S/SGT Rocco Michael Zuccarella
8th Armored Division 49 AIB, Company A
Killed in Action 8 April, 1945
-- Gloria Zuccarella Borell Layne --
The youngest son of Italian immigrants Rocco and Caterina Zuccarella, Rocky was born in New York City
on May 1, 1916. He was inducted on December 9, 1943, at New York Times Square Army office. After training
at Fort Riley and Camp Polk, he was deployed to Europe in late 1944, arriving first in Tidworth, England,
where his group continued to train until leaving for LeHarve in January, 1945. From LeHarve, Rocky's group
marched through Belgium, Holland, and into Germany.
In March 1945, Rocky was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action against the enemy in Germany on 5 March,
1945. The citation reads:
"Under intense enemy fire, Sergeant Zuccarella (then Private) covered members of his platoon with machine gun fire
while they took cover. He then advanced 800 yards under machine gun, artillery, mortar and small arms fire to lead
twelve men to safety. Sergeant Zuccarella's actions reflect the greatest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of
the United States."
In a letter Rocky wrote to his sister shortly after receiving the award, he stated, "I got a promotion from a buck
private to staff. They also awarded me the Silver Star and I sent it home to Gloria . . . I guess you will be amazed
at all this, but so was I. I shook hands with the General of my division when he handed out the awards and it was
one of the biggest thrills of my life."