George Arnold Costello

George Arnold Costello

Birth
Manitoba, Canada
Death 28 Oct 1944 (aged 21)
Kreis Recklinghausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Burial Kleve, Kreis Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Plot 1. F. 17.
Memorial ID 56033484 · View Source
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George was the son of Valentine de Lacy Costello, and Marie Josephine Elena Costello, of Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada. In civilian life George was an excellent student and a fine athlete, who was well liked by both his faculty and fellow students. He had a wealth of friends and was described by his family as being a son to be proud of, as well as a kind and loving brother. Following his enlistment in the RCAF, he saw service in the Aleutian Islands, on the island of Umnak, defending against the attempted Japanese invasion, with No.111 Squadron. The Squadron formed in Rockecliffe, Ontario and trained at Patricia Bay. It operated out of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska, and served as reinforcement to the USAAF, completing two tours of offensive operations against Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands. They flew Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks and were especially effective on the raids on Kiska Island. Flying conditions in the region were extremely difficult and casualties were high. Nevertheless, the Japanese forces, threatening to reach North America via the Aleutians, were driven back. No.111 Squadron was credited with destroying a float-equipped Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe", the only known Japanese aircraft to have been shot down by the RCAF on this continent. The Squadron's mission was fulfilled when the Japanese retreated from the Aleutians and the threat was reduced. The Squadron was re-numbered and sent to serve in Europe as RCAF No.440 Squadron, where they converted to Spitfire's. Following the Normandy invasion, they were moved to the beaches of France, advancing eastward as the war against Germany progressed.

On the 28th October 1944, George was piloting a Spitfire (PL207) from its base in Volkel, Netherlands. The aircraft was brought down near the German town of Haltern at 15.00hrs. The young Pilot baled out and his wingman, F.B. Young, stayed over him until he was down and had disappeared into the woods. After landing safely, George had surrendered to local civilians. A car then pulled up and F/O Costello was ordered to get into it by Johann Wilhelm Lütfring he was the political leader ( NSDAP ) in Haltern, F/O Costello was taken to the wood Helenenhoehe near Haltern where Luetfring collected a belt and pistol from a hut. He then marched the airman to a point 15 yards further down the road where he shot him in cold blood. George Costello was originally buried in the civilian cemetery at Sythen Ehrenfriedhof. His body was exhumed on the 22nd August 1946 and reburied in the Reichswald Forest War Military Cemetery, along with many other airmen who had suffered the same fate. After the war his killer was captured, tried in a War Crimes trial and hung...


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Gravesite Details Flying Officer (Pilot), Royal Canadian Air Force. Age: 21.

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  • Maintained by: Michel Beckers
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56033484
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Arnold Costello (12 Feb 1923–28 Oct 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56033484, citing Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Kreis Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany ; Maintained by Michel Beckers (contributor 47419676) .