First Special Service Force

". . . the Force never in all its service yielded an inch of ground nor left a battle with an
indecisive conclusion. The Force won everything it fought for . . ."

       The Independent Record,  Helena, Montana Sunday, August 7, 1955,  page 6


In the past few years there has been much written about the First Special Service Force, this site attempts to present information about this unit from a new point of view. In honour of the units 60th anniversary and the reunion in Helena, Montana at the Westcoast Colonial Hotel between August 14-17, 2002 this site site has been updated and expanded.

The Internet is a great source of information but one needs to ask about the qualifications of the person who has created the page, anyone with a little computer experience can create a web page. My name is  Alastair Neely and since I was in high school in the early 1970's I have always been interested in  the First Special Service Force, I have visited Helena, Montana twice to do research, Washington D. C. once, and Ottawa on a variety of occasions. I have self published a 90 page index of newspaper clippings on the Force and have contributed a chapter titled The First Special Service Force and the Canadian Involvement at Kiska to Fern Chandonnet's Alaska at War publication. I'm currently employed by London Public Library as a Operational Supervisor at the Westmount Branch Library. and volunteer as the curator of the 1st Hussars Museum, I have an honours degree in History and a Masters of Library Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. I belong to a variety of professional organizations such as the Ontario Library Association, Canadian Library Association, American Library Association, Ontario Museum Association, Ontario Archivists Association, and many  history and genealogical societies.

Table of Contents


Battle Honours

Honours and Awards

Honour Roll

The First Special Service Force at Kiska 1943

War Diary

Newspaper Index (sample)




Documents and Photographs

    Activation Order

    Canadian Declaration

   Weasel (M-29)


   Autography Album

    War Diary (May 1944)

   War Memorials and Honours

      Battle Honours As Awarded  By The American Government

Pacific Theater

Aleutians Campaign

Kiska-Little Kiska                      August 15-19, 1943
Segula Island                             August 17, 1943

Mediterranean Theater

Naples-Foggia Campaign

Monte la Difensa                        December 3-6, 1943
Monte la Remetanea                   December 6-9, 1943
Height 720 (Monte Sammucro)    December 25, 1943
Radicosa                                    January 4, 1944
Monte Majo                               January 6, 1944
Monte Vischiataro                       January 8, 1944
Mussolin Canal (Anzio)               February 2 - May 10, 1944
Monto Arrestino                         May 25, 1944
Rocca Massima                          May 27, 1944
Colle Ferro                                 June 2, 1944

Rome-Arno Campaign

Rome                                         June 4, 1944

Southern France Campaign

Ille d'Hyeres                               August 14-17, 1944
Grasse                                       August 27, 1944
Villeneuve-Loubet                      August 30, 1944
Vence                                        September 1, 1944
Drap                                          September 3, 1944
L'Escarene                                 September 5, 1944
La Turbie                                  September 6, 1944
Menton                                     September 7, 1944

Battle Honours as Awarded by the Canadian Government

Monte Camino, Monte la Difensa, Monte la Remetanea, Monte Majo, Height 720 (Monte Samucro),
Radicosa, Monte Vischiataro, Anzio, Rome, Advance to the Tiber, Monte Arrestino, Rocca Massima,
Colle Ferro, Itally 1943-1944, Iles d'Hyeres, Grasse, Villeneuve-Loubet, Vence, Drap, L'Escarene,
La Turbie, Menton, Southern France, Franco-Italian Border

Honours and Awards

Listed below is only a particial list of decorations awarded to Canadians and Americans. If you can provide details of missing awards please email me.
 Bronze Star Medal Distinguished Service Order
 Canadian Efficiency Medal Legion of Merit
 Distinguished Service Cross Military Medal
 Distinguished Service Cross (USA) Silver Star
 Distinguished Service Medal (USA)


Aitken, Robert B. Private (D109795) Silver Star

"Private, Canadian Army, 1st Company, 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on 7 January 1944, on Mount Majo, Italy. Private Aitken volunteered for the task of silencing an enemy machine gun whose fire was causing heavy casualties in his company. He crawled toward the position while under fire from the machine gun and from enemy riflemen on both sides of him. Reaching a spot twenty yards from the hostile weapon, he raised to his knees and threw a hand grenade into the position. He then fired several bursts with his submachine gun to silent the enemy weapon. Private Aiken's heroic actions reflect credit upon himself and the two armies which he serves. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Akehurst, Jack  Lt. Col. Distinguished Service Order

"Lt. Col Akehurst, Commanding the First Regiment, First Special Service Force, was assigned the task of neutralizing enemy guns and clearing the Island of Oort Gros..  [poor copy currently obtaining a better photocopy]

Atto, Frederick Black, 1st Lieutenant, Distinguished Service Cross

"First Lieutenant, Canadian Army, 1st Special Service Force. For extradraordinary heroism in action on Mount La Difensa, Italy, on 6 December 1943. First Lieutenant Atto led a patrol of three men with a mission of destroying several isolated enemy machine guns, mortar emplacements, and snipers whose fire was causing heavy casualties in his unit. The patrol penetrated deep into enemy territory and neutalized several enemy positions, killing nine of the enemy and taking two prosioners. On the return trip First Lieutenant Atto and the two prisoners became separated from the remainder of the patrol. While proceeding alone with the prisoners, he was fired upon from an enemy position. Armed only with a pistol, he returned the fire and caused five more Germans to surrender to him. He be was forced to fire his remaining bullet to keep the prisoners in line. He brought the seven prisoners to his own lines although his only weapon was empty pistol. First Lieutenant Atto's courage and presence of mind in the face of overwhelming odds reflect highest credit upon himself and the two armies which he serves. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Barlow, Jack T., Sergeant  (B11149) Distinguished Service Cross

"Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For extraordinary heroism in action, on 4 June 1944, in Rome, Italy. The assault section commanded by Sergeant Barlow encountered fierce resistance from an enemy force in strongly prepared emplacements along a railroad embankment. The street along with Sergeant Barlow and his men advanced was swept by close range from enemy machine guns, machine pistols, rifles and tank guns. Noticing that intense and accurate sniper fire from Germans behind a some wall was casuing casulaties among his men, Sergeant Barlow ran to the wall, jumped to the top and fired his submachine gun at the snipers, killing four of them. As he fired from this exposed position, a bullet struck his weapon, destroying it and wounding him painfully in the hand. Refusing treatment for his wound, he secured a rifle and returned to the action. Shouting encouragement to his men, Sergeant Barlow fired his rifle with deadly effect into the enemy positons. He was struck in the neck by a bullet, but undaunted, he continued to fire until his supply of ammunition was exhausted. Seeing that the ammunition of the entire section was depleted, and not wishing to sacrifice his men, he directed the withdrawal of his group. Without ammunition and suffering from his wounds, he remained in a forward, exposed position until the last of his men had withdrawn to safety. Still refusing treatment or his wounds, Sergeant Barlow led his men over another route of approach and remained in front of them through several more encounters until the objective was taken. Sergeant Barlow's courageous fighting spirit inspired his entire regiment to aggressive and determined action in its drive on the city of Rome. Entered military service from Toronto, Ontario, Canada."

Barnett, John (D72202) Bronze Star

"By direction of the President, under the provision of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by the Theater Commander to the following named individuals of the Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy near Mt. Ours, France, on 13 September 1944:

Douglas E. Dickie,  F-30467, Private, Entered service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Donald L. Fitzpatrick, A-117875, Private, Entered service at Windsor, Ontario Canada.

John Barnett, D-72202, Sergeant, Entered service at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

George T. Bundy, A-58613, Sergeant, Entered service at London, Ontario Canada.

Lawrence H. Devison, F-33186, Sergeant, Entered service at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When their battalion commander asked for volunteers to make an assault section for a highly dangerous attack against enemy bunkers, these men readily volunteered. The ensuing fight was so fierce and at such close range that the enemy was forced to abandon the position, resulting in the capture of five prisoners and the surrender of twenty-five more later in the day, at which time it was learned that an enemy attack by four companies had been completely frustrated and thirty-two casualties inflicted by the daring assault of this section of fourteen me. The actions of these men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."

Beacon, Carl William, Sergeant (K68947) Mention in Despatches

"At 0400 hrs on 6th November 1944, 1st Company, 1st Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, was engaged in an assault upon enemy occupied Mt. Gromondo, France. Sgt. Beacon was a member of the assault platoon and in command of a group with that platoon. During the attack Sgt. Beacon was continually in front of his men, leading the way, and shouting encouragement. While this engaged he received a painful head wound from fragments on a enemy rifle grenade. Although suffering considerable pain, he continued the attack and led his men on with an exemplary display of bravery until its completion. He was then ordered to report to the medical detachment for treatment and made is way down the mountain, unassisted, to the aid station.

Sgt. Beacon's calm leadership and devotion to duty were an inspiration to every man and a great contribution to the final sucess of our attack."

Becket, Ralph Wilson, Lieutenant Colonel Silver Star

"Lieutenant Colonel, Canadian Army, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action near Castillon, France, on 4 September 1944. Lieutenant Colonel Becket, without regard for his personal safety, drove deep into enemy held territory, over mined roads, to secure necessary intelligence for operations of the unit under his command. Acting upon information thus obtained, he led his troops in a boldly devised and vigorously executed plan of attack which quickly overcame enemy resistance and resulted in the capture of Mount Ours, a terrain feature of critical importance to the advance of friendly troops. The courage and aggressiveness shown by Colonel Becket in personally reconnoitering enemy dispositions, and his ability to quickly exploit knowledge thus obtained, reflects great credit upon himself and is in keeping with the high standards of the Allied forces. Entered the service from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada."

Bennett, William R. 1st Lieuteant Bronze Star

"First Lieutenant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For meritorious service in combat, from 2 January 1944 to 18 January 1944, on Mount Majo, Italy. First Lieutenant Bennett was in charge of supplying his regiment during a period of mountain fighting. working with a reduced section of only three men and confronted with difficult terrain, adverse weather conditions and enemy artillery and sniper fire, he personally led his pact train to provide a continous flow of supplies to the troops in combat. He personally reconnoitered enemy held territory and led his trains across terrain know to be occupied by the enemy, in order to expedite the movement of supplies. First Lieutenant Bennett displayed determination, courage and steadfast loyalty to duty under difficult circumstances. Entered military service from Montreal, Canada."

Bennett, William R. Captain Recommendation for the Croix De Guerre

"On 7 September 1944, the Second Regiment, First Special Service Force had advanced just beyond Menton, France, and was ordered to take up positions along the Franco-Italian border. The Second Battalion was ordered to proceed to the ridge line along this boundary and take up its positions on this dominating terrain feature. Fifth Company was to lead the advance of the battalion, Captian Bennett, the Company Commander, and six of his men moved ahead of the troops to make a reconnaissance of the new area. This patrol had not reached the ridge, when they were fired on by the enemy. Captain Bennett divided his men into two groups, each going to one flank, and both groups were engaged by the enemy. After several exchanges of gun fire, the enemy ahead of Captain Bennett's group apparently withdrew, and he was able to continue his patrol. He returned to his assembly area, organized his company for the assault , and, in the attack, completely routed the enemy, of approximately company strenght, from his positions. He quickly and expertly set up his defenses, and so consolidated his positions that his company was able to repel two heavy counterattacks by the enemy in an effort to regain the lost ridge. This fine example of leadership, covering Captain Bennet's thorough and complete reconnaissance of enemy machine gun installations, and barbed wire entaglements, his advance with his company by taking full advantage of the terrain to effect the surprise which made his attack successful, and his immediate defense of a newly won positions, in just cause for pride the people of Canada hold for their army."

Benson, Oscar F. Sergeant (39030462) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Infantry, United States Army. For gallantry in action on 21 May 1944, near Borgo Podgora, Italy. Sergeant Benson was in command of a machine gun squad assigned to protect the right flank of his company during a raid against enemy lines. Preceded by a heavy artillery and mortar barrage, the enemy launched a counterattack, the force of which fell squarely on Sergeant Benson's squad. Aggressvely moving his squad forward he repeatedly exposed himself to direct the fire of his section. When the fire of his machine guns became masked by high ground, he seized a rifle and advanced alone to secure new firing positions. During this action, he personally killed seven of the enemy, and wounded several others. Through the determined and skilful leadership of Sergeant Benson, the fire of his squad beat of the enemy counterattacl, allowing the company ton continue its advance. Entered military service from Oregon."

Bodner, J (B61753)  Mention in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On the night of 2 Jan 44, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, First Special Service Force, moved thru enemy positions in the vicinity of Radiesa, Italy, to occupy Hill 724, which was in rear of these positions. During the move, the unit was subject to heavy small arms fire but sustained no casualties. Due to terrain difficulties, the wire crew at the end of the advancing column, became separated during the move and was held up at Radieosa, approximately 700 yars from Hill 724, this depriving the unit of its planned communication system. Sgt. Bodner and Knight were members of a patrol of wire men sent back along the route taken to locate the wire detail and establish communications. Despite heavy enemy fire, the patrol located the wire crew and established communications from that point. As it was found impossible to further to further extend the wire immediately, Sgts Bodner and Knight once more passed thru the enemy lines to return to Hill 724 with information that contact had been made and that the wire could not be extended. Having delivered this information , the two men returned to the wire end with report of the situation to be relayed to the Force Commander.

All of the movements described were undertaken in complete darkness after the moon had set, and over terrain known to be strongly occupied by the enemy. The two men passed throu positions from whic fire had already been received and carried out thir missions despite constant danger of detection. The extreme difficulty of retaining direction in the darkness over strange terrain added greatly to the hazard of their movements. Both men conducted themselves in a manner showing both courage and coolness under stress and reflecting great credit on themselves and the military services Killed in Action 16 August 1944."

Bourne, John Gilbert Lt. Col.  Mention in Despatches

"During the afternoon on the 4th of June 44 while at Tor Sapienza, some 4 or 5 miles below Rome. Lt. Col. Bourne received orders that his Battalion was to secure and hold six main bridges across the Tiber in Rome until relieved.

After quickly organizing his Battalion they moved toward the Central Railroad Station, moving throught other elements of the F.S.S.F. who had fought their way into the outskirts of the City.

From this point of departure Lt. Col. Bourne led his Battalion in a co-ordinated attack through the city to the Tiber, hampered at first by the exuberant populace and later by stiff enemy resistance; before midnight the bridges had been secured intact, and held against destruction and the possible return of the enemy.

It was due to Lt.-Col. Bournes' quick and well executed  aitack that these bridges were secured intact. Their destruction would have materially hindered the otherwise speedy advance of the other elements of the 5th Army."

Bowman, Cedric A. (D-81272) Silver Star

"Private, Canadian Army, Second  Company, Second Regiment, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action near Castellar, France on 9 and 10 September 1944. As the first scout of a reconnaissance patrol, Private Bowman on 9 September eliminated light resistance and moved into a position for observation until devastating small arms fire force his tempoorary withdrawal, working forward to a new position he again made valuable observations and returned to his unit. Acting on information furnished by Private Bowman, an assault was planned for 10 September. Prior to moving out as the first scout during the assault on that date, Privat Bowman gave accurate information to the gun commander of a supporting artillery piece and then following the artillery barrge at a distance of seventy-five yars he led the way to the assualt point. Rushing forward at the end of the barrage he personally took two prisoners while his platoon overran the enemy held position, killing three and taking nineteen prisoners. The complete success of the operation was largely due to Private Bowman's courage, devotion to duty and intelligent actions as a platoon scout and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations. Entered service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada"

Boyce, Wayne E. 1st Lieutenant Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumous)

"First Lieutenant, First Special Service Force.for extradordinary heroism in action on Mount ***, Italy, on *** December 1943. First Lieutenant Boyce's platoon was designated as the assault wave of his company for an attack on two fortified enemy ridge lines. Immediately after starting the attack, the platoon encountered fierce machine gun, machine pistol, and mortar fire, which halted the advance. First Lieutenant Boyce, however fearlessly moved forward, and his action inspired his men to rush onward and assault the position. The first objective having been taken, First Lieutenant Boyce immediately reorganized his unit and led the assault on the second enemy line. Although wounded fatally in this assault, First Lieutenant Boyce devoted his remaining energy to reorganizing his platoon and consolidating its position. His determined courage and aggressvie leadership are an everlasting inspiration to those who followed him in his heroic assaults against the enemy. Entered military service from Jerome, Idaho. Next of kin: Mrs. Mary M. Boyce (Wife), Jerome, Idaho."

Briddon, Raymond (B80158) Bronze Star (Posthumous)

"Private, Infantry, First Company, First Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for heroic service in action near Anzio, Italy on 10 to 11 May 1944. Next of Kin: Mrs. Emile Briddon (Mother) 165 North Cliff, Toronto, Ontario, Canada"

Brotherton, William E. (M11122) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, Canadian Army, 3rd Company *** Regiment, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on *** December 1943, on Mont *** Italy, Staff Sergeant Brotherton, was a member of a combat patrol of one officer and three enlisted man detailed to penetrate into enemy territory and destroy enemy machine guns and snipers whose fire was causing casualties in his unit. Staff Sergeant Brotherton executed his mission with skill and aggressive spirit, once coming to within a yard of an enemy position before being discovered. In the several enemy positions which were encountered and reduced, nine of the enemy were killed, of who Staff Sergeant Brotherton killed seven by rifle fire. Staff Sergeant Brotherton's spirit and skill reflect credit upon himself and the two armies which he serves. Entered military service from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada."

Brown, Norman Edward (B127695) Mention in Despatches

"On two occasions while on patrol deep into enemy territory south of the Canale Mussolini, Anzio Beachead, Italy, Pte., Brown distinguished himself in the face of the enemy.

On 10th February 1944, he was a member of a 5 man reconnaissance patrol when they were surprised by a 10 man enemy patrol. Pte. Brown without thought of personal safety and realizing his comrades were in a tough spot, left the cover he had and rushed at the enemy with Tommy Gun blazing, kiling the enemy lead man and causing the patrol to withdraw, thus enabling his own patrol to return to safety with much valuable infomation.

Again on 26th Febrary 1944, he was a member of a fighting patrol when they ran into an enemy machine gun position. The two Johnson Automatic Rifles jammed and Pte. Brown again jumped to the fore and with his Tommy Gun sprayed the position allowing his patrol to assault it. In both cased the patrol on which Brown was a member might have suffered a very different fate if it had not been for his quick thinking and gallant actions."

Bundy, George T. (A-58613)  Bronze Star

"By direction of the President, under the provision of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by the Theater Commander to the following named individuals of the Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy near Mt. Ours, France, on 13 September 1944:

Douglas E. Dickie,  F-30467, Private, Entered service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Donald L. Fitzpatrick, A-117875, Private, Entered service at Windsor, Ontario Canada.

John Barnett, D-72202, Sergeant, Entered service at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

George T. Bundy, A-58613, Sergeant, Entered service at London, Ontario Canada.

Lawrence H. Devison, F-33186, Sergeant, Entered service at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When their battalion commander asked for volunteers to make an assault section for a highly dangerous attack against enemy bunkers, these men readily volunteered. The ensuing fight was so fierce and at such close range that the enemy was forced to abandon the position, resulting in the capture of five prisoners and the surrender of twenty-five more later in the day, at which time it was learned that an enemy attack by four companies had been completely frustrated and thirty-two casualties inflicted by the daring assault of this section of fourteen me. The actions of these men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."

Campbell, G. A.  (H17510) Mention in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On 7 Jan 44, during his Comapny's attack on Mount Majo, Italy, Sgt. Campbell's Section leader became a casualty when they were fired upon by an enemy Machine Gun. He immediately assumed command of the Section and by a skillful flanking move over a steep cliff, hit the enemy from the side. Although Sgt. Campbell was killed in the ensuing fire fight, his handling of the Section and knowledge of the tactical situation so inspired is men that they cleared out the Machine Gun nest, thus enabling the Company to gain the mountain top, and continued fighting until all opposition had be wiped out."

Chubbuck, James G. (39390386) Bronze Star

"Technician Fourth Grade, Infantry, United States Army. For heroic achievement in action on 29 May 1944, at Artena, Italy. Entered military service from Oakland, California."

Cuff, Roy N. (M51533) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action, at San Nicoli, Italy, on the night of 31 May 1944. Staff Sergeant Cuff, leading the center section of a three-pronged platoon attack on the hill feature of San Nicoli, found his section under intense enemy mortar and machine gun fire as it approached the buildings on the hilltop. Realizing the entire platoon was endangered by this stiff resistance, he unhesitatingly charged the nearest building, clearing sevral buildings with his sub-machine gun, killing seven of the enemy. In doing so, he drew heavy enemy fire upon himself thereby enabling all sections of he platoon to get into position to successfully drive of a severe counteract and hold the hill, which was vital to a large scale attack the following morning. The courage and unflinching devotion to duty exhibited by Staff Sergeant Cuff were an inspiration to his men and reflect high credit upon himself and the Allied Forces. Entered military service from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.."

Devison, Lawrence H. (F33186) Bronze Star

"By direction of the President, under the provision of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by the Theater Commander to the following named individuals of the Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy near Mt. Ours, France, on 13 September 1944:

Douglas E. Dickie,  F-30467, Private, Entered service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Donald L. Fitzpatrick, A-117875, Private, Entered service at Windsor, Ontario Canada.

John Barnett, D-72202, Sergeant, Entered service at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

George T. Bundy, A-58613, Sergeant, Entered service at London, Ontario Canada.

Lawrence H. Devison, F-33186, Sergeant, Entered service at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When their battalion commander asked for volunteers to make an assault section for a highly dangerous attack against enemy bunkers, these men readily volunteered. The ensuing fight was so fierce and at such close range that the enemy was forced to abandon the position, resulting in the capture of five prisoners and the surrender of twenty-five more later in the day, at which time it was learned that an enemy attack by four companies had been completely frustrated and thirty-two casualties inflicted by the daring assault of this section of fourteen me. The actions of these men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."

Dickie, Douglas E. (F30467) Bronze Star

"By direction of the President, under the provision of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by the Theater Commander to the following named individuals of the Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy near Mt. Ours, France, on 13 September 1944:

Douglas E. Dickie,  F-30467, Private, Entered service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Donald L. Fitzpatrick, A-117875, Private, Entered service at Windsor, Ontario Canada.

John Barnett, D-72202, Sergeant, Entered service at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

George T. Bundy, A-58613, Sergeant, Entered service at London, Ontario Canada.

Lawrence H. Devison, F-33186, Sergeant, Entered service at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When their battalion commander asked for volunteers to make an assault section for a highly dangerous attack against enemy bunkers, these men readily volunteered. The ensuing fight was so fierce and at such close range that the enemy was forced to abandon the position, resulting in the capture of five prisoners and the surrender of twenty-five more later in the day, at which time it was learned that an enemy attack by four companies had been completely frustrated and thirty-two casualties inflicted by the daring assault of this section of fourteen me. The actions of these men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."

Dodson, Gerald L (20734657) Silver Star

"Private, Headquarters Detachment, *** Regiment, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action, near ***, Italy on *** December 1943. The unit to which Private Dodson was attached made an assault on an enemy position defended by six machine guns and approximately twelve machine pistols. Throughout the action, Private Dodson remained with the attacking group and repeatedly exposed himself to withering fire in order to give immediate aid to the wounded. One soldier, having been shot by a sniper and seriously injured, was unable to move to safety. While the enemy sniper was still in position, Private Dodson went to his comrade, rendered first aid while completely exposed, and then removed the injured men to a covered position. Private Dodson's fearless actions under fire and devotion to his task were a notable contribution to the success of his unit's attack. Entered military service from Lyons, Kansas."

Doucette, V. J. (F28951) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, 4th Company, 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action, on 3 January 1944, near Radecosa, Italy. While advancing with his company in an attack on an enemy hill positions, Sergeant Doucette observed a sniper preparing to fire on the leading platoon. Acting with great speed he ran to the enemy rifleman's position and hurled a hand grenade which killed the sniper. Upon returning to his company, he joined the leading platoon in a attack on enemy machine gun positions. In the attack on the second machine gun position, he threw the first grenades on the enemy gunners. He continued forward to a third enemy position and took part in the assault, using his rifle and bayonet with destruction effect. Sergeant Douchette's courage and aggessive spirit were an inspiration to his entire company during the attack. Entered military service from Halifax, Nova Scotia."

Dunlop, Lloyd David, Cpl. /Acting Sergeant (F22447) Mention in Despatches

"Sgt. Dunlop came overseas with this Force, and has not missed one day's combat, or even one day's duty. During all this time he has consistently put forth his most conscientious efforts to do his work in the best way he knew how.

On the Mount Majo operation Sgt. Dunlop spent long hours maintaining communications for his headquarters, manning the telephone and radio, and taking charge when his senior N.C.O.  was evacuated. This all took place in snow and extreme cold weather, and under considerable heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire, on a rocky hill where there was little available cover.

On the Anzio Beachead, Sgt. Dunlop was N.C.O. in charge of communications. The Battalion had a large number of long telephones to maintain, and they were being constantly cut by the heavy enemy artillery fire. Durng our stay of ninety-nine consecutive days on the beachead, Sgt. Dunlop did this work very often under difficult conditions, during all times of the day and night, usually in heavy rain, and muddy terrain.

On the push to Rome, Sgt. Dunlop continued his excellent work, taking it upon himself to remain at his post for long hours, sometimes for 24 hours or more at a stretch. On all operations, Sgt. Dunlop had done more than his share of work, and has always carried more than his share of the heavy loads our men carry. He has always been fully aware of his responsibilities, and has worked unceasingly to discharge them cheerfully. He has always been a source of extreme satisfaction to his officers, and has eanred their utmost confidence ......"

Exon, Guy R. (18016040) Silver Star

"Private, 5th Company **** Regiment. *** Force. For gallantry in action near ***, Italy, on the night of ***-*** December 1943. Private Exon was detailed as a member of a party assigned the mission of repairing telephone lines between the combat area atop Mount *** and the command post at its base. While traveling up the slope on ......"

Fenton, Thomas E. Staff Sergeant (D71519) Bronze Star

"Staff Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For heroic achievement in action, on the night of 2-3 December 1943, near Mignano, Italy. Staff Sergeant Fenton (then Corporal), and a fellow soldier led the assault company of their regiment in an advance up the precipitous slopes of Mount LaDifensa. Ascending the mountain under continous artillery, mortar and small arms fire they led the company to a point within 150 yards of strongly fortified caves and rock emplacements on the summit. Upon being challenged by enemy sentries, Staff Sergeant Fenton and his compaion diverted enemy fire upon themselves to permit the leading elements of the company to assault the position. They inflicted severe casualties upon the enemy and aided in the destruction of six machine gun positions and the caputre of more than thirty prisoners. Staff Sergeant Fenton then assisted in organizing the position against counterattack. The courage, initiative and combat skill demonstrate by Staff Sergeant Fenton aided materially in the success of the attack. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Fines, Edgar S.  Sergeant (L86555) Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumous)

"Sergeant, Canadian Army. For extraordinary heroism in action, on 7 and 8 January  1944, near Cappagna, Italy. Sergeant Fines and a small groupo of men were sent forward to augment the defense of a critical hill crest which had been won from the enemy. Carrying his machine gun up the hill, Sergeant Fines found the crest defeded by one machine gun and two riflemen. Three enemy machine guns, one on each flank and one to the front, opposed the defenders; grazing small arms fire swept over the hill, and intermittent mortar fire crashed along the crest. Sergeant Fines edged his way to a nearby enemy machine gun pit, removed the body of the dead gunner, and set up his gun. Ignoring sniper fire, he quickly silenced the enemy machine gun on his right flank. His fire, coordinated with that of the other defenders, silenced the enmy weapon to the front. Confinded to a cramped and exposed position, in sub-freezing temperature, he maintained a vigilant defefense of his position through the succeeding thirty-six hours. When his own ammunition was expanded, he emplaced a discarded enemy machine gun and continued to fire. On one occasion he crawled to a position to his front and secured more of the enemy's ammunition to use in his weapon. He repulsed seven counterattacks on his own position and in addition denied the enemy an important spproach to Mount Majo. when he was finally relieved, the bodies of elen Germans lay in front of his position. Sergeant Fines provided the hub of the entire defense of the sector, and his courageous performance under fire reflects credit upon himsel and the Allied Forces. Entered military service from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada."

Fitzpatrick, Donald L. (A-117875) Bronze Star

"By direction of the President, under the provision of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by the Theater Commander to the following named individuals of the Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy near Mt. Ours, France, on 13 September 1944:

Douglas E. Dickie,  F-30467, Private, Entered service at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Donald L. Fitzpatrick, A-117875, Private, Entered service at Windsor, Ontario Canada.

John Barnett, D-72202, Sergeant, Entered service at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

George T. Bundy, A-58613, Sergeant, Entered service at London, Ontario Canada.

Lawrence H. Devison, F-33186, Sergeant, Entered service at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When their battalion commander asked for volunteers to make an assault section for a highly dangerous attack against enemy bunkers, these men readily volunteered. The ensuing fight was so fierce and at such close range that the enemy was forced to abandon the position, resulting in the capture of five prisoners and the surrender of twenty-five more later in the day, at which time it was learned that an enemy attack by four companies had been completely frustrated and thirty-two casualties inflicted by the daring assault of this section of fourteen me. The actions of these men are in keeping with the highest traditions of the militaryservice and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations."

Gagnon, Camille Sergeant (D158509) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, 2nd Company, 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action, on 7 January 1944, on Mount Major. Italy. Sergeant Gagnon was assigned the task of company observer for his unit in the defense of Mount Majo. Crawling out to a forward positoin in terrain offering no cover or concealment, he consturcted a small rock shelter from which he could observe the enemy. Despite the danger and the necessity of reconstructing his shelter which was destroyed several times by mortar and artillery fire, Sergeant Gagnon retained his position throughout the entire day and supplied much valuable information to his company commander. Sergeant Gagnon's courage under fire and keen attention to duty reflect credit upon himself and the Army Forces. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Gentile, A. Sergeant (D132112) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Infantry, Second Company, Second Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action near Cisterna, Italy on 23 May 1944. When is company was ordered to withdraw before a fierce counter-attack by enemy infantry and eleven Mark VI tanks. Sergeant Gentile, a radio operator, saw a crew member of a friendly stricken tank jump from his vehicle and fall seriously wounded. Undaunted by the terrific fire from machine guns and 88mm tank cannon, Sergeant Gentile leaped from the shelter of a drainage ditch and dashed across the open fire-swept terrain to the assistance of the wounded soldier. Lifting the man to his shoulders, Sergeant Gentile then rejoined his company. unable to crawl as his comrades were doing because of his heavy burden, Sergeant Gentile carried the wounded soldier a half mile to the nearest medical aid station, walking upright trhough intense enemy fire. By Sergeant Gentile's courage and unflinching determination in the face of almost certain death the life of a wounded soldier was saved. Entered military service from Montreal Quebec, Canada."

Gilday, Thomas Pope Major/Lt. Col. Distinguished Service Order

"On the 4th Jan 44, Lt. Col. Gilday, Commanding the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Regiment F.S.S.F. was order to take Mount Majo in Italy, a mountain mass of 1259 meters.

The weather was cold and there was much snow in the moutains, the morale of our own and enemy troops was good.

As a result of Lt. Col. Gildays' excellent plan and leadership the accomplishment of the mission was outstanding. He led and fought his men over rocky snow covered terrain to the objective, and pushed the enemy out of their superior positions, inflicting a great number of casualties on them. Upon consolidation of the ground, Lt. Col. Gilday organized a defense that proved impregnable to at least twenty-four (24) counterattacks before his Battalion was relieved.

Mount Majo was a dominating and important positon guarding one of the approaches to Cassino. Its catupre was vitally necessary for further advances by the 5th Army."

Godin, G. O. Sgt. (M17307) Mention in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On the night of 16 Feb 44 the Third Regiment, First Special Service Force was holding defensive line along the Mussolini Canal on Anzio Beachead, Italy. Sixth Company's mission was to hold a line approximately 2000 yards from the canal front, and to actively patrol into enemy territory at night. The enemy were very aggressive at this time and although it was known that many areas were both mined and covered by enemy patrols it was necessary that active patrols be maintained in order to gain accurate knowledge of this ground. For a mission of house clearing and investigation of a suspected mined area, S/Sgt Godin voiluntarily took our a patrol and personally took the lead refsuing to let any of his men precede him. While probing his way in darkness at the head of his man he exploded a mine, and although he ws evacuated with all possible speed and medical care, he died of his wounds on the 22 February 44. At the time of his injuries S/Sgt Godin was displaying the same quality of leadership that had been outstanding in all his actions since the Force had been in combat. His agressiveness and devotion to duty were an inspiration to the others in the Company."

Gordon, John Douglas Staff Sergeant (B77124) Mention in Despatches

"In the early morning of 6 Nov 44, near Mount Gromondo, Southern France, after a gruelling all night march, the final stages of the advance included scaling a steep cliff face. S./Sgt. Gordon led and helped his men over the obstacle through enemy wire to within 30 yards of enemy occupied positions, quietly and efficiently organized an assault, then led it through to its successful conclusion.

Throughout the whole S. France campaign S/Sgt. Gordon's courage and leadership, and initiative have been an inspiration to his men, and this factor has contributed to the success of many a platoon mission."

Gordon, Thomas C. Captain Silver Star

"Captain, Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action, on 21 May 1944, near Borgo Piave, Italy. Captain Gordon's company was assigned the mission of contacting the enemy and determining his strength and disposition. Skilfully he led his company across open, flat terrain and through enemy wire and mine fields to a point with a few yards of strong enemy defenses. He so effectively employed his troops that thirty Germans were killed, many wounded and twenty-one prisoners taken. During the fire fight Captain Gordon personally destroyed several of the enemy with his carbine and grenades. With a small gorup of me he remained in position under intense mortar, artillery and small arms fire to cover the successful withdrawal of his company. He personally supervised the evacuation of all wounded before leaving the area. Captain Gordon's courage under fire and aggressive leadership inspired his men to inflict heavy losses on a overwhelming enemy force. His heroic performance reflects credit upon himself and the Allied Forces. Entered military service from St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada."

