I re-checked my father's discharge papers, they state " Rhineland" and " Central Europe". Official US Army archives state the same, thus the two battle stars on their European Campaign Medals. Unit history also verifies the eligible dates. I would post a picture of his discharge papers but I keep getting " file to big".
According to the official U.S. Army lineage and honors sheet for the 86th Division as well as the Campaign Participation Register for World War II, the only campaign participation credit for which any unit of the 86th was entitled was Central Europe.
The Center of Military History website does not list the lineage and honors sheets for the infantry regiments of the 86th.
In the attachment showing the page from the World War II Unit Citation and Campaign Participation Registry, you can see the three infantry regiments of the 86th are only entitled to campaign participation credit for one campaign - Central Europe - which is reflected by the number 26.
I completely agree that the 86th and its units should have qualified for campaign participation in the Rhineland Campaign since the unit was located in Germany and specifically in Cologne during the the closing days of that campaign and actually engaged in combat during its time in Cologne, including engaging in artillery duels with German units and sending out infantry patrols across the Rhine River. However, for whatever reason, official records do not support that. But as I said in my previous post, I have seen other discharges of 86th veterans listing both campaigns. On the other hand, I have seen many, my grandfather's included, that only list Central Europe.