japanese Navy near the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal. During the early morning battle, Japanese warships spotlighted, targeted and fired on the Monssen. The attack disabled the Monssen and engulfed her in flames. Approximately twenty minutes after the attack, the Monssen was ordered abandoned. After the battle, nearby US ships rescued the survivors as the Monssen burned into the morning. "By early afternoon the Monssen sank in the waters of Iron Bottom Sound." The encounter would be one of several encounters in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Unfortunately, Orluff was listed among the missing and would later be declared dead by the US Navy.
On 19 January 1943, The Standard Examiner in Ogden, Utah reported that Orluff was reported as missing in action.
Almost a year later, on 17 December 1943, Orluff's obituary appeared in The Standard Examiner.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.