Grey, Charles Benson S/Sgt (C2075) The Canadian Efficiency Medal

October 11, 1944.

Griffith, J. J. Private (D119648) Silver Star

"Private, Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action, on 23 May 1944, near Cisterna, Italy. A fierce enemy counterattck supported by eleven tanks forced the withdrawal of the company with which Private Griffith served as aid man. As the company move to the rear, Private Griffith observed several wounded crew members of friendly tanks. Leaving his company, he ran foward under intense machine gun and cannon fire to administer first aid and remove two of the wounded me to cover. Later he made his way to a house and rendered first aid to three men while under heavy shell fire. Then he made his way through intense fire to rejoin his company. the last soldier to withdraw, Private Griffith demonstrated courage and devotion to duty exemplary of the high traditions of the Allied Forces. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec Canada."

Haney, Derrick Wilfred Private (A17116) Canadian Efficiency Medal

30 September 1944

Harris, W. A. F. Sergeant (B49301) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action near Borgo Podgora, Italy, on 9 February 1944. As Sergeant Harris's company withdrew following a successful night raid, the enemy suddenly launched a determined attack. The machine gunner of Sergeant Harris' squad was killed instantly. Sergeant Harris unhesitatingly advance through heavy fire at the advancing enemy until the attack was stopped. He then rejoined his platoon in its return to friendly lines, but the enemy reformed and launched another attack. Withdrawing slowly from one position to another, Sergeant Harris fired his machine gun from the hip with detructive effect until the bipod could be placed in position. By these tactics he repelled the second attack, and under his protecting fire his company completed its withdrawal without further casualties. His undaunted courage and fearlessness were an inpiration to his comrades and reflect the highest traditions of the fighting forces of the Allied Nations. Entered military service from Barrie, Ontario Canada."

Hart, G. A. W. Sergeant (M66360) Bronze Star

"For heroic achievement in action, on 2 June 1944, near Colle Ferro, Italy. Entered military service from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada.'

Harvey, Frank A. A/S/Sergeant (G32781) Mention in Despatches (Posthumous)

"In the early morning of 4 Jan 44, S/Sgt Harvey's Section led a company attack on Hill 1025, between Mt. Majo and Summucro, Italy. After destroying an outpost MG position, the section was pinned down by three MG's and rifle and MP fire. with complete disregard for his own safety S/Sgt Harvey moved about among his men, assuring them and instructing them for an assault on the enemy positions. The terrain was barren rock with little or no cover, his only concealment being the darkness of the night. The enemy on the other hand was well dug in and concealed in the brush and projecting rocks, about 200 yards up the hill. Despite these unfavorable conditions, he rose and charged the nearest position, firing his TSMG. About 15 feet away from the position he tossed a had grenade into the nest and put the gun out of action. Still under fire from the remaining two (2) positions and a considerable number of rifles he quickly mustered his remaining men and charges another position in a similar manner, successfully putting it out of action. By this time his section was disorganized in the darkness, each man engaging his own target. There was still one MG nest firing continously and keeping the greater part of the compnay pinned odwn. With dauntless courage he charge this position, firing is TSMG. He was cut down within 10 feet of the position suffering mortal wounds in the abdomen and groin, but succeeded in knocking it out.

S/Sgt. Harvey's conspicuous gallantry not only resulted in his distruction of three well fortified enemy MG positions, but he so inspired the Company that they soon captured Hill 1025."

Hickey, J. T. Private (A21465) The Canadian Efficiency Medal

23 October 1944.

Jenning, John Albert Lieut. Military Cross

6 January 1944

Joesting, David H. (01289016) Silver Star

"Captain, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on Mount *** December 1943. While directing the movement of supplies up a precipitous mountain slope, Captain Joesting learned that undependable communication existed between the battle area on the summit and the command post at the base of the mountain. He volunteer to establish reliable communication by laying a telephone line over a new route. Although exhausted from more than three days of mountain climbing he alone took a reel of wire and ran the line down a steep, rocky and muddy slope, through an area continuously under effective fire from enemy rifleman. Despite his extreme fatigue, the treacherous footing on the moutain side, and the danger of enemy fire, he successfully completed his task, which contributed materially to the success of his organization's mission. Captain Joesting's courage and determination reflect great credit upon himself and the miltary service. Entered military service from Bel Air, Maryland."

Keleher, James E. (G-60658) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, 3rd Company , *** Regiment, *** *** Force. For gallantry in action on Mount ***, Italy, on *** December 1943. Sergeant Keleher, as a member of a patrol of three men and one officer, was sent into enemy territory to reduce enemy machine guns, sniper and mortar observation posts whose fire was harrassing his unit. On one occasion the patrol was able to advance to a point within one yard of the enemy position without being discovered. This position having been taken Sergeant Keleher constantly exposed to enemy fire from all directions. Upon detecting an enemy group manouvering to fire upon his patrol, Sergeant Keleher opened fire, killing two Germans and dispersing the others. Although low on ammunition, he remained to hold the position till reinforcemenets arrived. His courage under fire and his steadfast devotion to duty reflect credit upon himself and the two armies which he serves. Entered military service, West St. John, New Brunswick, Canada."

Kinch, Thomas R. (M106249) Bronze Star

"Private, Canadian Army, Fourth Company, Second Regiment, *** Special Service Force, for heroic achievement in action against the enemy, near Valmontone, Italy on 29-30, 1944. Prevented by enemy outposts and patrols from completing a night mission of obtaining vital enemy intelligence, Private Kinch volunteered to remain with his leader, hid in a neighboring wheat field during the day, and return with the necessary information the following night. Although subjected to enemy, as well as friendly artillery fire during the entire day, he remained with his group, returning the following night with information which prevented an enemy counter-attack and also materially aided in his unit's which prevented an enemy counter-attack and also materially aided in his units offensive against the enemy. Entered the service from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada."

King, Reynold J. (32211556) Silver Star

"Technician Fourth Grade, Fourth Company, First Regiment, First Special Service Force, for extradordinary heroism in action near Fort Eminence, Ile de Poirt Cros, France, on the morning of 15 August 1944. Repulsed by devastating machine gun and mortar fire in its assault on the strongly defended Fort Eminence, Sergeant King's company was momentarily disorganized. Rallying the men of his light machine gun squad, Sergeant King upon his own initiative move then to a flank position where fire could be brought to bear on the determined enemy. In crawling well forward to an exposed position to get better observation and to determine the effect of his squad's machine gun fire on the enemy, he succeeded at the same time,with deadly rifle fire, in silencing an enemy machine gun. When his company was directed to withdraw, Sergeant King order his squad to remain in position and directed the covering fire for its movement to new positions. The withdrawal of the company completed, he continued to remain in place while he protected, in turn the withdrawal of his squad, and while thus engged he was killed by an enemy sniper. The actions of Sergeant King throughout the engagement were above and beyond the normal call of duty and are in keeping with the highest traitions of the United States Army. Next of Kin: Mr. Olen King (Father) Rural Free Delivery Number 5, Ithaca, New York."

Knight, John Lloyd . (M-34048) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, Canadian Army, Second Company Second Regiment, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action near Mt. Majo, Italy, on 4 January 1944. As a member of a patron sent out to search for the battalion wire team that had become lost during the inflitration through enemy occupied terrain, Staff Sergeant Knight successfuly located the lost group and volunteered to return through enemy lines and report that th teeams have been located but was unable to lay wire forward beacuse of enemy observation. Upon reporting to his Commanding Office, Staff Sergeant Knight learned that the unit had suffered a large number of casualties from enemy artillery and mortar concentrations and that litter teams were sorely needed. With knolwdge of the enemy having excellent obvservations of all routes of approach. Staff Sergeant unhesitatingly volunteered to go back through the enemy lines to the location of the wire team and get the vital request for litter teams to a rear installation. During the entire trip Staff Sergeant Knight and his group were subjected to intense artillery shelling but with a high sense of responsibility and devotion to duty inspring him, Staff Sergeant Knight reached the forward wire installation and request the litter teams which subsequently arrived and successfully evacuated the wounded. The action of Staff Sergeant Knight reflects great created upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied nations.Entered service from Red Deer, Alberta Canada."

Knight, John Lloyd (M-34038) Mention in Despatches

"On the night of 2 Jan 44, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, First Special Service Force, moved thru enemy positions in the vicinity of Radieosa, Italy, tooccupy Hill 724, which was in the rear of these positions. During the move, the unit was subject to heave small arms fire but sustained no casualties. Due to terrain differiculties, the wire crew at the end of the advancing column, became separated during the move and was held up near Radieosa, approximately 700 yards from Hill 724, thus depriving the unit of its planned communication system. Sgts Knight and Boidner were members of a patrol of wire men sent back along the route taken to locate the wire details and establish communications. Despite heavy enemy fire, the patrol located the wire crew and established communictions from that point. As it was found impossible to further extend the wire immediately, Sgt. Knight and Sgt Bodner once more passed thru the enemy lines to return to Hill 724 with information that contact had been made and that the wire could not be extended. Having delivered this information the two men returned to the wire end with report of the situation to be relayedto the Force Commander.

All of the movements described were undertaken in complete darkness after the moon had set, and over terrain known to be strongly occupied by the enemy. The two men passed thru positions from which fire had already been received and carried out their missions despite constant danger of detection. The extreme difficulty of retaining direction in darkness over strange terrain added greatly to the hazard of their movements. Both me conducted themselves in a manner showing both courage and collness under stress and reflecting great credit on themselves and the military service."

Laughren, James H. Mentioned in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On 13 Jan. 44, 5th Company was in action on Mount Stefano, Italy. The company was subjected to heavy mortar and sniper fire from enemy who were located on high groundoverlooking our positions. Communication between men was almost impossible due to the heavy mortar and accurate sniper fire along with severe winter weather. Under these conditions Sgt. Laughren unmindful of his personal safety, left his sheltered position and worked his way forward and finally by crawling was able to obtain a position from which he could fire upon the enemy snipers. After lying in wait for sometime he was able to eliminate two of the snipers, however his position was discovered by two other snipers who directed their fire upon him. Sgt. Laughren immediately engaged them and after a brief exchange of shots he killed one of the two remaining enemy, but was killed instantly by the other's fire. His historic effort and devotion to duty not only elimated enemy sniper activitiy and enabled the machine guns of his company to be set up, but also was an inspiration to other members of the company."

Lee, Gerard H. (P-9475) Silver Star

"Sergeant Major, Fourth Company, First Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action on 4 June 1944 in Rome Italy. As Sergeant Lee's platoon mounted on tanks entered Rome a sudden concentration of enemy heavy artillery fire forced it to dismount and deploy. Afte leaving his armored vehicle behind, Sergeant Lee led his platoon forward clearing buildings the enemy and establishing a firing line four hundred yards to the front. Suddenly subjected to machine gun, sniper and artillery fire, Sergeant Lee was seriously wounded. Despite this fact, he grimly reflused to relinguish the leadership of his platoon and determined to pentrate the strong enemy position. All day Sergeant Lee continued to lead his platoon, putting two Mark IV tanks out of action and overrunning the enemy strongpoint after four hours offierce street fighting. His courage and example of outstanding leadership were an inspiration to his men. Entered military service from Kingston, Ontario,Canada."

LeGault, Conrad First Lieutenant Silver Star

"First Lieutenant, Second Company, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army for gallantry in action near Borgo Podgora, Italy on 23 and 24 May 1944. When Lieuteant LeGault was given the important mission of securing a strategic bridgehead over the Mussolini Canal and protecting the bridge against enemy counter attack was skillfully repulse with the destruction of two enemy motorized weapons. In defending thisposition throughout the day and at times often providing protecting fire for friendly units, the company by nightfall found its ammunition supply almost exhausted. At this time Lieutenant LeGault's company was the point of a salient extending eight hundred yards into enemy lines, receiving continual small arms and artillery fire from three sides. Lieutenant LeGault moved over the exposed terrain from one position to another encouraging his men and comforting the wounded of whom there were many. By his exemplary courage and fearless determination, Lieutenant LeGault permeated a conquering spirit which enabled his men to maintain their positions throughout thenight until properly relieved the following morning, consequently saving a vital artery of supply and communication for the Allied advance toward Rome. Entered military service from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada."

Litster, Cecil W. (B-131211) Silver Star

"Private Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action on 30 May 1944, near Artena, Italy. While occupying a precarious hill position, Private Litster's company was subject to continous mortar and artillery fire which inflicted heavy casaulties. the position became almost untenable. An enemy tank fire on the company's positions from a distance of 300 yards, and Private Litster crawled down the exposed slope of the hill with his rocket launcher. While under intense and accurate fire from enemy snipers he fired two rockets at the tank. One round fell close enough to the armor to damage the treads. Unstatisfied with this accomplishment, Private Litster remained in his hazardous position until more ammunition could be brought to him. Suddenly the tank turned and fired five shells point blank at his position, severely wounding him in the leg and rendering his weapon useless. Private Litster succeeded in crawling up the exposed slope to reach safety. His fearlessness and dogged determination to destroy the enemy armor was an inspiration to all who witnessed his intrepid action. Entered military service from Sudbury, Ontario Canada."

McAuley, Mevin A/Sgt. (L-86683) Distinguished Conduct Medal

MacWilliam, Thomas Cail Lt. Col. Mention in Despatches

"On the night of 2/3 Dec. 1943 the First Special Service Force began its first combat mission. The 2nd Regt. was assigned the job of capturing and holding Mt. La Defensa, Mt. Remetanea and an intermediate peak all part of the Camino Mass, south of Cassino, Italy.

The night was dark, cold and wet, the terain was a high, steep and rugged mountain. Morale of our own and enemy troops high.The 1st Bn. 2nd Regt. commanded by Lt. Col. T. C. MacWilliam was the assault Bn. and led the attack up the mountainside. Lt.-Col. MacWilliam accompanying the advance platoon of 1st Coy directed the attack through a heavy fire fight, and took the moutain peak with one Coy. and from this advance position directed the attack on the reminding enemy positions. By this time his Bn. was disorganized, since 2 and 3 Coys lost contact on the way up and 1 Coy had suffered severe losses. The position was .........subject to heavy mortar and sniper fire. Despite all this Lt. Col. MacWilliam went about calmly consolidating his position against possible counter-attack(which did not materialize) encouraging his men and always planning the next attack.

When 2 and 3 Coys arrived the attack on Mt. Remetenea was begun. Lt.-Col. MacWilliam knowing the successful accomplishment of this ..would mean a further 1500 yard salient into the enemy line."

Maclom, William (D-132238) Bronze Star

"Private, Infantry, Canadian Army. For heroic achievement in action, on 30 May 1944, near Artena, Italy. Entered military service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Magee, Wiliam J. F. E. (B-53066) Silver Star

"Private, Sixth Company, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action near San Nicoli, Italy, on 1 June 1944. When his platoon suffered several casualties from the sudden cross fire of three machine gunsn, Private Mageee unmindful of his own safety, voluntarilly went to the assistance of two seriously wounded comrades. He calmly administered first aid treatment in full view of the enemy while machine gun bullets kicked up dirt all about him. After the completion of the treatment, he removed both men to a place of safety. In recovering one of his comrades, a much heavier man then himself, it was necessary for his to crawl along on his stomach carrying the wounded man on his back for a distance of fifty yards over an area covered by enemy fire. By his unselfish and fearless act in the fact of great danger, the lives of two soldiers were saved. Entered military service from Toronto, Ontario, Canada."

McDonald, Gerald H. (B-128506) Bronze Star

"Staff Sergeant, Infantry, Canada Army. For heroic achievement in action, on 16 February 1944, near Anzio, Italy. Staff Sergeant McDonald's platoon was attacked by German Infantry supported by tanks and self-propelled guns. During the action his own position was repeatedly hit by heavy shell fire and finally cave in on top of him. Early in the attack he was knocked unconscious at least two time and suffered from concussion and a wrenched back from the continued artillery pounding. Despite his wounds he carried on his duties throught the day and carefully directed the fire of his section. His determined leadership and skillful direction of fire were a decisive factor in repulsing the enemy attach. Entered military service from Cobalt, Ontario, Canada"

McDow, Elzie M. (20446645) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, Infantry, United States Army. for gallantry in action on 25 April 1944, near Cerreto Alto, Italy. Staff Sergeant McDowwas in command of a four man daylight patrol sent out with the mission of reconnoitering an enemy strong point three thousand yards beyond his own lines. Advancing under the cover afforded by shallow drainage ditches, the patrol reached a point apprximately one hundred yards from their objective. Because of the danger from mines, Staff Sergeant McDow decided to halt the patrol which he advanced to a position affording a better view, from where he observed a number of enemy. As he turned to withdraw, an enemy sniper opened fire which alerted all of the enemy who promptly commenced firing, wounding Staff Sergeant McDow in the leg. Realizing the value of his information Sergeant McDow ordered his men to withdraw and sent the message to bring fire on the village. Having given his orders he faced toward the enemy to give covering fire for his withdrawing patrol. Staff Sergeant McDow was unable to extricate himself from his precarious position and is missing in action, but his courageous performance remains as an inspiration to those with whoom he served. Entered the military service from Quitman, Louisiana. Next of kin: Mr. W. E. McDow (Father), Quintman, Louisiana."

McInnis, John H. (B-92211) Distinguished Service Cross

"Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For extraordinary heroism in action, on the night of 9-10 February 1944, near Borgo Podgora, Italy. The advance of Sergeant McInnis' company of a strongly defended town was held up by a well concealed enemy machine gun. Sergeant McInnis, a leading scout, rushed back to the leadin elements of his compnay and secured an automatic rifle. Accompanied by another soldier, he crawled across flat, open ground to a point within a few yeards of the position. Unable to stop the two soldiers by fire, the enemy gunner threw a hand grenade, wounding Sergeant McInniss' companion. Sergeant McInnis leaped to his feet, charged the machine gun nest, firing as he ran, and killed all three German crew members. During this same action Sergeant McInnnis aided in theevacuation of a wounded offer by litter. The litter party suddenly was subject to a heavy enemy artillery barrage. Sergeant McInnis remained with the wounded officer in an exposed position throughout the barrage, shielding the officer with his own body. The intrepidity and unselfish devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant McInnis relect highest credit upon himself and the Allied Forces, Entered military service from Toronto, Ontario, Canada."

McLachlan, D. J. (K53659) Mention In Despatches (Postumous)

"Before dawn on 29 Feb 44, near the Mussolini Canal, Anzio Beachead, Italy, S/Sgt McLachlan led a 6 man patrol deep into enemy territory with the mission of clearing a house occupied by the enemy. The mission was accomplished by surprising the enemy and capturing 3 prisoners. On their return they met with enemy fire from 2 machine gun nests, and several of the patrol were wounded. S/Sgt. McLachlan knew the only way to get his patrol home was to knock out both enemy positions. He ordered one of his Johnson Automatic Riflemen to engage one position and another the second, and planned to take out one at a time. Unfortunately both J.A.R.S jammed as a result of being submerged in muddy water during the first enemy burst and the plan had to be carried out by fire and movement, using their own personal weapons. S/Sgt. McLachlan mept moving towards the enemy using his own Tommy Gun as covering fire and was killed about 30 yards from one of the enemy positions. His courage and agressivenss permitted three of the patrol to escape and showed to true fighting qualtiies of a good soldier and would rather risk death than surrender."

McNair, Clarence J. Silver Star

"First Lieutenant, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action on 23 May 1944, near Borgo Podgora, Italy. when the Third Company in which Lieutenant McNair was a platoon commander was subjected to an intense and accurate concentration of enemy small arms and artillery fire, casualties became extremely heavy and the position becaome untenable. To prevent complete isolation and destruction of the company by the enemy, the order was given to withdraw to new positions in the rear. In ordering his men to evacuate all casualties as they withdrew, Lieutenant McNair observed a mortar position where two of his men lay severely wounded and exposed to enemy fire.Unhesitatingly he moved over the flat open ground, alternately running and crawling to reach their position. He selected the more seriously wounded of the two and bodily lifted the soldier and unmindful of enemy withering fire, carried the man three hundred yards to the rear and delivered him to the care o fmedical personnel. On returning over the fire-swept terrain, he reached the remaining soldier and again without regard for almost certain death carried him to the rear to the protection of a shell hole. Again returning to his company's position, he remainded until the last of his men had successfully withdrawn to the new position before he himself left the dangerous area. By these courageous deeds at the risk of his own life. Lieutenant McNair undoubtedly saved two fellow soliders from certain death. Entered military service for London, Ontario, Canada."

McNair, Clarence J. Mention in Despatches

"On 4 Jan 44 Lieut. McNair's Platoon was order to take hill #1025 near Mount Majo, Italy.

By his splended example of fearless courage Lieut. McNair led his platoon to the attack taking it behind enemy's emplacements . When the enemy reinforcements left their sleeping quarters to gain their positions on the creat of the hill they ran into his platoon, ready and waiting for them.  This completely unnerved them and they were easily routed.

The platoon went ahead and captured the hill that would have been defeded by 60 men in position but was only defended by about 30.

The attacking platoon of 52 men needed a bold plan perfectly executed to obtain success, and it was a reult of Lieut McNair's splended execution of orders, and fearless leadership that clinched the success of a most difficult assignment by having his platoon in exactly theright position to repel the Reinforing Unit"

Marchessault, Marcel Henry   Mention in Despatches

"Lieutenant. On the 1st June 44, in the vicinity of Artena, Italy, Lieut Marchessault was leading the left flank assault platoon on an attacking company. His mission was to take some high ground commanding a road to Balmontine. He successfully led his men to within 250yards of his objective when his platooon was forced to stop and dig in by heavy M.G. and mortar fire from his left flank.

In the next two hours the unit on the left flank neutralized some of the fire and Lieut Marchessault was ordered to assault his objective. He courageously led his men through the heavy small arms fire taking advantage of the meagre cover that was available. They were again pinne down within a hundred years of their goal by approximately 6 M.G's that had moved into prepared positions to their front. Six men were hit and the balance of the platoon was hoeplessly pinned dow.

Seeing that it would be impossible to move forward, Lieut Marchessault ordered his men to withdrewa to their dug-in positions, and with disreagred for his own safety remained and gave first aid to his wounded men ....."

Mergler, L. Lieutenant Mention in Despatches

"At 1100 hrs 2 Nov.. 44,  just east of the line Castillion - Sospel, Southern France, Lieut. Mergler led his platoon as ordered to occupy Mt. Diaurus, near the crest it became necessary to use a narrow trail suspected to be mind. Lieut. Mergler immediately moved well to the front of his platoon to check the trail, stepped on a box mine and had a foot blown off. He then ordered his men who were running to his aid to stay where they were, and despite his wound dragged himself back to the cleared area, passing two more mines which undoubltedly would have caused further casualities had he allowed his men to come to his assistance.

Lieut. Mergler's courage and gallant acceptance of his responsibilities, even though seriously wounded were an inspiration to his men and in keeping with the high standards of Canadian Officers."

Mieklejohn, Keith R. S. Staff Sergeant (M25848) Bronze Star

"Staff Sergeant, Canadian Army. For heroic achievement in action on 4 June 1944. Volunteering for a special combat patrol, Staff Sergeant Mieklejohn was among the first troops to enter Rome, Italy. His unit spearheaded the attack on the city of Rome, and by its daring action secured valuable information for the attacking troops and facilitated their entry into the city. Throughout the engagement Staff Sergeant Mieklejohn distinguished himself by his collness, bravey and aggressive action. His conduct on this occasion exemplifies the highest traditions of a soldier of the Allied Nations. Entered military service from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada"

Mitchell, E. V. Private (B67363) Silver Star

"Private, First Regiment, Third Company, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action on 29 May 1944 near Artena, Italy. An attack against enemy, strenghtened, hill-top positions was being renewed and in moving across open terrain, the company of which Private Mitchell was a member, was pinned down by intense small arms fire from rifeleman and twelve machine guns emplayed on the company's objective.

Private Mitchell and his gun commander, the only two survivors of their light machine gun squad, picked up their gun and moved forward, firing the gun from a standing position with devastating effect into these enemy positions. So close did they advance in this manner that a hand grenade thrown by the enemy destroyed their weapon and mortally wounded Private Mitchell. Spurred on by this courageous performance with momentarily left the enemy disorganized, the company rushed forward up the slope and completely wiped out this enemy strong point. Prive Mitchell's courage and determined devotion to duty at the cost of his life resulted in teh successful completion of an important military mission. Next of kin: Mrs. Annis Mitchell (Mother) 84 Woodfrey Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Canada."

Mitchell, John D. First Lieutenant Silver Star

"First Lieutenant, Canada Army, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on 3 January 1944, near Radicosa, Italy. First Lieutenant Mitchell's platoon formed the assault wave of his company's attack to take and hold an emeny salient on a hillside. When the company came under fire from machine gun positions near the crest of the salient, First Lieutenant Mitchell ordered his platoon into the assault. Leaping in front of his platoon, he led his men at a run to first enemy machine gun position where all enemy gunners were killed. He continued at the head of his unit in an attack on adjacent enemy positions which swept the enemy off the ridge. First Lieutenant Mitchell's skillful leadership and courage in taking the forward positin in this dangerous assault inspired his men to overwhelm the enemy and contributed greatly to the success of the entire operation. Entered military service from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada."

Moore, Robert S. Lt. Colonel Silver Star

"Lieuteant Colonel, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action near *** Italy on *** and *** December 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Moore commanded an assaulting battalion in the surprise attack on the peack of Mount ***. Throughout the first night and following morning he personally reconnoitered and patrolled the area of the attack. Under Lieutenant Colonel Moore's aggressive leadership, the battalion succeded in occupying the peak, but was immediately subjected to effective enemy fire. Completely unmindful of his personal safety, Lietuenant Colonel Moore led his men on a attack on the south slope of Mount *** to clear the enemy from his remaining footholds. His courage under fire and his personal demonstration of aggressive action regardless of the danger carried his men forward with him and contributed immeasurably to the success of the attack. Entered miltary service from Spartanburg, South Carolina."

Murdock, Cketys A (D-7744) Silver Star

"Private Canadian Army, Third Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action, near Les Escarone, France, 1-3 September 1944. Assigned to a  two member reconnaissance patrol, Private Murdock, accompanied it deep into enemy held territory, covering rugged, rocky mountains to gain valuable and definite information on the enemy's outpost positions, gun locations and a bivouac area. So accurate was the report rendered by the patrol that Private Murdock's regmient moved foreward 5 September 1944, occupied new heights, and successfully wiped out the enemy bivouac area. the keen sense of responsibility and devotion to duty displayed by Private Murduck is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations. Entered service from Montreal, Quebec, Canada."

Orr, Ross W. (C-75979) Distinguished Service Cross

"Staff Sergeant, 5th Company, Second Regiment, Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for extradordinary heroism in action near Villeneuve-Loubet, France on 26 August 1944. When the only route for urgently needed supplies was cut off by three enemy machine guns emplaced along the road, Staff Sergeant Orr, without orders, elected to remove this obstacle. After selecting three men to provide covering fire, he approached alone to within seventy-five yards of the first gun. Armed with a sub-machine gun, he jumped into the middle of the road and demanded surrender. The enemy gunner immediately open fire on him, but Staff Sergeant Orr stood his ground and seriously wounded both of the crew with effective fire. Under continued assault by this four man team, the two other machine gun crews finally surrendered and the road was opened to desperately needed supplies. Soon afterward the Firfth Company occupied a castle on a hilltop to protect this supply route and Sergeant Orr immediately organized the area against counter-attack. The enemy, two hundred strong, strove continously and fiercely to dislodge his group from this stronghold. In the face of death-defying circumstances, Sergeant Orr with is submachine gun put an enemy machine gun which was covering an approaching enemy demolition party of action. The demolition party was dispersed were severe losses by rifle fire and hand grenades effective used under Sergeant Orr's direction. In another similar counter-attack, Sergeant Orr fired his sub-machine gun from a blazing barn into an attacking enemy formation. This attack was broken up and resulted in heavy losses to the enemy. Approximately one hundred and fifty enemy casualties were infliced by Sergeant Orr and his platoon. His superb leadership and inspring personal example throughout the battle were a major contributory factor in the destruction of the enemy defense line that seriously threatened to ...."

Presented medal by Major General Frederick on November 21, 1944 at Menton, France.

Orvest, M. Ouderkirk (C-54124) Bronze Star

"Private, Infantry, Canadian Army. For heroic achievement in action, on 16 February 1944, near Anzio, Italy. Private Ouderkirk served as an automatic rifleman in his platoon's defense against a determined enemy attack. As the enemy infantry approached, he opened fire, handling his weapon skillfully with deadly effect. In spite of heavy tank fire he was able to fire several clips of ammunition before a shell landed beside his fighting hold, wounding him in the shoulder. He immediately shifted to ........... Private Ouderkirk was seriously wounded. His skillful handling of his weapon and his stubborn fighting spirit were an inspiration to his entire platoon and aided materially in making the enemy attach a costly failure. Entere military service from Chrysler, Ontario, Canada."

Parfett, Jack A. (M-31330) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, 3rd Company, 2nd Regiment, 1st Specials Service Force. For gallantry in action on 7 January 1944, near Mount Majo, Italy. During an enemy counteracttack, Segeant Parfett crawled forward under heavy machine gun fire to rescue an injured soldier. Heedless of the fact that one man had been killed and another wounded in previous rescue attempts, he  he crossed over twenty yards of barren, fire-swept terrain and returned with his injured comrade. Sergeant Parfett's courage in risking his life for a fellow soldier is worthy of high praise."

Pence, Harold W. (6938745) Silver Star

"Private, Infantry, United States Army. For gallantry in action, near Anzio, Italy, on 23 May 1944. The company with which Private Pence served as aid man was attacked by enemy infantry support by three tanks. Private Pence saw three of his comrades fall before the intense enemy fire. Leavin his position on comparative safety in a drainage ditch, he crossed open, fire-swept terrain to their assistance. Working calmly under intense fire from enemy machine guns, machine pistols, and tank cannon, he successfully treated each of the three wounded men and moved them one by one to the shelter of the ditch. During his performance of this task, Private Pence's outer clothing was torn in sevral places by bullets and shell fragments, but he refused to seek cover for himself until he had evacuated his comrades. His fearlessness and unselfish devotion to duty saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and were an inspiration to all who observed his actions. Entered military service from St. Louis, Missouri."

Peppard, Herbert G. (F-850146) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant , First Company First Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action near Borgo Sabotino, Italy on 14 February 1944. While leading a six-man security patrol far in advance of friendly lines, Staff Sergeant Peppard's patrol was ambushed in the inky darkness by a raiding platoon of approximately forty of the enemy.  In the opening fire from the enemy all five of his men were wounded, on of the seriously. Staff Sergeant Peppard immediately order the for walking wounded to withdraw to their own lines and warn the commander of the impeding raid while he elected to remain with his helpless comrade. Undaunted by concentrated fire from enemy automatic weapons and rifles, he fired his Thompson sub-machine gun with deadly effect to cover the withdrawal of his men, reloading and firing until his weapon was destroyed by an enemy bullet. He then threw all of his had grenades at the enemy. Noticing  a .....Prepared decdied to withdraw. Lifting his wounded comrade to his shoulders, he alternately walked and ran twelve hundred yards to his own lines. Staff Sergeant Peppard's saction not only gave timely warning of an impeding enemy attack but his inspiring courage and fearless determination saved the life of  a wounded comrade. Entered military services from Halifax, Nova Scotia."

Perry, W. B. Captain Mention in Despatches (Deceased)

"On 7 January 1944, Capt Perry's Company was assaulting Mt. Majo, Italy, and he was in charge of the assault platoon. After knocking out a numer of enemy Machine Gun positions and the mountain was captured, he re-organized his Company into a defensive position, checking each position and helping a few of his wounded, them despite heavy artillery concentrations, went about attending to his mens well being.

When the first enemy counterattack came, Capt. Perry ran to the forward positions to supervise the defensive fire, then gave supporting fire himself. During the attack he was killed, but his bravery was an inspiration to his men and his careful planning of the defence inabled them to withstand six additional counterattacks before they were relieved."

Pike, Frederick Joseph (G32563) Mention in Despatches

"On the 23rd May 1944, shortly after the initial assault on the break through from the Anzio Beachhead,Italy, Sgt. Pike was captured when he volunteered to cover the withdrawal of his company to a better tactical position. Through wounded he manged to escape by crawling through both enemy and firendly artillery barrages and small arms fire.

Before reporting to the R.A.P. Sgt. Pike gave is Battalion Commander information concerning enemy dispositions and emplacements, which later proved invaluable in the following attack.

Sgt. Pikes alertness and devotion to duty are a credit to himself and the Canadian Army."

Prince, Thomas G. (H-25272)  Military Medal

"While in action against the enemy near Littoria, Italy, on 8th February 1944, Sgt. Prince acting alone, ran a telephone wire from our lines fifteen hundred (1,500) yards into enemy territory to a house in which he established and maintained an artillery obsevation post for twenty-four (24) consecutive hours. From his position Sgt. Prince was not only able to observe enemy artillery emplacements invisible from our lines, but was also directly responsible for the complete destruction by artillery of four (4) such enemy positions which were causing considerable damage to our own troops and material.

At one part of his twenty-four hour watch, Sgt. Prince's communications were cut by shells. Using his own ingenuity, Sgt. Prince donned available civilian clothing and, under direct enemy observation, went out to repair his line to reestablish contact for target observation.

Sgt. Prince's courage and utter disregard for personal safety were an inspiration to his fellows an a marked credit to his unit."

Prince, Thomas G. (H-25272) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, Second Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action near Los Escarene, France, 1-3 September 1944. In charge of a two man reconnaissance Patrol, Sergeant Prince led it deep into enemy held territory, covering rugged rocky mountains to gain valuable and definite information on the enemy's outpost positions, gun locations and bivouac area. So accurate was the report rendered by the patrol that Sergeant Prince's regiment moved forward on 5 September 1944, occupied new heights and successfully wiped out the enemy bivouac area. The keen sense of responsibility and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Prince is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credt upon himself and the Armed Force of the Allied nations. Entered service from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada."

