Kosty, Nicholas, F1c

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Last Rank
Fireman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
F1c-0000-Fireman 1st Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Fireman First Class
Primary Unit
1944-1945, F1c-0000, USS Bush (DD-529)
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Fireman 1st Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Kosty, Nicholas, F1c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 06, 1945
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL), B
 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1944-1945, F1c-0000, USS Bush (DD-529)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Morotai
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1944 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Nicholas L. Kosty - F1c

Killed In Action - April 6, 1945

Eighteen year old Nicholas Kosty, Fireman 2nd class, reported aboard the USS BUSH on May 25, 1944 while the ship was stateside for needed repairs. He was one of about 100 new sailors reporting aboard the USS BUSH while more experienced sailors were assigned elsewhere.

Nicholas Kosty hailed from Detroit, Michigan and had attended Chadsey High School. He had five older sisters.

By April 6, 1945, Kosty had been promoted to Fireman 1st Class. He survived the three Japanese suicide plane crashes that struck the USS BUSH. He did not survive his time in the cold water waiting to be rescued. His was one of 12 bodies' recovered after the ship's sinking. His body was picked up by the LCS(L) 37. The LCS(L) 37 also recovered the bodies of six other deceased shipmates. Even with their lifejackets, the cold water made it difficult for these men to continue to keep their heads above water in the hours that followed the BUSH sinking. The LCS(L) 37's deck log read "most of the dead men were found to have slipped in their life jackets."

Gil Molstein - PhM1c
Gil Molstein-PhM1c
The 37's Pharmacist's Mate Gil Molstein recalled that the night of April 6, 1945 was ‚??so dark we could hardly see.‚?? Molstein noted, ‚??we used a light to shine on the water and then a grappling hook to pull in those that we spotted‚??. The bodies of the deceased were placed on the fantail of the ship. Molstein said, "I tried to fingerprint some but we did not have enough US Navy forms, so I abandoned the effort. I stayed calm through the entire event. But afterwards, the shakes set in." The efforts of the LCS(L) 37 also resulted in recovery of two surviving USS BUSH sailors.
As was customary, the initial notification received by Kosty's mother of his death was a telegram. Subsequently, she received a sympathy letter dated May 21, 1945 from the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. That was followed by a letter dated 10 days later from the ship's surviving commanding officer, Rollin E. Westholm. Below are excerpts from those two letters.
Forrestal Text: My dear Mrs. Byczenski:, I offer to you my personal condolence in the death of your son, Nicholas Louis Kosty, Fireman first class, United States Naval Reserve, which occurred on 6 April 1945. Sincere sympathy is extended to you in your loss. It is hoped that you may find comfort in the thought that his sacrifice was made in order that the freedom of his country might be preserved. Sincerely yours, JAMES FORRESTAL Westholm excerpts: It is with deep regret that I, Senior Survivor of the USS BUSH, write to you concerning your son, Nicholas Louis Kosty, who was killed in action against the enemy on April 6, 1945. Nicholas survived the action itself and had joined a group of men in the water after the ship had gone down. Although the seas were rough and the night very dark he managed to stay afloat for several hours. A rescue vessel approached and picked him up in a weakened condition suffering from exposure. Despite expert medical attention he did not live throughout the night. His body was delivered to the Army the following day for burial on Okinawa. No personal effects were recovered from his person. The loss of your son is felt very profoundly by all who survived. As his commanding officer I have always known him to be diligent and cheerful in his work. His courage and performance of duty were in the best traditions of the naval service. I can only say that we share your sorrow and will always hold the memory of Nicholas's sacrifice for his country in our hearts. Very sincerely, ROLLIN E. WESTHOLM Commander, U. S. Navy Nicholas Kosty's remains were initially buried on Okinawa. Eventually his remains were moved back to the States and to his final resting place at the Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.

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