Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
John Aston
Pilot Officer
Service Number
1382972 (NCO) 156558 (Officer)
Crew Position
Posting In
Posted in 3/43 and out 11/43


Awarded the DFM.

Flew a tour of 30 operations with 49Sqn.

Further details and decorations are described below.

The crew of ED721 taken at Fiskerton sometime between May & August 1943. 
Rear row 4th from left is Jock Stopani, 5th is Bob Seddon, 6th John Costello.
Font row 2nd from left George Boag, 3rd Steve Sherman, 4th Eric Winstanley, 5th Tommy Taylor. 

P/O T D Taylor (Pilot)
Sgt E Winstanley (Flight Engineer)
Sgt J A Costello (Navigator)
Sgt R Seddon (Bomb Aimer)
Sgt J Stopani (Wireless Operator)
Sgt G Boag (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sgt S Sherman (Rear Gunner)

A signed bank note following a stop-over in Algeria following the 20/06/1943 raid on Friedrichshaven.

The note is signed by the Taylor crew and other 49Sqn members (including 'Chan' Chandler).

P/O T D Taylor (Pilot), Sgt E Winstanley (Flight Engineer), Sgt J A Costello (Navigator), Sgt R Seddon (Bomb Aimer), Sgt J Stopani (Wireless Operator), Sgt G Boag (Mid Upper Gunner) and Sgt S Sherman (Rear Gunner).

Additional information received thanks to Mark Sellar:
John Costello was born on 5 April 1911.
Prior to the Second World War he was a Police Constable serving with either the Metropolitan Police or City of London Police.
He enlisted into the Royal Air Force in December 1940.

As a Flight Sergeant (Navigator) serving with 49 Squadron he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in respect of having flown 24 sorties (162.30 hours) including operations on Berlin, Italy, Stettin, Pilzen, Peenemünde and on both 'shuttle service' attacks which involved landing in Africa.

After completion of his first operational tour he was commissioned in August 1943 and was transferred to 463 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force.
While serving with 463 Squadron RAAF he was promoted to Flying Officer but his aircraft was shot-down on 21/22 February, 1945 returning from an attack on the Mittelland Canal.

Although several of his fellow crew members died in the aircraft, John was one of the lucky ones able to successfully bale-out over enemy occupied territory.
He remained at large as an evader for three days before finally being captured at Lingen, Germany, on 25 February 1945.

During captivity, he claimed to have been abused by his captors at Dulag Luft Oberursel, where he had been kept in solitary, given little food and threatened.

He was subsequently incarcerated at Stalag XIIID Nuremburg from 5 March 1945 - 4 April 1945 and lastly at Stalag VIIA Mooseburg between 18 April 1945 until liberation on 29 April 1945.

In respect of his services with 463 he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was published in the London Gazette of 6 November 1945. The official recommendation for his D.F.C., refers to Flying Officer Costello having flown a further 112.38 hours since the award of his earlier awarded D.F.M. and participated in a further 20 sorties.

During his second operational tour targets included the Dortmund Ems Canal and La Pallice U-Boat shelters. He was often in the 'Lead Aircraft', with the added responsibility for navigating the entire group on their raids.

Post-war, John Costello remained in the Royal Air Force and, as a Squadron Leader, served during the Suez-Crisis of 1956.

"Posted Out" 2000.