The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War I, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Private Thomas D. Costello, U.S. Army, of New York, N.Y. He will be buried on July 12 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.
On Sept. 16, 1918, as part of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Costello encountered heavy enemy artillery barrage and machine gun fire near Jaulny, France, in a wooded area known as Bois de Bonvaux. He was killed during the battle and his remains were buried with two other soldiers in a wooded area between Bois de Bonvaux and Bois de Grand Fontaine.
Attempts to locate Costello’s remains by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel following the war were unsuccessful. In September 2006, French nationals hunting for metal in the area found human remains and World War I artifacts. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team, operating near the location, was notified of the discovery and recovered human remains upon excavating the site.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.