Rainville, George A. (A29576) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, Second Company, Second Regiment, First Special Service Force, for gallantry in action near Borgo Piave, Italy, on 1 May 1944. Sergeant Rainville was in command of a light machine gund squad which was part of a force sent out to determine enemy strenght when a bitter fire fight developed. Enemy small arms fire, mortar fire and atrillery concentration were intense, as a result of which casualties were numerous. A member of Sergeant Rainville's crew was seriously wounded and abandoned when the enemy forced his crew to take a new position. Having determined the disposition of the enemy, a withdrawal was order. Unmindful of his own safety, Sergeant Rainville left the comparative security of a shallow ditch, crossed fifty yards of flat fireswept grond, picked up his helpless comrade and returned, and carried him for 88 yards over exposed terrain to a place of safety. The daring act and high regard of his fellow soldier's welfare reflect great credit upon Sergeant Rainville and the Allied nations. Entered service from Bonfield, Ontario, Canada."

Reeve, Walter H. (L41387) Silver Star

"Sergeant (then Private) Sixth Company, Third Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action in Rome, Italy on 4 June 1944. When his platoon was engaged in a fierce fire fight with enemy holding forces, an enemy light tank came up to support the enemy infantry with machine gun and light cannon fire. Sergeant Reeve, on his own initiative, worked his way to within rifle grenade range, rapidly fired three rifle grenades at the tank and destroyed two of its crew. Immediately, Sergeant Reeve observed another tank approaching. He changed position, and at point blank range fire more rifle grenades and knocked out the tank. The second tank was follwed by an enemy truck. His supply of rifle grenades by this time being exhausted, he fired his pistol, destroying the driver and his assistant seated beside him. The prompt, aggressive initiative displayed by Sergeant Reeve materially aided his platoon in routing the enemy. Entered military service from Saskatoon Saskatchewan."

Richardson, John H. (01102011) Silver Star (Posthumous)

"First Lieutenant, *** Regiment, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action near ****, Italy, during the night of ***-***  While moving in complete darkness through mud and rain, First Lieutenant Richardson's platoon was blasted by heavy enemy shell fire which caused severe casualties and require all personnel to take immediate cover. Hearing the cries of two wounded men, First Lieutenant Richardson immediately left his own protected postion and dragged one of the two soldiers to a fox hole. While moving the second man toward a position of safety, First Lieutenant Richardson was killed by a shell fragment. His heroic performance reflects highest credit upon the military service and sets an example of unselfish action. Entered military service from St. Paul, Minnesota, Next of kin: Mrs. W. J. Richardson (Mother), 30 Crocus Place, St. Paul Minnesota."

Rudolph, Leopold H. (H25057) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, Canadain Army, 3rd Company 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on the night of *** January 1944, on Mount Major, Italy. Staff Sergeant Rudolpoh led a seven-man patrol during an attack in bright moonlight against a fortified knob on the side of Mount Majo. His patrol had the mission of spearheading the assault. The enemy suddenly opened fire from the front and flank on both the patrol and the platoon, inflicting several casualties, including the platoon leader. Staff Sergeant Rudolph hept the patrol advancing, them ran back through enemy crossfie, reorganized the platoon and led it at a run in the attack. He directed his men in the ensuing two-hour fight to gain the fortified enemy position. Staff Sergeant Rudolph's gallant leadership throughout the engagement was the impelling force which led his platoon to success. Entered military service from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada."

Scharpe, Lindsay  (C10146) Silver Star

"Technician Fourth Grade, Canadian Army, 1st Company, 1st Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action near Radecosa, Italy. On the night of 3-4 January 1944, Technician Fourt Grade Scharpe was a member of a detail retracing a communication line through the rugged mountainous country immediately to the rear of a hill that had just been taken from the enemy. The patrol was challenged and fired upon by German snipers operating in the area. When the patrol reached safety, it was discovered that one member was missing, and Technician Fourth Grade Scharpe insisted upon returning in the darkness through the area, under fire, to search for his comrade. Upon finding the soldier, who had been wounded, he administered first aid and removed him to a place of safety. Technician Fourth Grade Scharpe then returned to get help in moving the wounded man, went back and stayed with him until stretcher bearers arrived. Technician Fourth Grade Scharpe's courage under fire and concern for a fellow soldier exemply the highest type of comradeship existing amoung the Armed Forces. Extered military service from Kingston, Ontario, Canada."

Schofield, James D. (F43879) Mention in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On the night of the 12th of Mar. 1944, on the Anzio Beachead, Italy, Pte. Schofield was a member of a patrol sent to raid in the area of Borgo Piave.

As the patrol neared Borgo Piave it was ambushed by a stronger enemy force. The ambush closed in on the patrol from three sides. In the fire fight that ensued Pt. Schofield was severely wounded by Machine Pistol fire, in the chest. Despite his wounds he continued to fire his Johnson Automatic Rifle until the patrol was ordered to withdraw. As the patrol withdrew the enemy attempted to follow. Fearing that he might slow the patrol down or interfere with their ability to fight, he refused all aid until our own lines were reached.

On examination it was found that Pte. Schofield had been hit three times in the chest. He later died of these wounds.

His unselfish refusal of aid contributed greatly to the speed with which the patrol was able to escape the trap laid for them, and materially aided in avoiding further casualties."

Secter, Jack Meyer Mentioned in Despatches (Posthumous)

"On the 27th May 44 near Artena, Italy, during the push to Rome, units were moving very swiftly making contact between forward elements and their Headquarters most difficult.

Exhibiting his usual aggressiveness and fearlessness, Major Secter was up with the forward elements organizing and locating a tentative Regimental C.P. to enable higher Headquarters to keep abreast of the fast moving situation, and at the same time encouraging the troops in his immediate vicinity who were being subjected to continual shellfire.

It was due to his devotion to duty and eagerness to establish his C.P. that Major Secter sacrificed his life.”

Slatumas, Stanley (613860) Silver Star

"Staff Sergeant, 6th Company, *** Regiment, First Special Service Force. For gallantry in action, on Mount *** on the morning of *** December 1943. Staff Sergeant Slautumas was second in command of a patrol sent out under cover of fog to destroy enemy snipers and gun emplacements. The fog suddenly lifted and exposed the patrol before an enemy strong point defended by machine guns, mortar and small arms. With great presemce of mind, Staff Sergeant Slatumas placed himself in a position to deliver covering fire for the withdrawal of the patrol. He immediately drew return fire from the enemy, while the patrol effected its escape. Under the impact of enemy fire directed at him, Staff Sergeant Slatumas was unable to withdraw. As a result of his courageous action, performed for the safety of his fellow soldiers Staff Sergeant Slatumas is missing. Entered military service from Manchester,New Hampshire. Next of kin: Mrs. Frncis Slatumas (Wife), 101 Blossom Street, Nashua,New Hampshire."

Smith, Rovert Somme (D156025) Mention in Despatches

"The 3rd Regiment was holding positions on Mt. Majo, Italy, a feature 1250 meters high. At this time the Regiment had been fighting steadly for about nine days. Due to winter conditions, bitter cold and our light clothing, there were many men suffering from exposure and trench feet. Sgt. Smith was among the latter. His feet had swollen so badly that he could not wear boots and had to wrap his feet with pieces of cloth.

On or about the 11th of January 44 a volunteer, who could spreak French, to go to the base of Majo and contact our refief was called for. Despite his condition, Sgt. Smith volunteered to go. He made his way to the bottom and found only the French Officer Commanding the relief. After escorting the officer back up to the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, he went down once more and waited for the main body. When they arrived Sgt. Smith led them up the hill to the 3rd Regiment positions.

Regardless of the pain and effort to himself, Sgt. Smith made two trips in order to facilitate the relief of a a weary Regmient."

Stirling, Ronald A. (M102270) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Canadian Army, 5th Company, 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. For gallantry in action on Mout Stephano, Italy, on 5 January 1944. Sergeant Stirling  commanded a machine gun in the defense of a mountain area newly won from the enemy. Hostile forces for high ground opened fire on his unit with rifles and automatic weapons. Acting of his own initiative, Sergeant Stirling, armed with a rifle, moved to the high ground to eliminate this danger to his unit. He killed two snipers, engaged a light machine gun crew, killed one member of the crew and forced thre abandoment of the weapon. He then returned and moved his machine gun to command the approaches to this area and insure his unit against further attack. Sergeant Stirling's courage and resourcefulness reflected credit upon himself and the two armies which he serves. Entered Military Service from Calgary, Alberta, Canada."

Sughrue, John M. (33142951)  Bronze Star

"Technician Fourth Grade, Infantry United States Army. For heroic achievement in action, on 28 and 29 May 1944, at Artena, Italy. Entered military service from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania."

Tate, Albert Conrad  Mention in Despitaches

"During the period from the break out from the Anzio Beachhead to the fall of Rome 23 May to 4 June 1944, the 1st Regiment of which Major Tate was 2 i/c, suffered very heavy casualties. Amongst them losing their Regimental and one Battalion Commander, the other Battalion Commander being seriously wounded. They also lost 1 Company Commander and 2 seriously wounded. Major Tate was an inspiration to the Regiment in the manner in which he went about his routine matters, especially while the Regiment was near Artena, Italy from 28 May to 1 June 44. Here there continually subjected to severe artillery fire, unmindful of his personal safety Major Tate visited the various Companies giving encouragement and setting a wonderful example of calmness during most trying conditions.

Major Tate's devotion to duty and keen sense of responsiblity were in keeping with the high standards of Officers of the Canada Army."

Thomas, Sanuel G. (37024986) Silver Star

"Sergeant, 3rd Company, 3rd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force, for gallantry in action on the night of 5 January 1944 near Radicos, Italy. Sergeant Thomas, whose platoon was attacking, in bright moonlight, an enemy strong point. placed himself in the forward elements of the assault wave. Arriving first near the enemy he took the enemy position under fire and enabled other members of his platoon to get into firing positions. He then became the leading spirting in the dash of three men who, moving through intense enemy fire, rushed foreward to hurl hand grenades into the machine gun position which was the center of the enemy defence. This attack silenced the machine gun and was instrumental in assuring the success of the assault. Sergeant Thoma's splendid leadership reflects great credit upon himself and his unit. Enlished at Minneapolis, Minesota."

Van Ausdale, Howard (39300645) Bronze Star

"Sergeant, Infantry, United States Army. For heroic achievement in action, on the night of 2-3 December 1943, near Mignano, Italy. Entered military service from Portland, Oregon."

Waters, Stanley C. Silver Star

"Major, Canadian Army, Second Battalion, Second Regiment, First Special Service Force for gallantry in actin near Artena, Italy, 1 June 1944. Assuming command of the 2d Battalion, 2d Regiment, First Special Service Force when other officers had become casualties, Major Waters and his men, just prior to crossing the line of departure, were subjected to intense machine gun fire and deadly concentrations of artillery. Instinctively, the men bunched up in the only available defilade positona small sunken road. Shortly the supporting armor came forward using the same road as it route of approach. Taking advantage of this prized target, the enemy increased the artillery barrage. Realizing the ultimate outcome of the desperate predicament, Major Waters without regard to his personal safety, move among the men directing their dispersal and organizing the attack scheduled to begin in a matter of minutes. The attack was launched as planned and shortly thereafter the commander of the supporting tanks was killed which again caused disorganization. At this point Major Waters, wtihout hesitation, exposed himself to the deadly enemy fire in order to reorganize the tank unit and coordinate it with his attacking infantry. Through his efforts the attack was highly successful, resulting in strong enemy defenses being destroyed and numerous prisoners captured. The coolness of courage displayedby Major Waters is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflecting great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations. Entered service from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada."

Wickham, Kenneth G. Lt. Col. Legion of Merit

"For service as S-1 and Adjutant of the First Special Service Force from June 21, 1942 to January 29, 1944. He was charged with many of the details of organizing a force to employed on a special mission. With quick grasp of the requirements and keen insight into the problems, he produced, in the very short time available, tables of organization and arrangements for the administration of a force comprised of personnel of the United States and Canadian armies. As the integration of personnel of two armies into a single unit was without precedent, many problems arose that he solved in a intelligent, logical manner. He handled efficiently and expeditiously a vast amount of administrative work incident to five changes of station within the United States and three overseas movements made by the command. During operations in the Aleutian Islands when the force operated at a distance for its island base, he handled the administrative work with outstanding efficiency in spite of difficulties of communications and adverse conditions. During operations in Italy he commanded the rear echelon and base and by performing duties in addition to his normal exacting and coplex work, relieved the combat echelon of all but the essential phases of fighting. Supervising all welfare, morale and recreational activities, his excellent arrangements provide adequate relaxation and recreation for combat personnel during the brief periods between operations."

Williams, Russell Roy Sgt. (N65625) Mention in Despatches

"On May 23 May 1944, on the Mussolini Canal, Anzio Beachead, Italy.  Sgt. Williams showed outstanding leadership in the initial assault on the break through from the Anzio Beachead. Under intense artillery and mortar fire he inspired his section by his outstanding personal brvery. First man in his section to cross the canal, he located the machine guns where were defending that position on the German Section. He organized and conducted the attack on these two emplacements. When his automatic rifleman was knocked out, Sgt. Williams seized the automatic rifle, silenced the two macnhin gun positions, killing five Germand and forcing the surrender of seven others."

Wilson, W. Wilson  Silver Star

"Captain, Fourth Company, Second Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for gallantry in action on 18 April 1944, near Littoria Italy, Captian Wilson, Company Commadner, personally led his me in a dawn rading attack on strongly fortified and defended enemy positions along an enemy held road. During the attack, Captain Wilson, with utter disregard for personal safety, fully exposed himself in moving across wide spaces of entirely open terrain in the face of enemy fire from at least five machines, one self propelled gun, rifles, mortars and artillery in order to direct the operation of his platoons, and to coordinate their actions. In the absence of a more favorable vantage point, he elected to stand upright in full view of the enemy to direct artillery fire on the self propelled gun and on machine gun positions, and to report and adjust the fire of a platoon of medium tanks whcih supported him from a distance of twelve hundred to fifteen hundred yards to his rear. Captain Wilson's skillful planning and bold, aggressive leadership were an importatn contributory factor to be a completely successful attack on these positions. Resulting losts to the enemy were self propelled gun destroyed, twelve enemy destroyed, nine enemy captured, seven machine gund destroyed. and the temporary evacuation of a portion of the enemy line, without a single casualty to Captain's Wilson's own troops. Entered military service from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada."

Wright, Allan Leslie  (M3328) Distinguised Service Cross

"First Lieutenant (than Staff Sergeant), Second Company, First Regiment, First Special Service Force, Canadian Army, for extradordinary heroism in action near Radicosa, Italy on 7 January 1944. When a night attack by his company on an enemy held moutain crest was halted by the dedly cross-fire of sixteen machine guns, Lieutenant Wright, commanding an assault platoon proceeded forward alone to attack the machine gun position near him. After crawling one hundred yards up the exposed, snow covered slope to within a few yards of the enemy position, he leaped to his feet and charged the gun emplacement firing his Thompson submachine gun, destroying one and capturing two of the enemy crew. After assembling a section of his platoon, he then personally led them in a charge against a second and then a thrid machine gun, putting them out of action and destroying three and capturing two more of the enemy. During an order to withdraw at this point because adjacent units were unable to press their attack, Lieutenant Wright was informed that one of his men had been seriously wounded and lay in a position which could not be reached because of the intense fire of enemy machine guns and machine pistols. Unmindful of almost certain death, Lieutenant Wright rushed twenty-five yards up the fire-swept slope, bodily lifted the man to his shoulders and carried him one hundred and fifty yards to a litter team. He then directed his platoon in a successful withdrawal without further casualties. By his single-handed assault, his daring and courageous leadership toward an ultimate winning objective to save the life of a soldier at the risk of his own, Lieutenant Wright won the respect and admiration of his fellow soldiers and superior officers. He proved himself a real leader in the overcoming of a military obstacle of new small magnitude. Entered military service from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada."

Wright, Allan Leslie S/Sgt now Lieut. (M3328) Military Medal

"On 4 Jun 1944, in the outskirts of Rome, on Highway #6, Wright was Coy S.M. of 2nd Coy, 1st Regt., F.S.S.F. with a Coy of Medium tanks in support they were give the mission of clearing all enemy resistance from Acqua Boilaneia to the junction of Highway #6 and the R.R. tracks contact 2nd Regiment and join them in the push into Rome.

Unknown to the Coy the enemy was using this road as an escape route for approx 300 Parachute Infantry troops and 12 t0 15 tanks."

Weather was clear, own morale good, enemy morale fair.

On seeing the situation CSM. Wright quickly organized ten men and five tanks. Disregarding enemy sniper and m.g. fire coming from nearly all windows of the surrounding bldgs, he led his men and the tanks into such an advantageous positionthat his tanks were able to knock out several enemy tanks and S.P. guns and his men to kill 20 and wound 12 and capture 14 enemy. During this time with his own Thompson Sub-machine gunhe forced a machine gun crew to surrender killed two motorcycle riders, a sniper, a soldier directing enemy tanks, and wounded 4 paratroopers protecting some tanks.
CSM. Wright's courageous action and skillful leadership in the face of superior numbers not only maturally assisted his boys to accomplish their mission but casued such confusion among the enemy that the Coy in additional to the above casualties inflicted further 90 killed 40 prisoners and may wounded on the enemy."

Wright, George W. (C5083) Silver Star

"Sergeant, Infantry, Canadian Army. For gallantry in action, on the night of 15-16 February 1944, near Borgo Sabotino, Italy. Sergeant Wright and a fellow solider were assigned an outpost position at the point along the front defended by his regiment. At dawn approximatly 35 Germans struck this section of the outpost line, and in the opening fire fight Sergeant Wright's assistant was wounded in the leg and arm. Sergeant Wright order is compnaion to retire. In order to cover the wounded man's withdrawal, he advanced toward the enmy, firing his automatic rife from his hip. although he placed himself in an extremely dangerous position by advancing alone towards the enmy, he succeeded in delaying the hostile advance sufficiently to permit his comrade to withdraw. Sergeant Wright then made a fighting withdrawal to his own main line of resistance. His courage and regard for the welfare of a fellow soldier reflect the high traditions of the military service. Entered military service from Picton, Ontario Canada."

Zahara, Samuel J. (B128511) Soldier's Medal

"For gallantry in action, on 16 February 1944, near Anzio, Italy. Sergeant Zahara comanded a position on the forward bank of a canal. At dawn the enemy laid down a heavy barrage of artillery and mortar fire and following this fire, moved tanks and infantry to points within 350yards of the canal. At his short range the enemy tanks opened fire at individual gun pits. Sergeant Zahara's position received two direct hits which detonated anti-tank rockets stored in the pit, wounded one soldier, collapsed the walls of the pit and nearly buried a mortar observer. At his point the platoon was order to take up new positions in rear of the canal. Sergeant Zahara voluntarily remained in the forward, exposed position, and digging with his hands, freed the buried soldier. During this action he was wounded by shell fragments which pentrated his helmet. Sergeant Zahara then carried the wounded soldier to a defilade position. He remained with his unit, refusing to go to the rear until the attack was repelled. Sergeant Zahara's courageous conduct reflects credit upon himself and the Allied Forces. Entered military service from Gadenton, Manitoba, Canada."

First Special Service Force
In Memoriam
"The First Special Service Force made no distinctions when it went into battle -- its men had the common cause of freedom at their side and the common denominator of courage in their hearts. They were neither Canadians nor Americans. They were in General Eisenhower's term, liberators."
President Ronald Reagan.
Killed in Action
Lt. W. A. Airth, May 23, 1944
Pfc. E. Albert, May 23, 1944
Sgt. R. V. Alexander, May 23, 1944
Pvt. A. Allain, December 4, 1943
T5 F. S. Alvarado, December 4, 1943
T4 H. A. Amtsbeuer, May 31, 1944
Pvt. R. C. Anderson, September 13, 1944
Pfc. E. J. Aponik, May 23, 1944
S. Sgt. W. J. Ardiell, December 6, 1943
Lt. A. J. Ariott, December 4, 1943
S. Sgt. E. A. Armatta, September 16, 1944
Pvt. W. L. Arrington , May 25, 1944
T4 C. H. Atkinson , December 5, 1943
Lt. F. B. Atto, May 23, 1944
Pvt. Roland Anbry,December 25, 1943
Pvt. L. J. Bader, December 25, 1943
Sgt. C. T. Bailey, December 25, 1943
Pvt. M. E. Barbeau, September 16, 1944
Sgt. F. C. Bardgett, December 3, 1943
Sgt. W. G. Barnhill, February 13, 1944
Sgt. P. F. Barnhizer, May 12, 1944
Pvt. M. Baron, June 4, 1944
Pvt. R. J. Baron, June 4, 1944
Pfc. Clifford M. Bartow, August 25, 1944
Lt. A. W. Baughman, December 6, 1943
Sgt. C. W. Beal,, December 3, 1943
Sgt. J. Belanger, September 16, 1944
Sgt. M. H. Bell, December 6, 1943
T4 J. R. Bent, February 9, 1944
Pfc. H. A. Bernier, May 25, 1944
T4 B. Z. Bernstein, December 3, 1943
S. Sgt. S. M. Biblowitz, September 12, 1944
Pvt. R. C. Bielen, February 4, 1944
T4 W. W. Birge, May 1, 1944
Sgt. E. S. Bivins, May 29, 1944
Pvt. J. A. Blais, October 6, 1944
Pvt. J. C. Bogue, May 25, 1944
Pvt. J. Boich,> December 3, 1943
Pvt. H. W. Borchers, May 30, 1944
Capt. E. C. Borders, December 6, 1943
T4 E. H. Bork, June 4, 1944
T5 L. V. Boschet, May 3, 1944
Pvt. Foster V. Bowden,, August 23, 1944
Lt. W. E. Boyce, December 5, 1943
Pvt. G. M. Brady, December 5, 1943
Pvt. W. W. Brannon, January 14, 1944
Pvt. W. C. Bray, May 25, 1944
Pvt. F. G. Braybrook, May 23, 1944
Pfc. F. J. Brenny, December 24, 1943
Sgt. W. L. Brewer, December 24, 1943
Pvt. R. G. Briddon, May 10, 1944
Pvt. A. M. Brindel, Jr., December 4, 1943
S. Sgt. W. E. Brotherton, January 14, 1944
Pvt. F. S. Brown, Jr., August 23, 1944
Pvt. N. E. Brown, February 29, 1944
Pvt. Robert S. Buckley, September 18, 1944
Pfc. P. W. Burdick, May 23, 1944
T4 D. R. Burgess, February 18, 1944
T4 B. L. Burk, February 16, 1944
Sgt. E. N. Butler, February 9, 1944
Sgt. D. C. Byron, December 3, 1943
Sgt. G. A. Campbell, January 7, 1944
Pvt. R. D. Calloway, April 2, 1944
Pvt. Charles H. Camden, September 26, 1944
Pvt. D. W. Capps, August 15, 1944
Pvt. W. R. Caragher, December 3, 1943
Pfc. T. L. Cardwell, May 25, 1944
Pvt. E. H. Carlisle, May 2, 1944
Pvt. D. Carrywater, February 9, 1944
Pfc. F. A. Carter, May 21, 1944
Pvt. B. A. Casey, December 3, 1943
Pvt. S. W. Chenery, May 23, 1944
Pvt. E. E. Childers, December 25, 1943
Sgt. E. Chipchase, March 31, 1944
T4 A. J. Chontos, May 3, 1944
Pvt. S. R. Coffman, May 23, 1944
Pvt. V. Coja, January 11, 1944
Lt. G. R. K. Colmen, May 3, 1944
Sgt. John G. Colflesh Jr., November 1, 1944
Pvt. E. E. Conaway, October 26, 1944
Pvt. J. J. Constantine, June 4, 1944
Pfc. O. Counce, June 5, 1944
Lt. F. E. Cox, June 5, 1944
Lt. A. R. Coyston, September 17, 1944
S. Sgt. O. H. Crane, September 17, 1944
Pvt. F. J. Crook, December 25, 1943
Sgt. B. Cullen, December 25, 1943
Pvt. W. G. Cutmore, September 16, 1944
Pvt. R. E. Daigle, December 3, 1943
Pvt. S. E. Dainard, September 7, 1944
Pvt. E. A. Damon, December 7, 1943
S. Sgt. J. A. Danner, December 3, 1943
Cpl. G. K. Davidson, May 19, 1944
Pvt. A. E. Davis, December 6, 1943
Pvt. G. J. Davis, December 7, 1943
T4 James M. Davis, November 6, 1944
Pvt. M. E. Davis, May 23, 1944
S. Sgt. T. W. Davis, January 7, 1944
Sgt. C. H. Dawson, December 25, 1943
Pvt. C. E. Dean, January 3, 1944
Pfc. Bernard J. DeCamilla, September 8, 1944
Sgt. Decil L. Deen, December 6, 1943
Cpl. G. H. DeHay, December 4, 1943
Sgt. M. C. L. DeMacdeo, December 3, 1943
T4 G. S. Dewey, December 3, 1943
T4 H. N. Deyette, December 3, 1943
Pvt. W. F. Douglas, May 23, 1944
Pvt. J. A. Driscoll, Jr., October 6, 1944
Sgt. J. R. Driscoll, January 8, 1944
Pvt. T. F.Durate, August 23, 1944
Pvt. B. Dubin, February 8, 1944
Pvt. W. R. Dubuque, April 2, 1944
Pvt. J. Ducharme, December 25, 1943 
Pvt. R. J. Duncan, December 4, 1943
Sgt. A. C. Durrant, May 23, 1944
Sgt. J. Dykun, December 6, 1943
S Sgt. J. M. East, January 14, 1944
Sgt. D. G. Edgelow, August 15, 1944
Sgt. G.M. Edwards, December 3, 1943
Lt. F. W. Eiwen, December 3, 1943
Lt. D. J. Ekberg, January 4, 1944
T4 R. D. Ekins, May 28, 1944
T4 R. Evansich, May 8, 1944
Pvt. E. N. Farmer, February 27, 1944
Sgt. L. J. Farr, February 17, 1944
Pfc. C. S. Farrell, September 8, 1944
T4 A. J. Faso, December 24, 1943
T4 J. P. Feeney, December 3, 1943
Sgt. E. S. Fines, May 28, 1944
T4 J. H. Fitzpatrick, June 4, 1944
Sgt. K. J. Folsom, May 21, 1944
Lt. E. J. Fortune, May 23, 1944
S. Sgt. I. P. Fox, May 28, 1944
Pvt. F. Friel, February 13, 1944
Sgt. G. E. Froom, January 11, 1944
Sgt. J. Furiga, May 23, 1944
Pvt. H. Gable Jr., May 30, 1944
Cpl. E. J. Gallant, September 16, 1944
Cpl. J. M. Gallardo, September 16, 1944
Pvt. A. D. Gallegos, December 25, 1943
Pvt. G. B.. Gardner, October 30, 1944
Pvt. S. Gath, December 3, 1943
J. S. Gibbon, February 16, 1944
Pvt. P. A. Gibson, Jr., February 16, 1944
Pvt. G. P. Gilbert, December 3, 1943
Pvt. R. R. Gilberts, December 3, 1943
Pvt. G. H. Gile, June 1, 1944
Pvt. J. A. Glassen, June 1, 1944
Sgt. J. F. Glenn, December 25, 1943
T5 O. F. Gould, June 5, 1944
T5 H. L. Grainger, July 5, 1944
Sgt. R. L. Gray, May 21, 1944
S. Sgt. D. Green, December 24, 1943
Pfc. V. P. Gregorie, May 28, 1944
Pvt. J. W. Grieder, December 3, 1943
Pvt. H. J. Groves, February 29, 1943
Sgt. A. O. Gunderson, December 3, 1943
Pvt. C. N. Guynup, October 3, 1944
Pvt. P. H. Hahn, May 24, 1944
T4 K. V. Hall, January 11, 1944
Sgt. N. A. Hansen, August 15, 1944
S. Sgt. B. T. Hardman, December 3, 1943
Pvt. W. B. Harry, August 17, 1944
Sgt. R. P. Hartl, May 30, 1944
Sgt. B. D. Harvey, December 3, 1943
Pvt. P. B. Harvey, May 24, 1944
Pvt. E. T. Hawkins, December 6, 1943
Pvt. T. C. Hayden, January 6, 1944
Sgt. A. K. Hendrickson, February 9, 1944
Pvt. M. J. Higgins, June 4, 1944
Pfc. G. H. Hignight, December 6, 1943
Pvt. D. M.M. Hill, January 15, 1944
Pvt. J. R. Hoblitzell, December 3, 1943
Pvt. B. Hoffard, May 28, 1944
T5 R. F. Holbrook, March 30, 1944
Pvt. W. J. S. Hole, September 30, 1944
Pvt. Robert M. Houck, September 30, 1944
Pvt. A. L. Hudson, May 24, 1944
Pvt. C. M. Hughes, December 3, 1943
Sgt. L. L. Hulbert, May 22, 1944
Pvt. E. J. Hutnik, March 28, 1944
Pvt. R. S. Irwin, December 3, 1943
CSM J. W. Jamieson, December 3, 1943
Pvt. R. Jamieson, February 11, 1944
Pvt. C. P. Janze, February 11, 1944
Pfc. E. J. Jedlicka, June 2, 1944
Pvt. F. W. Jenkins, December 7, 1944
Sgt. L. P. Jensen, January 11, 1944
T4 G. L. Jewett, May 21, 1944
1 Sgt. C. F. Johnson, December 25, 1943
Pfc. E. W. Johnson, August 3, 1944
Pvt. T. G. Johnson, May 23, 1944
T4 R. D. Johnston, March 27, 1944
Pvt. J. D. Jones, May 24, 1944
Sgt. R. C. Jones, December 3, 1943
Sgt. C. F. Joy, January 14, 1944
Pvt. W. H. Juve, September 12, 1944
Pvt. John A. Kenna, October 27, 1944
Pvt. J. F. Keyes, December 5, 1943
T4 Reynolds J. King, August 15, 1944
(awarded Silver Star)
Pvt. F. K. Kleink, February 18, 1944
Sgt. L. S. Knapp, June 2, 1944
Pvt. H. Kolapack, April 2, 1945
Sgt. W. Kotenko, December 3, 1943
Pvt. N. M. Kramer, March 4, 1944
S. Sgt. W. A. A. Knight, December 9, 1943
Cpl. H. Kolapack, October 6, 1944
Pvt. O. F. Kuehl, October 6, 1944
Pvt. F. L. Kuhlman, January 14, 1944
T4 W. L. Ladd, August 27, 1944
T4 H. W. Landy, December 3, 1943
Pvt. J. H. Laporte, February 3, 1943
T4 R. M. Larson, Janmaury 15, 1944
Sgt. J. H. Laughren, Janaury 13, 1944
(Mention In Dispatches)
Pvt. R. R. Lavalle, June 2, 1944
Sgt. E. H. Lawrence, May 30, 1944
Pvt. R. F. Lay, May 4, 1944
Pfc. E. J. Lazarski, May 23, 1944
S. Sgt. W. A. Ledford, December 25, 1943
Pfc. L. V. Leibli, May 27, 1944
T4 Merle M. Lynch, February 12, 1944
Pvt. C. W. Lyons, February 16, 1944
S. Sgt. B. MacDonald, February 16, 1944
Pvt. J. MacIver, May 23, 1944
Pvt. D. MacDonald, May 23, 1944
Lt. Col. T. C. MacWilliams, December 3, 1943
Pvt. W. Maki, May 23, 1944
Sgt. W. T. Mann, December 3, 1943
S. Sgt. T. E. Marks, May 30, 1944
Col. A. C. Marshall Jr., June 4, 1944
Sgt.D. J. Martin, May 23, 1944
T4 F. Mateja, Janaury 6, 1944
Pvt. B. Mays,, May 24, 1944
Sgt. H. W. McCarthy, June 6, 1944
S. Sgt. W. T. McCarty, Jr., December 24, 1943
S. Sgt. E. L. McDonald, May 29, 1944
Pfc. E. M. McDonald, May 23, 1944
Lt. K. D. McDougall, September 15, 1944
S. Sgt. D. J. McLachlan, February 29, 1944
T4 G. J. McLeer, May 21, 1944
Pvt. D. G. McMasters, May 23, 1944
Sgt, O. McNally, January 9, 1944
Capt. W. H. Merritt, August 17, 1944
Pvt. P. H. Michaels, January 5, 1944
T4 E. Mills, January 11, 1944
Pfc. E. T. Mitchell, April 29, 1944
Pvt. E. V. Mitchell, May 29, 1944
Pfc. J. H. Mitchell, May 23, 1944
Pvt. H. O. Molesworth, May 23, 1944
Sgt. F. F. Montgomery, February 18, 1944
Pvt. D. H. Moore, May 28, 1944
Pvt. Harry J. Moore, October 26, 1944
Lt. J. D. Moore, September 6, 1944
Pvt. J. P. Moser, February 18, 1944
Pvt. F. A. Murphy, May 29, 1944
Pvt. T. R. Murray, December 4, 1943
S. Sgt. W. E. Murray, June 4, 1944
Sgt. G. E. Nelson, May 30, 1944
Pvt. R. S. Nelson, December 25, 1943
S. Sgt. J. N. Newman, May 25, 1944
Pvt. M. L. Nielson, February 20, 1944
Pvt. George Nixon, August 16, 1944
Pvt. J. C. Ogle, February 16, 1944
Pvt. W. H. Orvis, May 23, 1944
Pvt. R. P. Overton, February 16, 1943
T5 C. F. Page, April 1, 1944
Lt. R. J. Painton, September 13, 1944
Sgt. A. C. Palmer, January 14, 1944
Pvt. L. J. Pardis, December 7, 1943
Sgt. K. A. Parrington, December 8, 1943
T4 E. F. Patenaude, October 6, 1944
Maj. T. E. Pearce, Jr., January 9, 1944
Pfc. J. G. Peet, May 10, 1945
Capt. W. B. Perry, January 11, 1944
Sgt. L. E. Phillips, December 25, 1943
Sgt. M. P. Phillips, December 4, 1943
T4 P. M. Piazza, June 1, 1944
Pvt. J. Pike, December 24, 1943
Pvt. John A. Pinciak, November 6, 1944
Pvt. R. J. Poe, Jr., May 4, 1944
Pvt. P. E. M. Pollender, August 30, 1944
T5 W. F. Presnall, December 24, 1943
Pvt. C. J. Purcell, May 23, 1944
Sgt. R. E. Purvis, May 1, 1944
T4 S. L. Rader, September 12, 1944
Pvt. S. B. Reddy, May 10, 1944
Pvt. Emmett U. Reed, September 6, 1944
Pvt. V. D. Rhoads , May 24, 1943
Pvt. J. J. Rice, March 21, 1944
S. Sgt. G. C. Richardson, February 9, 1944
Pvt. H. K. Richardson, December 4, 1943
Lt. J. H. Richardson, December 3, 1943
Sgt. G. J. Robinson, February 18, 1944
Pvt. H. G. Rodeheaver, December 6, 1943
S. Sgt. B. S. Roderick, January 14, 1944
Captain W. T. Rothlin, December 3, 1943
T4 P. E. Rounds, February 15, 1944
Capt. Walter D. Ruark, Jr., October 29, 1944
Pvt. M. J. Ryan, May 28, 1944
Sgt. H. G. Sabean, March 7, 1944
Cpl. J. P. Sabourin, March 7, 1944
Pvt. A. S. Sanders, June 1, 1944
Pvt. O. B. Sanders, Jr., May 22, 1944
Pvt. T. W. Sandifer, December 6, 1943
Pvt. M. Sceremko, February 20, 1944
Sgt. F. S. Schmidt, August 27, 1944
Pvt. H. G. Schmidt, Autust 15, 1944
Sgt. J. R. Schneider, December 5, 1943
T4. T. T. Schultz, February 9, 1944
Pvt. V. G. Schwartz, February 18, 1944
Lt. C. R. Scoggin, February 2, 1944
Major J. M. Secter, May 28, 1944
S. Sgt. D. Serrick, May 29, 1944
Pvt. R. Sheppard, May 24, 1944
Pvt. P. T. Shook, December 3, 1943
S. Sgt. Stanley Slatumas, December 4, 1943
(Silver Star)
T4 Wilbert Slaughter, May 3, 1944
T4 G. H. Smith, December 24, 1943
Lt. O.H. Smith, December 25, 1943
Sgt. H. A. Sorber, May 30, 1944
Pvt. J. W. Springer, February 20, 1944
Sgt. L. M. Steffke, June 4, 1944
T4 R. A. Stewart, December 5, 1943
Pvt. P. L. Stockton, December 24, 1943
Pvt. H. J. Storey, May 23, 1944
T4 L. B. Sullenger, February 8, 1944
Pvt. S. R. Suotaila, December 3, 1943
Pvt. Glenn W. Swank , October 6, 1944
Pvt. Edward J. Tighe, May 21, 1944
Sgt. A. Tomory, Jr., May 29, 1944
Pvt. W. A. Tourangeau, May 28, 1944
Pvt. D. R. Traxler, June 2, 1944
S. Sgt. W. M. Upchurch, January 11, 1944
Sgt. C. F. Veitenheimer, February 24, 1944
T4 Charles E. Vickers, October 7, 1944
Pvt. N. B. Vinson, May 30, 1944
Pvt. D. Wade, December 3, 1943
Pvt. C. C. Waldrum, February 16, 1944
Cpl. A. Wall, May 23, 1944
Sgt. R. B. Weide, May 23, 1944
T4 A. J. Wesolowski, May 21, 1944
Sgt. C. W. West, December 8, 1943
T5 Harley L. White, October 9, 1944
Sgt. H. W. Wickstrom, May 24, 1944
Pvt. G. J. Wilcos, May 30, 1944
T4 A. Williams, December 5, 1943
T4 C. J. Williams, Jr., January 7, 1944
Pfc. J. Williams, May 28, 1944
Pvt. A. R. Wilson, May 30, 1944
Pvt. G. Wilson, May 23, 1944
Pvt. H. M. Wilson, December 3, 1943
S. Sgt. L. A. Wilson, January 27, 1944
Sgt. R. Wilson, December 25, 1943
Pvt. C. S. Wisniewski, May 28, 1944
T4 R. S. Wittbrodt, May 29, 1944
Sgt. W. M. Wocalewski, December 5, 1943
Pvt. F. J. Wood, May 23, 1944
Lt. R. E. Woolhiser, January 10, 1944
Sgt. W. J. Wray, December 4, 1943
Pvt. F. B. Wright, January 15, 1944
Pvt. S. J. Wright, September 13, 1944
S. Sgt. R. B. Wudarcki, May 24, 1944
Pvt. D. F. Yancey, January 14, 1944
T4 J. F. Zebley, May 23, 1944
Pvt. J. Zekkey, May 24, 1944
T4 J. Zier, January 4, 1944

