MICHAEL B CERVERA

MICHAEL B CERVERA - SP4

  • HOMETOWN:
  • bloomfield
  • COUNTY:
  • Essex
  • DATE OF BIRTH:
  • October 02, 1946
  • DATE OF CASUALTY:
  • February 03, 1968
  • BRANCH OF SERVICE:
  • Army
  • RANK:
  • SP4
  • STATUS:
  • KIA
  • COUNTRY:
  • South Vietnam

Biography


Michael Bernard Cervera was born Tadao Sugiyama in Tsurmi, Japan, on October 2, 1946. His parents were a Japanese woman and an American GI. He was placed in Our Lady of Lourdes Orphanage in Yokohama, Japan. In 1951, he was adopted by Carmen and Raphael Cervera. In 1952, he came to the United States, where he resided in Newark, NJ. Michael moved with his parents in 1955, to Bloomfield, NJ. He became the big brother to James and Margaret. He went to Brookdale Grammar School, South Junior High School and Bloomfield Senior High. He enjoyed playing basketball at Vassar Field in Bloomfield, NJ. His passion was wood shop, where he sculpted by hand and machine. He was ranked second in his high school class.

Cervera was drafted into the US Army on May 3, 1967, and was sent to Vietnam. He attained the rank of Specialist 4 (SP4).

While he was there, he received the Air Medal for distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight in support of combat ground forces of the Republic of Vietnam during the period of June 1967 to October 1967. He actively participated in more than twenty-five aerial missions. He was also awarded a Bronze Star for exceptionally valorous action on August 12, 1967, while serving as a rifleman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry during a search and destroy mission in the Soui Ca Valley. Cervera organized the men around him into an effective fighting unit. Exposed to enemy fire, he directed the fire of his men on the enemy position in an attempt to gain superiority. He provided cover for his unit allowing them to successfully withdraw. He was also awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded from gunfire during his tour of duty.

On February 3, 1968, Cervera was killed in action in South Vietnam.

The Township of Bloomfield, NJ, dedicated a plaque in his name on the street sign where he lived.

Michael Cervera is mentioned in The Lost Battalion: Controversy and Casualties in the Battle of Hue by Charles A. Krohn. His brother, James, contributed to the 2008 addition.

Sources: Margaret Cervera (sister), James Cervera (brother) and NJVVMF.

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