Reserve Police Officer James Orr

Reserve Police Officer James Orr

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, November 26, 1918

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James Orr

Reserve Police Officer James Orr contracted Spanish Influenza while guarding the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall at 526 Market Street in Philadelphia. He died from complications at his home in the 1500 block of Wharton Street a week later.

Reserve Police Officer Orr was the oldest police officer in age and length of service in the department at the time. He was very well known to the officers in the police department and often answered questions and briefly talked about the history of the Liberty Bell to its many visitors each year during his assignment.

Reserve Police Officer was a Union Army veteran and had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 49 years. He had been assigned to guard the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall for 25 years. He was survived by his wife.


Effects of Spanish Flu on Law Enforcement

From 1918 to early 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed approximately 675,000 Americans. Many officers contracted this virus due to the requirements of their job.

The names of every officer who died in the line of duty from the Spanish Flu will likely never be known, but ODMP researchers continue to uncover new cases as part of our mission to never forget the fallen.

Please click here to view ODMP's Spanish Flu memorial listing all known fallen officers from the pandemic.

Bio

  • Age 80
  • Tour 49 years
  • Badge 55
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Tuesday, November 19, 1918

Spanish Influenza, Epidemic

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service (Retired)

May 25, 2024

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