41st Infantry Battalion, 2nd Armored Division
Plot D, Row 20, Grave 47
Pfc. Michael Macera was raised on his family farm in Johnston, R.I. where he worked until he entered the service in 1941 at the age of 21. Macera’s sister recalls that, prior to her brother’s departure, the family gathered together and he gave each of his family members a memento to remember him by. When he gave his sister his class ring, she told him that she would return it when he came home. In a letter she remembers, “He just looked away. It was as if he knew he would not be coming back.”
Macera trained as a machine-gunner and was assigned to Company ‘C’ of the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division. Macera landed in Morocco on Christmas Day during Operation Torch but did not see combat. He first saw combat during the Sicilian Campaign, where he earned a Bronze Star for pulling a wounded soldier to safety. During the Normandy Campaign, Macera landed with the 2nd Armored Division on June 9, 1944. Fighting alongside the 101st Airborne, Macera and the 41st played a key role in capturing Carentan and St. Lo.
On September 1, 1944 Macera and the 41st Infantry had moved close to the Belgian border at LaChapelle, France. Members of the French resistance stumbled upon them, and confused by their uniform, opened fire. Macera was killed in a “friendly fire” incident. He was 24 years old.
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Michael Macera is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot D, Row 20, Grave 47.