WILLIAM R. OSTERTAG, 2LT, USMCR

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Ostertag '24

Date of birth: April 14, 1901

Date of death: February 20, 1930

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1924 Lucky Bag:


Loss

William was lost on February 20, 1930 when the plane he was aboard crashed near Quantico, Virginia. He "was commissioned into the Marine Corps reserves and had been on active duty at Quantico for a year."

He was originally commissioned into the Navy; his first duty station following graduation was as an Ensign aboard USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) (per Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1925).

He is buried in Pennsylvania.

Related Articles

Joseph Wolfe '26 was also lost in this crash.

Memorial Hall Error

William is not in Memorial Hall, though he should be. This error was discovered while researching the loss of the other officer aboard the aircraft.

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.

July 1924

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: ENS Francis Bridget '21 and ENS Hugh Hadley '22.

September 1924

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LTjg Francis Bridget '21 and ENS Hugh Hadley '22.

November 1924

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LTjg Francis Bridget '21 and ENS Hugh Hadley '22.

January 1925

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LTjg Francis Bridget '21 and ENS Hugh Hadley '22.

March 1925

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LTjg Francis Bridget '21 and ENS Hugh Hadley '22.

May 1925

Ensign, USS Hopkins

July 1925

Ensign, USS Hopkins

October 1925

Ensign, Resigned 20 August 1925

July 1929

2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

October 1929

2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

Others at this command: 2LT Joseph Wolfe '26, 2LT Lofton Henderson '26, and 2LT Guy Chappell '27.

January 1930

2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

Others at this command: 2LT Joseph Wolfe '26, 2LT Lofton Henderson '26, and 2LT Guy Chappell '27.


Class of 1924

William is one of 42 members of the Class of 1924 on Virtual Memorial Hall.