Michael Mance - LST 531

Pvt. Michael Mance
Detachment 556th Quartermaster Railhead Co.
Part of the 3206th Quartermaster Battalion

Name on the Wall of the Missing
Cambridge American Cemetery, England


Story on Michael Mance by his niece, Barbara Beuley

My grandmother had five children, four boys and one girl.  My mother was the only daughter, but my Uncle Michael, who we called "Michie" lived with my mom, grandmother and me.  All of my uncles served in WWII.  Uncle Michie was the last to join. He was with a quartermaster company that was part of Operation Tiger.  I did not know him well, as I was only a small child.  I vaguely remember him teasing me with Hershey bars.  I do, however, vividly remember when the telegram arrived that my mother's youngest brother was missing in action in April 1944.  I remember a doctor coming to the house and my mom's total collapse, and my grandmother absolutely keening.  I was very frightened.  Then late in July of the same year, my grandmother received a letter saying that the Army was declaring him dead and Gram receiving his Purple Heart. 

I never heard of Operation Tiger until a few years ago when my daughter was researching our family tree.  What a terrible tragedy since all Uncle Michie's siblings were deceased and would have had some closure.  Instead, all they knew he was missing and declared deceased.  The Army knew he was deceased.  So tragic.

I appreciate the Memorial to those young men who lost their lives and were sworn to secrecy after it happened.

Additional Notes from his great niece, Beth Beuley Paulett:

Pvt. Michael Mance was born in 1924, in Pittsburgh Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  He joined the military in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on January 2, 1944.  His parents were immigrants from Yugoslavia in the early 1900's.  Michael's father passed away when he was a little boy, and his mother was left to raise five children alone.  Michael and his siblings grew up very poor, but very proud to be first generation American citizens.  His oldest brother was born in Yugoslavia, and became a naturalized citizen when he joined the Army.