Marshall, Orville

Orville Marshall was born July 24, 1922 in Woodstock, Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, developing an interest in automotive mechanics and radio.  He also joined the Oxford Rifles Reserve, and when the war came he decided to join the RCAF.  He reported for Manning Duty at Lachine, Quebec, and was subsequently sent to McGill University for advanced math and physics courses.  From there he went for specialized radar training in Clinton, Ontario, after which he had an embarkation leave in Toronto.  He attended church while there, and was invited to a family home for dinner; Orville fell in love with that family’s daughter, Bette, and the two were engaged before he went overseas, and married one month after his return in 1945.  Orville’s specialization made him much sought after, and would be loaned to the Royal Air Force (RAF), and when he arrived in Europe he joined Squadron 614, an elite Pathfinders squadron near Foggia, Italy as a RADAR officer.  He would spend a year there, directing missions against the Axis from the south, including the Ploesti oil fields.  When the war finished in May 1945, Orville headed north to England and there he boarded the New Amsterdam, returning to Halifax and then to his fiance Bette.  The two were married shortly thereafter, embarking on their own life together in postwar Canada.  Orville Marshall was interviewed at the Sunnybrook veterans’ Wing in December 2022.