Colonel Raymond C. Costabile was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 5, 1916 and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1937. During a distinguished thirty-year career as a U.S. Army Officer, beginning in 1940, he became a specialist in the research, development, procurement, production, storage, and distribution of conventional munitions.
Highlights of his career include service as an Ammunition Battalion Commander in the China-Burma-India Theatre during World War II; an Arsenal Commander in Illinois for six years following World War II; an Ordnance Officer in the Panama Canal Zone; and Project Manager for bombs, fuzes, and explosives production and related components during the Vietnam Conflict.
He was also an outstanding civilian consultant to the Project Manager of Production Base Modernization, and for the past 15 years the Industrial Specialist (Ammunition, Production, and Logistics) for the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
In 1966, he found an alternative method of manufacturing TNT. Instead of the vintage Batch Method, Colonel Costabile turned to the more modern Canadian continuous TNT nitration system. This greatly increased the safe production of TNT at a much reduced cost, from 25 to 13 cents per pound.