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US Third Army shoulder sleeve patch with an AO worn by a Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2011.447.11.3

Shoulder sleeve badge, Third Army, worn by Captain Sidney Cooley while he was serving as an army officer and military government official in Bayreuth, Germany, from 1945 – 1946. The insignia utilizes the national colors and the design is an “AO,” which stands for Army of Occupation to honor the Army’s post WWI mission. On January 1, 1945, Sidney’s Division was deployed to Marseilles, France, and quickly advanced north into Germany. The 63rd Infantry crossed the Siegfried Line and fought through central Germany, arriving in Landsberg am Lech by April. Sidney was promoted and assigned to General Louis Hibb’s staff. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Sidney was promoted to Captain, assigned to the Third Army, and placed on occupational duty in the American zone. He was selected to serve as the deputy military governor in Bayreuth. He assisted with regional rebuilding efforts and with the de-Nazification program. Sidney, a lawyer by training, served as prosecutor for the U.S. military government in Bayreuth, as well as a judge, hearing approximately 1,800 cases involving civilian violations of military government. As a Yiddish speaking, Jewish American official, Sidney’s presence in Bayreuth attracted many displaced Holocaust survivors looking for a place to settle while waiting to emigrate. Among his efforts to help the community, was the establishment of an agrarian training program to train more than 300 hopeful Palestinian settlers and prepare them for life as farmers. Sidney worked very closely with the Jewish community and when he left Bayreuth, they thanked him with an eloquent citation.

use:  approximately 1945 May-approximately 1946 September
use: Bayreuth (Germany)
Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:27:20
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