Died of Wounds
Sgt. A. A. Arsennek, September 13, 1944
Pvt. R. C., Ashley, May 26, 1944
Pfc. E. W. Ball, May 29, 1944
Pvt. H. F. Brendle, January 9, 1944
Sgt. A. M. Brittingham, May 24, 1944
Pvt. H. A. Brown, May 24, 1944
Sgt. B. G. Carson, March 11, 1944
T4 J. C. Cokely, May 28, 1944
Pfc. James T. Collins, October 10, 1944
Capt. M. A. Cotton, December 26, 1943
Sgt. L. C. Cross, February 10, 1944
1 Lt. D. W. Cuddy, February 3, 1944
Sgt. P. M. Cugeber, June 6, 1944
Sgt. G. T. Darg, February 19, 1944
M Sgt. George E. Durham, September 3, 1944
Pvt. L. B. Edwards, June 2, 1944
Pvt. W. K. Ellis, May 31, 1944
Sgt. A. C. Everett, April 26, 1945
Pvt. E. T. Fogarty, June 6, 1944
Sgt. K. G. Garratt, April 16, 1944
Pvt. H. Garza, April 3, 1944
Pvt. G. W. Gew, August 17, 1944
Sgt. G. O. Godin, February 22, 1944
Pvt. E. D. Granger, March 29, 1944
Sgt. R. H. Granger, May 2, 1944
Sgt. N. Griswald, June 8, 1944
Pvt. J. E. Guerin, May 28, 1944
Pvt. H. W. Haller, June 8, 1944
S. Sgt. F. A. Harvey, January 8, 1944
Pvt. H. J. Hebert, January 6, 1944
T5 A. F. Henning, May 29, 1944
Pvt. L. E. Hicks, May 29, 1944
Sgt. W. J. Johnson, May 30, 1944
Pvt. R. M. Kerr, January 8, 1944
T4 F. Kufta, May 29, 1944
Lt. P. G. LaPorte, September 9, 1944
Pvt. A. C. Leamons, May 24, 1944
Pvt. James E. Lee, November 1, 1944
Sgt. G. F. Lindsay, March 24, 1944
Pvt. C. Madson, June 2, 1944
Pvt. R. C. Mann, September 7, 1944
Sgt. E. Mattila, May 30, 1944
Lt. R. G. McLean, August 16, 1944
Pvt. R. L. Mills., Jr., February 18, 1944
T4 J. E. Mustard, February 18, 1944
Pfc. A. E. Ott, May 27, 1944
Sgt. E. S. Parks, April 20, 1944
Sgt. T. C. Potenza, November 2, 1944
Pvt. C. H. Prestwich, June 7, 1944
Sgt. K. W. Richer, May 30, 1944
Pvt. Don A. Rigby, October 13, 1944
Pvt. J. R. Ross, December 10, 1943
T5 W. E. Saathoff, April 7, 1944
Lt. R. L. Samuel, August 27, 1944
Pvt. J. D. Schofield, March 13, 1944
Pvt. G. B. Scholl, Jr., May 31, 1944
T5 H. R. Starr, August 24, 1944
T4 Frank J. Tomasoski, August 20, 1944
Cpl. J. M. Violette, December 12, 1943
S. Sgt. J. C. Walden, February 26, 1944
Sgt. J. L. Walkmeister, August 16, 1944
T4 Edward J. Wall, Jr., October 25, 1944
Pvt. H. G. Walsh, May 24, 1944
T4 H. F. Zobel, December 6, 1943

Missing in Action Presumed Dead
S. Sgt. P. M. Biglow, December 5, 1943
Sgt. C. A. Byers, February 29, 1944
Pvt. Louis J. Christensen, December 7, 1943
Sgt. R. Colbridge, February 14, 1944
T4 Bert L. Cook, April 2, 1944
Pvt. George G. Frongillo, April 18, 1944
T4 Gail D. Hubbard, February 8, 1944
Pvt. A. James, February 20, 1944
Lt. J. Kostelec, March 4, 1944
Sgt. John Lanzi, February 9, 1944
Pvt. Edwin C. Martin, March 4, 1944
Pvt. James J. McCabe, February 7, 1944
Pvt. Theodore M. Macdonald, September 9, 1944
S. Sgt. E. McDow, April 25, 1944
Pvt. Charles McMeekin, Jr., February 9, 1945
Sgt. C. E. Mills, February 18, 1944
Major S. V. Ojala, December 3, 1943
Sgt. E. O. O. Peterson, February 7, 1944
Sgt. E. D. Phillips, December 3, 1943
Sgt. J. W. Ranger, March 21, 1944
Sgt. C. F. Reynolds, February 6, 1944
Pvt. Lawrence H. Russelll, April 9, 1944
1 Sgt. Arthur L. Schumm, February 24, 1944
Pvt. G. A. Smith, December 6, 1943
Pvt. L. P. L. Weldon, May 21, 1944
S. Sgt. Nicholas J. Wibben, December 7, 1943

Died While POW
Cpl. F. P. F. Cope
S. Sgt. N. Murdie
Sgt. L. R. Roziere 



                   First Special Service Force at Kiska 1943
by Alastair Neely

Conceived in the dark days of 1942, the First Special Service Force was in existence for only two and half years, but during that brief period amassed an illustrious combat record.  Starting from scratch, the Canadian and American governments created a multi-national force, which was trained in commando techniques and which would eventually be deployed in both the Pacific and Mediterranean Theatres of Operation.  During its brief history, the unit participated in two invasions and four major campaigns. Two books, Robert D. Burhans' The First Special Service Force: A War History of the North Americans 1942-1944 and Robert H. Adleman and Col. George Walton's The Devil's Brigade, and a major motion picture produced by David L. Wolper have paid homage to this unit (Burhans, 1947; Adleman & Walton, 1966).

Unfortunately the Force's Alaskan operations are covered only in short sections in each of these books and are omitted in the feature film.  While the Force was in Alaska for one month from July 23 to August 22, 1943, the experience gained as part of the Kiska invasion force provided invaluable lessons and saved many Force members' lives in future operations. This paper's aim is to present an inquiry into an  exceptional experiment without parallel in the military histories of Canada and the United States.  Unique in its composition, training, equipment, and outstanding in its fighting ability, the First Special Service Force stands apart from other military units formulated by the Canadian and American governments.
In order to comprehend the Force's Kiska accomplishments, it is important to understand its conception and growth in the year prior to invasion.  The First Special Service Force was created as a result of a plan to create widespread sabotage on the European continent during the winter of 1942-43.  This plan was code-named Operation Plough (D. Hist. File 112.21009 [195]).

The Plan: Operation Plough

Take three overstrength regiments, add specially designed equipment, mix in commando training and exotic locations such as Helena, Montana, Norway, Northern Italy, and Rumania, add snow, and you have the makings of great B war movie or an eccentric plan by British inventor and genius Geoffrey Pyke.  Pyke, who was 48-years-old in 1942, was serving as civilian scientific advisor on Lord Mountbatten's Combined Operations staff.  The Force was the end result of a plan Pyke had devised
for establishing a special mobile force that would take part in commando operations  in occupied Europe.  The underlying concept of Operation Plough was that a force specially trained and equipped could operate in the "fourth element" of warfare --- snow (Lampe, 1959).  The plan called for widespread sabotage of enemy installations just prior to the planned invasion of Europe in the spring of 1943.  The mission's
objectives were set down in a six-point directive produced by the Combined Staff of the British Army:

(a) destruction of 14 hydro electric stations in Norway;
(b) attacks on the oil producing capacity of Rumania;
(c) force the enemy to send large numbers of troops to Norway and divert resources from other fronts;
(d) prepare the way for the reoccupation of Norway;
(e) destroy the German bases threatening the supply convoys to Russia; and
(f) in Italy the destruction of 70 percent of the hydro-electric power produced in the Alps (Burhans, 1947).

To accomplish this mission a vehicle capable of travelling at high speeds over snow would have to be designed, manufactured, and troops trained to operate it.  At the Combined Operations level, the plan was discussed and the merits of the operation assessed.  Brigadier Wildman-Lushington, Chief of Staff, thought the plan "had a fanciful and suicidal ring" to it (Lampe, 1959).  In a special meeting at Chequers on  April 11, 1942, Operation Plough among other items was debated.  This was Prime Minister Churchill's first contact with the plan.  Renown for his interest in this type of mission, Churchill quickly lent his support to this project.  On April 24, 1942, the British dispatched a mission to Washington to brief the Americans on the plan. The United States' study of the proposal and critical report of the plan was
composed by Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick.  Submitted to General Dwight D. Eisenhower during the first week of June 1942, his report was highly critical of the project and advocated against American involvement (NA. RG 407, Box 23277).

Due to military and political considerations, the operation was ordered to proceed. In one of the ironic twists of war, Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick, the officer who  critiqued the plan, was selected to be its first commanding officer.  Frederick, a career soldier, graduated West Point in 1928, 124th out of a class of 250 (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  During his early career, he served with a variety of coastal artillery
and anti-aircraft units before joining the War Plans of the War Department in 1939. On June 16, 1942, Frederick assumed command of the project and immediately sought to organize the operation (NA. RG 407, Box 23277).  The First Special Service Force was to come under the direct control of the War Department.  His orders stated that the Force might be comprised of multi-national troops from the
United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, and the United States (NA. RG 407, Box 23277). Early in the planning stages, it became evident that neither the British nor Norwegians could supply the numbers of men needed for the unit.  This only left the Canadians who at Churchill's suggestion had been included since he felt that "the inclusion of Canadian troops would enhance the value of the organization" and had even suggested that it be named "The North American Force" (Reader's Digest, 1969). The logic behind this was that the British government felt that as long as Canadians were involved they would have some direction in the planning and organization of the unit.  What the British, Canadians, and later American government learned is that this unit took on its own personality.  Once there and committed to battle, men  did not  envisage themselves as Canadians or Americans but as "the Force", Freddy's  Freighters", "the Braves", and most durable of all --- "The Devil's Brigade" (Adleman & Walton, 1966).

On June 17, 1942, Lt. Col. Frederick travelled to Ottawa to enlist Canadian support for the project.  Within five days, he had received assurances of all the troops he required and access to Canadian training facilities. When the Force was brought together in Helena, Montana in the summer of 1942, the total complement was 108 officers and 1157 men, half of which were Canadian plus a Service Battalion composed of Americans.  For administrative purposes, the Canadian unit was referred to as the 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion.  Canadians and Americans were equally distributed throughout the Force. The first recorded mention of the Force in relationship to Alaska occurred during the planning  stage for Operation Plough.  Members of the force consulted arctic explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, about the requirements for cold weather clothing. He is reported to have said "I always equip my expeditions with reindeer clothing made by the Alaskan Eskimos.  The required number of suits is ordered about two years ahead of time" (Burhans, 1947).  Since they had less than seven months to prepare and needed 2000 cold weather suits, it seemed very impractical.  Therefore they went with the cold weather clothing, which was U.S. Army standard issue. As studies of the Plough Project continued, it was felt that the Rumanian and
Italian targets appeared better suited as targets for bombers.  By focusing the Force entirely on Norway, it was felt that a greater economic impact could be inflicted on the Germans.  Therefore the number was reduced to 19 from the original 42 targets (D. Hist. File 145.3011 [D1]).  However, in September 1942, Operation Plough was cancelled for numerous reasons such as insufficient aircraft in England to transport
the troops and special equipment to Norway, objections by the Norwegian government in exile to the hardship such a raid would bring to their county, and finally to changing military priorities.  This cancellation had a dramatic impact on the Force. Only in training for a few months, now their future was uncertain.  With no current operation planned, the Canadian government decided to withdraw from the unit.  It was only at the intercession of General George Marshall that the Canadians remained in the Force (NA. RG 407, Box 23279).  As a result of the change in mission, the Americans raised their regimental strength by 50 percent.  Therefore before the unit arrived in the Aleutians ten months later, Canadians made up less than 40 percent of the combat force (Dziuban, 1959).


How do you recruit soldiers for a secret mission without divulging too many details, but still giving the soldier enough information to make an informed decision as to whether to volunteer?  A Catch 22 situation?  No, not really.  It would seem from the records that the Canadian and American governments had little problem recruiting for this unit.  The opportunity to qualify for paratroopers' wings which
meant an increase in pay, the chance to get overseas faster, and to start over again in a new and different type of organization drew people to this unit.  Starting in mid-July 1942 Canadian and American servicemen started to converge on Helena, Montana to start training for their mission.  Lt. Col. Frederick was looking for men, who were able to meet extreme physical and endurance requirements.  Apart from looking for men with these qualifications, the two countries took different approaches to enlisting men for this unit.  American soldiers originating mainly from the American west arrived in trains which had blackout windows as a security measure.  In some cases, post commanders had taken the opportunity to empty their stockades and commands of undesirable elements (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  These men did not last long in the Force's training and were returned to their original units.  At this time, one of the many legends about the Force developed, which asserted that the unit was made up of gangsters, murderers, and mental cases.  In viewing the war diaries and associated documents from the time, I think this may had been a rumour generated by the  military to keep the civilian population at arms' length from the Force.  Canadians  recruited for the Force travelled by rail from Ottawa and western points to Coutts,
Alberta just north of the Montana border.  The recruiting process in Canada was handled in a very businesslike manner as medical and I.Q. tests were given out to the volunteers in an attempt to weed out unfit soldiers.  To gain entry to this unit, the Canadian N.C.O.'s had to pass the I.Q. test with the minimum officer requirements, while the privates had to show their skills at the N.C.O.'s level (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  Married soldiers were also advised not to join the Force.  Approximately one in six of Canadians who volunteered were sent to Montana.  One document, which  was to separate the Canadians from the Americans, was the declaration document that had to be signed by all Canadians upon being recruited for this unit (see Appendix A). This document set down the terms and conditions under which the Canadians were to serve in this unit:

(a) service wherever required;
(b) obey orders of American officers and N.C.O.'s;
(c) subject to Canada laws, orders and regulations, and Canadian military discipline;
(d) level of pay would be the same as in rest of the Canadian military (2nd Canadian
     Parachute Battalion War Diary, August 1942).

American members of the Force were not required to sign such a document. Lt. Col. Frederick had definite ideas on the standards for the Force's officers. Both an age limit of 35 years and physical requirements to be met were established. Officers had to do everything the enlisted man was required to, but had to do it better and to serve as an example to the men.   Under Frederick's direction, the Junior
Officers were to be newly commissioned Lieutenants, who had not "been previously conditioned by other commanders" (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  For this reason, the Canadian officers were graduates of the Officers Training Centre at Brockville and 90% of the American Lieutenants came from various officer candidate schools (D. Hist. File 145.3011 [D1]).  This meant that when the Force landed on Kiska, none of the officers or men had actually been in combat before.


The training, which the men received, was very intensive and stressed individual self-reliance.  The men learned to fight in small groups (sections), to act as independent units, and utilize their own initiative in problem-solving.  As a result of Operation Plough and the need to deploy the unit overseas by the winter of 1942-43, a rapid training plan was developed.  Previously, Ft. William Henry Harrison had only
been utilized two weeks a year by National Guard units for training and therefore it lacked much of the equipment required to train a special unit.  Necessity was the mother of invention since they had to make do with no training towers for parachute practice and parachute training was compressed into a six-day course.  Similarly an accelerated training plan was developed to qualify the men as skiers.  Within two
weeks, 95% of the troops had met or exceeded Norwegian Army standards (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  From the first day of training, Frederick had less than seven months to complete preparation for the mission.

The training was divided into three phases:

August - October 1942: parachute qualification, physical exercise to build the body up, weapons, demolition training and small unit tactics;

October - November 1942: unit tactics and problems; and

November: going overseas, skiing, learning to live in  cold climates, rock climbing and learning  how to use the M29 Weasel (2nd CPB War Diary, August 1942 - November 1942).

Arriving on August 6, 1942, the Canadians made their first parachute jump on August 11, 1942, and within a fortnight all had made their first jump.  As a result of the rigors of the training, one officer and 175 other ranks were returned to Canada during the first month (2nd CPB War Diary, August 1942).  Four C-47's and two Piper Cubs were assigned to the Force during this part of the training.  Parachute training continued as long as the Force was located in Montana.  Since they were expecting to parachute into Europe in the wintertime, it was not an unusual sight to see them combining parachute and ski training into one exercise. As a result of the unit's need for mobility, the Force was issued and trained mainly in the use of light weapons.   After Operation Plough's cancellation, its fire power was increased by the addition of the Browning Light Machine Gun, the new 2.36 inch anti-rocket launcher, the 60 mm mortar, flame thrower, and Johnson Automatic Rifle.  The Ordinance Department sent captured Italian and German
weapons to Helena for their scrutiny long before this practice was adopted for army units in general (Burhans, 1947).  By the end of its training, the Force had become knowledgable in the use of explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and sabotage. On April 6, 1943, the Force paraded for the last time in Helena, Montana, in support of the local war bonds drive.  The parade was reviewed by Montana's Governor Ford, General Weeks of the Canadian Army, along with other military dignitaries (Helena Independent Record, April 7, 1943).  On April 11, 1943, the Force left Fort William Henry Harrison to finish its last phase of training.  Moving by train, they went to Camp Bradford, Virginia for basic amphibious training.  Here they had training in rubber boats, and landing craft loading and unloading, in anticipation of going overseas (2nd CPB War Diary, May 1943). On May 23rd, they moved again by train to Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont to work on absorbing a new series of recruits into the Force.   At this point, with ten  months of training, the edge was beginning to dull on the troops.  They were a missionless unit and it was beginning to show.  In the month at Ethan Allen, the Force focused on the basics such as improving the proficiency of personnel with their  weapons and special training for the troops.  Special schools were set up dealing with the following aspects:

(a) weapons instruction;
(b) intelligence school;
(c) communication school:
(d) combat swimming;
(e) military courtesy;
(f) recognition of friendly insignia of rank;
(g) field hygiene;
(h) close order drill;
(i) route marches; and
(j) night sounds (1st CPB War Diary, May 1943).

On June 15, 1943, the Force was inspected by a team of officers to judge the unit's fitness before overseas' posting.  The criterion utilized to evaluate the efficiency level of these men was inadequate.  Normal units passed with a 75% level in tests of physical fitness, arms' use, and map reading.  The Force averaged 125% on these tests with some scores reaching 200% on some tests (Adleman & Walton, 1966).

The Weasel

 One of the Force's lasting contributions to the development of Alaska and Northern Canada was the M29 Cargo Carrier, commonly known as the Weasel.  After the war was over, this multi-purpose vehicle preformed a variety of tasks in the north and served the Canadian military until the early 1960's.  The vehicle's origins were closely linked to the Force's first mission, Operation Plough. To effectively operate in Europe during wartime conditions, a special multi-purpose type of vehicle needed to be found which could travel over snowy terrain, which was impassable to other heavier means of transport, and be parachuted into enemy territory. To complete its mission, the Force needed a multipurpose vehicle, which
could operate in areas impassable to other heavier means of transport.  However, in 1942 no such vehicle existed.  The urgency the Americans placed on the development of the vehicle can be seen in the fact that for 90 days during the summer of 1942 this project took precedence over research being done on the B-17 (Lampe, 1959).  The British government in May 1942 turned this development project over to the
Americans, who in turn approached the National Research Council of Canada because of their research into snow.  The Canadian Department of Munitions had already been working on a snowmobile and had produced a proto-type called the "Penguin" (Stacey, 1966).   Technique specifications of Operation Plough were different so the Americans continued to design their own vehicle.  A joint committee of scientists from Canada, United States, Great Britain, and Norway was struck to investigate the problem.  G. L. Klein of the Mechanical Engineering Division of the National Research Council was the senior Canadian representative (Eggleston, 1950).  The mission requirements stated that the vehicle needed to be fast, have a low profile, the ability to manoeuvre in deep, soft snow, and climb steep grades (Lampe, 1959).  The Canadians had been experimenting with vehicles from 1934 to 1939 and therefore  they were able to contribute technical knowledge to the project.   Canadian expertise  was useful in the design of the track tread which was fabricated from reinforced rubber material, spacing of wheels, and the importance of creating a low centre of gravity to reduce and distribute to weight of the vehicle over a larger area (Eggleston, 1950). The Weasel was tested in the Columbian Ice Fields near Lake Louise, Alberta, and even before the final modifications had been made a contract for their construction had been awarded to the United States' Studebaker Corporation to build  600 Weasels (Burhans, 1947).  Other tests were held against vehicles such as the  Bombardier which was a forerunner of the Skidoo and professional skiers to test the machine's endurance.  One particular test involved a race between man and machine over a three mile course.  Qualified skiers from the 87th Mountain Infantry detachment raced and lost against the Weasel (Burhans, 1947). The one drawback to the Weasel in terms of the Force and the mission was
its size.  Despite trying to keep it small, the dimensions grew to 10 feet 5 3/4 inches long by 5 feet 6 inches wide by 5 feet 11 inches high (see Appendix B for more detail specifications).  The British Lancaster Bomber was the only aircraft capable of transporting the vehicle into Europe.  Bomber Command's lack of support for the project has been cited by some as a reason for the cancelation of Operation Plough. Bomber Command had a limited number of Lancasters and therefore could not     support this operation.  Once Operation Plough was cancelled, the Weasel continued to play an
important role in the history of the Force.  The Force did not take any Weasels with them to Kiska, but other units did and it operated well over the tundra conditions of the island.  Fully loaded, the vehicle would weigh 5,277 pounds, but because of its low centre of gravity and specially designed treads, it exerted only one-sixth of the pressure of an army truck and less than one-third of the pressure of a soldier
(Eggleston, 1950).  This made it ideal for Arctic conditions since it could go almost anywhere.  When the Force was deployed overseas to Italy later in 1943, they took a full complement of Weasels with them and utilized them in Italy and Southern France.


Preparing for the Kiska invasion, also known as Operation Cottage, the planners were building on lessons learnt as a result of the Battle of Attu in May 1943.  Attu was the first time the American military had to fight in arctic conditions and many important lessons were gleaned about waging war in this environment.  Attu and Kiska were the two main islands seized by the Japanese in 1942 and Attu was selected by the Americans for the first invasion because of its long distance from their main supply bases.  It was also thought that the island garrison was smaller than Kiska and the defences weaker.  On May 11, 1943, the United States Army invaded Attu and 17 days later the island was secured.  Attu cost the Americans 552 killed in action, 1,400 wounded in action, and 500 non-battle related casualties, while killing  2,350 Japanese and capturing 24 (Keegan, 1977).  Building on their experiences at Attu, the aim of the Kiska invasion force was to be better trained, equipped, and led so as not to duplicate the Attu experiences.
The first mention of the Force participating in the invasion was from the Combined Chiefs of Staff meeting at the Trident Conference, May 12-25, 1943 in Washington, D.C. (Stacey, 1966).  This conference was proceeding as the reports of bitter fighting on Attu was beginning to come in.  Scheduled on the agenda for discussion was the recapture of Kiska, what priority it should be assigned, and when
it should occur.  The reason put forth for a summer invasion was that until the Japanese were removed that the Americans would have to maintain a large military presence in the area.   Another reason cited by some authors is the American election which was to occur in 1944 and the fact that the Japanese in the Aleutians could become a political issue (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  On May 24th at this conference,
final approval was given for the invasion of Kiska and Canadian participation was sought (Stacey, 1966).  This was to be in the form of both a Canadian brigade, naval, and air force support for the invasion forces.  Troops from various Canadian regiments would eventually come together to form the 13th Infantry Brigade under the command of Major General G. R. Pearkes, V.C. C.B. D.S.O. and M.C.  At this time, no consideration had been given to the employment of the Force in the Aleutians and the role of the First Special Service Force was listed as a separate agenda item at the Trident Conference.  In the months leading up to this conference, the Force's mission had been altered three times.  First, they were to land in the Caucasus Mountains, then they were to be shipped to New Guinea, and then they were
earmarked for the invasion of Sicily, code-name Operation Husky.  To assist the Kiska invasion and to give the unit much needed battle experience, the Americans suggested that it be deployed to the Aleutians.  The request for the use of the Force was a separate issue and did not enter into the negotiations with the Canadian and American governments over the participation of the 13th Infantry Brigade in the operation.
As a result of the Canadian content of the unit, permission had to be elicited from the Department of National Defence prior to the unit's being committed to the invasion.  In advance of a formal request, the War Committee of the Canadian Cabinet approved on June 11, 1943 the use of the Canadian troops assigned to First Special Service in the invasion of Kiska (Stacey, 1966). Orders were issued and the Force transported by three trains from Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont to San Francisco, California.  The first train departed Vermont on the June 28, 1943.  For security purposes, each train took a different route and
observed security measures along the way.  All trains arrived in San Francisco by Sunday July 3, 1943 and equipment was off-loaded for transport to Camp McDowell on Angel Island, which is within sight of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge (1st Canadian Special Services Battalion War Diary, July 1942).
It was here on July 4, 1943 that officers of the regiments received their first detailed briefing about the mission from  Major General Charles H. Corlett, Commanding Officer of Amphibious Training Force Nine.  The officers and sergeants were told what was known at that time about Kiska.  On the island, there were approximately 12,000 Japanese troops, who had almost a year to prepare the defences and based on the experience at Attu, it would be a hard campaign (Burhans, 1947).  Kiska had been occupied by the Japanese on June 7, 1942, and since June 11, 1942 United States Army Air Force had been attacking this island.  Two Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons, No. 8 Squadron - Bomber Reconnaissance and No. 111 Squadron - Fighter had been operating in Aleutians since July 1942 (Douglas, 1986). The United States Navy's first bombardment of the island took place on August 7,
1942 (Garfield, 1971). The next six days were taken up with replacing and issuing new equipment to
the combat regiments and the loading of the two Liberty ships, the S.S. Nathaniel Wyeth and the S.S. John B. Floyd, which were to transport them to the Aleutians. Anti-gas clothing was also issued to them along with new footwear.  A medical examination was given to the troops on July 9, 1943 to see if they were fit to go overseas, but instead of it being a detailed process it involved only taking their  temperatures (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943).  While at Fort McDowell, no leaves were allowed for security purposes.  As with any unit going overseas there was a rush to purchase money orders and to buy personal items from the camp store. On July 11, 1943, the Force set sail for the Aleutians as part of a convoy of seven transports and four destroyers from San Francisco and almost immediately it  would seem that most of the unit became seasick.  Total Force complement going overseas was 2,460.  The ratio of Canadians to Americans in the combat regiments was 40-60.  The Service Battalion consisted entirely of American personnel except for one Canadian officer and a sergeant who looked after the Canadians affairs.  Once at sea, a more detailed briefing were held on the ships for officers, describing the mission and for the first time this information was passed along to the men.  Due to the rolling seas, the bunks over 100 men collapsed on one of the ships with no serious injuries (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943).  Conditions were poor aboard the ships, during the voyage north and there seems to have been concern among Force officers especially Col. Adams about the discipline among the men.  Discipline improved after a regular routine developed after the men had been at sea for several days (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943).  As a result of the cramp quarters on the Liberty Ships, there was no room for exercise.  Therefore the meals for the men were cut back to two per day, which consisted of a mid-morning snack and supper.  By July 15, 1943, there only a few cases of seasickness being reported among the troops.  On board ships the men were given instruction on how to identify Japanese ranks, useful phrases,
camouflage, and were able to inspect captured Japanese firearms.  On July 19, 1943, the convoy was met by four destroyers from Dutch Harbour, Alaska, who took over convoy duty.  Upon entering Alaskan waters, men of the Force were posted for submarine and aircraft watches. During the trip to the Aleutians, it was reported that the  light cruiser U.S.S. Helena was sunk in Kula Gulf off New Georgia in the South Pacific.  The cruiser was named after Helena, Montana, the home station of the Force.  A collection was taken up among the men on the two ships and over $5,000 was raised towards purchasing War Bonds to help finance a new cruiser.  After the war, this money was donated towards a war memorial in Helena, Montana, which was unveiled in 1947 (Helena Independent Record, August 24, 1943; August 25, 1947).  This war memorial was unveiled on the fourth anniversary of the Kiska Invasion and the third anniversary of the invasion of Southern France. At 2200 hours, the convoy dropped anchor at Adak.  The ships were still observing blackout procedures, but the men of the Force were amazed that the same regulations were not being applied to the island.  Adak originally was going to be the base of operations for the unit until it was discovered that the bivouac area selected was not suitable.  Adak Island was the headquarters of the Canadian 13th Infantry Brigade Group, which had recently arrived (D.Hist., File 595.013 [D2]).  During the operations, there was very little contact between the two Canadian groups.  Operating as an American unit, the Force reported through their change of command.  From there, the Liberty Ships pressed on with a destroyer and destroyer escort to Amchitka,  which was 170 miles west.  On July 24, 1943, the ships entering the harbour at  Amchitka disembarked their troops.  From port to their bivouac area was a five mile march and a large number of the troops dropped out along the way.  They were carrying their full field kit and 70 pounds of additional equipment and supplies.  The weight of the equipment and the fact they had been confined to ships for 15 days with  no exercise all contributed to a higher than average drop-out rate (1st CSSB War  Diary, July 1943).

