February 25, 2012 Leave a comment
This report is from Stars and Stripes. You know the military newspaper that dates back to World War Two and has had such contributors as Bill Maudlin.
Some years ago, Hollywood made a movie, “The Devil’s Brigade,” about a U.S.-Canadian commando force during World War II. Now an effort is underway in Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to that elite strike force.
Legislation to award the nation’s highest civilian honor to the First Special Service Force has been introduced in the House and Senate by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The Canadian Embassy in Washington plans to call attention to the effort next week by screening the documentary “Daring to Die: The Story of the Black Devils” with at least five members of the dwindling force in attendance, along with government and military officials from both countries.
For those of you too young to remember it, here’s a scene from the movie:
John F. Mulholland Jr., commander of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command, has endorsed the effort to recognize the force, noting in a letter to Baucus that its members “earned a reputation for being able to take impenetrable objectives when no one else could.’’
The force participated in invasions in the Aleutian Islands, at Anzio Beach in Italy, and in southern France. They led the Allied liberation of Rome and wiped out Axis positions on scores of French and Italian mountains.
They specialized in high alpine combat, covert amphibious landings, airborne operations and other unconventional operations, with more reinforcements being added after the force suffered significant casualties in battle. Ultimately, the force suffered 2,314 casualties; however, it also captured over 30,000 prisoners.
Here’s the link to the full article.
If awarded they will join the Tuskegee Airmen; the Navajo Code Talkers; the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs; and Japanese American members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, a most worthy and honorable (honourable for you Canucks) group.
- Ancient and proud Japanese-American warriors from 442nd finally get medals for World War II valor (mercurynews.com)
- Planetary Soldiers, How to tell them apart. (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)