From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

George Cottrell '31

Date of birth: unknown

Date of death: January 6, 1945

Age: unknown

Lucky Bag

George Dale Cottrell was aged 19 years 11 months when he was admitted to the Naval Academy from Nebraska on June 30, 1927. (Annual Register of the United States Naval Academy 1927-1928) He resigned on June 7, 1928.


George was one of 44 men lost on January 6, 1945 aboard USS California (BB 44) in a kamikaze attack. The ship was providing shore bombardment at Lingayen Gulf.

George is remembered at a memorial at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

No next of kin was listed, though his home was given as North Hollywood, California. Unable to find any information on what he did following his Naval Academy resignation or wartime service.


There are other confusing aspects to the historical record as it pertains to George. Specifically:

  • He is not listed in the 1944 Register (nor 1943), should’ve been on Index page 919 [1] (Is it possible he wasn’t serving as an officer?)
  • Honor States gives CA as the home or enlistment state. Rank LT … but, again, he isn't in the Naval Registers from 1940-1944.
  • There is another man — or perhaps the same man?? — who died while serving in the Navy. A Navy Bos’n Mate, “George Dale Cottrell”, August 8, 1907 – August 14, 1942: The birth date of this man is very close to the Naval Academy alumni, who, based on the USNA annual register, is likely to have been born in July 1907 (or could it be August, and the two have somehow been combined)? The Bos’n Mate Cottrell is from CA, and the USNA Annual Register puts our guy in NE (

Memorial Hall Error

On the killed in action panel, George's middle name is incorrectly spelled "Dole."

Class of 1931

George is one of 51 members of the Class of 1931 in Memorial Hall.