In setting up their camp, the troops had to dig between one to four feet into the Tundra to find solid ground on which to pitch their tents.  Each tent slept between 5-10 men with one small stove issued per tent.  Fortunately for the two days that it took to set up their base according to the war diary, they were lovely days, bright and warm (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943). The plan was to have the Force get acclimatized to the environment and hopefully have three weeks of training before the invasion took place.  As a result of  their recent amphibious training and the high state of readiness, the Force trained
independently of other units (Burhans, 1947).  The training objectives prior to the invasion were:

(a) improve ability for sustained operation in the field under adverse
(b) improve ability to operate over terrain typical of this locality;
(c) improve combat firing techniques; and
(d) improve amphibious techniques (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943).

 On July 27, route marches began to get the men accustomed to walking over the tundra and traversing the landscape.  For the next several days the words "fog", "raw", "occasional drizzles", "heavy rain", and "wind" punctuate the unit's war diary (1st CSSB War Diary, July - August 1943).  As a result of the limited training space,  the three regiments were rotated.  For example, if a unit was involved in rubber boat and landing craft practice, the other two regiments would be on route marches or the firing range.  Since the Force had its own service battalion, a lot of the everyday housekeeping routine could be done by this unit.  Thus the regiments were able to do five to six weeks training in three.   Their training involved amphibious training using both landing craft and rubber boats, weapons practice, shoreline bluff climbing,
demolitions, hand-to-hand combat, bayonet, compass, conditioning marches, and first aid (D. Hist., File 145.3009 [D7]).

Three incidents from their training exercises on Amchitka highlight particular problems of fighting in this climate.  On July 30th while training with the navy on rubber boat deployment 1,000 years offshore, the ramp of a Landing Craft Transport was lowered to allow the boats to be launched.  The ship promptly sank and members of the Force had to be rescued from the water (1st CSSB War Diary, July 1943).
Even though this was the middle of the summer, there was always the problem of exposure to the elements.  On August 5th, the 1st Regiment started its two day march carrying full-battle equipment in an attempt to simulate combat conditions.  The weather turned so foggy and rainy that instead of navigating by compass the regiment returned to camp the next day following the power lines in single file so as not to get lost (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  This helped to teach them about on what equipment they should carry, the types of clothing they should take, and how to keep it dry.  On August 6th, the 2nd Regiment was scheduled to go on the same type of march, but did not depart that day as there were 150 men, who were considered  medically unfit (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943). There were limited recreational and canteen facilities available to the men. Training took up about 12 hours of the day so this left very little time for recreation and outdoor sports.  Playing cards, listening to records, and reading seem to have  been the most popular activities of the Force (Burhans, 1947).  Free laundry and  haircuts were also available.  The Canadians took advantage of one special privilege while in the Aleutians which other Canadian troops could not partake in.  Free mailing privileges accorded American troops were also extended to the Canadians in the Force.  Mail service were reported to be excellent and a study done by censors of outgoing mail indicated that the men were "satisfied with their conditions" (D. Hist., File 145.3009 [D7]). On August 9th, the regiments received their combat assignments.  The 1st and
3rd Regiments were assigned the role to lead the invasion forces ashore.  Landing five hours before the main force, their role was to mark the beaches, clear obstacles, mark beach exits, and secure a safe landing area.  The 1st Regiment was to land on "D" Day and the 3rd Regiment landing on "D" Day + 1.  The 2nd Regiment was to act as a mobile reserve and parachute onto Kiska in support of the other two regiments or any unit needing assistance.  On August 13th, an officer and N.C.O. made a practice jump
to test conditions and equipment.   Senior officers were flown over Kiska so that they could see what their objectives were and to familiarize themselves with the terrain (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).
 By August 12th, all regiments had finished their training and were preparing for the invasion.  At this time, the units were joined by observers from the American Navy, Marines, artillery, and 64 officers and men from the Alaskan Scouts (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  The Alaskan Scouts were attached to the Force because of their knowledge of the land and to assist in the completion of the mission wherever
possible.  On August 12th, Radio Tokyo announced the invasion date for Kiska landing to be August 15, 1943.  Since this was the correct date for the invasion some  in the Force worried that information on their landing beaches and plans may have been compromised.

In preparing for the invasion, the Force planned to travel light with required supplies being parachuted to them.  The men carried two-thirds of one Field Ration K and two-thirds of one Field Ration D.  Johnson machine guns were substituted in lieu of Rocket Launchers and Flame Throwers were not to be taken.  Each man was issued four grenades and one package of explosives per company (1st CSSB War
Diary, August 1943).  Other supplies and equipment would be parachuted to them as the invasion continued.  Field bags would be limited to mess gear, toilet articles, socks, towel, sleeping pack, sweater, and poncho.  No vehicles were assigned to the Force as part of the operation.  The Weasel, which had been specially designed to operate in this type of environment, was assigned to other invasion units, but because of the type of operation planned the Force did not have any (Burhans, 1947). It was understood that casualties would be the responsibility of the medical  personnel and supply battalion.  As reported in the operational orders, "No soldier will  delay the execution of his battle mission to turn aside to assist wounded" (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1947).  The supply battalion had been specially set up for this type of mission and it would be their responsibility to relieve the fighting forces of the day- to-day activities of transporting the wounded, carrying supplies, and preparing meals. This would allow the three combat regiments to concentrate on their mission.   The dead were to be removed as quickly as possible from the battle field and buried according to procedures set out by Graves Registration (D. Hist., File 322.009 [D527]).  This is very interesting given that with the Canadian involvement in the Force that no accommodation was made for the return of bodies to the Canadian government.  Any Canadian casualties were to be buried along side the Americans. At 0900 hours on August 14th, the 1st Regiment set sail from Amchitka and the 3rd soon followed.  Fitted with parachutes, the 2nd Regiment was ordered to remain on alert.  Intelligence provided as to what to expect from the Japanese was very limited.  The unit had maps and aerial photographs, but that was all.  An S-2 Estimate of the Enemy Situation prepared on August 12, 1943 by 1st Lt. Finn W. Roll  of the Force draws the following conclusions:


a)   The enemy may defend Kiska Island and Little Kiska. The enemy may effect a withdrawal.
b)   All indications are that the enemy will defend the island from strongly prepared positions, with the best of his fighting ability.  Evacuation or withdrawal from the Island is improbably due to superior United States Naval Forces in the area" (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943)."

The report also stated that over the past week considerable movement of personnel had been seen and that new trenches and fox holes have been dug.  In most attacks, the advantage lays with the defender; however, during the assault on Kiska the Force was hoping for foggy weather so that they could infiltrate the enemy positions without being seen. The 1st Regiment under the command of Colonel A. C. Marshall was designated to be among the allied troops to land on Kiska.  The invasion force consisted of nearly 100 ships and the Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy had come to view the invasion.  This unit travelled from Amchitka on the Destroyer Kane and a LST.  At 0030 hours on August 15th, the troops started to disembark from the ships into rubber boats.  Their orders were to land from rubber boats, move inland, secure the high ground covering the beaches, and mark the beaches so that the main landing force could land.  By using rubber boats and landing at night, it was felt that the element of surprise could be maintained and the regiment could approach the shore unnoticed.  Unfortunately instead of the hoped for cloud and fog cover, the weather turned cleared and the regiment had to paddled into the beaches under bright moonlight (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  The 1st Regiment was charged with marking beaches 9 BLUE, 9 YELLOW and 10 SCARLET. BEACH 9 BLUE was located in Quisling Cove at the mouth of Limpid Creek and to be marked with a six foot square blue panel and blue signal lights. BEACH 9 YELLOW was located 300 yards northwest of Limpid Creek, and would be marked by a similar six foot square yellow panel facing seaward. BEACH 10 SCARLET was located at the mouth of Lily Creek and a red panel would be used (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).

If in the course of the landing any beaches were found unsuitable for use by the beach marking party, a two foot square white panel would be placed below the above mentioned panel, which would signal invasion forces of the unsuitability of the beach. It took over an hour for the first boats to make land and by 0145 hours the 1st Regiment had sufficient troops ashore to start carrying out its mission.   Patrols
moved out to secure the high ground and take up defensive positions.  The regiment's main objectives were Link Hills, Lawson Hills, Larry Hill, Lasso Hill, and Lame Hill Ridge.  These were the high grounds surrounding the invasion beaches.  They were to actively patrol this area and capture or destroy any enemy personnel or installations found.  Meanwhile other members of the regiment remained on the beaches to clear the rock obstacles which might imped the main landing.  In a coded message "Tell
Williamson baby needs a new pair of shoes", the 1st Regiment informed Colonel Adams at Amchitka that the 2nd Regiment was not needed and the enemy had evacuated the area (Burhans, 1947).  With the beachhead secure, the main landing force consisting of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment and 184th Infantry Regiment landed at 0630 hours (Dziuban, 1959).  The main mission of the 1st Regiment was
nearly complete and later in the day they withdrew to positions on the Link Hills, Lawson Hills, Larry Hill, and Lame Hill Ridge line.  From these positions, the regiment assembled, reorganized, and prepared to assist other troops of the Southern Sector as ordered by the Commanding General. Military units over the course of their history acquire nicknames --- some flattering and some not.   The 1st Regiment nicknamed itself "Freddy's Freighters" in honour of all the supplies they had to carry up the mountains to their positions on the first day of the invasion (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  The second day of the invasion
saw them still in reserve, but they had an opportunity to explore and collect souvenirs and war trophies.
With only a small portion of the island explored at end of the first day, the consensus seems to have been that the Japanese had been evacuated, but the seconding landing involving the 3rd Regiment and other allied units set for August 16th went ahead. The 3rd Regiment operating from the LST were to land on North Kiska by rubber boats on D-Day + 1.  This phase of the operation had been changed only a
week prior to the invasion as the beach directly in front of Robber Hill, which the regiment was to clear directly in front of Robber Hill, was too heavily defended (Burhans, 1947).  An alternative plan was devised and put into operation.  Similar to what happened the day before, their mission was to clear and secure the beaches for the main landing force.  Departing from the LST in rubber boats around midnight,
they paddled towards shore.  As with the day before, the moon appeared and cloud cover was at a minimum.  This made paddling to shore easier, but it also made their detection by the enemy easier (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  The 3rd Regiment was to mark two beaches:  Beach 14 RED, which was located on Broad Beach in Bambook  Bay at the mouth of Rainbow Creek and Beach 14 GREEN, which was located southwest of Beach 14 Red in Bamboo Bay (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943). Similar beach marking procedures were to be used on these beaches; however, the approach to the securing them would be different.   Instead of landing directly on the beaches, they were to land further along the coast, cross a small "bar" or "bight", move inland securing the high ground, and then mark the beaches.   The plan called for the regiment to reach the "bar" separating West Kiska Lake from the Bering Sea no later than K - 0300 on D-Day +1, cross this rock formation which only according to intelligence was a couple of feet high, and paddle across West Kiska Lake landing at the mouth of Robin Creek (Burhans, 1947).  The only problem was that these two foot high rock and shale formations turned out to be 20 feet high (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  Loaded down with supplies and equipment the men of the 3rd
Regiment had to climb over these boulders, move their rubber boats over this terrain,  and launch them in West Kiska Lake.  Alaskan Scouts covered the movements of the Force over the bight and helped to set up the beach markers on Beach 14.  By 0400 hours, the regiment had secured Ranger Hill and patrols were moving towards Riot and Rose Hills.  By the time the main landing force arrived, all objectives assigned to the regiment were captured.   With the objectives secured and the main force landing,
the 3rd Regiment withdrew to reassemble, reorganize, and act as a reserve for the main force (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943). The reason for there not being a prescribed role for the 1st and 3rd Regiments
after the first day of battle is that these units were expected not to exist as fighting units.  The mission that they were assigned if the invasion had been contested by the Japanese would have led to high casualties among the assault units.  Planners had projected a 20 percent casualty figure among assault units on the first day.   After one or two days of combat, these units would have ceased as a fighting group.  The
regiments were given the role of providing security for the area and protecting  Japanese equipment and records, which might provide intelligence information. Elements of the 1st Regiment under the command of Major Jack Akehurst landed on Little Kiska on August 17, 1943 to secure this island and check the defences.  On the same day, Segal Island located north of Kiska was checked by Colonel Marshall's
battalion to see if any Japanese were on this island.  The remains of two trappers were located here.

The Force consisted of three regiments and by far the 2nd Regiment had one of the toughest jobs to perform in this invasion.  They had to wait beside planes on Amchitka and be prepared to land on "any point on Kiska or Little Kiska, as designated, to relieve or exploit an emergency tactical situation" (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  From August 15 to 17th, the 2nd Regiment remained on alert on Amchitka prepared to parachute on Kiska.  Ten C-47 aircraft were allocated to drop the 2nd Regiment.  This group of aircraft could deliver two companies of Force personnel in support of ground troops on Kiska.  For six hours on August 16th when the second landing was taking place in North Kiska, members of the regiments waited in their aircraft for the fog to lift and to receive orders.  Neither came for this regiment as flying weather continued to be poor and the unit was not needed on Kiska (Burhans, 1947).
Most of the Service Battalion was to remain on Amchitka to guard Force property, carry out the normal supply and administrative functions of the unit, such as supporting the 2nd Regiments while they waited to parachute onto Kiska.  The Service Battalion was also prepared to move to Kiska to perform its normal support activities or if needed to join the combat regiments at the front. On August 18th, the Force received orders from the Combined Chiefs of Staff recalling the unit to the United States.  The Force had been discussed at the Quebec (First) Conference of August 1943 and a decision was made to send them next to Italy  (Burhans, 1947).  Other American and Canadian units garrisoned Kiska unit in November 1943.  On January 12, 1944, the last remaining Canadians left this island  (Stacey, 1966).  On August 23rd, the 1st and 3rd Regiments departed for San Francisco on board the S.S. Bell and the 2nd Regiment and Supply Battalion sailed  aboard the S.S. Heywood on the 24th.  The trip home was a marked difference from how they went to Aleutians.   It was a more relaxed atmosphere as the mission was     completed and the men will able to unwind after nearly a month of tension.  Several problems developed during the units' departure from Kiska and Amchitka.  One involved reports of abandoned clothing and equipment belonging to the Force being found on Amchitka.  The second problem involved the improper
loading of Force equipment on the transports for the return trip and therefore additional equipment was lost (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943). On August 30 and September 1, 1943, the men arrived and were taken to Camp Stoneman near San Francisco.  There the men received their back pay and half
the Force was given a ten-day leave and told to report to Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.  The other half of the unit travelled by train to Vermont where they received their leave.  In less than three months time, this unit would be in combat in Italy.  From a fiscal standpoint, the American government assumed most of the
financial responsibilities for deploying the Force to the Aleutians.  The Canadian government's only responsibilities were to pay its own troops' wages plus parachute pay, pensions, transportation costs to Helena, Montana, and the cost of its rations consumed by the troops (Stacey, 1966).  All other costs such as housing.  Weapons,  uniforms, transportation, and hospitalization were paid by the Americans.  This led
to the feeling by many Canadians in the Force that they had been abandoned by their  own government.  The Canadian government did not keep a close check on the progress of the Force during training and even less once it was sent to the Aleutians. Canadian government inspections were more courtesy calls than anything else (Burhans, 1947).  It is also interesting to note that during the history of the Force even though all the man shared the same dangers they were paid at different rates.  A Canadian staff sergeant earned $99.00 per month while an American private earned $93.00 and a Canadian *private earned on $62.00 (D. Hist., File 112.3 S2009 [D30]).  For officers, the discrepancies went the other way as a Canadian Lt. Col. was paid about $39.00 more per month than his American counterpart. (27)  These inconsistencies would continue throughout the history of the Force and would never be solved. No awards for gallantry were received by Force members during the Kiska operation (D. Hist. File 322.009 [D516]).  Due to the structure of military awards in  the two countries at that time, Canadians were eligible for American awards, but no reciprocal system existed for Americans to receive British awards, let alone Canadians to receive awards from their own country (D. Hist., File 145.3009 [D2]).  In Canada,  we have what is called the New Year's Honours List.  Of the 48 names put forth by  Brigadier H. W. Foster of the 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade, not a single Canadian  member of the Force was proposed (D. Hist. File 322.009 [D516]).  Several  Canadians in the 13th Infantry Brigade were also recommended for awards for a variety of actions on Kiska.  While Canadian members of the Force were in legal limbo with regard to the awarding of medals, it is interesting to see that Major General C. R. Pearkes received the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service" directly from President Roosevelt  (D. Hist. File 322.009 [D516]).  The problems associated with awarding medals
ontinued throughout the history of the Force.  When disbanded Canadians had  received 70 American decorations and only 17 British/Canadian awards (Duziban, 1959)  Another interesting sidebar to the Kiska operation is how the two  governments viewed the operation in terms of awarding Campaign Medals. Americans serving in Alaska received a campaign star from the American government, but Canadian members of the Force serving in Kiska were not entitled to the Canadian Pacific Star.

Discipline although not a problem during the Kiska Operation required giving special powers to Canadian officers in the Force.  Each Canadian officer had the powers of a detachment commander and the senior Canadian Officer could if the circumstances arose convene a Field General Courts-Martial (Beaumont, 1974). American officers for the purpose of command were considered to be officers in the Canadian forces.  These powers did not extend to discipline and punishment.  The senior Canadian officer also reported directly to the Department of National Defence in Ottawa.  Thus, through the history of the Force, a dual reporting structure was set up with one looking after the Americans in the Force and second chain of command to deal with the Canadians.  This dual reporting structure did not cause problems
when the Force was on Kiska, but it did create a lot of excess paperwork in both countries with trying to sort out who was responsible for what, where they were to be sent, and how they were to be employed.  At a level higher in the Force, this sometimes became very political in both countries.  Promotions were also a problem under this dual command and control structure with the question arising whether
officers of one country could be recommended for promotion by a foreign national. Kiska also proved to be the training ground for Force officers.  Frederick and Colonel Williamson, senior Canadian officers in the Force, were able to evaluate their junior officers.  As a result, four officers were sent back to Canada after returning from Kiska on September 21, 1943 (1st CSSB War Diary, September 1943).  It is  also interesting to note that the senior Canadian officer, Lt. Col. D. D. Williamson, who commanded the 2nd regiment which was designated to parachute onto the island, was removed from command by Frederick in Italy.  Frederick-Williamson relations seem to have been very tenuous at times and their philosophies differed on how the unit should be commanded (Burhans, 1947).  On the American side, officers were also replaced, two Red Cross and a chaplain, who was caught selling communion wine to the troops, were also replaced (Adleman & Walton, 1966). The Force and the press had a unique relationship during its existence.

Despite being a secret military organization, there were many press accounts of the Force's activities while it trained in Montana.  The first and probably most well-known newspaper account of the unit was as a result of the August 6, 1942 Washington-Ottawa press release describing the Force in the following terms as "the first time in history that Canadian troops had served as part of a United States Army unit" (2nd
CPB War Diary, August 1942).  This created considerable backlash in Canada since  many government officials understood it to be a joint force and this statement contradicted that.  The King government allowed the controversy to die out.  The press release went on to describe the Force as receiving training in "parachute, amphibious landing and mountain and desert warfare training" (Stacey, 1966).  Up  until June 1943, there are many references in the Helena Independent to the Force,  but once the unit was committed to the Kiska operation no further press accounts of them appear in newspapers.  One of the conditions of allowing the Force to participate in the invasion was that there be no mention of the unit by name and reporters were not allowed to go along with them on their mission (Perras, 1992).  It is not until reading the Canadian newspapers for January 1944 that you discover that the First Special Service Force was part of the Kiska invasion.  This is only accomplished by reading the casualty lists in local newspapers where the mention of service in Kiska appears.

The name First Special Service Force also served them well in the Aleutians. It sounded so innocent that and it disguised the true role of the Force.   In choosing  the name, army officials did not want a title which would identify the Force with any special military group like the Commando's or Ranger's since it would tend to underline and point out the main feature of the unit (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  The
name sounded harmless enough that throughout the Force's existence it was confused with the "Special Services" entertainment branch of the army and the publishers of The Yank, the American military newspaper.

A common trait among elite units is that many modified and tried to make their uniforms distinctive.  The Force was no exception.  Issued with American uniforms, these were soon changed to meet their own requirements.  Adopting the airborne style of wearing the trousers tucked into their jump boots, they were issued with berets with the crossed arrows insignia for officers and spearhead insignia with CANADA USA on it.  While in the Aleutians, the men were issued with special clothing such as arctic jackets, shoe pacs, and rubber suits (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  Shoe pacs were designed to keep the feet dry, but unfortunately they did not offer the support that parachute boots did and therefore there were many more foot  problems related to blisters than trench foot.  In one instance, the 2nd regiment had 150 men, who were considered medically unfit to participate in a two day march due  to blisters (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  The rubber suits also provided excellent protection from the elements when the troops landed from their rubber boats.  On the negative side, there was no zipper or fly in the suit which made going  to the washroom a problem.   If Force learned one thing, while on Amchitka, it is  summed up in the August 6, 1943 war diary as "The big lesson learned was what equipment and clothing should be taken and how carried" (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).  Proper packing, storage of equipment, and what to carry into combat are only lessons you can learn in the field.  No amount of lessons or lectures can
prepare you for the right thing.  When 1st and 3rd regiments landed on Kiska, they were carrying the basics.  In advance, they had arranged that any additional supplies such as ammunition, food and clothing would be parachuted to them. Prior to this operation, the Force received little intelligence information on
Kiska.  In his book, Burhans who was the Force's intelligence officer discusses at length the intelligence failures of the operation.  He summed it up as "intelligence of the island enemy proved little better than guesswork" (Burhans, 1947).  The Force wanted to land small patrols on the island to scout and identify strong points; however, this was refused by the Navy.  Maps of the island were of poor quality,    based upon a 1935 survey, and updated by aerial photographs.   There seems to have  been conflict between army and navy personnel about whose responsibility it was to collect and distribute information (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  For example, all  photographs taken of Kiska had to be sent to the Navy and they decided what ones were released.  Therefore, the Force had only access to a small part of the intelligence
picture that was being collected. There were three intelligence mistakes which directly affected the Force and if the landing had been opposed could have led to disaster:

(a) the failure to correct anticipate the strength of the tides and currents surrounding the
(b) the failure to anticipate the phases of the moon; and
(c) the failure to correctly calculate the height of the blight separating West Kiska Lake from the Bering Sea.  Instead of being two feet high, the collection of rocks which created this blight ranged   from 16-20 feet high.

One mistake favoring the Force was that when Little Kiska Island was searched the three six-inch coastal defence guns reported there turned out to be three Enfield rifles mounted to appear as if they were coastal guns (Burhans. 1947). Intelligence failures are always going to happen, but the Kiska operation also
benefited from what was learned during the Attu Invasion several months earlier. While sailing to the Aleutians, the Force benefited from a series of lectures on combat  techniques, weapons identification, and information on problems associated with  waging combat in the Arctic.  After the Attu invasion, many reports were written and the Force seems to have had access to this material (D. Hist., File 112.3 M1009
[D73]).  Force officers were also flown over Kiska in an attempt to give them an appreciation of the island and its defences prior to the invasion (1st CSSB War Diary, August 1943).

One of the lasting lessons learned by the Force was the need to instill discipline in troops.  This is in regard to the conduct of operations and fire discipline. Only two Force members were injured in the invasion, (one by having a grenade going off in his pocket), but other than these casualties all other injuries were minor (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  Other Allied units did not fair so good.  Firefights brought out between units in the first two days of the invasion.  Four Canadians and 20 Americans were killed by friendly fire or land mines (Garfield, 1971).

One reason why the Force could move faster and respond to changing situations on Kiska quicker than other units was because of its Service Battalion.  A unique experience the Service Battalion of three companies was created to allow for the three combat regiments to concentrate on training and carrying out of the mission. In this battalion, there were the Force's communication, records, and administrative   sections along with military police, cooks, bakers, parachute packers, barbers, carpenters, repairmen, vehicle mechanics, and drivers.  Also during combat missions, these troops would supply and evacuate the wounded.  With the Service Battalion in  place, the Force was entirely self-contained and therefore did not need the resources and support that other military units required.  It could go anywhere and do anything
which was required of it and did not need to rely on the military's normal chain of command (Burhans, 1947).

In a unique twist of fate involving the two governments after the war, the Americans recognized the First Special Service Force's involvement in the Aleutians  by awarding them a Battle Star while the Canadian government makes no mention of the Kiska operation in their battle honours which were awarded to the unit.  The battle honours of the Canadian section of the First Special Service Force have been  carried forward to the present day Canadian Airborne Regiment, but still little or no  mention is made of this campaign.There are only three memorials which I have been able to locate dedicated to this history of this unit.  The first is located in Helena, Montana and it was unveiled August 1947.  The second is in Castillon, France,  and the date of its unveiling is unknown.  The final plaque is in Rome, Italy and was unveiled on June 2, 1984.  No memorial or plaque specifically dealing with their role in the Aleutian campaign has
ever been unveiled.

After Kiska

Within a month of arriving the Aleutians, the Force was returned to the lower 48 states for deployment overseas to Europe.  On October 28th, 1943, the unit set sail from Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation aboard the Empress of Scotland and arrived in Italy on November 20, 1943. The Force's second engagement was the Naples-Foggia Campaign in Italy. For this operation, they were attached to the 36th "Texan Division" U.S.  The capture of twin peaks of Mount la Difensa and Mount la Remetanea were their objectives. On the nights of December 2-3, 1943, Mount la Difensa was taken and on December
6-9 Mount la Rementanea also fell.  The honour fell to the 2nd regiment to scale the 3,000 foot mountain peaks of Mount La Difensa.  On Kiska, the 2nd regiment had been given the role as airborne reserve and their commanding officer  Lt. Col. D. D. Williamson had lobbied that they should be given the next combat assignment (Burhans, 1947).  During these seven days, almost one-third of the 2,400 men of the
Force were either killed or wounded.  As a result of this operation, the Force were able to secure a series mountain ridges, which had held up General Clark's Fifth Army for 12 days (1st CSSB War Diary, January 1944).  The Force was employed in this area until relieved on January 29, 1944.  During January, the Force was engaged in a series of battles suffering 1,400 casualties.  Their final victory in this campaign came when they captured Monte Majo and Monte Vischiataro, which had delayed the Fifth Army's advance for five weeks (Nicholson, 1967). The next campaign they were involved in was the battle for Anzio where the legend of the Force grew.  For over 90 days, the Force held an area totalling one-
quarter of the beachhead (7-10 miles) along the Mussolini Canal, which formed a natural barrier between the German 316th Division and the Allied forces.  While the rest of the beachhead had turned into a stalemate, the Force took the offensive by conducting patrols and raids deep into the enemy lines (Reader's Digest, 1969).  At one point, they even establishing a same town called Gusville in no man's land (Adleman & Walton, 1966).  In certain areas along the front, they pushed the Germans back three to ten miles from the canal.  This probing by the Force kept the Germans off balance and prevented any major counterattacks developing in their area. It is while at Anzio that they received their most enduring nickname "the Devils  Brigade" (Adleman & Walton, 1966).

On May 9, 1944, the Force was withdrawn from the front to prepare for its next task of spearheading of the breakout from the Anzio Beachhead.  On the morning of May 23, 1944, elements of the 6th Corps struck out from the beachhead and the Force attacked north eastward to the Vin Appla.  During the breakout and the race to see who would capture Rome, the Force's enthusiasm to persuade the enemy
almost resulted in a disaster.  While the Force advanced three miles in the first day, its neighbouring units only gained half a mile (1st CSSB War Diary, May-June 1944). Therefore, for several days, the Force was overextended and threatened with being surrounded by the Germans.  It is hard to determine which unit should receive the credit for the capture of Rome as many different task forces were formed by
competing American units trying to be the first into Rome.  Elements of the 3rd and  88th Divisions all claim credit for entering Rome first (Kurzman, 1973).  The main  mission of the Force was to secure the seven bridges over the Tiber river.  Six were secured by the Force and the seventh by the 88th Division.  Frederick in a sworn  statement places the time of entry into Rome at "0620 hours on 4 June 1944", hours
ahead of other Allied units (Adleman & Walton, 1966). One year to the day that the Force landed on Kiska, it was involved in another landing.  This time they were to secure Ile Du Levant and Ile De Port-Cros, which are two islands off the coast of southern France, as part of Operation Dragoon
(Robichon, 1969).  Again the unit went ashore in rubber boats.  After securing the islands, they were transferred ashore and took part in what historians have since called the Champagne Campaign.  The Force continued fighting along the coast of southern France until orders came for the unit to be disbanded.

On December 5, 1944 the Force was disbanded -- a victim of the need for reinforcements and the lack of a definite mission (PAC 21.5 C1.009 [D243]).  Many of the Canadians were reassigned to the First Canadian Parachute Battalion and participated in Operation Varsity, the Rhineland Airdrop of March 24, 1945.  While some of the Americans were sent as replacements to the 82nd and 101st Airborne
Divisions, the remaining men formed the 474th Infantry Regiment.  It is ironic that in  light of their original mission the 474th would be assigned to occupation duty in  Norway after the war ended (Burhans, 1947).


To many people, the Kiska invasion is only a footnote in the history of the First Special Service Force.   The truth is the lessons  learned on Kiska saved lives at Monte la Difensa, Anzio, Mussolini Canal, Rome, and Southern France.  During the year that the Force was in combat in Italy and southern France, 295 Americans and 155 Canadians were killed in action (Burhans, 1947).  If the Japanese had not evacuated the island, I feel that this would have been the first and last mission for the First Special Service Force.  Expecting high casualties and no  future mission planned, I think the Force would have been disbanded and its troops used as replacements for other airborne forces.  They were a unit in search of a  mission and Kiska proved to the high command the effectiveness and training of this force.  Their actions on Kiska won them the right to exist and to continue as a military unit.

Lessons from the Kiska Invasion

          *    Kiska proved to be the ultimate training exercise.  Simulations, training
          exercises can only go so far.  It wasn't until the island was completely
          searched two days after the invasion that anyone could say with complete
          certainty that the Japanese had evacuated.  Therefore for the first forty eight
          hours, the unit operated as though it was in a combat zone.
          *    The Force learned to operate over rugged terrain and under poor weather
          conditions, which would serve them well in the winter campaigns on the
          Italian front.
          *    The Force learned the right and the wrong ways to conduct and amphibious
          landing.  These lessons were applied to their invasion of Ile de Port-Cros and
          Ile Du Levant in August 1944.
          *    The Force learned the importance of training and physical fitness for all ranks.
          All members of the Force were expected to keep themselves physically fit,
          officers and enlisted men alike.
          *    The Force was able to put into practice their infiltration and demolition skills
          during the invasion.
          *    The Force learned the necessity of good leadership, initiative on the part of its
          officers and men.  Leadership by example and a willingness to accept
          responsibility.  Poor officers were replaced and new training programs
          developed as a result of the lessons learned at Kiska.
          *    The Force learned the need for good intelligence.  There were further
          intelligence failures in the history of the Force, but the unit learned and
          developed their own intelligence gathering system and not to rely solely on the
          information given them by others.
          *    The Force learned the importance of fire discipline and working with other
          military units.  Until Kiska, the Force had trained independently of other
          military formations.  Kiska allowed the unit to work in a combined operations

The Force took their mission seriously, trained hard, and executed their portion of the mission flawlessly.  Even today the history of this unit can be seen in the Canadian and American military.  For Canada, it is the Canadian Airborne  Regiment and for the United States it is the Green Berets.  In closing, over the years I have talked to several of the original Force members who have expressed an interest in returning to Anzio, Rome or Southern  France to visit, but I have never met one who wanted to return to  Kiska.

War Diary of the 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion
(First Special Service Force)

August 1, 1942 - Ottawa Concentration, Ontario

Saturday --- Warning order to move received at 2200 hrs. --- zero hr. 0900 hrs., 3rd. The majority of officers and men are away on leave and not due back until 1300 hrs. Sunday.

August 2, 1942 - Ottawa Concentration, Ontario

Sunday --- Medical and dental inspections today -- also a last minute issue of clothing and necessaries. The Men spent most of the day signing an Canadian-American agreement of service. Col. Sherwood was in offering advice and helping to arrange the move. About 2200 hrs. The Canadian--American agreement changed. Everything laid on for 0430 hrs. in the morning.

August 3, 1942 - Ottawa Concentration, Ontario

Monday --- Reveille at 0430 hrs. Dentals to be finished -- the new agreement App "A" to be signed. All went smoothly and the unit entrained at 0830 hrs, moving off at 0900 hrs.

Major R. A. Keane, the Lake Superior Regiment (motor) was in charge of the party which consisted of 27 officers (including an M.O.) and 306 other ranks.

Officers on Train

 Capt. J. F. R. Akehurst, Algonquin Regt.
 Capt. J. V. J. Biscoe. O.T.C. Brockville
 Capt. J. G. Bourne, R.H.C. Paymaster
 Capt. T. C. MacWilliam, N.B. Rangers
 Lieut. J. Ariott, 31 C.A.B.T.C.
 Lieut. J. P. Cerat, C1-45 Sorel Que.
 Lieut. D. J. Fletcher, A 12-Farnham
 Lieut. T. C. Gordm, CABTC, Ottawa
 Lieut. W. H. Langdon, A-10 I.T.C. Borden
 Lieut. C. LeGault, 31 C.A.B.T.C.
 Lieut. H. M. McIntosh, C.A.T.C. Petawawa
 Lieut. J. L. McKenna, C.A.T.C.
 2/Lieut. F. B. Atto, O.T.C. Brockville
 2/Lieut. J. G. Boulard, H. A. A-2 CATC
 2/Lieut. W. R. Bennett, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. S. R. Dymond, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. L. G. D'Artois, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. M. H. Goodwin, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. M. Lebon, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. R. A. MacDonald, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. C. J. McNair, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. G. M. Neilson, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. H. H. Tucker, OTC Brockville
 2/Lieut. G. L. VanKoughnett, OTC, Brockville
 2/Lieut. S. C. Waters, OTC Brockville

Sleeping was a pastime most vigorously indulged in for the remainder of the day. Mr. Douglass, C.P.R. representative, was the passenger agent aboard the train. we have 15 coaches, one of which was dropped at North Bay where we had one hour for exercise.

