HEROES of CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

PRIVATE NICHOLAS MANZI
Medical Detachment, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division


Nicholas Manzi was born in Italy on June 15, 1895. He came to America in 1913, and was not a citizen when he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He was then working as a car cleaner for the Pennsylvania Railroad at the ferry and rail terminal at Front and Federal Streets. Nicholas Manzi then lived with his stepbrother at 313 Cleveland Terrace in Camden's Third Ward, a short street that ran south from 212 Stevens Street to a dead end. 

Private Manzi went overseas as a member of the Medical Detachment, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division. During a heavy bombardment of our front lines, Private Manzi went 50 yards in advance of our positions to an automatic-rifle post to dress the wounds of three of the crew. He then assisted the wounded men, one by one, to reach a place of safety. All this time the line was under steady machine-gun fire as well as bombardment. for this heroic action, Private Manzi was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1919.

Nicholas Manzi returned to Camden after the war, and was back on Cleveland Terrace when the census was taken in January of 1920. He married that year, and by 1930 he and his wife Mary had three children, Luigi, Jessie, and Anna. The family lived at 235 Beckett Street. Nicholas Manzi worked in the furniture restoration business. He had become a  United States citizen by this time. He had moved to 514 Benson Street by 1947, and to 2257 Bank Street in East Camden by October of 1956. Nicholas Manzi lived at the Bank Street address into the late 1970s.

Last a resident of Haddonfield NJ, Nicholas Manzi died on November 22, 1992.


MANZI, NICHOLAS
Private, U.S. Army
Medical Detachment, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: October 3, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Nicholas Manzi, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Jaulny, France, October 3, 1918. During a heavy bombardment of our front lines, Private Manzi went 50 yards in advance of our positions to an automatic-rifle post to dress the wounds of three of the crew. He then assisted the wounded men, one by one, to reach a place of safety. All this time the line was under steady machine-gun fire as well as bombardment.
General Orders No. 126, W.D., 1919
Home Town: Camden, NJ


Remembering Nick Manzi

He was my uncle--my grandmother's ( Catherina Pigliacelli) sister Mary was married to him. Uncle Nick was a great person, and a war hero.  He always had nice things to say about people, and he and Aunt Mary always visited us and we visited them quite often.  Aunt Mary was a fantastic cook and baker, too.  And Uncle Nick grew mint and vegetables in his backyard garden on Bank Street in East Camden during the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.

Nanci Lee Sinclair
April, 2009


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