Domenic Joseph Castorani was born on August 31, 1927 into a family of three: father Gaetano "Thomas" Castorani, mother Maria "Mary" Filipponi, and brother Saverio "Samuel" Castorani. In 1931, the family welcomed another member, Grace. They lived at 265 Aberdeen Avenue in Wayne.
Mr. Castorani attended Radnor High School for two years before enlisting in the United States Army on October 29, 1945. He was inspired to enlist by his father, who served in U.S. Army during World War I, and his brother, who was serving in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Castorani's enlistment term was for the Panama Canal Department. His Army-issued serial number was 13198757 and he achieved the rank of Private. In 1946, at the age of 19 and prior to being deployed overseas, Mr. Castorani served in the Merchant Marines for ten months.
In October 1946, after Victory Over Japan Day, Mr. Castorani was drafted into the Army and began training at Fort Belvoir (Virginia) and at Fort Jackson (South Carolina). After training, Mr. Castorani was sent to Belgium as part of the demobilization effort after World War II.
On a Monday morning in 1946, Mr. Castorani’s parents received a telegram from the War Department informing them of the death of their son. They learned that on July 10, 1946, Mr. Castorani was assigned to guard a train in Belgium that was transferring army supplies and equipment for shipment back to the United States. As he was riding on top of a train car approaching a low bridge, Mr. Castorani did not see the bridge and was struck by it, thus suffering a compound fracture of his skull. At the time of his tragic, accidental death, Mr. Castorani was playing a key role in the demobilization efforts for the United States.