STAFF SERGEANT LAWRENCE JOSEPH MANZI JR.; U.S. ARMY

September 27, 1912 (Norwalk, CT) – February 19, 2007 (New Milford, CT); 94 years old
Married Carmella Tuozzolo on April 25, 1938 in Norwalk, CT
Local address: 31 Chapel St (1930), 4 Hedge Drive and 27 Lakeview Drive, Norwalk
Enlisted on April 3, 1943
Serial number 31331561
10TH INFANTRY DIVISION


Held in Nazi POW camp Stalag 3C Alt Drewitz Brandenburg, Prussia 52-14.


From The Norwalk Hour October 27, 1944

From The Norwalk Hour October 27, 1944

Word from the War Department today to his wife, gave the information that Sergeant Lawrence J. Manzi, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Manzi of 17 Chapel Street, has been missing in action in France since October 7. He had been in two major engagements. About two weeks ago, Mrs. Lawrence Manzi of Filbert Street, received word that her husband had been promoted from Private First Class to Sergeant. He was serving with the 10th Infantry in France and has been overseas for more than a year. His basic training was received at Fort Riley, Kansas, with subsequent transfers to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and to Fort Meade, Maryland.


From The Norwalk Hour March 29, 1945

Staff Sergeant Lawrence J. Manzi, husband of Mrs. Carmela Manzi of Filbert Road, who has been a prisoner of war of Germans for the past six months, is safe today in Allied hands. A brief message from Staff Sergeant Manzi to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Manzi, of 17 Chapel Street, stated that he is in good health and that detailed information will follow. Captured in France, where he was serving with the Tenth Infantry, he had been overseas for more than a year. He received his basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas, and was subsequently stationed at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and at Fort Meade, Maryland. A few days after news was received that Staff Sergeant Manzi was a prisoner of war, the family sponsored a mass of Thanksgiving at the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, which was attended by several friends as well as relatives.


From The Norwalk Hour April 10, 1945

Staff Sergeant Lawrence Manzi of Filbert Road and Sergeant Charles Liebe of 18 Olmstead Place, who recently were released from the German prison camp at M-Stammlager iII-0C, have arrived in this country and are being sent to Fort Devens, Massachusetts, according to telephone messages the two men made to their homes here last night. Manzi and Liebe stated they are in good health and they hoped to receive weekend passes to visit their homes here. Sergeants Manzi and Liebe were released during the great Russian advance.


Excerpt from The Norwalk Hour April 18, 1945

A local soldier recently liberated from a German prisoner of war camp by the Russian Army arrived at home of the weekend to begin a 60-day furlough which will aid in partially effacing memories of their grueling experiences of the past few months. Th liberated soldier is Staff Sergeant Lawrence Manzi. Staff Sergeant Manzi, husband of Mrs. Carmela Tuozzolo Manzi of Gilbert Street, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Manzi of 17 Chapel Street, serving with the 10th Infantry Division, had been overseas for more than a year when he was reported by the Wear Department as missing in action since October 7, 1944. A few months later – in February – Mrs. Manzi and her parents-in-law were overjoyed to receive cards from him, sent from a German prison camp, in which he wrote that he was “all right”. Their joy increased a hundredfold a few weeks later when word was received that he was again safe in Allied hands. The sergeant’s wife, who worked daily at the Marathon Novelty Company in this city, says that she never gave up hope, while her husband was missing, that he would again be united with his family, and she emphasizes the great need of faith in prayer in such critical situations. When news came that Staff Sergeant Manzi was a prisoner of war, his wife and his parents sponsored a mass of thanksgiving at the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle. Frequent telephone calls and visits indicate the happiness of relatives and friends in Staff Sergeant Manzi’s liberation. Mrs. Manzi has a leave of absence for the period of her husband’s furlough and also anticipates a visit with him at Lake Placid, New York, where he will return at the expiration of his furlough.


From The Norwalk Hour April 19, 1945

MANZI SAYS NAZIS STARVE PRISONERS
Norwalk Soldier Describes Rations: Red Cross Packages Rays of Sunshine

“Next to seeing my wife and my parents, the first thing I wanted when I got back to this country was a thick, juicy steak – and I got it,” said Staff Sergeant Lawrence J. Manzi this morning in recounting his recent experiences when he was captured by the Germans and later liberated by the Russians. Staff Sergeant Manzi, husband of Carmela Tuozzolo Manzi of Filbert Street, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Manzi of 17 Chapel Street, arrived in this country a few days ago and is now on a 60-day furlough. He was captured about three miles from Metz on October 7, 1944 – the date given by the War Department when he was reported as missing in action. He says that things were “not so bad there” but when they were moved to a camp near Saarbrucken a few days later, “things were certainly tough.” He terms his imprisonment days as a “slow starvation” – when three men lived on one can of German rations; when six men shared one loaf of bread; when each had one small bowl of soup a day; when they lived in compartments resembling barracks which were dirty and unsanitary and which housed 30 men; when they were allotted three small lumps of coal for heating the compartment. The one shining ray of sunshine in all this was the arrival of the Red Cross prisoner of war packages – forwarded through Geneva – which were received once a week as an average. As the Nazis apparently anticipated the coming of the Russians, Sergeant Manzi and his fellow prisoners, including Russians and Italians were enroute to another camp at the time of their liberation. “And,” comments Sergeant Manzi, “although our jailers told us that we were receiving so little food because the German people themselves had so little, we found that there was plenty available in the fields, for our liberators told us to use any of the crops and also told us to butcher the cattle until we can be transferred.” From this point, the sergeant and his companions were sent to Poland – where although the residents had little themselves, they were glad to share whatever they had. The next point was to Odessa and thence to Port Said in Egypt where once again the Red Cross came to the rescue, providing fresh clothes and a taste of good American food and above all could be transferred.” The party’s next stop was at Naples, Italy, the starting point for the homeward journey to the Boston Port of Embarkation. The final stopover was at Fort Myles Standish, Massachusetts, where Sergeant Manzi at long-last had his first steak dinner of many months – after he had contacted his wife and his parents by telephone. The sergeant, who saw how well treated the prisoners of war in this country are at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, commented that anyone who had undergone such hardship as he and his companion had in the German Camp – is understandably resentful of the good treatment accorded the enemy. Sergeant Manzi, serving with the 10th Infantry, had been overseas for more than a year at the time of his capture. A few months after the War Department’s notification that he was missing, cards were received from him on February 13, 1945, telling that he was a prisoner of war. About a month later, his liberation took place. Before going overseas, he trained at Fort Riley, Kansas, Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and Fort Meade, Maryland. Mrs. Manzi, on leave of absence from the Marathon Novelty Company during her husband’s visit, will also be with him for two weeks at Lake Placid, New York, where he will report in May for reassignment.


Buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk; unknown plot number

Photo not available


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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