Cohen, Harold – 4th Armored Division

Born on October 2, 1916 in Woodruff, South Carolina (USA). He grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Died on August 15, 2006 in Tifton, Georgia (USA).

His father, Max Cohen (1878 – 1942), a Lithuanian Jew, had started in America as a door-to-door salesman and ended up owning textile mills and garment factories in South Carolina.

Mother: Fannie Rae (Goldberg) Cohen (1878 – 1968).

In 1942, Harold Cohen volunteered for the US Army. 

He deployed to England in 1944 as the supply officer for the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, holding the rank of Major. On December 4, 1944, he assumed command of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion. He was then a Lieutenant Colonel (ASN: O-1013011).

This battalion would provide the infantry support to Gen. Irzyk’s 8th Tank Battalion at Chaumont (December 23 – 25, 1944). 

On April 1, 1945, Cohen was captured when the 6. SS Gebirgsjäger (Mountain) Division overran the vicinity of the field hospital where he had been receiving treatment for his bad case of hemorrhoids. He avoided being shot (due to his Jewish origin) by treating their wounded and even managed to escape a day or so later.

Col. Cohen was a frontline commander and often exposed himself to enemy fire while leading his men.

Col. Cohen received four Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, and the Legion of Merit. He received the French Croix de Guerre and decorations from the governments of Czechoslovakia, England, Luxembourg, and Poland. In 1996, Cohen finally received the Distinguished Service Cross (recommended on September 10, 1945 … 51 years late due to missing paperwork).

“My most prized possession is my American citizenship. My proudest claim is that I am an American patriot.” – Lt. Col. Harold Cohen.

Sources:

  • jimsudmeier.com
  • valor.militarytimes.com
  • www.omsa.org
  • www.findagrave.com
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