Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

US Combat Infantryman Badge in silver bullion awarded to a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.442.3

US Combat Infantryman Badge issued to Captain James (Jim) Edward Kirkebo, who served in the US Army from 1940-1945, and fought in Europe in from December 1944-May 1945. The badge has a model of a 1795 Springfield Arsenal musket, the first official US shoulder arm, on an infantry blue field, over an oak leaf wreath, symbolizing strength and loyalty. It is awarded for performing duties while under fire in active ground combat. Kirkebo, 19, enlisted in the US Army in 1940 and, in August 1942, 2nd Lt. Kirkebo became commanding officer, C Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion, 11th Armored Division. In December 1944, Kirkebo's unit landed in Normandy, defended Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and spearheaded the Allied advance into Germany. Kirkebo received a battlefield promotion to captain on February 1, 1945. On May 5 and 6, soldiers from the 11th Armored liberated Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps. At Mauthausen, the unit was tasked with caring for 19,000 starving inmates. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Kirkebo was awarded a Silver Star and 3 Bronze Stars for his leadership and heroism in action.

Date
1944-1945  (use)
1939-1945  (commemoration)
after 1943 October 07  (issue)
Classification
Military Insignia
Category
Badges
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of James Edward Kirkebo
Expand all
 
Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:24:58
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn84690