|Birth: ||Dec. 3, 1897|
|Death: ||Dec. 28, 1979|
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, December 3, 1897, Vernon Lyttel Norris was one of the last in a family of eight children born to Abner Greenberry Norris and Rhoda Ann (Powell) Norris. In 1915, he moved with his family to Belton, Missouri. Two years later, when the United States entered the Great War in 1917, Vernon's older brother James Daniel Norris enlisted almost immediately but Vernon stayed home to help support a family that had lost its father a few years earlier.
By 1918, however, Uncle Sam's "I want you!" became an order, not a suggestion. Like hundreds of thousands of other men, Vernon Norris of Belton, Missouri was uprooted, and almost overnight, found himself "somewhere in France" where he was assigned to "F HOSPITAL 354 314 SN TN".
Translating that lengthy military abbreviation into English, Pvt. Norris was assigned to the 354th Field Hospital, 314th Sanitary Train - a unit of the 89th Division. (A "train" was not a train in the usual sense but was instead an organizational unit with a specific purpose; e.g. an Ammunition Train, Supply Train, Engineer Train, and Sanitary Train. Specifically, a "Sanitary Train" was essentially a unit of hospitals, ambulances, and other medically-related resources.)
Private Norris' assignment to a medical unit may have been a matter of luck but his assignment to the 89th Division was entirely by design. The 89th division was composed almost entirely of draftees from the Midwest. Moreover, the 89th was extremely heavy on Missourians. Indeed one of those Missourians was Fred Franklin Keeney, also of Belton, who was killed on the last day of the war.
Unlike Fred Franklin Keeney, Pvt. Norris returned home only to fight yet another war some 25 years later against the same enemies. Not only did Vernon Lyttel Norris serve in both wars, he lost a family member in both wars. His older brother, James Daniel Norris was wounded at Belleau Wood. His brother recuperated from those wounds, however, and returned to the front only to be again wounded, this time fatally, in the battle of the Argonne Forest. A quarter of a century later, in the final year of WWII, Vernon Lyttel Norris lost his son, Vernon Arthur Norris, a pilot whose bomber went down during General McArthur's return to the Philipines in 1944.
Rhoda Ann Powell Norris (1862 - 1948)
Grace Mary Pearce Norris (1892 - 1966)
Dorothy Rose Norris Talty (1926 - 1965)*
Doris Evelyn Norris Quakenbush (1928 - 2008)*
Edna B Norris (1880 - 1954)*
Louis Norman Norris (1886 - 1925)*
Thomas Brewster Norris (1890 - 1963)*
James Daniel Norris (1895 - 1918)*
Vernon Lyttel Norris (1897 - 1979)
Created by: Belton Remembers
Record added: Oct 08, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 118395427