S/Sgt Henry J. Costabile, a crew member of the 723rd squadron, 450th bomb group, Manduria, Italy.
He was a gunner and radio operator in a B-24 Liberator, flew 25 missions and received the Purple Heart, Victory Medal, European Theatre, Good Conduct, Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross.
He was 3 months shy of his 22nd birthday passing away on July 25, 1944 from wounds received in the crash landing of his B-24 returning from Mission 107 a bombing run to Frederichshafen, Germany on July 20, 1944.
2nd oldest son of John and Josephine Costabile, brother to Louis, Donnie, Alvin and Rosajean and godfather to Louis’ daughter Lois who he never got the chance to meet, hold or give her the spider monkey he promised to bring home after the war.
A graduate of Greensburg, Pa high school he joined the Army Air Corps and after basic training and flight training in Miami, Fl made his way thru North Africa to Manduria, Italy.
Two of his Brother Louis’ children are named after him Regis and Reginald as Henry was affectionately given the nickname of “Reggie”. His siblings described him as being a prankster and outgoing individual. The type of person you could depend on and have as a lifelong friend. His father immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s. He met and married Josephine Isola of Mt. Pleasant, Pa and settled down in the town of Greensburg, Pa just East of Pittsburgh. Family, a strong Catholic faith and love of Country were the mainstays of his upbringing.
His brother Ltjg Louis Costabile served as a radio operator on a Merchant Supply ship and his brother S/Sgt Alvin Costabile was stationed with the 826th Squadron, 484th Bomb Group 15th Army Air Force in Cerignola, Italy during WWII. Alvin was the last to see Henry alive and was with him when he passed away.
Henry was interred in Bari, Italy until late 1948 when his family had his remains brought home for burial in the family plot in Greensburg, Pa with full military honors.
As the years go by the matriarchs of the family have all but passed on. His sister Rosajean is still alive living next door to her parent’s home in Greensburg. However, there are a number of aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces who treasure his memory and the sacrifice he gave for our freedom.
If anyone reading this tribute to Henry remembers him, served with him or knew of him please contact his goddaughter Lois Magno by
email at zuppa at att.net or thru the 450th website.
Information courtesy of Bob and Lois Magno
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