History

First Special Services Force

9 July 1942 - 6 January 1945

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Tryon Frederick
Original Commander

Assemble, Organized, Trained, and Commanded

First Special Services Force

 

 

Recruiting Slogan

Vigorous Training

Hazardous Duty

For those who Measure Up

Get into the War Quick

 

1st Special Service Force

U.S.

2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment

Canada

2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion

2nd Canadian Special Service Battalion

"The Devil's Brigade"*

Airborne, Amphibious, Winter and Mountain Warfare

Activated as a joint Canadian-American Unit 

 9 July 1942  

Fort William Henry Harrison Helena, Montana

All carried US weapons: 

Thompson SMG, M1 Garand, and Johnson Light Machine Gun.

After training at Helena all wore US uniforms. 
Special US style SSI
Parachute Oval (Which one ?????)
Lanyard
Garrison Cap with Special Piping with US Airborne Patch
Enlisted Men wore the Crossed Arrows on a disc, and the officers wore the Crossed Arrows as a separate badge. 
Canadians wore a collar badge of CANADA on one side and the Crossed Arrows Insignia of the FSSF on the other lapel. 


All carried Specially made for the FSSF Knife

U.S. made V 42 Fighting Knife, Issued in WWII for use by the FSSF, Built by W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery with 7 1/4 Inch Blade,  Grooved Recess at the Ricasso for Thumb Grip when Thrusting, Hilt is made of Leather washers, Pommel of steel, Guard of  Aluminum/Leather and Sheath of Leather. 

Activated for Project Plough - an invasion to liberate Norway, but the project was cancelled. They were then sent to Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, then Italy, and later the south of France.

The Force incurred so many casualties that it was 

Disbanded January 6, 1945 at Menton, France. 


*The First Special Service Force got its nickname, "The Devil's Brigade," during the Italian Campaign from a words in the Captured Diary of a dead German Officer who had written: "The black devils are all around us every time we come into line and we never hear them."

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