Paul L. Cosgriff was born on September 4, 1948 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania for most of his life.
Army Specialist 5 Cosgriff was a 1967 graduate of Bishop Shannahan High School, where he played football for two years. Prior to entering the Army, he worked in thegrocery business and for Warner Schmidt and Son, a contracting firm. He was a member of SS. Simon and Jude Church.
Paul entered the Army in August, 1967. He received basic training at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and helicopter training at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He went to Vietnam in April, 1968. While stationed at Phu Loi, South Korea, he was promoted to Specialist 5 in August, 1968. He served as crew chief for combat helicopters.
This young soldier was previously awarded the Army Commendation Medal in June, 1968 when he single-handedly put out a fire on board a helicopter.
On October 21, 1968, Specialist 5 Cosgriff’s helicopter was downed by enemy fire. He was on a combat operation when at the time. He was only 20 years old.
Paul Cosgriff was brought home on October 30, 1968, accompanied by Sgt. Andrew Rowbotham of the 6th Army escort detachment of Oakland, California. On November 1, 1968, members of the West Chester Veterans Council under Commander Courtland Hammond of American Legion Post 134 formed an honor guard for the slain soldier during the service.
A Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated on November 2, 1968 at the SS. Simon and Jude Church. Interment with military honors was in St. Agnes Cemetery. A detachment of soldiers from Valley Forge General Hospital under Major R.A. Johnson formed the firing squad and acted as casket bearers. Honorary bearers were James Jenkins Jr., Thomas Supplee, Fred Pettit Jt., John Plunket, Albert Miller, Salvadore Baldino, Thomas Cook, and David Lamb.