Old 05-24-2013, 13:05   #1
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'The Devil's Brigade'

House measure honors WWII special forces: 'The Devil's Brigade' would be awarded congressional medal



http://www.greatfallstribune.com/art...essional-medal

WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill Tuesday that would award the congressional gold medal to the First Special Service Force, an elite strike force that started in Montana during World War II.

“The bravery and valor of the Army special forces — more commonly known as the Green Berets — are well known to most Americans. But many don’t realize that this unit was born out of the First Special Service Force and the courageous soldiers who fought for it during World War II,” Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told his colleagues on the House floor in introducing the bill for consideration.
Cotton, a Republican, said the congressional gold medal would both recognize the men who served for their “heroic service” and also “ensure that this unit attains the historic recognition that it deserves.”
Only a couple hundred veterans remain of the 3,300 who made up the joint American-Canadian commando unit, created in 1942 to take on the most dangerous military missions. The unit, memorialized in the 1968 movie “The Devil’s Brigade,” trained at Fort Harrison near Helena.
The bill, which passed the House on a unanimous 415-0 vote, would provide for two gold medals to be awarded on behalf of the men who served. One would go to the Smithsonian Institution to be displayed; the other would go to the First Special Services Force Association, based in Helena.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana has made it his mission to get the bill passed before he retires from Congress next year.
“Without these brave volunteers, there would be no Special Forces today,” Baucus said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of Congress’ highest honor.”
Baucus’ bill in the Senate has 30 supporters, including Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana. The bill needs the support of 67 senators before it can be voted on by the full Senate.
“The Devil’s Brigade represented the very best of our greatest generation that defeated tyranny around the world,” Tester said. “The congressional gold medal is a small token of this nation’s gratitude, but an ever-lasting reminder of the sacrifices these men made for all of us.”
Republican Rep. Steve Daines of Montana voted for the bill in the House; he also is a co-sponsor of the measure.
“Montana has a strong legacy of military service, which is truly exemplified by the First Special Service Force and its important place in our state’s history,” Daines said. “I am proud that the First Special Service Force, which got its start at Fort Harrison in Montana, is being recognized for the lasting impact that it has had on our military and our nation.”
Contact Malia Rulon Herman at mrulon@gannett.com or @mrulon on Twitter.
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Old 02-04-2015, 18:25   #2
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The above mentioned medals were finally awarded:

Devil's Brigade receive Congressional Medal

Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of reading the excellent--if dated--history of the First Special Services Force: The Devil's Brigade by Adleman and Walton. My understanding is that the FSSF was disbanded after WW II, but laid the foundation for the development of USA Special Forces, their colors being transferred to the 7th Special Forces group in 1960.
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Old 02-04-2015, 21:31   #3
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The above mentioned medals were finally awarded:

Devil's Brigade receive Congressional Medal

Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of reading the excellent--if dated--history of the First Special Services Force: The Devil's Brigade by Adleman and Walton. My understanding is that the FSSF was disbanded after WW II, but laid the foundation for the development of USA Special Forces, their colors being transferred to the 7th Special Forces group in 1960.
Aaron Bank did not agree with your understanding of the foundation. SF was modeled after the OSS.
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Old 02-05-2015, 00:02   #4
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Aaron Bank did not agree with your understanding of the foundation. SF was modeled after the OSS.
Sorry, badly worded on my part. Should have said "contributed to the foundations of..." Didn't mean to imply direct causality. I realize that Col Bank came from the OSS. I also understand he did recruit former 1st SSF for the 10th SFG, along with former OSS. I also note that members of the 1st SSF who served over 120 days may be retroactively awarded the Special Forces Tab, per AR 600-8-22.

The 1st SSF, or Devil's Brigade, appears to me to be part of the heritage of US Army Special Forces, and I'm pleased to see the unit honored yesterday.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:01   #5
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Sorry, badly worded on my part. Should have said "contributed to the foundations of..." Didn't mean to imply direct causality. I realize that Col Bank came from the OSS. I also understand he did recruit former 1st SSF for the 10th SFG, along with former OSS. I also note that members of the 1st SSF who served over 120 days may be retroactively awarded the Special Forces Tab, per AR 600-8-22.

The 1st SSF, or Devil's Brigade, appears to me to be part of the heritage of US Army Special Forces, and I'm pleased to see the unit honored yesterday.
It's part of the heritage ASSIGNED to SF by the Institute of Heraldry, nothing more.