August 4, 1942 - On Train Enroute

Tuesday --- Sleeping continued to be the order of the day. Stopped at Fort William for exercise at noon. The meals are very good and everyone seems to be enjoying the trip. There has been not trouble on any sort.

August 5, 1942 - On Train Enroute

Wednesday --- To-day across the prairies and exercise at Lethbridge. Had to make shift mess dinner tonight on board train in order to toast his Majesty the King for what may be the last time on British soil for some time. Major Keane explained the reasons and proposed the toast. God Save the King was sung. The toast in port, kindly donated by Mr. Douglass, drunk. It will certainly be the last dinner with the same personnel.

About midnight Coutts on the U.S.A. Canada border was reached and 10 officers and 151 other ranks from the west jointed our train. Major W. S. Oliver, Canadian Scottish was O.C. party.

 Other Officers

 Capt. E. D. E. Hoskin, R.C.E.
 Lieut. V. C. Jackson, Wpy Grenadiers
 Lieut. J. A. Jennings, P. of W.
 Lieut. G. W. McFadden, V. Rifles
 Lieut. W. J. Rinn, 100 T.C.
 Lieut. J. Shaw, 120 T.C.
 Lieut. J. F. Vincent, Reg de Hull
 Lieut. W.M.W. Wilson, 122 T.C.
 Lieut. A. P. McCrirck, O.O.C.H. of C.

August 6, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Combined parties at Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana, U.S.A. at 1200 hrs.

Quarters are small square huts with tent tops, two or three officers to a hut. 4 other ranks, two Canadian & 2 Americans where possible. Camp has only been under construction two weeks but progressing rapidly. After a much needed shower Canadian Officers met their O.C. Lt. Col. J. G. McQueen who had come by plane the night before and officially took command. Also met Col. Frederick, O. C. Joint Forces who outlined briefly the plans for training etc.

August 7, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Reveille at 0515 hrs., breakfast 0545 hrs., training begins at 0630 hrs., dinner 1200 hrs., supper 1730 hrs., usually lectures for an hours or so after supper. Pay procedure was discussed with American official Col. Conner, Finance officer from Settle. Canadian procedure to continue as far as Canadian personnel are concerned.

August 8, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Firs pay parade held after training in afternoon to give everyone a little American currency for the week end. A general truck to Helena. Populace reported very hospitable.

This is the first army camp every to have been stationed here. The fort was previously used for two weeks a year for reserve force.

August 9, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

No reveille a day of rest.

August 10, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Can. officer personnel taken for a flight over near by country. Landed at Butte and were taken for a drive about two by Chief of Police and Sheriff.

August 11, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

8 officers and 141 other Ranks arrived at 1530 hrs. from Calgary in charge of Capt. R. W. Becket and were met by Lt. Col. J. G. McQueen and Lt. Col. Shinberger. The other officers included.

 Major A. C. Tate
 Capt. J. M. Secter
 Lieut. M. A. Cotton
 Lieut. W. G. Curran
 Lieut. F. C. Peters
 Lieut. D. H. Taylor
 2/Lt. J. G. Simms

Lt. Col. McQueen address all Canadians at 1900 hrs. on the training ground pointing out that although living conditions were generally new, improvements were being sought and the present stage of training was very important, hence the necessity for being in the camp by 2130 hrs. at night. Complaints were few and a feeling of better things to come seemed to exist throughout at the finish.

August 12, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

15 other ranks were returned to #13 DD Calgary for disposal mostly for medical reasons and few who had decided not to jump.

August 13, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Lt. Col. McQueen made first jump of Canadians, got a broken ankle but enjoyed the experience of jumping. Too windy for amy more to jump in afternoon.

August 14, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

All Canadian officers of first draft jumped today. Thirty five jumped, two casualties. Exits from plane generally bad and but landing good.

August 15, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Officers had their second jump and other ranks started. Still quite a number asking to be returned to Canada, 36 to date.

August 16, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

51 other ranks arrived from Calgary. Lieut. J. Tomkinson in charge.

August 17, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

23 other ranks returned to #13 DD. Some others making a first jump felt they could not make another. 6 refused to jump.

August 18, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

1st Regt. completed their jumping today and will begin regimental training tomorrow.

August 19, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

44 other ranks arrived from Calgary and two officers, Major D. D. Williamson and Capt. T. P. Gilday. 43 other ranks returned to #13 DD and one officer Lieut. J. F. Vincent.

August 20, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Major Keane out of hosp. wearing caliper.

August 21, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

25 men returned to #13 D.D.  Too windy for jumping. Lt. Col. McQueen back on duty still att. to hosp. First publication of qualified parachutists.

August 22, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

About 300 men were jumped today, very few casualties.

August 23, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Pay seems to be coming to a head. A decision being required between pay at Can or American rates. Can rates only include para. pay of $60 and $30 American rates even less U. S. Income tax will be more favourable and will be suggested.

August 24, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Over 300 men were jumped this morning. Major Keane & Capt. Bourne left at 0630 by air to procure 6 officers and 150 other ranks. Major Keane to Debert. Capt. Bourne to Camp Borden.

August 25, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A bad day for jumpers, an unusually large number balked at the door. Casualties were also high compared to previous days. 37 admitted to hosp. Of 17 Canadians interviewed who wished to go back 15 had not been able to make the jump. They are now all given a second chance to try if they wish. Decided by phone today that Canadians will receive American rates of pay and pay U. S. income tax, mechanics to be worked out & paymaster advised of proceedure.

August 26, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Finishing up the jumping over 400 Canadians have qualified & will now commence regimental training and shooting on the ranges. 19 other ranks returned to #13 D.D. Most of them so scared they could not leave the plane.

August 27, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Major Williamson & Capt. Gilday made their first jump this morning, both successful. A cold wet afternoon. The first real rain since our arrival.

August 28, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

All companies in force were instructed chiefly in all three American weapons mainly (1) Machine Gun (2) The Garand M 1 rifle (3) The Browning Automatic Rifle. One regiment finished up their basic work on the rifle rank and other company finished leasire work on the pistol range. All Canadians were fitted for the new American uniform and all personnel of the force were shown several army instructional films. Lieut. A. T. Storrs arrived this afternoon as replacement off. to the force from Calg.

30 other ranks returned to Calgary.

August 29, 1942 - Ft. William Henru Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training as per schedule. Col. Frederick pinned wings on 1125 qualified parachutists.

August 30, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

123 ranks arrived from Canada. 50 from Camp Borden, 73 from Debert Military Camp also five officers Capt. J. G. Bourne was in charge of the party. They came via St. Paul Minn. instead of Lethbridge, Alta. as formerly.

 The officers included:

 Lieut. Kennedy, C. I.
 Lieut. Heaman
 Lieut. McWilliams, D. I.
 Lieut. Perry
 Lieut. Mitchell

assigned to their companies after dinner and settled in their quarters and were given the evening off.

August 31, 1942 - Ft. William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A cold wet morning. No jumping today. Training consisting of range practice, route marches, lectures, etc.

The Officers Club was opened today not completely furnished but soon will be.

Huts are being winterized. Three other rank huts are joined together & the officers huts are being done separately.

There have been 1 officer & 175 other ranks returned to Canada this month.

There have been 35 officers & 435 other ranks qualified as parachutists.

September 1, 1942

A few A.W.O.L.'s after pay night. Major Keane returned for Debert Camp via Ottawa with twenty-one O/R's at 1255 hrs.

September 2, 1942

Winterizing of quarters progressing rapidly. Three O/R's huts are put together, boarded to the top and covered with insulation material them tar papered. The roof boarded and tar papered. Officer's Huts are being treated similarly only are being done separately.

Six O/R's arrived from Debert to complete this additional Canada quota of 150 O/R's.

September 3, 1942

Patients beginning to go A.W.O.L. from hospital they are given lenient leave and some take advantage of it to visit near by towns, Butte in particular.

Those in down town hospitals seems to get leave from nine A.M. to nine P.M.

September 4, 1942

Lieut. Storrs, A. T. made his first jump this morning receiving knee injury. Three O/R's who had stated they couldn't jump to Capt. Ellis their instructor found themselves unexpectedly in the air over the training field. They all jumped successfully.

Canadians jumped all afternoon, two balked at the door and one was injured, a good days jumping. They threw one loaded equipment chute out before each group of jumpers.

A pay parade was held for all the recent Canadians arrivals after supper.

September 5, 1942

Telegram from Adj. Gen. selects Lt. Col. McQueen for special duty in Washington and appoints Major Williamson Commanding Officer and Lt. Col. effective date of Transfer. Transfer of command took place in the afternoon.

September 6, 1942

Lt. Col. McQueen left at 9:30 driving to Great Falls to catch plane for Medicine Hat and on to Ottawa.

September 7, 1942

Lieut. Cerat returned to District Depot 13 this afternoon with two O/R's. A third O/R was detained pending a court of inquiry into his injury and a fourth was A.W.O.L., Pte. McLaren.

September 8, 1942

Pte. McLaren surrendered to Capt. Biscoe this morning and was put under close arrest to avoid any further nonsense. He has a long record of absence with leave, unfortunately unable to obtain a witness to substantiate his absence. Training continues according to schedule under real summer weather conditions again.

September 9, 1942

Ptes, McLaren and Gayford returned to District Dept 13 this afternoon a sigh of relief from the administration officers. A sixty mile an hour gale after supper, much dust until rain subdued it and quite cold. Four tents blown dow, lasted an hour or so.

September 10, 1942

Parade in town in interests of War Bond Sales.

Service Force asked to participate, declining on grounds there was a job to be don and time could not be spared from training. A few staff cars and Jeeps were allowed to go in the parade and station wagons and trucks took some of the men in Hospitals.

September 11, 1942

Col. Frederick returned from Washington and announced a number of American Officer promotions after supper. A few compass marches were out during the night.

September 12, 1942

Quiet day. First officers dance was held at the Golf and Country Club in the evening, was highly successful, over 150 officers and their partners attending.

September 13, 1942

A day of rest, some officers doing some shooting with the Carbine in the afternoon.

September 14, 1942

Authorization received to send hospital patients unable to remain with the Battalion home via Calgary, a very busy day getting the necessary clearance etc. completed, gathering equipment and paying to date.

September 15, 1942

Major Oliver, Lieut. McKenna and Lieut. Taylor left by Army plane from Helena airport for Calgary at 10:30 hrs. along with twenty-one other ranks nearly all fractures and most seemed really sorry to leave, it is hoped that as many are already qualified Parachutists, they may be given a change to join another Parachute Bn. Arrangements were immediately made for a second group to be returned tomorrow. The regular Canadian Mid-Month pay parade was held after supper as yet no word received on the new proposed pay procedure. Dissatisfaction general over non-receipt of parachute pay.

September 16, 1942

Major Keane, Lieut. Kennedy and Lieut Storrs along with nineteen other ranks left by Army plane for Calgary at 1430 hrs. Originally scheduled to leave at 0930 hrs. but plane grounded, very bad weather all the way. Cleared by noon but continued cold.

September 17, 1942

A really dirty day, snow on the hills and a blizzard during the morning. Over 3" of dry snow reported on Mt. Helena, sloppy and muddy in camp. H. Q. Coy. did shooting on the range and along with Service Bn., were all measured for winter uniforms after supper, also issued with respirators (Gas masks in American Army)

September 18, 1942

Weather clearing and warming. Training according to schedule.

September 19, 1942

Training this week included cross country marching building towards 140 steps per minute/. The carry over group, new arrivals who have completed their parachute training, were required to complete the firing of all weapons and received instructions on other subjects in the evening. The 3rd Regiment went on a weekend hike west of camp and had all their equipment and food dropped to them in equipment containers. It was dropped in a fairly high wind from 150 to 200 ft and reports are that it landed very close to the men.

September 20, 1942

A real summer day. The weekend hike began returning to camp by platoons from noon to about 1500 hrs.

September 21, 1942

Training this wee will for the most part be reviewing the last 7 weeks, preparatory for examinations to be held next week. There will be in addition night schemes and a march and climb to the top of Mt. Helena.

September 22, 1942

A beautiful day, bright and warm. Another group of 20 O/R's to be cleared to return to Canada tomorrow by plane, practically all hospital patients.

September 23, 1942

One more O/R added to the list to return to Calgary, but plane grounded on report from Calgary of ceiling zero, snow and sleet, same report at noon so trip called off today. Several platoons made their trip to the top of Mt. Helena. A number of night problems on scouting and patrolling and compass marching were completed.

September 24, 1942

Weather still bad between here and Calgary. Trip again called off with one more O/R being added to the list now totalling 22. The paymaster phone Lt. Col. Spink of the Paymaster's General Officer concerning the paying of parachute pay this end month. Conditions unchanged by promises of instructions to be phoned received. Instructions in the use of Foreign weapons being give. The whole force was paraded to the ranges at 2030 hrs. to see the firing of 3 rounds of tracer bullets from a German Anti-Tank Gun.

September 25, 1942

Cold but clearing. Plane finally got away with 22 O/R's at 1400 hours. Lieut Ariott went up with them and returned. Nearly 3 hours going up bucking a head wind, got back in a little over 1 1/2 hours.

September 26, 1942

Warm and bright again. Another group got off for a weekend hike into the hills. The officers had another dance at the Helena Golf and Country Club, was even more successful than the last one. A larger orchestra and a better supper, went on later and was free what more could they ask.

September 27, 1942

A perfect day. Quite a few went hunting. Members of the post being granted the hunting and fishing privileges of residents of the State of Montana.

September 28, 1942

This week the training schedule calls for tests in all subjects and will involved many night schemes Wired Paymaster-General for reply re: last Thursday's telephone call.

September 29, 1942

Lt. Col. Spink called Capt. Biscoe this morning and advised him that no additional pay had yet been authorized for this Battalion and that American rates had not been authorized. Lt. Col. Williamson phoned Lt. Col. McQueen but nothing definite to report so it was arranged to call all Canadians together before pay parade tomorrow and explained the situation to them. They are expecting parachute pay and it is going to be pretty tough trying to explain that nothing has been authorized after eight weeks down here.

September 30, 1942

All Canadian were paraded to the theatre at 1645 hours and Lt. Col. Williamson explained the who pay situation to them, all that had been done and reminded them of the form they signed before coming here that they would accept Canadian rates of pay and that he could make no promises as to what if any additional pay would be authorized or wyhem.

This is probably one of the finest groups of men ever assembled, their morale has been extremely high despite the arduous training they came into the theatre singing and laughing but left a very sullen and sober bunch. There were very few complaining but their morale has been very obviously shaken.

To men cannot work together under similar circumstances until pay day when one received two, three or more times the pay of the others without a definite felling of resentment.

It is earnestly hoped that this situation will be rectified and in the connection it is strongly recommended that Parachute Pay at the rate of $100.00 per month for officers and $50.00 per month for other ranks be authorized at the earliest possible date to be retroactive to the date personnel were taken on strength of the 2nd Cdn. Parachute Bn., ----The Lord help us if the situation is cleared up before the mid month pay.

October 1, 1942

A few men over the hill this morning after pay night and with the appearance of Henry King and his orchestra in town for one night engagement it would seem to prove the men are still willing to buckle down despite their disappointment at not receiving their parachute pay. They are not complaining but assuming a watching waiting altitude.

October 2, 1942

Most of the week's tests were completed to-day. The majority of officers were taken to Marysville, about 25 miles from here, where the demolished an old unused steel bridge. They had a ton of dynamite at their disposal and reports are that they really blew it to bits.

October 3, 1942

Each regiment was parade to the theatre starting at 1300 hours for one hour each while the chief instructor explained their weaknesses in his sphere of instruction during their week of tests. Lt. Col. Williamson's regiment No 2 won with 7 points against 2 for the 1st Reg't and 2 for the 3rd Regt.

October 4, 1942

A beautiful bright warm day, most of the camp spent it outside hunting, shooting, hiking etc.

October 5, 1942

This week will be mostly on demolitions for a group of picked officers who will later act as instructors. There will be radio instruction given to nine men per Company.

Parachute jump training, for about 36 who had not yet jumped will be given.

There will be instruction of flame thrower, the prevention of forest fires and throwing of hand grenades.

The Clerical staff started a conditioning program with a short march back of the camp for about an hours duration, 0700 hrs to 0800 hrs, the rest of the week will be devoted to unarmed combat.

Some night practice placing and exploding charges while controlled charges were set of near by to give the effect of active conditions.

Everyone must go over the obstacle course each day.

October 6, 1942

The officers, picked for advance study in demolitions, left at 0700 hours to blow a bridge near Butte returning for dinner and left again at 1300 hours by truck for Libby, about 300 miles north west of here, where they will blow an old bridge about 3,150 spans. They expect to arrive at Libby at 0400 hours tomorrow, having breakfast, blow the bridge and return by evening. The first regiment left at 0700 hours on a force march 36 miles - to Marysville and return- full equipment plus two improved ski poles.

October 7, 1942

The second regiment left at 0700 hours for forced march to and from Marysville. The officers demolition class returned late, had good experience as they were able to try a different method of placing charges on each of the three spans of the bridge. Some damage was caused to near by houses and a number of windows were broken in Libby.

October 8, 1942

The officer's demolition class left for Marysville at 1300 hours to blow an old silver mill; they will have to march in a few miles over hills carrying their fuses and explosives to their objective. The mill though unused for 20-30 years is quite complete and provide excellent practical experience. It is to be blown in five stage starting at the top where the rock enters, then to the crusher etc. A critique will be held afterwards.

The third regiment left at 0700 hours for their forced march to and from Marysville.

October 9, 1942

The best group of officers demolition class left to blow an old smoke stack this morning. The mill caught fire after the demolition and required guards all night to see that it did not spread.

October 10, 1942

Captain Bourne was married this afternoon, a reception being held afterwards at the Placer Hotel. The Montan Club held a dinner and dance in the evening to which all officers were invited, a very successful evening.

October 11, 1942

Cooler, with occasional thunder storms. The second regiment left by truck at 1600 hrs for Adel Montana, to return by a cross country foot march about 45 miles over very rugged country, to be done in five days.

October 12, 1942

Cold and wet. Training this week consist, apart from the forced two day march from Adel by each regiment, of parachute jump training ( this has been delayed owing to the plane being out of commission for some days).

Advance demolitions including the use of primacord and the practising of placing charges in a mock-up power plant.

Section combat problems.

Lectures by Lieut. Hall, 3rd Commandos, British Army on the Va      , Norway raid, also newsreel of the raid.

The second regiment returned to camp in trucks, they had experienced very bad weather, cold and wet and at the top of one range, elevation about 8200 feet., they encountered snow and were in a low hanging cloud, making visibility and progress very hard. They arrived at Nelson, their destination, but as blankets were wet as well as clothing it was decided to return by truck and not stay over another night. A very tired bunch of men arrived back in camp about 0100 hours.

October 13, 1942

Cold and wet.

An unlucky day. An American soldier was shot through the head on the range this morning during section combat problems and died this afternoon.

Lieut. Hall gave his Commando lecture to the Service Btn after which they were issued sweaters and Snoods to the Read Cross nurses.

The third Regiment left by truck for Adel this afternoon.

October 14, 1942

The Third Regiment returned by truck from Nelson this evening. It had been decided that the original two day march was too rugged and after the Second Regiment's experience on Monday the one day march over the range was sufficient.

October 15, 1942

The First Regiment left this afternoon by truck to Adel for their march to Nelson tomorrow.

Another pay day and still no word of additional pay. The men took their pay without saying a word, but it is quite evident that they are really made and a few paraded to their Company Commanders wishing to be returned to Canada. They are quite satisfied with other conditions but it again reverts to the fact they cannot work in exactly the same things and receive different rates of pay, its contrary to human nature and this situation cannot go on much longer.

October 16, 1942

Twenty-four other ranks were returned to No 13 District Depot Calgary by plane to-day. The First Regiment returned from Nelson about 1830 hrs.

October 17, 1942

Officers completed the firing of all weapons they had not previously used. A pay parade was held at 1030 hours for the First Regiment who were on their march on the 15th.

October 18, 1942

A perfect day, hardly a cloud to be seen. A number of officers out hunting deer and elk. Lt. Col. Scott and Capt. Martin from the Battle Drill School in British Columbia arrived by plane to compare ideas and look over the set up.

October 19, 1942

Training this week will comprise Radio instruction for nine other ranks from each company.

Parachute jump training for any not yet qualified.

Training generally will include;- Demolitions, map reading, physical training, extended order drill, combat signals, technique of fire for M-1, B.A.R. and L.M.G., Scouting and patrolling, field target firing, combat firing with section and platoon problems. A sky like problem requiring each regiment to march to the Sky Line, the name given to a ridge about 10 miles from Camp. They will be out for twenty-four hours starting from approximately 1700 hours. They will do manouvers about the sky line. Each section will be equipped with 6 M-1's, 2 Tommy Guns and 1 Carbine. Thyey will carry emergency rations of biscuits and chocolate. A noon meal only being provided.

October 20, 1942

Seventeen more other ranks were sent to No 13 District Depot by plane for disposal. For were V.D.S. cases, some were injured, some as unsuitable and one under age. It is hoped this will be the last large group to be returned but there will be individuals returning for various reason. At present three that were to be returned yesterday are A.W.L. One of these takes  a size 15 shoe and cannot be fitted so return was recommended by medical authorities.

The Third Regiment returned from their Sky Line problem in the afternoon.

October 21, 1942

All the higher hills covered with snow this morning. Personnel returning from route marches over the hills report deep and ry snow. Looks more promising for skiis though unlikely, according to local residents to last.

Several Norwegian officers and N.C.O.'s have arrived this week as ski instructors.

Colonel Frederick addressed all officers at 1830 hours in the theatre regarding discipline and difficulties occurring in differences of Canadian and American procedure in drill, discipline etc. He praised the Canadians fro the way they had fallen in with American way, especially since they were obliged to adopt more American customs than Americans had to adopt Canadian customs. Discipline was not up to the standard and the onus of correction was placed on platoon commanders.

The second half of the lecture was pointing out the essential qualities required in good officers along with helpful suggestions.

An amusing incident occurred when a cat appeared on the stage and Lt. Col. Shinberger's two dogs did an excellent tactical manoeuvre by attacking simultaneously from opposite sides of the stage. The cat was rescued, the dogs expelled and the address continued.

October 23, 1942

Cold and clear, the ground frozen for the first time.

Some parachute jumping in the morning, three for qualifications, some equipment was dropped and finally 13 of the riggers who wanted to jump voluntarily tried a mass exodus, all 13 got out in 8 seconds.

The Second Regiment left on their Sky Line problem at 1800 hours with all the clothes they could get on and still walk, prospects of a really cold night.

October 24, 1942

A little milder but a high, raw wind. The Second Regiment arrived home early this morning, approximately 0500 hours, preferred to do their manouvers during the night rather than try sleeping.

At 1430 hours a demonstration in Battle Drill was put on for all officers by a platoon especially trained by Capt. Martin. Captain Martin having returned to Vernon B.C., the demonstration was directed and explained by Lieut Cotten. It showed methods of attack and infiltration by platoon and section and reorganization on the completion of assignment. It finished with the attack on and capture of a pill box by means of torpedo, smoke, gun cotton and grenades and reorganization beyond the pill box.

October 25, 1942

Cool and bright. Nothing to report.

October 25, 1942

A four week training schedule is laid down to accomplish the following;

 Bayonet; - Develop bayonet fighting as a nature sequence in hand-to-hand combat.
 Skiing;- Pending fall of adequate snow, instruction will be devoted to care and use of skis and preliminary skiing exercises in conjunction with physical training.
 Scouting and Patrolling;- To be thoroughly covered as the principles are equally applicable to the conduct of small units on the battlefield.
 Combat Firing;- Taught with the view of giving sections and platoons sound grounding in offensive tactics, deep infiltrations by small parties, rear guard action, street and mountain fighting.
 Combat Principles;- Will involve problems prepared by Force Headquarters.
 Note;- All problems involving scouting and patrolling, combat firing and combat principles will commence with an assumed parachute landing, wherein the first situation will find the unit a landing patter confronted with a tactical situation requiring prompt action from the individuals and from the leader. Development of all leaders must be stressed.
 Communications Instruction;- For 160 selected O/Rs will take precedence over all other training from 0730 to 1030 hours daily except Sunday. After 1030 hours they will return to their respective organization to complete the day's training.
 Light Machine Gun;- Light Machine gun instruction will be conducted by regiments concurrently with rifle marksmanship, and will be designed to produce two skilled light machine gunners in each section. The instruction in light machine gunnery will be centralized by regiments, and the instruction will be conducted by an especially selected officer, qualified for this work.
 Thompson Sub Machine Gun;- Each section leader will be trained in the use of the T.S.M.G. concurrently with Rifle Marksmanship. this training will be centralized by regiments under an especially selected officer.
 Motor Instruction;- Motor instruction will be conducted concurrently with instruction in scouting and patrolling and combat firing, as an entire organization can not be profitably employed on the limited range facilities for combat firing. When ranges are assigned to a regiment for combat firing and scouting and patrolling, facilities for motor instruction will be simultaneously assigned. And in addition, additional time will be allocated to regiments.

October 27, 1942

The First Regiment left at 0440 hours for the vicinity of Nelson. One Battalion will be given the task of defending York Bridge at all costs until sundown, the other Battalion will try to dislodge them and capture the bridge. Exercise will cease at 1300 hours, lunch will be served and the regiment return by truck to Ft. Harrison at approximately 1500 hours. A critique will be held of the problem in the theatre at 1830 hours.

October 28, 1942

Cold and dull. Hope for news concerning the pay again wanning. If only we could be told something as to why the holdup. The complete silence is getting everyone down.

October 29, 1942

A few jumped this morning. Captain Beckett made his second jump, although still limping from his break on first jump, used two chutes as a precautionary measure and made a successful landing. Jumped 10 weeks and 2 days after he broke his leg. As there is no news regarding pay, acquittance rolls had to be made up and again the question of what to tell the men when you do not know the answer.

October 30, 1942

Captain Biscoe received a telegram from the Paymaster General approving parachute pay at the same rate as flying pay. It was a very great disappointment especially from the men's point of view as they get less than half their American friends, parachute pay. We now have Canadian Staff Sergeants drawing less money than the American privates under them. These men were sent down here to work and life under exceptional circumstances and there seems to be a lack of understanding in this regard some place.

Lt. Col. Williamson decided to have all Canadian personnel assembled and tell them what they were to receive, and in order to try to ease their expected disappointment all acquittance rolls were destroyed and new ones prepared giving each man an additional $25.00 as tangible proof that something had at last been done.

October 31, 1942

Canadian personnel were assembled in the theatre at 1130 hours Lt. Col. Williamson explained the parachute pay, as approved, to them. he also advised them to accept it in good grace even though disappointed and show that they could take the bitter with the sweet. Further that any reaction requiring disciplinary action would be dealt with severely. Pay parades for both Canadian and American personnel were held after dinner. There was considerable griping by the Canadians but no breaches of discipline.

The Montana Club held an Hallowe'en dance to which all officers were invited.

November 1, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Fairly cold, sunshine and snow flurries. A large number are out hunting;
chiefly deer and elk, some are after pheasant.

November 2, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A record number of A.W.L's and several charges of drunkenness. This seems
more a result of having a little extra money at their disposal than
disappointment at the amount of parachute pay authorized. On the whole the men
accepted the extra .75 cents a day very well but are keenly disappointed that
it was not equal to the American parachute pay.

Training this week will cover bayonet drill, firing of L.M.G., Thompson S.M.G.,
pistol, rifle and motor school. Ski training (8 hours by the end of the week for
everyone), the daily run of the obstacle course.

November 3, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A cold raw day. The third regiment executed their defence & attack of the
York Bridge described in last months Diary. They were a cold bunch of boys
when they got in. The officers and some of the men started receiving their
second typhoid innoculation.

November 4, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Looks more like winter this a.m. about an inch of snow fell on the camp during
the night, is clear and cold although not enough for skiing, looks more

Ski instruction becoming really tough. The men are in such excellent condition
their Company Officers say they cannot give them too much work, they come
through ready for more no matter how strenuous a day they put in.  Their ski
instruction is still without skiis but they use ski poles and go through the
various moves running up and down the hills. They also have a number of
periods daily of physical training in the connection.

November 5, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

As usually large numbers of officers are felling the effects of inoculations.
If the men react in the same proportions there will be a lot indisposed. A raw
wind making those on the ranges most uncomfortable. The First regiment left
at 1900 hours to execute the York Bridge problem by night.

November 6, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and cool, the snow gradually going.

November 7, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A real fall day, cool and bright. A Charity Ball was held at the
Civic Centre in the evening and was well attended by Officers and

November 8, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Dull and cool. Hunting again taking the front as the Sunday

November 9, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training this wee is a continuation of last week's schedule. The
men are doing the M-1 course on the range and the officers will do
the M-1 and Thompson S.M.G. courses.

All personnel of the First Special Service Force will be required
to undergo 12 hrs ski instruction, Motor instruction will be given
to the 1st Regiment 5 hours, 2nd Regiment 6 hours 3rd Regiment 10

November 10, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 2nd regiment left at approximately 0500 hours to execute the
York Bridge problem by day. Were fortunate in having a warm bright
day and all seemed to enjoy it.

At 1830 hours the Regimental. Battalion and company Commanders were
assembled in the theatre to hear Major Wickham, the Adjutant,
outline a plan for furloughs for the Force. Starting at 1200 hours
Saturday the 28th Nov and each successive Saturday thereafter a
specific number of officers and men will eave on furlough until
0600 hours the second Monday after their departure. Needless to say
this news was very well received and later passed on to the men
causing a general feeling of jubilation as no one was expecting any

November 11, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Armistice Day a general holiday in Helena but at the Fort just
another day for both civilian and military personnel.

The promotions of 2nd Lieuts. Atto, F. B.; Bennett, W. R.; Boulard,
J. G.; D'Artois, L.G.; Dymond, S. L.; Goodwin, M. H.; Lebon, M.;
MacDonald, R.; McNair, C. J.; Neilson, G. M.; Simms, J. G.; Tucker,
H.H.; VanKoughnett, G.L.; and Waters, S. C. to Lieutenants came
through and were announced by Lt. Col. D. D. Williamson in the mess
hall after supper. Col. Frederick pinned silver bars on each as
"pips" were not available.

November 12. 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A real fall day, not a cloud in the sky, quite warm with a cool
wind. Ski instructions continues with ski poles on bare ground and no sign of snow.

November 13, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Canadian personnel received their regular mid-month pay at the
increase rate plus the balance of their back parachute pay to 31st
October, after supper which permitted them to pay off the debts
they incurred during their period of waiting for the authorization
of parachute pay.

November 14, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A general inspection of the whole force after dinner by Colonel

November 15, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Canadian Officers and a representative group of O.R.'s attended an
International Exchange Church Service at the Helena H. S.
Auditorium which is held each year by the Helena Clergy at which
the guest speaker was a clergyman from Lethbridge, Alberta.

Canadian and U.S. and church color parties paraded their respective
flags on the stage during the National Anthems of the two countries
were sung, followed by "Onward Christian Soldiers".

Altogether is was a very impressive ceremony and the Secretary to
the State Governor made a short speech on the Governor's behalf.

November 16, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

This week completes the four weeks training program which commenced
the 26th Oct.

The Second regiment is scheduled to do the York Bridge problem by
night, Tues-Wed. the 3rd regiment by night Fri-Sat.

Every member of the Force will do 16 hours ski training.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments will do 8-9-10 hours respectively
motor training.

November 17, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 2nd Regiment's York bridge problem was postponed.

A lecture at 1830 hours on "My experiences in the Finnish Russo
War" was given by Captain Alson U. S. Army to all officers, it will
continue Thursday evening.

Lieut. W. R. Bennett was married at 2000 hours. A reception being
held afterwards at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hibbert, president
Union Bank and Trust Co. A number of officers, Canadian and
American attended.

November 18, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A real snow storm developed by noon, well covering the ground and
kept up intermittently during the afternoon and evening. About 3-4
inches of wet snow. A lot of wet clothes by supper time, especially
those doing the battle course and spending considerable time flat
on the ground.

November 19, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A perfect winter day, cold and bright and a covering of dry snow on
the ground. Still not enough for skiing so training with poles only

November 20, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Lt. Col. Williamson left on his leave of absence this afternoon by
train for Brantford.

The 2nd Regiment left about 1830 hours for a night York bridge
problem, expecting to return about 0500 hours in the morning, a
bright moon and cold night.

November 21, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild and bright. An inspection of the Combat Echolon was made
by Colonel Frederick starting at 1300 hours.

November 22, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Warm and dull. Only those on duty remaining in camp.

