The Monuments and Ceremonies Commission of Darien invites the public to a street sign unveiling to honor World War II and Korean War veteran Richard F. Costello at 12 noon on Sunday Nov. 3, 2019 at the corner of West Avenue and Moore Street.
“People of all ages are welcome to celebrate our hometown wartime veteran and the Costello Family,” the commission said in a news release. “Consider a carpool, walk or ride to help with parking space.”
“Darien is proud to honor the Costello family for their involvement in the town of Darien and for their service to country,” the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission said in an announcement. “Moore Street will have the name Costello Way added to the street sign to honor the military service of the late Richard F. Costello and the legacy of excellence and service to others he has left behind with his wife and children.”
From a commission news release:
Costello’s name will be added to an existing street sign in time for Veteran’s Day. […]
Richard Costello served as Quartermaster Second class in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942-1946. He then returned to active duty during the Korean conflict. While serving in the Asiatic-Pacific area, Costello won numerous awards and distinctions. He was honorably discharged for the second time in 1951.
An active Darien resident, Costello was involved in many organizations, including serving as a member of the Saint Thomas More Parish Council. He coached Little League teams in Darien during the early 1960s and was an officer of the Darien Babe Ruth league in the late 1960s – early 1970s. The Costellos raised their 3 children, Judy, Dick and Jim in Darien.
Costello passed away in January, 1993 but is survived by his wife Gladys. Interestingly, Gladys also served in the US armed services. She joined the Army nurse corps after nurse’s training in 1945 and served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She was stationed at Santa Ana Army Hospital when World War II ended. Today Gladys resides at the Army Distaff Hall in Washington D.C.
Service to country for the Costello family did not end there. Two of the couple’s children, Judy Costello Brinckerhoff (DHS class of 1968) and her brother Dick Costello (DHS class of 1969) also served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict and the Korean Conflict, both retiring as captains.
We look forward to honoring the Costello family on Sunday November 3rd at noon on Moore Street by the intersection of West Avenue. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this important event.
More About the Costello Family
The commission recently announced this additional information about the family:
The late Richard F. Costello is to be honored as the next Darien Wartime Veteran Street Sign recipient. This award has unique circumstances, as Richard was not the only one in the family to serve his country in the Armed Forces.
Costello served as Quartermaster Second Class in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict, receiving many awards for his service, including World War II Victory, Asiatic Pacific Area, 7 stars good conduct, Philippine Liberation, and Navy Occupation.
Here in town, Costello loved and was actively involved in the community. He served as a member of the Saint Thomas More Parish Council, coached Little League teams in Darien and was an officer of the Darien Babe Ruth league.
Interestingly, Richard’s wife Gladys also served in the US Armed Forces. Gladys joined the Army Nurse Corps after nurses training in 1945.
Gladys served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Nurse Corps. Her duties included making preparations for and assisting the surgeon and performing surgical operations. She secured, prepared and maintained and sterilized all the necessary supplies and equipment.
She kept records on the progress of patients and kept watch on patients’ conditions, securing the services of a physician when needed She was stationed at Santa Ana Army Hospital when World War II ended. Although Gladys was an Army Nurse officer, the Army did not award commissions to women until 1947. Today Gladys resides at the Army Distaff Hall in Washington DC.
Following in their parents’ footsteps, the Costello family has always put their best foot forward in all they do. All three children of the late Richard Costello and his wife Gladys attended Holmes school, the Annex, Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School.
During their school days, Dick and Jim excelled at many sports. DHS class of 1969, Dick earned 9 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball. He was co-captain running back of the 1968-69 football team and selected FCIAC Conference Defensive back.
In baseball, Dick was the FCIAC batting champion in 1969, and accordingly selected as first team FCIAC shortstop. Dick also played in the Darien Little League, where he was an all-star shortstop and pitcher, winning the Best Pitcher award in 1963; The Babe Ruth League, where he was a two-time All-Star pitcher and shortstop.
Excellence in town sports did not end there. Dick’s brother Jim was the captain of Darien’s 1970 13- to 15-year-old Darien Babe Ruth league All-Star team, winning the State Championship, the New England Championship and then representing Darien in the League World Series in Brawley California.
Jim also played in the Darien Senior Babe Ruth league for the Lawrence Funeral Home team from 1971 to 1973, winning three league championships. Jim lettered in varsity football, baseball and basketball at DHS, graduating in 1972. His 1971 baseball team won that FCIAC championship, and Jim was a tri-captain for the team in 1972.
Military service is also evidence of the family’s commitment to excellence and service. Dick Costello entered the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland 10 days after he graduated from Darien High School, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in 1974.
While on active duty, Dick served in a variety of sea and shore duty assignments providing him extensive operational logistics and leadership experience. His assignments included Navigator aboard the USS Barry, Supply officer aboard the USS Trenton(the USS Trenton was part of the US task force who executed operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada in 1983), and Supply Officer aboard USS Sylvania.
His shore assignments included several Washington DC tours and served on the Staffs of the Commander, Naval supply systems command, the chief of Naval Operations, and the Secretary of the Navy.
Additionally, he served as Regimental Commander, Naval Supply Corps School, Combat Weapon Systems Support, on the Staff of the Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command, the Chief of Naval Operations, and Secretary of the Navy. Additionally, he served as Regimental Commander, Naval Supply Corps School, Combat Weapon System Support, on the Staff of the Commander Naval Surface Forces US Atlantic fleet: Director Planning and Comptroller Department, Navy Supply center, Puget Sound: and Commanding Officer Naval Transportation Support Center.
Dick served for 30 years in the Navy and retired as a captain on Dec. 31, 1999 after his last duty assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff, Logistics Commander Second Fleet aboard the Second Fleet Flagship USS Mount Whitney.
During his Navy career Dick received numerous personal decorations including two Legions of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and 9 other miscellaneous campaign and unit citations. He was a qualified Surface Warfare Officer, a member of the Navy Acquisition Professional Community, and a designated Joint Specialist Officer.
Judy Costello Brinckerhoff
Judy Costello Brinckerhoff also served in the US Navy. Upon graduation from the nursing program at Skidmore College Judy was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Nurse Corps.
Judy was assigned to the Naval Hospital in Corpus Christi Texas before starting a master of science in nursing program at the University of Texas. She completed a pediatric specialty and focused her studies on the care of the hospitalized school age child.
The Navy had other plans for Judy over the next 24 years. Her most memorable assignments included the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, the Sole nurse Corps officer on the staff of detachment Chinhae Republic of Korea, the office of the Navy Inspector General, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs.
She was the officer in charge of the Presidential Treatment Unit at Bethesda and cared for President Reagan and George H.W. Bush. She retired at the Washington Navy Yard aboard the USS Barry after her final tour of duty at the Pentagon in 1995.
Her military awards and decorations include the Department of Defense Meritorious Service award, the Navy Meritorious Service Award, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal (gold star in Lieu of second award), and the National Defense Medal.
Shortly after her retirement in 1995, Judy began a 10-year introduction to school nursing with special interests in playground safety, accident and injury prevention, and immunization compliance.
She is a member of the National Association of School Nurses in the District of Columbia Immunization Compliance Group. Her service to others continues.