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Michael R Petrizzo

U.S. Army
D-Day | WWII

Born in 1920, Michael lived in Port Richmond with his parents Cono and Carmella and siblings Matthew, Anthony, Frank, Vincent (Jimmy) and Mary. The family owned a grocery store and butcher shop on Port Richmond Avenue.

In 1943 he was one of four brothers who entered the military to fight in WWII. US Army Corporal Petrizzo landed on Utah beach on D-Day with the 3891 Quartermaster Truck Company during the Normandy Invasion, code named Operation Overlord. His company traveled throughout Europe: England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany and Czechoslovakia carrying troops, munitions and other cargo in large trucks while engaging the enemy in other battles: Ardennes. Central Europe, Northern France and Rhineland.

In 1945, when Mike returned home, he married the love of his life Marie Carolla, and started a beautiful family, Anthony (a veteran of the Vietnam War) and Marie. He was a Teamster, Local 283 and eventually co-owned My Way Trucking, East Brunswick, NJ with his son. Mike was an exceptional landscaper, taking care of plants and animals was second nature to him. He was a professional groundskeeper for the former Halloran Army Hospital, Staten Island and instrumental in implementing the original landscaping for the Rutgers University football stadium, Piscataway, NJ. After he moved to East Brunswick, NJ in 1970, Mike would tediously manicure his property. His oldest granddaughter’s fondest memories are spending time with him, in the spring, on freshly cut grass, overseeing the budding flower and vegetable gardens and peeking at the newly hatched baby pigeons in the coop. Mike’s lifelong passion was racing pigeons. He was regarded as one of the best racers and breeders ever. The birds from Petrizzo & Son loft were raced from Staten Island to Europe even winning a division pigeon race at the 1964 World’s Fair.

Unlike many veterans, Mike didn’t mind talking about his time in Europe during the war and because of his sense of humor and outgoing personality he was often invited to speak with elementary and high school students. He even gave a radio interview on a D-Day anniversary. His children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews would visit to hear his stories and see his prized possessions from the war: a map from the D-Day landing and a device that made a clicking sound to identify allies while in enemy territory. His stories were less scary because he not only spoke of battles but of the interesting people he met and beautiful places he visited along the way.

Mike passed away in 2003 and is missed everyday by many.

Sponsored by The Petrizzo and Tierney Families

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