In 1960 1st SF was assigned the heritage of the disbanded WWII Ranger Bns, which was later (86) taken away and assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Back then. So much for heritage!!! Back in the day, we wore the PUCs awarded to those Ranger units when serving in Group
.

I don't know when 1st SF Rgt was assigned the lineage of the 1st SSF by the TIOH
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Old 02-05-2015, 14:05   #6
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Although it's good to see some of the Canadian SOF still wearing the SSF patch, or a derivative of it as part of their lineage.

Very distinctive and visually appealing patch.

I certainly can't opine on the lineage and heraldry of SSF in relation to US Army Special Forces.

But can anyone comment about a connection, if any, between the heraldry of the SSF patch and the US Army Special Forces SSI patch?

I have only found this:

http://www.groups.sfahq.com/sf_heral...ch_heraldy.htm

I always wondered if there is a direct connection or just a passing visual silhouette resemblance.

The most commonly seen "USA Canada" patch has a distinctive and different shape, but I've found this patch with a near identical shape to the US Army Special Forces SSI in red with what looks like a viking ship on it I've never seen before:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...patches/page-2

My interest is in conducting my research on a patch design for a programme I'm involved with down here, where we are going to use a custom designed spearhead(arero) of a Maori spear(taiaha), along the lines of this:

http://www.ahua-nzmaoriart.com/media...i/ci3339_1.jpg

OBVIOUSLY, giving credit for inspiration/concept to SSF and US Army SF but with local relevancy/content.
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Old 02-05-2015, 15:15   #7
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I was browsing the pics of those veterans who attended the ceremony and disappointed they didn't identify all the participants for future reference. However, I found this one I recognized of Henley P. Woods (an NCO in 1-3). Mr Woods was the Chairman of the Airborne Memorial Walk Committee when we (1-507th) were engaged with the Airborne Historical Association in designing, funding, and creating the monument on Eubanks Field where BAC gradualtions normally now take place.

He was a great guy to know and to work with, and I'm glad to see him able to participate in this ceremony.

Congratulations to the 'Forcemen' for this award and its recognition of your valorous contributions to History!

Richard
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File Type: jpg H.P. Woods 1.3.jpg (60.0 KB, 49 views)
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:54   #8
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Originally Posted by AF Doc View Post
The above mentioned medals were finally awarded:

Devil's Brigade receive Congressional Medal

Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of reading the excellent--if dated--history of the First Special Services Force: The Devil's Brigade by Adleman and Walton. My understanding is that the FSSF was disbanded after WW II, but laid the foundation for the development of USA Special Forces, their colors being transferred to the 7th Special Forces group in 1960.
The lineage was assigned to us but in reality is closer to Rangers/SMU's in tactics and purpose.

The true fathers of SF are the OSS being built off the experience and successes of Wendell Fertig, Russell Volckmann, Don Blackburn and lastly Aaron Bank. The Book American Guerrilla is what Volckmann accomplished during the 3 yrs the U.S. left the P.I. to the Japanese. What these guys did along withthe Det 101, 201,301 etc..in China did is the template of SF. In the many writings and correspondences between these architects of SF it was agreed that there is little to nothing in common with the 1SSF and Rangers units with SF mission and intent.

We had more in common with the CIA than the Rangers or SSF since we were recruited from the same pool. We were the military version of them.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:43   #9
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The lineage was assigned to us but in reality is closer to Rangers/SMU's in tactics and purpose.
Not really - it's a bit more convolueted than that. Remember - the FSSF never got to perform the mission for which it was originally developed and trained.

Richard
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“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.” - Robert Heinlein
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Old 02-14-2015, 18:20   #10
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Not really - it's a bit more convolueted than that. Remember - the FSSF never got to perform the mission for which it was originally developed and trained.

Richard
That is true they never got to integrate the Norwegians into their commando mission set and perform the deep penetration missions from the North into Germany. Canadian SOF unit JTF2 similar to our JSOC elements were modeled after the FSSF and Ranger unit missions,

IAW the correspondence back and forth between Major General Robert A. McClure, Volckmann, Blackburn, Fertig and Bank the FSSF and the Ranger units were commandos designed for a different purpose than what the OSS did and the capability that Fertig, Blackburn and Volckmann showed as a viable mission, FSSF and or Rangers were commando units have no connection with the development of SF. The only true comparison would be ground branch.
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