The Stories of our Orange County Virginia, Heroes | LT Severn M. Nottingham, Jr – WWII

LT Severn M. Nottingham, Jr., was locally educated, had a law degree from UVA, and was serving with Naval Reserve.  He was sitting on easy street positioned in his father’s law firm in Orange.  When he saw the prospects of a world war beginning to take shape in September 1940, he never hesitated to volunteer for active service in the Navy.  While aboard the USS Cushing serving as a fire control officer near Guadalcanal, he distinguished himself directing fire on a Japanese ship so close that his own men used small arms to control the enemy.  Although he lost his life and the Cushing sunk in the darkness of a Pacific night, the Japanese had no other choice but to abandon its attempt to reinforce and supply their troops.  Read this story and why his parents weren’t officially notified of how he died until months afterwards in page 8 of the Spring 2013 edition of the Historical Society Newsletter.

Contributed by Paul Carter, with the Orange County Virginia Historical Society, for more information about their mission, resources, programs and to buy books, visit

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