From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Costello Massey '32

Date of birth: March 30, 1909

Date of death: August 9, 1942

Age: 33

Naval Academy Register

Costello Page Massey was admitted to the Naval Academy from Virginia on June 19, 1928 at age 19 years 3 months.

Lucky Bag

Costello is listed as a Plebe Year Casualty of the Class of 1932.


From his 1927 high school yearbook

Costello was lost when USS Quincy (CA 39) was sunk early in the morning of August 9, 1942 by Japanese surface forces at the Battle of Savo Island.

He was survived by his wife and a daughter; his wife later remarried. Costello has a memory marker in Virginia.

From researcher Kathy Franz:

In his high school junior year at Morrison High School, he was a shortstop for the baseball team and belonged to the Hi-Y Club, a group promoting high standards of Christian character.

In his senior year, Class of 1927, he was known as "Cossie." His description read: "The thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." Energetic and ambitious, Costello combines with these fine traits a sense of humor and the Irish ability to cajole the world to his way of thinking. But most of all Costello is a loyal friend and we hate to lose him.

His senior year, he was president of the journalism club, associate editor of school newspaper The Haymaker, secretary-treasurer of Hi-Y, and was a substitute on the baseball team.

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.

Class of 1932

Costello is one of 53 members of the Class of 1932 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.