Sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor comes home

Elizabeth Howe
September 10, 2019 - 8:23 am
Fireman 3rd Class Harold K. Costill


A sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, will return to his hometown of Clayton, New Jersey to be buried on Sept. 14. His family has issued an open invitation for attendees. 

Fireman 3rd Class Harold Kendall Costill was 18 when his battleship, the USS West Virginia, was torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. While the crew was able to prevent it from capsizing, 106 of its members — including Costill — were killed. 

During salvaging efforts, Navy personnel recovered 66 sets of remains from the USS West Virginia. Those that could not be identified were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

It wasn't until June 2017 that Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel were able to disinter the caskets from the USS West Virginia to begin identification efforts using new technology. 

Costill was one of the individuals identified from those remains. 

Family members told the Associated Press that Costill will be buried in the family plot in Cedar Green Cemetery next to his great-grandfather and Civil War soldier Elwood Costill.

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