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US Army 42nd Infantry Division shoulder sleeve patch with a red, yellow and blue rainbow

Object | Accession Number: 2004.749.35

Shoulder sleeve insignia of the 42nd Infantry Division, United States Army, known as the Rainbow Division. The Unit was activated in 1917 and drew troops from 26 states, making it the most diverse Division and winning it the nickname Rainbow. The 42nd Division captured the German cities of Wurzburg, Schweinfurt, and Furth in April 1945, and then crossed into Bavaria, where it was one of three Army divisions to liberate Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. The 42nd Infantry, 45th Infantry, and 20th Armored Divisions liberated more than 30,000 prisoners, but found many that were dying or had recently died from the terrible conditions, including more than 2000 corpses on a transport train outside the main gate. While US and Allied representatives treated the prisoners, the 42nd Infantry continued its march into Austria until Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The Unit then became part of the Army of Occupation until inactivation in Europe on June 19, 1946.

Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:18:03
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