November 23, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training continues with a view of developing all units from the
section to the regiment into a highly mobile organization prepared
to accomplish successfully the following types of combat MISSIONS;
          (a) Operate against vital military and industrial targets.
          (b) Operate as an overland raining force infiltrating,
     penetrating or encircling deep into enemy territory to destroy
     important targets.
          (c) Operate as a spearhead in forcing strongly fortified
     localities with the expectation of early support from friendly
          (d) Operate in cold or mountainous regions to accomplish any
     or all of the possible missions. In this connection prescribed
     training subjects will observe the following directions;
                    (1) Inspections and Administration.
                    (2) Close and Extended Order Drill.
                    (3) Mountain climbing and living in cold climates.
                    (4) Hand to hand combat.
                    (5) Skiing.
                    (6) Bayonet.
                    (7) First Aid.
                    (8) Motors, technical and tactical.
                    (9) Mortars and Flame Throwers.
                    (10) Chemical Defense.
                    (11) Combat firing.
                    (12) Anti-Aircraft firing.
                    (13) Anti-mechanized defense.
                    (14) Combat principles to include; (a) Security (b) River
          crossing (c) Meeting engagements (d) Withdrawal (e)
          Attacking prepared positions (f) night operations (g)
          Street fighting (h) Raids (i) Defense (j) Demolitions (k)
          Rules of land warfare (l) Field exercises (m) Radio
          school, visual signalling, intelligence school and air
          ground liaison.

          Personnel of each company receives instruction in driving and
     maintenance of the new secret carrier T 15.

          Mountain climbing is to be conducted daily in the York Bridge

November 24, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training continues according to schedule.

November 25, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cool, windy and bright.

A few of the officers of the Force attended an Elk dinner at the
Elks Club, was given as a farewell tribute to their head steward
who was regarded very highly and leaving to go into Government
House Planning.

November 26, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Thanksgiving Day. Clear and cool. Training as usual but cut short
for a general thanksgiving dinner at 1630 hours in all mess halls.
A very excellent dinner was served, complete from soup to nuts.
They estimated a pound of dressed turkey per person so no one went
the least hungry. A number were invited to private dinners

November 27, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The first group to go on the leave schedule left to-day.
Arrangements were made to have Special Leave and Furlough
Transportation Warrants issued in Lethbridge, to those entitled to
them, so over half the Canadian personnel left is P.M. They were
allowed to leave instead of tomorrow as trains for Lethbridge only
run Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

November 28, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

More snow, which may be here to stay this time.

At 1400 hours all company commanders and one other officer from
each company and a few others left by truck for MacDonald Pass to
try living under winter conditions and try a new mountain ration.
The party was under Capt. Olson, U.S. Arrived at the pass about
1500 hours and walked into a wooded spot about 1/4 mile from the
road, the weight of the equipment caused everyone to go through the
old snow crust under the recent snow being well over their knees.
On arrival at the selected spot the party broke up into groups of
four and built shelters and fires of many different types. The
mountain ration, which comes in four varieties, is packed in boxes,
each box containing the rations of 4 man for 3 meals, this proved
to be more than the average man could eat. They included powdered
soup and milk, canned meat and butter, cereal, chocolate, biscuits,
compressed fruits, sugar, tea and coffee and powdered lemon. A
comfortable night was spent as it was not cold and they were
sheltered from the wind.

November 29, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Snowed hard all day, looks as though this time it is the real
"McCoy". A high wind came up by evening drifting badly and getting
colder. The officers returned from MacDonald Pass about 1400 hours,
all having benefitted from their experience and will know more
about instructing their men now.

November 30, 1942, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A high wind, a little colder, much drifting. Training to be
continuation of last week's schedule.

December 1, 1942

Skiing instruction scheduled for this week is postponed as the equipment did not arrive.
Instruction in the 60 m.m. Mortar was started to partly fill in the time allotted for ski
instruction. Officers from the Inspector General's Dept in Washington arrived to make
a four day inspection of the Force.

At 1830 hours 2/Lt Washburn, A.S.C. lectured to all officers on "Living in Frigid
Weather". He covered points of securing, preparing and cooking food and drink.
Methods for erecting shelter and where to place them and the prevention of frostbite.
2/Lt. Washburn is in the Army Specialists Corps and has been prominent in suggesting
and securing winter equipment for this Force. He was, for a number of years, with the
National Geographic Society exploring all through the northern parts of Canada and
Alaska. He was well qualified to speak on his subject and was most interesting giving
many healthful hints well to be remembered.

December 2, 1942

Cold and bright. 2/Lt. Washburn again lectured to the officers after supper on travel in
winter conditions.

December 3, 1942

Cold and more snow. Colonel Frederick entertained the officers of the Inspector
General's Dept and Senior Force Officers at dinner at the Montana Club. Lt. Col.
Adams, Force Executive Officer and 1 i/c lectured the officers on Combat Principles
(1) The Section (2) The Platoon.

December 4, 1942

The inspecting officers left by plane this afternoon. They remarked favourably on how
Canadian Officers had adapted themselves to existing conditions. At 1830 hours the
Rev. W. A. Eckel who has spent 10 years in Japan talked to the officers on the
Japanese, their ideas, hopes of world domination, their plans and preparations for war
and methods of fighting. He concluded by stating that their foremost General Yamitsa
was in command of their northern division and might be contemplating attacking the
United States through Alaska, Alberta and into Montana. He talk included much flag
waving but was very entertaining.

December 5, 1942

Another group of Officers and men left on their weeks leave yesterday and to-day, only
32 Canadians all O/Rs.

A successful dinner and dance was held at the Montana Club and as usual well
attended by Force and Post Officers.

December 6, 1942

Very few in camp, a number went skiing and some ice skating. Remains cold, has been
down to 10 below zero during the week. Local people promise from 40 to 50 below
with the turn of the year. 2/Lt Washburn's lecturer may have practical value even before
we leave.

December 7, 1942

The 1st Regt was scheduled to go for a weeks skiing instruction to Bloesburg yesterday
but still no equipment.

Training for the week continues the same with tests in mountain climbing of a practical
nature for the 3rd Regt.

December 8, 1942

Milder but raw, threatening snow or rain. The 1st Regiment began drawing ski
equipment in the P.M. and were kept busy fitting ski harness to their boots, the
remainder will be quipped in the morning and they hop to leave in the P.M. Lt. Col.
Mahoney, O.C. 3rd Regt., discussed defense problems with the officers, first generally,
then as applied to the First Special Service Force and thirdly gave a problem and asked
various officers to comment on security, gun emplacements, obstacles etc.

December 9, 1942

Quite mild and dull, a chinook wind has come in from the west and mild weather is
expected for a few days at least.

The 1st Bn, 1st Regt left for a weeks skiing instruction at Blossburg the A.M., the 2nd
Bn left in the afternoon.

December 10, 1942

97 O/Rs arrived from the 1st Cdn Parachute Bn, Ft. Benning, Capt. Becket in charge,
at about 1400 hours. A good looking group of boys and really looked smart marching
through camp. All but one are qualified parachutists, some qualified in both England
and U.S.A. Unfortunately no documents arrived for any of them and it looks like we
are back where we started trying to find out where they are and why not sent. There
seems so little excuse for this sort of thing and it is very demoralizing to the men.

December 11, 1942

Mild and sloppy. Another group started off on their weeks special leave. Most of them
going to Canada and seemed quite delighted at being able to get back if only for a few
days. We still have 5 AWL from last week-end. They would seem a little loath to come

December 12, 1942

Very mild and muddy underfoot. The remainder of those going on leave got away this
afternoon. All Officers were invited to a dinner and dance at the Elks Club in the
evening. The Placer Hotel opened a Club for Officers and expect to move into a larger
room by next week.

December 13, 1942

Still mild. The usual day of rest with very few in camp.

December 14, 1942

Training for the two regiments in camp will continue as in the last few weeks. A new
and rather elaborate combat range is being constructed at the back of the fort, it will
have many moving targets and is about 3 miles long. It is expected that problems will
only cover part of the course. On section provides training in street fighting, one in Anti
Aircraft defence. A large number left for town to do their last minute Christmas
shopping and take advantage of the one night that stores are open evening.

December 15, 1942

Very mild and bad walking. Col. Frederick returned this morning from Washington and
at the noon meal announced promotions of Lt. Col. Adams 2 i/c to Colonel, Major
Wickham, Adjutant to Lt. Colonel, Captain Gray to 2 i/c 2nd Regt to Major and four
2/Lts to Lieut.

December 16, 1942

The 1st Regt started returned from Blossburg, the 1st Bn arriving in camp in the
morning, the 2nd Btn, in the afternoon. the 1st Bn. 3rd Regt left for Blossburg after
dinner and the 2nd Bn later in the afternoon. The men returning seemed to have enjoyed
the week to the majority it was a new experience and a number show promise of
becoming very good skiers.

December 17, 1942

A real spring like day, warm and bright. The new American arrivals made their first
parachute jumps in the morning and afternoon, the wind was about at the maximum for
jumping, 10 miles per hour, but despite very great oscillation the men landed
successfully and out of 240 jumps their was one fracture a few sprains and one
dislocated shoulder.

Lt. Col. Marshall lectured to all officers on Security (tactical) at 1830 hours, after
which a film was shown of the Force vehicle, compared to others demonstrating how
much more capable it was of traversing snow covered and rocky terrain all officers left
with much more confidence in it than before seeing the film.

December 18, 1942

Again no wind but a zero ceiling prevented continuation of jumping. Cleared by noon
and jumping started early afternoon. All personnel making their second jump. They
continued until dar, completed 216 jumps, again few injuries.

December 19, 1942

Colder, dull and windy.

Weekly inspections of the combat regiments also an officers hut inspection by Colonel
Adams at 1400 hrs followed by the usual general exodus of all personnel who could go
from camp.

December 20, 1942

Cold and bright. Ski training continues for the 3rd Regt. They are broken up into three
groups of beginners who practice stem turns on practice slopes and take short route
marches, the 4th group, the advance group, consists of about 120 men, they practice
"Christie" turns and take longer marches. They were out all day to-day doing their
turns, first at slow speed and later at high speed. After lunch they went on a 13 mile
march, very few casualties and Capt. Kirl, the Norwegian Officer in charge, was very
pleased at the rapidity of the their progress. None of them require any lullabys to put
them to sleep. They are very comfortably quartered in the linemen's bunkcars.

December 21, 1942

Quite cold and windy. Training continues according to routine laid down for previous
weeks. It includes driving and maintenance of the Force vehicle. The 1st and 6th Coy
of the 2nd Regt left this P.M. to bivouac back of camp over night. The 1st and 2nd
Regts received their end of the moth pay after supper.

December 22, 1942

A cool stormy day, much wind mixed with rain and snow.

The bodies of two American officers were found this morning back of camp. They went
out on a recce yesterday afternoon, their plane evidently was caught in a down draft
and crashed into an old mine shaft.

December 23, 1942

3rd Regiment returned from ski training at Blossburg and although the weather at Ft.
Harrison continued to be mild, a blizzard at Blossburg had apparently furnished
sufficient snow to make their week worth while.

December 24, 1942

A light snow this morning raised our hope that we would have a "White Christmas" but
it was not lasting and became very mild during the day. All troops were given late
passes for Christmas Eve.

December 25, 1942

Christmas gifts were distributed through the Chaplain's Services to all other ranks of
the Force and a special Christmas dinner was given to the troops at noon.

The day was considered a large success but was unfortunately marred at noon by the
news that one of our American soldiers had been found dead on the tracks of the Great
Northern Rly during the early morning.

December 26, 1942

14 Canadians, formerly of the 1st Canadian Parachute Bn who had previously qualified
as parachutists in England, jumped to-day in order to qualify the "American Way".

Training continued as per schedule with some companies starting outdoor living
exercises by going on overnight bivouacs, building their own shelter and cooking own

December 27, 1942

Things in general quiet around camp, this weather continuing to be very mild.

December 28, 1942

Training continues as per schedule. One regiment mountain climbing, one doing
outdoor living exercises, one skiing. Radio and motor school continue as per schedule
and are proving to be very successful.

December 29, 1942

2nd Regiment left for Blossburg for a week's skiing.

December 30, 1942

Service Btn started outdoors living exercises. Their Officer Personnel bivouacking
overnight at Blossburg. Reports from this were highly encouraging.

December 31, 1942

Quite windy-forecasts are for stormy weather.

Training continued as usual. Again the men were given late passes to allow them to
enjoy New Year's Eve.

January 1, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright but very cold. Troops busy on Mountain climbing (1st Regt.) driving
instructions, combat principles etc. 2nd Regt. still at Blossburg. Training Bn being
assigned to Regiments and preparing to go to Blossburg.

January 2, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Weather still cold. Nothing eventful.

January 3, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

2nd Regt. returned from Blossburg and reported a very successful week of skiing.
Training Bn proceeds to Blossburg.

January 4, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Still cold. 1st and 3rd Regiments training for coming week to consist of Combat
problems (Coy) with skiis & motors plus a two Bn. problem at the end of the week.

2nd Regt. Platoon Commander efficiency test (combat range) plus additional
problems on skiis and with motors.  Radio and motor schools still functioning.

January 5, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Weather moderate and becoming warmer. Training as usual.

January 6, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

3rd Regt. having Bn problems at Mcdonald pass- one Bn in defence and one
attacking. Route difficult and difficulty in making contact experienced.

January 7, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

1st Regt on McDonald pass problem. Scheme was a success and many valuable
lessons learned. Weather warm.

January 8, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Still warm and a second McDonald pass problem proves successful.

January 9, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and fairly cool. The training battalion came in from their skiing instruction at
Blossburg and personnel were assigned to the three regiments. those being assigned
to the 3rd Regt. received priority on passes for the evening as they go right out to
Blossburg tomorrow for another weeks skiing.

January 10, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 1st Bn 3rd Regt left for Blossburg at 0815 hrs, the 2nd Bn at 1330 hrs.
Arrangements being much the same as last time for billeting etc. There are 36 bunk
cars including 2 cars for officers 30 for O/Rs, one each for Officers Mess,
Norwegian Ski Instructors, cooks and dispensary.

Food and water are delivered from the Fort Daily and fuel as required.

Radio communication is established between Fort Harrison and Regimental
Commanders at Blossburg every hour on the hour from 0700 hrs to 2000 hrs daily.

January 11, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training this week includes for the 1st and 2nd Regiments, Combat principles on
skis with motors. They will also stage a three day field exercise. The 1st Regt.
taking the offensive, the 2nd Regt. the Defensive, the problem to be issued by the
training officer. Platoon Commanders are to take their platoons over the combat
course and will be examined on how they handle themselves and their men under
the various conditions with which they will be faced.

January 12, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues cold, about 4 degrees below last night. A high wind to-day.

Platoon commanders continued taking their platoons over the combat course.

At 1830 hrs Capt. Eschenburg, the training officer, gave a very good lecture on the
rocket Anti-Tank gun. It appears to be a very effective weapon and quite easily
operated. Is fired from the shoulder from sitting or standing positions, operated by a
firer and loader. Rockets are electrically launched and have an effective range of
around 200 yds, can pierce 3" of armour plate.

January 13, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Thawing this morning. Another chinook wind has come in, snow disappearing

The 2nd Regt left on the field exercise about 1000 hrs for their starting point. The
1st Regt left about 1300 hrs. They appear to be in for a warm but very wet night.

January 14, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild and windy, temperature reported to be 60 degrees. The 1st and 2nd Regts
returned early this A.M. They encountered heavy wind, rain and a 70 M.P.H. wind
and it was decided they should not stay out till Friday as originally planned.

At 1830 hrs all officers assembled in the theatre and a critique of the nigh's problem
was held. The two Regimental Commanders, Chief umpires, Force Commander, and
2 i/c, all made remarks, mistakes were pointed out and explained and everyone
benefited to a greater of lesser extent from the experience.

January 15, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

What a country. A terrific wind last night blew over the Sentinel Box at the gate and
anything at all loose was carried off. It rained all night and this morning the wind
turned cold, a blizzard came up and by supper we were partially snow bound with
drifts and the temperature at 5 degrees below, still falling. The Canadians in the 1st
and Second Regts received their mid-month pay during the afternoon.

January 16, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very cold, the air full of fine snow. All personnel of the Force are restricted to the
Fort until one of the Force vehicles (t 15) what was lost the night of the exercise is
found. The 2nd Regiment provided the search party and it was located during the
afternoon. being camouflaged it was very hard to see. Restriction lifted at supper.

17 of the last group from Ft. Benning were AWL this A.M., how ever after a bit of
investigation they were apprehended in Shelby, north of her, by the state police.
They all had return bus tickets to Lethbridge. Two officers were sent up to bring
them back. They had applied for leave like the other Force personnel have been
granted but were turned down the Force commander and apparently took matters
into their own hands. The Twenty Second Annual Charity Ball of St. Peter's hospital
was held at the Civic Auditorium in the evening and despite cold weather, poor
transportation was well attended.

Went below 20 last night and Blossburg reported 30 below with several cases of
frost bite.

January 17, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cold and bright. The 3rd Regt. arrived back from Blossburg and the 1st Regt went
out, the 1st Bn the A.M. and the 2nd Bn this afternoon. Skiing conditions though
cold should be good.

January 18, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Really cold, the temperature almost forgot to stop falling last night, 38 below here
and 46 below Blossburg. The person who said you don't feel cold in a dry climate
won't be appreciated here.

Training will include Field exercises and another meeting engagement will be staged
by the 2nd and 3rd Regts over Thur. Fri. and Sat. Training today had to be
somewhat curtailed owing to the severe cold.

January 19, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Seemed much colder this A.M. at only 11 below, but a wind came up and was most
unpleasant, temperature dropping down below the 20 mark, it is inhuman.

Most companies did some local skiing and driving of T 15s.

Lt. Col. Rodhaver, Officer Commander Service Battalion lectured to Officers and
1st Sgts (CSMs) on Supply as applied to the 1st S.S.F. ending with an amusing
demonstration which brought out the main points in the lecture.

January 20, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Still cold with more snow and wind. Some local skiing in the Fort area and much
time spent trying to free the T 15s which are securely frozen to the ground.

January 21, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

This morning started at 22 below with an increasing wind, much snow and falling
temperature. This afternoon the warning went around that the temperature would go
to 35 below with a high wind, personnel being warned to watch their hut fires and
fasten down any loose equipment. Training is practically at a standstill as the men
haven't the equipment for this severe weather. A 100 yads into the wind is enough to
produce many frost bitten faces. The next Yankee to refer to Canada as a land of
cold, ice and snow is likely to be shot. Major Secter gave a very interesting lecture
to the officers at 1830 hrs on German Paratroops, their background, training,
equipment and attack on Crete. After this Col. Adams raised the devil about the lack
of care given T 15s. A new order began forthwith with definite blame to be pinned
on those responsible.

January 22, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues cold, a lot more snow during the night. There must be a good foot of it
now which makes skiing in the Fort possible, the small rocks now being covered.
Transportation on the other hand is really tied up. Training continues with shorter
outside periods. nearly everyone is now in possession of parkas which are a really
find garment, they are reversible and windproof.

January 23, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Not quite so cold but still below zero, some new snow. Quite a number went out on
cross country skiing this A.M. The usual weekly inspections after dinner. An
informal dance and buffet supper at the Montana Club in the evening.

January 24, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A perfect winder day, no so cold, finally getting above zero, bright with no wind, a
good number of the 1st Regt went on a ski hike during the morning. After dinner
quite a lot went out skiing on "Muscle Mountain", the name given a hill back of the
Fort over which the obstacle course was laid last summer. One side was well
packed down and used for practising turns. The 1st Regt returned from Blossburg
during the afternoon.

January 25, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and no wind, 30 below again. The 2nd Regt were very happy at the State
Highway announcement that they could no longer afford to keep the road to
Blossburg open as it required too much equipment. Their weeks skiing will therefore
be done in the vicinity of the Fort. The Norwegian instructors seem to be the only
ones regretting the change as they prefer the snow conditions at Blossburg. Training
for the 1st and 3rd Regts consists principally of combat principles with skis and
motors and test per "Expansion of present training policies".

January 26, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Much milder and bright, temperature 30 above. 2nd Regt left about 0830 hrs by
truck for Rimini and skiied back to camp arriving about 1630 hrs. The 1st Regt were
skiing in the vicinity of the Fort. The 3rd Regiment putting platoons over the combat

In the evening Col. Adams spoke to the officers regarding the planning required in
preparation to our moving out so that when the warning order is issued everyone
will know what must be done and will waste no time doing it. Col. Frederick took
over emphasing some of Col. Adams points stressing Security and preparedness of
the men under their command. Much serious work is yet undone and must be
completed soon.

January 27, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues mild, perfect skiing weather, as the air is quite warm and snow dry.

A Special leave plan for all those who have not yet had one, this includes the new
men that arrived last December, was announced, leaves were from 7 to 12 days
depending on distance travelled.

January 28, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Another grand day. Nights are cold but days bright and warm. 20 to 30 above.

Major Gray , Army of U.S., was in charge of the officers conference at 1830 hrs,
spoke on anti aircraft and anti mechanized defence.

There was a fire in the tower of one of the parachute sheds last night about 2000
hrs. It was a fairly good fire but fortunately the equipment was stored in the other
shed and there was no wind, only a couple of equipment parachutes were destroyed,
the tower it self was quite badly damaged and may have to be taken down.

January 29, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 2nd Regiment were paid after supper, they have been C.Bd all week and have a
final full day of skiing ahead of them tomorrow.

January 30, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

1st and 3rd Regts were paid this A.M. Advances were made to those going on leave
who documents have not yet arrived, passes were distributed to the Regts to
commence at midnight.

A President's Birthday Ball was held at the Civic centre in the evening.

January 31, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

American personnel were paid this morning. Paying officers had to be up to get their
cash at 0630 hrs. Those on leave get away as soon as paid. A number were out
pleasure skiing in the afternoon.

February 1, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues mild. Training for the week will cover- 1st Rgt., Field Fortifications in the
snow, Rifle, L.M.G., Mortar, and Antiaircraft firing, platoon combat proficiency
tests, instruction on anti tank rocket; 2nd Regt., will have field exercises from Tues
to Sat inclusive; 3rd Regt., Field Fortifications in snow, a field exercise,
marksmanship with Rifle, L.M.G. and Mortar.

February 2, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 2nd Regt. left at about 1000 hrs for a Field Exercise at MacDonald pass taking
T-15s and skis. The Rifle, L.M.G. & Mortar Ranges are all busy somewhat
restricting the movement of skiers and T-15s. At 1830 hrs Lt. Reardon,
Communications Officer, discussed the Force Radio Communication at the officers
conference, there are two sets the 694 which is both broadcast and receiving and the
714 which is just receiving. It has been very mild to-day but a high wind which may
be the start of a Chinook which is expected by local residents but you cannot out
guess the weather here.

February 3, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

High winds continue and feels colder. The 11 new American 2nd Lieuts who came
in Monday are being put through their first ski training and are experiencing the
usual beginners falls but seem to enjoy it. There is quite a crust and with the wind
skiing really tough.

February 4, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

High wind and mild, sticky by noon, hail-like snow in p.m., stopped all range firing,
sticky snow made skiing difficult. Field exercises for the 2nd Regt for the rest of the
week have been called off. At the Officers conference at 1830 hrs, Col Adams
spoke of terrain appreciations, both for attack and defense.

February 5, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues mild. Skiing, driving of T 15s and range firing the order of the day.

February 6, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Mild and bright. The usual weekly inspections after dinner and a general exodus to
town during the afternoon. Lieut. MacDonald was married to a local girl this
morning. Lieut. Goodwin best man.

February 7, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild, the snow really wet and going fast, few in camp. At about 2000 hrs
turned cold with a blizzard. You never can tell.

February 8, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A lot of snow fell during the night and is back to zero again. A two week training
schedule is set up to be set aside for Company Commanders to finish training in
those subjects in which they have a need for carry over training. Schedules will be
prepared by the Company Commanders under the supervision of the Battalion and
Regimental Commanders. Schedules will be submitted to Force Training Officer by
the close of business each Friday covering the training for the following week,
specific subjects to be included, First Aid, Unarmed Combat, Demolitions,
Parachuting- getting out of harness, reorganization and preparation of weapons and

February 9, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cold and snow flurries. Rifle and L.M.G. range in use most of the day, the
unqualified new officers were scheduled to jump this P.M. but weather prevented.
At 1830 hrs Major MacWilliam gave a good talk on vehicular reconnaissance to the
officer, will prepared and well put over. The toll of the new men who went leave
that were scheduled to return yesterday and to-day is nearly 100 % A.W.L.

February 10, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and warm. The new American officers made their first jump after dinner, also
some of the Norwegian officers and Sgt. Little wind and a fair amount of snow
made jumping conditions ideal. 21 jumped one officer chipped an ankle bone.

February 11, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Still mild but windy. Except for one injury all those who jumped yesterday made
their second jump landing safely. There was almost a 16 M.P.H. wind which is
stronger than normal to permit jumping but considering the covering of snow was
thought to be safe. Capt Biscoe made an unofficial jump. At the officers conference
after supper Major Neissman, 1st Regt Medical Officer, went over the first aid kit
that officers and men of this Force will carry. He said it was a light and compact as
possible to cover the most adverse conditions, with which we might be confronted.
To the best of his knowledge it was the first time in American History that private
soldiers would be given Codeine and Morphine, but that these drugs would only be
included if the nature of the mission warranted. In addition officers sets include
scissors, needle, forceps and suture needles.

February 12, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild and bright. The Norwegians made a third jump. The Norwegian Army
require five jumps to qualify and they hope by making five here to be qualified when
they go back. Since the skiing really got under way the Norwegians have been
referred to Skiwegians and skis as misery sticks. The latter is too appropriate for
some of the beginners.

Lieut. Simms was married to a local girl to-day. That makes 4 of our Lieuts to take
the plunge all about a week apart.

February 13, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and mild. Ranges in use all morning. Some very heavy demolitions back of
camp that really shook the building. The regular afternoon inspections and so to

February 14, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and very mild, not much activity about camp. The rifle range was in use most
of the day. Snow going fast.

February 15, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cooler but continues bright. Training like last week is general brushing up. The
ranges are controlled by the 2nd Rgt, which will use them very consistently
throughout the week they will have over 100,000 rounds of ammunition mostly
rifles, L.M.G., pistol (.45) T.S.M.G.

Canadian personnel received their mid-month pay during the afternoon and evening.

February 16, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Still spring like with snow going from the tops of all the hills. The Norwegians
jumped both this morning and afternoon to complete their five jumps. A group of
American Warrant Officers, junior grade, arrived to be distributed about the Service
Bn. The first ones to arrive in this camp, their status is almost that of a 3rd Lieut.
They have the privileges of officers and are referred to as "Mr.". At the officers
conference Major Bennett, Air Det and Capt. Thaxton Asst S-4 jointly discussed
camouflage from the point of view of detection from the air. A moving picture on
camouflage from the air finished the conference.

February 17, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Range firing, tactical problems and driving vehicles continues to be the order of the
day. The Norwegian instructors left to-day, some for Toronto-Little Norway, Capt.
Kiel and some others to return to England.

February 18, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Skiing practically stopped as each day takes its toll on the snow, despite cold nights.
The sun gets very warm although the temperature doesn't go much above 30.

Major Becket conducted the officers conference giving a very interesting talk in
"Landing on hostile shores" concluding with two examples (1) the Japanese landing
on Batan" (2) the British landing at Bruneval".

The picture "In Which We Serve" by Noel Coward was well attended by officers at
the Post Theatre afterwards.

February 19, 1943  - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Milder with the old drizzle of rain. The demolition blasts are getting even heavier.
Personnel will be somewhat used to the real thing if it keeps up. It has been going
on every day all day for two weeks. Still some snow but little skiing.

February 20, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Warm and bright. Ranges all busy, demolition squads still rocking the camp with the
concussion of their blasts. The Montana High School Ski Club jumping was called
off on account of poor snow conditions.

A most successful Washington's Birthday dinner and dance was held at the Montana
Club in the evening.

February 21, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A real Spring day. The 1st Regt was on the Rifle range all day.

February 22, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Colder last night, snow all day to-day. Training for the week to include for all
Regts- 2 hrs hand to hand combat, clean up of weapons, company and platoon
problems, running the obstacle course twice, a 14 mile march on foot or skiis,
objective, discipline, tactical (observing security etc) communications, motor
instruction, Jump master training for all officers. Over 100,000 rounds of
ammunition are available for clean up of weapon firing.

February 23, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Fairly cold and more snow. Ranges busy. Company and platoon problems being

Lieut. Reardon conducted the officers class with a talk on radio security and
message sending.

February 24, 1943 -Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cool and bright. The Hdqtrs Co. Service Bn. were on the M-1 range all morning.
Some companies carried out their 15 mile march on foot and despite all their skiing
found it a bit tough, due to walking through deep snow.

February 25, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A few more companies off for their 15 miler this morning, other went over the
obstacle course, the first time it has been used since last fall. Morale has been
noticeably low lately probably entirely due to our in-action, everyone expected to
have been far from here by now.

Capt. Thaxton addressed the officers on the German Anti-tank mine have about 6
for display, seems to be better than ours. Major Becket left later in the evening for
Washington and thence to Fort Benning to select 6 more Officers and 125 other

February 26, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and fairly cold, about zero in the morning. Those companies who had not yet
done their 15 miler went out during the morning son on skis others on foot. There
are still a number f unqualified riflemen who are being given two hours instruction in
the evening. They will again fire over the week-end for record.

February 27, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Canadian personnel were paid at 1100 hrs. The ranges were in use all day, the usual
weekly inspections after dinner and all on pass to town as soon as they could get
away. Transportation to town has been so poor that the Force tried a jitney service
for to-day only. Only 2 ½ ton truck left the gat for Helena every 15 min. during the
rush and less frequently during the evening, the last truck returned at 0130 hrs. The
same schedule applied to station wagons for officers. It is hoped this idea will be
carried out on future weekends.

February 28, 1943 - Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

American personnel were paid to-day. Ranges continue to be in use. A real blizzard
during the late afternoon and evening quite cold.

March 1, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training this week as per app "A" attached. Bright and cold. Major Becket phoned
from Ft. Benning that very few men and no officers volunteered to come to this Bn
from the 1st Bn. Apparently the last lot that came have not been writing very
favourable letters back. Our inaction is getting everyone down.

March 2, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Major Gilday conducted the officers conference with a very good talk on orders in
which there seems to be much room for improvement. He called out a number of
officers at the end and outlined a problem on a sketch on the board and asked them
to give their orders from a platoon and section standpoint.

March 3. 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Lieut Curran left by plane this morning for Calgary with 21 other ranks who were
returned for medical reasons and few as undesirable. He then goes on a two week
convalescent leave have just recovered from a hernia operation. Plane grounded for
bad weather in Calgary.

March 4, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very cold, a bit of wind and snow. The 2nd and 3rd Regts are due to go on a
problem tomorrow and 3rd Regt. leaving camp at 4:40 A.M. No one looking
forward to it. Weather cleared this afternoon and the plane was able to return from
Calgary. They had a very cold trip. The officers conference was taken by Col.
Frederick. The procedure for looking after the company property was outlined and
seems simple enough, the putting into effect being the hard part.

March 5, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and cold but problem for 2nd and 3rd Regts called off. Company and unit
commanders are taking inventory of their property prior to installing the new system
of accounting for it.

March 6, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Continues cold and bright. A few tactical problems about camp, skiing fair,
inspection after dinner. The men are looking very smart. It has taken a long time to
get them to look up to much even on parade.

March 7, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helen, Montana

A very quite day in camp. Major Becket arrived from Ft. Benning with 12 O/Rs, the
only volunteers for this unit. Since he expected to get 6 officers and 125 O/Rs the
result was very disappointing. A report as to the reasons for failure was submitted to
Lt. Col. McQueen. The men were shown their quarters and mess hall and given
passes to town for the evening.

March 8, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Milder and snow. Training for the week as per App "B" attached. The 2nd Regt. left
on a tactical march at 0820 hrs returning at 1545 hrs having covered 22 miles
averaging better that 4 miles per hour, taking into consideration stops.

March 9, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A little more snow during the night, cold and bright, several companies out skiing,
snow conditions quite good. Lieut Kirkwood conducted the officers conference on
"control by leaders" gave a really scholarly lecture ending with a short discussion
with several officers giving actual experiences of both good and bad leadership.
Personnel of the Force attending the Intelligence School at Camp Ritchie returned
this afternoon. Capt. Olson, U. S. Army, in charge of party said they had all done
with Cpl. Wright and Sgt. Story of this Bn coming top.

March 10, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A lot of skiing being don north-west of camp where snow is deep and dry. A good
hill has been found for practice turns and the area is excellent for problems on skiis.
The 3rd Regt. left on their march at 0730 hrs got back about 1600 hrs, some of the
boys were really dragging. They came through some deep snow on the home stretch
and without skis was hard going.

March 11, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Skiing seemed to the principle form of training to-day, the boys are towed behind T
15s out to the skiing area do their problems etc and ski back to camp. They are
usually out all day and are getting well tanned. Capt. Hoskin addressed the officers
on simplicity of plans and orders, 9 times out of 10 the simple plan is the better
unless your troops are highly trained in actual combat fighting.

March 12, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild, snow going fast. 1st Regt. left at 0800 hrs on their 23 miler, got back
before 4 were played into camp by the post bugle band, 4 men fell out during the
march. The dentists have been very busy charting the teeth of all Force personnel for
identification purposes.

March 13, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright turned cold by evening. Some very rigid inspections in the afternoon. Col.
Adams inspected the 1st Rgt. in the absence of Col. Frederick who is in
Washington. A special St. Patricks Day Dance at the Montana Club in the evening.

March 14, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Cold and snow. The Service Bn were scheduled to fire on the ranges this A.M. but
had to cancelled on account of a blizzard.

March 15, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and cold. Training for the week as per App. "C" attached. Canadian
personnel received their mid month pay during the afternoon and evening.

March 16, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The officers conference was conducted by Lieut Roll, a Norwegian in the American
Army. He talked on the organization of the German Army, dealing with the section,
platoon, company and regiment (Infantry) and stressing the fire power with which
we will be faced if and when we meet them. This lecture to be continued Thursday.

March 17, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A Force problem this morning in which all headquarters Force, Regt & Bn
participated. They returned in the afternoon after a successful exercise. All
personnel are required to see the film "Nazi Strike" a ½ film dealing with the
background and rise of the Nazi party to and including the invasion of Poland with
emphasis on the brutality to conquered peoples.

