Lawrence Oral Longley was born on March 4, 1895, in James County, Tennessee, the son of Lewis Houston Longley and Mary Jones Longley. He had many siblings, including brothers, Iliff and Lewis and sisters, Mabel, Myrtle, Olive, and Minnie. The son of a farmer, Longley himself worked as a farmer in James County, which later became part of Hamilton County, Tennessee. He enlisted for service as Seaman, 2nd Class Longley in Nashville, Tennessee on May 2, 1917, and served aboard the armored cruiser USS South Dakota during World War I. Seaman Longley died of gas poisoning on March 21, 1918, and was buried at Plowman Cemetery, in Apison, Hamilton County, Tennessee.
- Rank: Seaman Second Class
- Date of birth: 4 March 1895
- Date of death: 21 March 1918
- County: Hamilton
- Hometown: Apison
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS South Dakota
- Conflict: World War I
- Burial/Memorial Location: Plowman Cemetery, Apison, Hamilton County, TN
- Location In Memorial: Pillar III, Top Panel
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