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US Army 11th Armored Division shoulder sleeve insignia patch issued to a soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.442.4

Shoulder sleeve insignia, 11th Armored Division, the Thunderbolt Division, issued to Captain James Edward Kirkebo, who served in the US Army from 1940-1945, and fought in Europe from December 1944-May 1945. The patch colors represent the military branches that form an armored division: yellow for cavalry, blue for infantry, and red for artillery. The symbols are for characteristics: tank track, mobility and armor protection; cannon, fire power; red flash of lightning, shock action. 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.

use:  1942 August-1945 August
Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of James Edward Kirkebo
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:22:39
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