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On the World War 2-era WD AGO Form 53-55, which was the four-page honorable discharge form, there is a code or reference in Box 32 (Battles and Campaigns) which on my father-in-law's form says "Rhineland; "GO 33 WD 45 as amended". What does that phrase refer to?

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"Rhineland; "GO 33 WD 45 as amended" is made up of the following:

The first part, "Rhineland", states in which campaign area the soldier was in service. For soldiers that were in service for a long period, this could include multiple campaigns, such as “Naples-Foggia Sicily Normandy Rhineland Ardennes Central Europe”.

"GO 33" refers to General Order 33 (which related to Battle Honors), while "WD 45" stands for War Department 1945 (the year in which the General Order was published)

General Order 33, doesn't include "Rhineland" as one of its Theaters of Operation, that was added by General Order 40 (which was a amendment of GO 33 with changes to the Rome-Arno & Ardennes campaign areas as well as changing the of name of the "Germany" campaign to "Rhineland"). So presumably, the "as amended" part is actually refering to GO 40.

From here, it's worth looking at the linked pdf too (note: the GOs are listed in reverse).

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