CHARLES H. OSTROM, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Ostrom '30

Date of birth: November 3, 1908

Date of death: November 24, 1943

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

From the 1930 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Charles was lost on November 24, 1943 when USS Liscome Bay (CVE 56) was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Charles was credited with seven air-to-air victories in World War II.

From USS Liscome Bay Crew list:

F4F Wilcat Ace (7 Japs). Dist. Flying Cross, 2 Air Medals. Purple Heart. Son C.H. Ostrom Jr. USNA 1958, Grandson LT Brian S. Ostrom USNA 1983, Great Grandson Sgt. Brian S. Ostrom, Jr. 2nd Recon Bn.

The above link also claims he was the embarked composite squadron's commanding officer; this is incorrect. (It also lists him as aboard from November 1, 1941, but the ship was not commissioned until August 1943.) Unclear on what unit or billet he was assigned, though he was not the ship's commanding officer, executive officer, or the chief of staff of the embarked admiral.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander Charles H. Ostrom, United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while commanding a Fighter Squadron in the Solomon Islands from 2 to 20 February 1943. Commander Ostrom directed attacks on shore installations at Munda Point and on 20 Japanese destroyers. On the latter occasion his squadron shot down seven enemy fighters, enabling our bombers to carry out their attacks unmolested and score two direct hits on two destroyers.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 320 (November 1943)
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander

Note

Charles is listed on the Class of 1930 panel as if he was lost in November 1944; as he was listed as missing, this was the standard official date of death (year + 1 day).

Related Articles

Henry Mullinnix '16, Irving Wiltsie '21, Lester Kern '23, Finley Hall '29, and George Williams '40 were also lost in Liscome Bay.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1930

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LTjg Willford Hyman '24, ENS John Burke '28, and ENS Byron Newell '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Charles Cecil '16 (Battleship Division 4) and LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

January 1931

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LTjg Willford Hyman '24, ENS John Burke '28, and ENS Byron Newell '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1932

Ensign, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 7F, USS Argonne

October 1932

Ensign, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 7F, USS Argonne

January 1933

Ensign, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 7F, USS Argonne

April 1933

Ensign, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 7F, USS Argonne

Others at or embarked at USS Argonne: LTjg Eugene Sarsfield '26 (USS Argonne), ENS Edward Allen '31 (USS Argonne), and ENS John Huntley '31 (USS Argonne).

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: ENS John Yoho '29, ENS Lance Massey '30, and ENS Victor Gaulin '30.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LCDR Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS Lexington), LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Daniel Gothie '32 (USS Lexington), ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32 (USS Lexington), and ENS William Thorn '32 (USS Lexington).

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg John Yoho '29, ENS Lance Massey '30, and ENS Victor Gaulin '30.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LCDR Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS Lexington), LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Daniel Gothie '32 (USS Lexington), ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32 (USS Lexington), and ENS William Thorn '32 (USS Lexington).

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), 2LT Ernest Pollock '28 (Scouting Squadron 14-M), LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS George Stone '31 (Aircraft Squadrons), ENS James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), ENS Frank Latta '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS George Ottinger '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga).

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27 and LTjg Carl Lindgren '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Robert Patten '30 (Aircraft Squadrons), ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (Aircraft Squadrons), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), ENS James Kelsey, Jr. '31 (Aircraft Squadrons), ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga).

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27 and LTjg Carl Lindgren '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga), LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Robert Patten '30 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga).

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27 and LTjg Carl Lindgren '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga), LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Robert Fair '33 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga).

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27 and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Jones '21 (USS Saratoga), LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Bruce Van Voorhis '29 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles Palmer, Sr. '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), ENS Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Bertram Prueher '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga).

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LT John Waldron '24 and LTjg John Yoho '29.

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LT John Waldron '24 and LTjg John Yoho '29.

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LT John Waldron '24 and LTjg John Yoho '29.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LT John Waldron '24 and LTjg James Murphy '31.

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg James Murphy '31.

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg James Murphy '31.

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Louisville

Others at this command: LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Louisville: ENS Richard Stephenson '35 (USS Louisville), ENS John Hunter '36 (USS Louisville), ENS Joseph Patterson '36 (USS Louisville), and ENS Herold Harveson '37 (USS Louisville).

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Louisville

Others at this command: LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Louisville: ENS John Hunter '36 (USS Louisville), ENS Joseph Patterson '36 (USS Louisville), and ENS Herold Harveson '37 (USS Louisville).

July 1938

Lieutenant, Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Louisville

Others at this command: LTjg Charles Brewer '34.

Others at or embarked at USS Louisville: ENS John Hunter '36 (USS Louisville) and ENS Herold Harveson '37 (USS Louisville).

January 1939

Lieutenant, Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Louisville

Others at this command: LTjg Charles Brewer '34.

Others at or embarked at USS Louisville: ENS John Hunter '36 (USS Louisville) and ENS Herold Harveson '37 (USS Louisville).

October 1939

Lieutenant, Scouting Squadron (VS) 71, USS Wasp

Others at this command: LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 7), and LTjg Joseph Evans '36 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72).

June 1940

Lieutenant, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LTjg Daniel Gothie '32, LTjg George Bellinger '32, LTjg Martin Koivisto '32, LTjg Charles Ware '34, 1LT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Francis Maher, Jr. '35, LTjg Jack Ferguson '35, LTjg Joel Davis, Jr. '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Frank Robinson '36, LTjg James Southerland, II '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, ENS Alexander Groves, II '37, ENS Donald Patterson '37, ENS Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, ENS Harold Shrider '37, ENS Howard Nester, Jr. '37, ENS James Mayes '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, ENS John Boal '37, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Paul Riley '37, 2LT Radford West '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Dorrance Radcliffe '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, and ENS William Brady '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT John Yoho '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg George Ottinger '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT William Townsend '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).

November 1940

Lieutenant, Naval Air Station Miami, Florida

Others at this command: LT Robert Strickler '32, LT William Townsend '32, and LTjg George Klinsmann '33.

April 1941

Lieutenant, Naval Air Station Miami, Florida

Others at this command: LT Robert Strickler '32, LT William Townsend '32, and LTjg George Klinsmann '33.


Class of 1930

Charles is one of 42 members of the Class of 1930 on Virtual Memorial Hall.