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Sidney Rochkind
War: World War II
Branch: United States Army
Unit: Anti-Aircraft - 580th
Highest Rank: Sgt.
Birth Year: January 29, 1924
Place of Birth: Spokane, Washington


Sidney Rochkind was born on January 29th, 1924 in Spokane, Washington. After high school, he worked in Detroit, Michigan for an Army supply depot as a shipping clerk before being drafted in 1943. Sidney was sent to Camp Robinson, Arkansas for basic training. He passed an exam to become an officer but failed the interview due to a lack of a college education. He was transferred to a separate unit for anti-aircraft training at Camp Davis, North Carolina. After a mock battle at Camp Stewart, Georgia, Sidney was sent to Camp Shanks, New York to guard German and Italian prisoners of war.

Afterwards, his unit was put aboard the Queen Mary and arrived in Liverpool, England around December, 1943. After additional training in South Hampton, England, Sidney was shipped to France and arrived in Le Havre in early spring, 1944 (Transcriber's note: the Allied invasion of France took place in the summer of 1944), arriving just after the end of the battle in the "Black Forest" (Transcriber's note: this may refer to the Battle of Hurtgen Forest that lasted from September 1943 to February 1944). His united covered the 82nd Airborne Division.

Sidney recalls recreational time spent in spas in Belgium. After ending up in Bavaria near the end of the war, he visited the Castle Herrenchiemsee in Lake Chiemsee and remembers drinking vodka with a group of Russian soldiers he and fellow Americans met on the Elb River. He spent two weeks in Bertesgarten training for the military police. He subsequently helped find German SS troops. During his time in Barvaria, Sidney aided in liberating several death camps, including witnessing a mass burial.

After the war ended, he was ordered to Munich and was made clerk of the 3rd Army Depot. Then he was shipped back home to New York Harbor. Sidney lived with friends in New Jersey before being discharged in Cincinnati, Ohio in May of 1946. He took advantage of his paid undergraduate college education and attended Northwestern University. He received a Bachelor's Degree and was trained as a science teacher and in elementary and high school administration.