March 18, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Yesterdays Special Order showed the 3rd Regiments promotion list, 98 Canadians
promoted to Sgt. All Regts our on problems to-day. A cold raw wind kept everyone
on the move. Lt. Roll gave the second part of his lecture on the organization of the
German Army dealing principally with Artillery.

After the lecture all Canadians officers remained and Lt. Col. Williamson told them
as much as he could about the possible future of the Force, no definite date for
moving yet but high hopes were held that we would leave soon. The meeting was
then open to gripes which consisted mainly of the fact that not many Canadians
ideas for training have been adopted for the Force.

The meeting ended, the Majors remained and Col. Williamson explained that a
special order in council had been passed which was read giving him authority to
grant any officer he saw fit all or part of the powers of a Detachment Commander.
He granted the field officers full powers and decided the beginning Monday March
22 each Bn commander would hear all charges against Canadian personnel in his
respective Bn, while Col. Williamson would attend to the one Bn in his Regiment
commanded by a U. S. officer. Lt. Col. Williamson had tried all Canadian personnel
previous to this date.

March 19, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

An American Army film taken on the arrival of British and U. S. troops in Africa is
being shown to all ranks. It is in Technicolor, shows the arrival at Bone and ends
with pictures of a battle with a German Panzer Division. The 3rd Regt. left at 0430
hrs on field exercise #4, the 2nd Regt. at 1100 hrs. The 2nd Regt. made a very
successful movement and were ruled the victors. The 1st Regt. went on a march to
East Helena, a round trip of 22 miles. Has been very mild to-day.

March 20, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Colder but bright, a temperature of 13 below was recorded earlier in the week and
said to be the coldest March in many years. The usual inspections and so to town.
The U. S.O. Service Club was officially opened last night, some officers and
civilians being invited. To-night it is turned over entirely to the O/Rs.

March 21, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The first day of spring and a dandy, quite warm and bright. M-1 range is in use all
day, quite a number out skiing.

March 22, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Spring continues. Training for the week is outlined in App."D". The training films,
which were very interesting and well put on, were shown during the day to the
Combat Echelon and in the evening to the Service Bn. Machine gun crews put on a
exhibition of night firing at 2000 hrs.

March 23, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

In the afternoon the 3rd Co. 1st Regt put on an attack on and capture of a pill box
for all Force personnel. They used about 13000 rounds of ammunition, flame-
thrower and 60 mm mortars. Lt. Roll again took the officers conference talking on
characteristics of German military tactics.

March 24, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Lieut. Jackson, as conducting officer, left at 0950 hrs, by plane, for Calgary with 12
O/Rs being returned for various reasons.

The 1st Regt was out all day on a battle problem. Everyone is busy packing having
boxes built etc to be ready for the long hoped for "alert".

March 25, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very mild, snow going fast, the streams have become small rivers, all low ground is
flooded. Much equipment being drawn, returned or exchanged.

Capt. Whitney U. S. personnel officer gave a very good talk on military censorship
at the officers conference an excellent movie on censorship was shown in

March 26, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Colder and blizzards all day, a nasty kick back from the nice spring weather we
were having. The 2nd Regt. went on a march with full field equipment to East
Helena and back, 22 miles, left at 0830 hrs returned 1530 hrs. The 1st Regt. left at
1100 hrs for a 30 mile march returned at 2145 hrs and straight to bed as they must
be up at 0300 hrs and ready to leave for East Helena at 0400 hrs.

March 27, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Warm and bright, spring is here again and the creeks flowing freely once more. The
1st Regt got away as scheduled and returned by 1030 hrs having done better than 50
miles in less than 24 hours, they were a tired bunch but most seemed to have enough
energy to go to town in the evening.

March 28, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very warm and bright, all the low land under water, the streams overflowing with
high muddy water, highways and railways being washed out, train schedules were
away off. An American soldier was drowned when his jeep got stuck in a stream
and he went back for help, apparently falling into a stream, hitting his head.

March 29, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very warm and windy which will help dry things up. Training as per App. "E".

March 30, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Colonel Frederick returned from Washington at 0230 hrs, had a sore ear so does his
work in his quarters. All ski equipment has been turned in the last two days. The
weather remains warm with a high cool wind. Lt. Col. Rodehaver was in charge of
the officers conference which was an examination on preparation for overseas

March 31, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Warm and showers.

Payday for all personnel and issue of summer clothes to all ranks.

Col. Adams had a meeting of staff officers and told them a definite move was
pending soon but unlikely to go beyond the continental limits of the U.S.A. All
personnel must be prepared to leave on short notice and therefore all preparations
must be completed immediately.

April 1, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Very warm and bright. Companies continue turing in winter and drawing new
clothing and equipment. Major Mastran, Force Q. M. took the officers conference
discussing battlefield inertia. Colonel Adams announced that this would be the last

April 2, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The 1st and 3rd Regts executed Force exercise #4, defence and attack, it was staged
in the "Scratch Gravel Hills" north of the camp.

April 3, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

In the morning a rehearsal of the guard of honour for Brigadier Weeks, G. S. who
arrives from Ottawa tomorrow night for a few days. The 2nd Coy, 1st Regt
commanded by Lieut Shaw, Canadian Army, who chosen for the guard of honour.
Regimental inspections in the afternoon. Col. Adams inspecting the Service Bn.

April 4, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Officers of the Service Bn fired the Carbine for record this morning, the scores bad,
much practice is required. Brigadier Weeks arrived by plane from Lethbridge at
2300 hrs. Lieut. Dymond S.L. was assigned as his "Aide".

April 5, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Training for the week as per App "A".

The guard was inspected by Brigadier Weeks at 0830 hrs, was very smart. The
Force bugle band preceded the guard, followed by 1st platoon, colour party carrying
silk Union Jack and Stars and Stripes, and the 2nd and the 3rd platoons. At 0930 hrs
the guard turned out again for Major General Gregory, U. S. Quartermaster General
who was here for a short visit. Brigadier Weeks inspected the various phases of
training and at 1300 hrs addressed the Canadian officers asking for any questions of
a general nature that required to be cleared up. He said that the General Staff were
well aware of the difficulties that had arisen and been surmounted and he was very
pleased with what he had seen and knew much work must have been put in to
achieve the results. All officers were introduced to him by Lt. Col. Williamson. He
then gave a short talk to all Force officers Canadian and American. Colonel
Frederick than took over to say we were to move to the east coast, the tentative date
for moving being Monday April 12. We would undergo Amphibious training and
would likely have 3 or 4 moves before going overseas. In the evening Colonel
Frederick invited the senior officers to have dinner with Brigadier Weeks at the
Montana Club.

April 6, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

An early dinner to-day and a detachment of the Forces left to parade through Helena
sponsoring the Lewis and Clark county War Bond sale. The parade was very
successful and well received by the crowds lining the streets. Brigadier Weeks took
the salute (App. "B"). Those taking part returned to camp just long enough to
replace their steel helmets and headed back to town for the evening. Dress for the
parade was walking out (class "A") with parachute boots, steel helmets, web belt at
the slung position. A very successful party was held at the Montana Club, the Force
orchestra providing the music and was very good.

April 7, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Bright and warm, everyone putting the finishing touches to their packing and
movement preparation generally. Loading of freight begins tomorrow.Each company
is required to furnish two men for each of the remaining three nights to act as special
M.Ps in town. The Force does not want to leave a bad reputation as it has been
good to day, but apparently fear is held that the boys may really cut loose. They
made a very good start last night after the parade.

April 8, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Last minute preparations in high gear. All Canadian officers took their trunks to
town to express home with all they can no longer use. All were sorry to give up the
battle dress but agreed uniformity of dress was essential. Loading of freight went on
well into the night.

April 9, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

A number of newspaper clippings are enclosed as App "C" for information as to the
kind of stores that has been spread about this Force by men on leave or returned to
Canada. Freight packing completed to-day, tomorrow starts baggage packing.

April 10, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

The Force orchestra was at the Montana Club last night, a very successful party.
Final moving instructions were issued. we move to-morrow in 5 trains, 1 for each
regiment and 2 for Service Bn. plus attached personnel.

Everyone that could leave camp did so in the P.M. The M.Ps with their special help
kept the situation well in hand.

April 11, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Reveille at 0630 as usual and all were busy packing personnel effects, dressing and
cleaning up the camp. the 3rd train with the 3rd Regt. left first at 1130 hrs. The 1st
train with Hq Coy and Maintenance Coy left next at 1530 hrs, the 2nd train with 2nd
Regt at 1730 hrs, the 4th train with 1st Regt at 2330 hrs and the 5th train with
Service Coy and Finance Sec. at 0500 hrs the 12th away behind schedule.

April 12 - 15, 1943, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Montana

Enroute all trains took somewhat different routs to and from Chicago. The 1st train
arrived at Camp Bradford at 0900 hrs April 15, the others during the day, the last
one about 1700 hrs.

Camp Bradford is the Amphibious Training Centre run by the navy, in part of the
Navy Operation Base which covers most of this area. The camp is 14 miles from
Norfolk and 12 miles from Virginia Beach on Chesapeake Bay. Our living quarters
and office bldgs are sheet metal painted dull green in a large fir wood for reasons of
camouflage, the whole area is restricted and dimmed out. there are 12 men to a hut
and up to 8 officers. The meals are good, everyone is eating in the Navy mess or
galley as we must now learn to call it. Our own mens mess is to be put into
operation to relieve the existing congestion. Our officers will continue to eat with
naval officers.

April 16, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Raw wind, everyone feeling chilly from the dampness in contrast to the dry air of
Montana, we came from 4,000 ft to sea level in 4 days.

Training started this morning, training schedule attached as App "D". Swimming
was called off, too cold. First impressions of the new type of training deem very

April 17, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Training all day. At 1800 hrs three convoys took all personnel desiring to leave
camp to town, one convoy went to Norfolk, one to Ocean view, and one to Virginia
Beach,passes for all but those on duty were given to 0700 hrs Monday. Socially this
district is a flop. It is very crowed and definitely in the hands of the navy no one
seems to have much of a time.

April 18, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Except for much air activity, a very quiet day. Some of the boys went back to town
but had to find their own means of transportation. There are a few naval buses that
go back and forth if you can get on.

April 19, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Cool, damp and dull. Those having training in rubber boats get well soaked and
have a hard time drying clothes. The men are making a point of seeing to it that all
officers get ducked.

April 20, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Seemed somewhat milder, the sun was out for a while. The Canadians got their mid
month pay after supper. It has been hoped to pay them Friday but the bank had
refused to release funds on a certified cheque until it had been cleared in the usual

April 21, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

A cold raw wind still makes it uncomfortable. Training not nearly so strenuous as
previously and the men have more time on their hands. A great deal of time is
required to change into dry clothes.

April 22, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Colonel Frederick is in Washington, Colonel Adams confined to hospital with a bad
cold. Quite a number are going down with colds due to wet clothes, etc.
Preparations are being made for the coming Force embarkation on a 8 day training
cruise, starting Sunday. They will be doing landing and re-embarkations. Everyone
looking forward to it, only a skeleton staff remaining here.

April 23, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Training schedule for period April 23 to May 4 is attached as Appendix "E" Colonel
Frederick returned from Washington this afternoon. The Service Bn. executed their
first movement from ship to shore doing it all night, was very successful everyone
being very keen on the new experience.

April 24, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

A review of all personnel in the camp, nay, signal corps and First Special Service
Force was staged at 0930 hours for Rear-Admiral Kirk, the Commander of
Amphibious Training on the Atlantic Command. The march past was good, the navy
band provided the music. The Force colours made their first appearance, a good
looking flag red background, a spread eagle in the centre with a shield in its crest
with a dagger on it. One claw clutches and olive branch, the other a number of
arrows. A ribbon underneath with First Special Service Force, another in the eagles
beak for the Force motto when decided upon. Passes were from 1600 hrs to

April 25, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Reveille at 0400 hrs, breakfast at 0500 hrs. The Force left for the pier at 0600 hrs
leaving a very deserted looking camp. A perfect Easter Sunday, bright and warm,
the best day we have had yet. Only a small number remained in camp. Lt. Col.
Wickham, Force Adjutant, was appointed Base Commander. Passes were issued for
the afternoon and evening. Some of the officers went over to the Portsmouth Navy
Yard and were shown over some the British and U.S. warships of which there are
quite a number in port.

April 26, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Warm and bright. Lt. Col. Wickham had an officers meeting giving his instructions
as to the running of the base while the Force  is away. The drivers were to have
training loading and unloading their vehicles after dinner but the landing craft did
not show up, the personnel had a quiet two hours on the beach.

April 27, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Very warm and sultry. The landing craft were at the beach after dinner and the
drivers practised backing their trucks aboard, being guided by signals from the
alternate driver standing on the beach. An air raid alarm about 2100 hours lasting
over an hour. we are not likely to know why, probably unidentified aircraft in the
vicinity, the camp was really blacked out.

April 28, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

A very hot sultry day. Amphibious training again, the drivers find it hard not to look
to see where they are going rather than keeping their eyes on their director at all
times. It was roughter to-day and the barges kept moving. The drivers did a good
job. They were using 2 1/2 ton trucks and even with their 6 wheels had their
troubles in the sand, it is worse than snow.

April 29, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

Another summer day. Lt. Col. Wickham took some of the officers to Fort Story, a
Coast Artillery Base and showed them the big 16 in. guns. They weigh over 286000
lbs., fire a high explosive shell weighing 2240 lbs., 30 miles, they are armour
piercing and have a delayed fuse of 5/100 of a second. There are two batteries of 2
guns each part of the regular coast defense. The control room contains most modern
equipment and machines that plot the range etc. The explanation was away over our
heads. We decided however that we would not want to be in an enemy battleship
anywhere within 30 miles of the Fort. A storm in the evening, cooled the air and was
quite a cold night.

April 30, 1943, Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia

The few Canadians in camp got their end-month pay. Lt. Col. Wickham flew to
New York for the week end Lt. Col. Baldwin, acting as base Commander. Again
very hot, cooling off at night.

May 1, 1943

Bright and warm, three trucks took those on pass to Norfolk, leaving camp at 1800
hrs returning at 2330 hrs.

May 2, 1943

Cloudy and cooler. Very little activity in camp, some of the men went on passes for
something to do but the majority are convinced there is very little use going to town
for pleasure or relaxation.

May 3, 1943

Showers in the morning, clearing and hot by noon. Office personnel had a soft ball
game after dinner to provide some much needed exercise. The Force returned from
the cruise in the evening, the ships anchoring in the bay until morning.

May 4, 1943

Cooler and bright. 3rd Regt docked first about 0900 hours arriving in camp about
1000 hours, the 2nd Regt next the 1st Regt arriving in camp after dinner. Opinions
agreed that the cruise was a success both from a training and pleasure point of view,
that there was not nearly enough  to do the same amount of training could have been
done in half the time, that the navy felt they had put in a very strenuous time and had
done more than any pervious outfits. Passes were issued to 75% of personnel from
1700 hrs to 2359 hrs. Few took advantage of this as they had no money.

May 5, 1943

Pay day for all personnel this morning. No training scheduled, time devoted to
settling down and checking equipment, passes issued to 75% of personnel from
1300 hrs to 2359 hours convoys furnishing transportation to and from Norfolk,
Ocean View and Virginia Beach.

May 6, 1943

Warm and bright. Training for balance of week as per App "A" attached. Our
original schedule called for our movement to Ft. Pierce Florida. One train to leave
last night, 5 this morning. Plans for future still in the air.

May 7, 1943

Very warm. Training mostly at the beach for swimming and rubber boat drill. The
3rd Regt. went to Fort Story this morning to examine their coast defenses.

May 8, 1943

A parade in the morning of all camp personnel for Brigadier General Keating, Army
head of Amphibious training Atlantic Fleet. Admiral Kirk was present. A very high
wind hid the whole drill area in dust and sand. A 3 day pass schedule was
announced to permit 1/3 of the Force personnel to be away at a time. The schedule
is to be completed by the 14th, which means 1/3 will not get away, also that we will
not be leaving here before next week-end. Personnel of the Bn were canvassed
regarding the purchasing of the 4th Victory Loan Bonds. Applications were taken at
the pay office during the P.M. 128 were received amounting to $9,250. It is hoped
that some of those who got away on early pass will subscribe on their return and
help make our objective of $12,460.

The 1st Regt went to Fort Story after dinner, the 2nd Regt had rubber boat training
all morning. The usual pass arrangements were effective for the week-end, trucks
providing transportation.

May 9, 1943

Very warm, a cool wind came up in the afternoon but did not last long. A good
many went swimming in organized parties, large breakers added to the swimmers
enjoyment, the water cold but refreshing.

May 10, 1943

Warm and cloudy. Lt. Col. Williamson left for Washington this morning. Training
for the week as per App. "B".

May 11, 1943

Sultry, rain in the afternoon. The First group that went on leave were due back to-
day, but quite a number did not make the grade, most of these apparently tried to get
up to Canada to see their families and have found the temptation to stay, more than
the few hours a 72 hour pass would permit, too great. Despite the heat dress
regulations published last night require all officers to wear woollen shirts and ties at
all times except on the beach. All personnel on the past are in K.D's except the

May 12, 1943

Rained most of the day, cleared the air. Nearly everyone got caught sometime
during the day and got soaked. The mighty show was held in the outside theatre
and a good shower soaked the spectators.

May 13, 1943

Much cooler and dull to-day, clearing and warming up afternoon. Rubber boat
landing and swimming took up most of the afternoon.

May 14, 1943

Quite cool and some very heavy rain early afternoon, cancelling evening problems.
A large number either did not get back from leave or were late. A renewed Victory
Loan Drive was put on netting a little over $4,000 by night, the total going over

May 15, 1943

A large number of those who were late returning from their 3 day pass arrived last
night and this morning with quite a number still away., The usual week-end passes
were issued. Virginia Beach was well patronized as the summer season is beginning.
A number of officer's wives are staying at the various hotels some coming up from
Florida where they had gone in anticipation of the Force moving to Ft. Pierce. This
move is now definitely out with a move to the New England States anticipated.

May 16, 1943

Bright and warm again, good swimming and quite a lot of sunburns.

May 17, 1943

Training as per App "C". Bright and hot. Wool uniforms are really uncomfortable
but are required to wear them until we leave her owing to the poor laundry service
and the Service Bn not having been issued with Khaki longs. Final Victory Loan
figures show 215 applications amounting to $16,650.

May 18, 1943

1st Regt went on a night problem last night. The 2nd Bn going to Fort Story for
landing operations but found F. Story was having coastal defence exercises of their
own forcing the 2nd Bn to lie off shore for 4 hours before returning to camp at 3
A.M. thoroughly disgusted. All Service Bn non-swimmers received instruction
during the day, was thoroughly enjoyed being a really hot day.

May 19, 1943

Continues hot. Swimming, boat training and route marches the order of the day.
Packing preparations started for our next move, freight to be packed to-morrow. The
advance party left last night. Lieut Colonel Mahoney, Officer Commanding 3rd
Regiment, was relieved from duty with the Force and left last night for Camp
McLellan, Alabama, and infantry replacement centre. Major J. M. Sectoer,
Executive Officer, assumes temporary command.

May 20, 1943

Freight packing to be started to-day and instructions for movement were issued but
since everyone has now made a move there should be no difficulties.

May 21, 1943

A very hot sultry day. Freight packing to be completed to-day and baggage started.
The first train composed of personnel and freight left at 1900 hours carrying
maintenance Co. less drivers and Finance Section.

May 22, 1943

Reveille at 0445 hours, personal effects being packed and baggaged picked up, the
second train with 1st Coys of each Regt and Supply Detachments left at 0900 hours.
The second train with remainder of Service Bn at 1030 hours. The 3rd train with 1st
Regt at 1200 hrs. 4th train with 2nd Regt at 1300 hours and 5th train with 3rd Regt
at 1400 hours. The route was via Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia,
Albany to Burlington Vermont and to Fort Ethan Allen our new post. There were no
regrets at leaving Camp Bradford.

May 23, 1943

The first train arrived at 0700 hours the rest during the day, the last about 1930
hours. First impressions are good. this is a permanent Cavalry Post. The cantonment
area which was recently occupied by an artillery brigade and now by the Force is
made up of white frame buildings. The quarters are two stories accommodating 92-
96 men. Officers quarters are same type buildings, divided into separate rooms, 2
officers per room. All mess and office buildings are 1 story also theatre, a post
exchange, barber shop etc. The Fort is 4-5 miles from Burlington, a city of 28,000
population and about 3 miles from Lake Champlain.

May 24, 1943

Bright and warm. The day devoted to unpacking and settling into new quarters
during the A.M. and taking dry cleaning to the Post pressing shop which is now
swamped. During the afternoon a number of soft ball games. Passes were put into
force 75% being allowed out to mid-night. Lt. Col. E. A. Walker reported for duty
with the Force as Commanding Officer of the 3rd Regiment.

May 25, 1943

Cooler but bright. Training for week as per App "D".

Lieut Colonel Williamson left with Colonel Frederick for Ottawa at 1200 hours to-
day to keep an appointment with the Chief of the General Staff to iron out some
very pressing problems of the policy of the 1st Canadian Special Service Bn.

May 26, 1943

Cool and damp. A number of Americans reported for duty with the Force, they are
mostly parachutists who were on a draft overseas, missed the boat and have been
reassigned to the Force.

May 27, 1943

Col. Williamson and Col. Frederick returned at 1600 hours having been grounded
nearly 24 hours in Montreal. Their mission considered most successful, having also
conformed with Major General Letson and Brigadier Weekes D.C.G.S. The C.G.S.
introduced both Col. Williamson and Col. Frederick to the Prime Minister who
called while they were present. Col. Williamson brought back the authority
changing our designation from 2nd Canadian Parachute Bn to 1st Canadian Special
Service Bn.

May 28, 1943

Cool and dull. An officers meeting at 1830 hours. Col. Frederick explained the
reason for the many changes in training had been the changing of the mission for the
Force. He said that one day in Washington within 14 hours the Force had been
assigned to 6 different missions. At present the Force was to assigned to any
mission but it was sufficiently trained that it must expect to be alerted at any time
and leave with little notice. He also said that some officers were working by the
clock and that they must remember they are on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week
and should not head to town as soon as training was finished if they had any
unfinished work, or preparation to do.

May 29, 1943

Training in the morning, at 1400 hours a Force inspection by Colonel Frederick
starting with a march past with companies in mass, then the inspection, each
Regiment being marched off and dismissed after it had been inspected. The usual
passes were in effect but only a few took them since the 3 day pass in Camp
Bradford left them all broke. Those that went in seem to have found Burlington very
much to their liking.

May 30, 1943

A quiet morning, bright and warm. A number of ball games were made up after
dinner, some went fishing and had considerable success with brook trout, others did
some sun bathing. A Memorial Day parade was held in Burlington, the Force did not

May 31, 1943

Warm, fairly bright. Bank holiday so no payday. A three week training schedule is
attached as per App "E". There are about 160 new Americans in the Special
Training Detachment, which are expected to be brought in line with Force training
within two weeks. There were several long route marches and range practice to-day.

June 1943

To be added September 2002.

July 1 - 3 1943

All trains arrived in San Francisco Saturday, the 2nd Regiment arrived first at noon,
the Service Bn last about 0200 hrs Sunday A.M. Trains went down to the pier,
troops and equipment unloaded and loaded onto a ferry which took them to Angel
Island where they were bedded down at Camp McDowell.

July 4, 1943

Reveille at 0600 hrs and a full days work got under way at 0700 hrs. Angel Island
rises steeply out of San Francisco Bay. It is near Alcatraz and we can see both San
Francisco and Golden Gate Bridges. The camp is built on one side and is quite
comfortable although the Force rather overcrowds it. After dinner Major General
Corlett spoke to the officers telling a bit about our mission. He commands the
expedition which will also include a Canadian Infantry Brigade, good news to our
officers. He appealed to the officers, seeming to be energetic, frank and generally a
good head. A busy day as much is to be done in little time.

July 5, 1943

Colonel Frederick addressed the Force this morning, told them some of the things to
expect and to see their clothing and equipment was in a good shape as possible.
After dinner he had a secret session with all officers, enlarged on Gen. Corlett's talk
and gave an idea as to the future of the Force. Our time for embarking is set for
Thursday and much must be done before then. The issue of heavy clothing began
after supper featuring warmth and waterproof, this is expected to go on all night.

July 6, 1943

Cold and damp, issues of clothing completed about 0400 hrs. instructions on
packing are coming out and would appear to anticipate very camped quarters on
board. We are to travel on two Liberty Ships, the 1st and 3rd Regiments in one the
2nd Regt and Service Bn in the other. Pay parades were held for all personnel after
supper. There will be a big rush for money orders in the A.M. as there is little to
spend it on when confined to a small island.

July 7, 1943

Our first really warm day. Packing the main project and stray equipment issued to
replace worn out equipment and shortages. Colonel Adams called a meeting of
Company and Detachment commanders and explained what was to be taken and
what left until our return later on and the marking to be placed on all baggage. There
is to be an issue of anti gas clothing tomorrow when it arrives. We will likely
embark in the P.M. or evening.

July 8, 1943

An issue of impregnated clothing to all personnel to-day. The smell is terrible and
we all hope there will be no need to use it, it would be nearly as bad as the gas. Also
issued were shoe impregnate and anti gas ointment. The clothing was packed in
paper bags before being included in our hold baggage. All office equipment had to
be prepared for hold baggage as there will be no space to set up office on the ship.

July 9, 1943

Baggage details were started at 0600 hrs including everything that was not to
accompany personnel. Everyone is allowed to carry their rucksacks, officers a field
bag in addition to rucksack. Bedding roles to be carried in rucksacks, the balance of
the day was spent getting hair cuts, buying out the P.X. which practically closed by
noon being completely out of candy, toilet articles and stationery. Late afternoon our
pre-embarkation medical exam which was expected to be tough in effect was to
have our temperatures taken. The first ferry with the advance party left for San
Francisco at 2100 hours. The over five as quickly as they could be loaded. 3 ferrys
each made 2 trips. On arrival at the pier we disembarked and went right aboard our
transports. We have two Liberty Ships. MMMMNo 1 for the 2nd Regt and Service
Bn., Colonel Adams in command of troops. No. 2 for the 1sat and 3rd Regts, Lt.
Col.Marshall in command of troops, gross tonnage 7,1000.

July 10, 1943

The last men embarked at 0200 hrs. Breakfast started at 0700 hrs and still going at
1200 hrs. No system has been established and about ½ the men went through the
line twice. The solution to this was to have company officers take their men through,
feeding was done by hatches of which there are 3 for men 1 for offices, the 5th
hatch for crew and mess hall. Officers are 18 to a staterooms 6 tiers of 3 bunks
each. Also 3 small staterooms of 2 Senior officers each the remaining officers slept
on cots under the hatch. The day was spent at the pier while landing craft were
loaded, a very slow process. The navy and longshoremen must have had a
competition to see who could take more time. By even all had been taken aboard
and we expected to pull out during the night.

July 11, 1943

Still at the pier this A.M. leaving about 0830 hours, circled Alcatraz a couple of
times and instead of going out went up the bay under the Oakland-San Francisco
bridge and anchored. The convoy of 7 transports and 4 destroyers weighted anchor
at 1730 hours passed under the Golden Gate bridge about 1900 hours and by 2100
hours were beginning to roll and the beginning of the seasickness.

July 12, 1943

At Sea. At about 0300 hours the ship did some heavy rolling, some of the landing
craft were loose and oil cans on deck. The bunks of over 100 men in hatch #1
collapsed, very fortunately no one was seriously hurt but caused a lot of commotion
until there were all dug out. The majority of officers and men succumbed to sea
sickness including nearly all kitchen help and meals became rather slipshod despite
the good work of the mess officer. Everyone retired early to-day to catch up on last
nights lost sleep. July 11, Colonel Adams held an officers meeting, gave them some
secret information regarding our mission most of which was to be passed on the men
after we passed the Golden Gate.

July 13, 1943

Another rough night. One of the landing craft got lost again getting a second hold in
its side, considerable repair work will be necessary before they are sea worthy. An
improvement in sea sickness but a large number still preferring to be below and
hope for better days. It was confirmed to-day that during Sunday nights rolling one
of the skips lost one its landing craft and were unable to recover it.

July 14, 1943

Colonel Adams gave the officers a very frank talk before breakfast that they were
losing control of the men and that discipline was very bad and must be checked
immediately and that everyone must shave once a day and get up on deck sea sick
or not. One or two of the ships had gunnery practice during the day. Un the eve
Captain O'Neill, formerly the civilian hand to hand combat instructor recently given
a commission as Captain in the army of the U.S. gave the officers a lecture on
Japanese giving us some words we should know and the ways of identifying Jap
officers and soldiers, their ranks, Arm of Service etc. During the day maps of Kiska
were distributed to officers and section leaders, also distributed were 9th
Amphibious Force patches to be sewn on our sleeves. They are blue discs with a
dagger in the centre.

July 15, 1943

The ocean has become much more calm, we are now far enough from land to get
away from the ground sell. the difference was first noticed night before last but the
high wind kept, the ocean, churned up with a good number of waves breaking over
the decks. Good use is being made of our new rain suits issued at Ft. McDoweel. It
was a 30 to 35 M.P.H. wind. Sea sickness is well under control now only a few of
the worst cases still carrying on. A Red Cross ditty bag was issued to every man in
the afternoon. They were assorted but for most part contained a pocket magazin,
pkge cigarettes, cake of soap, sewing kit, shoe laces, comb, razor blazes and note
paper. Poker and crap games were numerous on the deck, a sure sign of the general
improvement in health. We have only been having two meals a day since
Wednesday, at 0800 hrs and 1500 hours. A long wait between meals but should be
enough since there are no exercise  facilities.

July 16, 1943

Very foggy and wet. Early a wind cleared the air by 1000 hours and the sun
managed to come through the clouds. Captain O'Neil had a short class for officers at
1030 hours to instruct them in speedily drawing their revolvers. Improvement in the
cleanliness of personnel and the ship is needed and officers have been assigned to
assist those responsible. The wind is coming up again this P.M. and the ship is
beginning to pitch. At 2100 hours Lt. Col. Burhams S-2 (Intelligence) discussed the
attack on Attu. The big point was inability of the invaders to find out where the Jap
fire came from due to their excellent camouflage. The penetration of one pass was
held up 4 days for this reason. Col. Adams then took over and again pointed out the
seriousness of our mission and the need of discipline and instruction aboard ship. he
apologized for talking so often and at such length on this subject and put it down to
his enthusiasm of our job. He is very sincere and capable officer.

July 17, 1943

To be added, September 2002

August 1943

To be added, September 2002

September 1, 1943, At Sea

Dull and cool, the late morning as we approached the Golden Gate a dense fog came
down lifting enough that we could see land as we came in. Went under the bridge at
1330 hrs, the sun came out and it turned into a warm summer afternoon. We docked
at 1430 hrs. The Froce Adj., Personnel and Finance OPfficers and Cdn Paymaster and
staffs disembrarked and drove to Camp Stoneman at Pittsburg California 48 miles from
San Francisco arriving at 1620 hrs to set up office and prepare for a full pay to August
31st. The others were transferred to river boats which brought them up to Pittsburg
about 2200 hrs. The 1st and 3rd Regts had arrived the previous night.

September 2, 1943, Camp Stoneman, Pittsburg, Calif.

Cool and bright. All personel were paid in full during the day. A few skipped to town
but generally speaking there was little trouble, all looking forward to some leave. The
leave plan is for each organization to permit up to 50% to go from here and to report
to Ft. Ethan Allen by the 15th, Westerners getting preference the remaining 50% will
go by troop train to Vermont when further instructions will be issued. All on leave are
being given transportation to Ethan Allen. They may make their own travel plans, there
will be special cars available to main points and two extra cars are to be added to one
troop train as far as Chicago. Personnel on leave may get off at the point nearest their

September 3, 1943, Camp Stoneman, Pittsburg, Calif.

Packing again, all baggage to go in the baggage car to be ready by 1400 hrs but was
not picked up until after 1700 hrs. A good number left on leave after lunch. There are
3 trains, one for each Regt, the Service Bn being split between the 3 trains. The 1st and
2nd Refts were at the station at 1900 hrs but the trains were not made up until 2100 hrs.
The 1st train with the 1st Reft left at 2120 hrs, the second with the 2nd Regt at 2130
hrs, the 3rd Reft did not get away until 0230 hrs.

September 4 to 8, 1943, En Route

En route to Ft. Ethan Allen Vermont. All trains were through Chicago, the 2nd went
through Southern Ontario from Sarnia to Fort Erie and arrived first at 2230 hrs 8 Sept.
Coffee and snadwiches were provided by the Post complement Unit.

September 9, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool and bright. The 1st Regiment arrived at 0700 hrs, the 3rd Reft at 1000 hrs. A
further leave plan was announced allowing 50% of those here to go on leave to report
back on or before the 15th, the remainder have no immediate prospect of getting away.
Every effort was made to get everyone on leave away in time to catch their respective
trains. In the eve those that could get passes went to town to renew friendships and
blow off steam and there is no doubt the Kiska operation took on a much more
glamorous complexion than newspapers would lead one to believe.

September 10, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool, partly dull, a heavy showr in the morning. A deserted camp, some details at the
siding unloading baggage cars, others collecting their own organizational equipment
and checking it in.

September 11, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool and bright. The last of the baggage cars were unloaded and all boxes distributed
to their organizations. In the afternoon a laundry collection by the quartermaster, the first
since Amchitka and much needed.

September 12, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Warmer and bright. A very quiet day in camp. In the afternoon Lt. Col.Williamson and
Captain Biscoe left by plane for Ottawa, the principle object beng to acquire
reinforcements for this Bn to bring it up to is authorized establishment.

September 13, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Continues warm. Those on leave scheduled to return to-day began drifting in with quite
a few missing.

September 14, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Theholiday makers continueto return and are busy sorting their equipment and settling
dow. Lt. Col. Williamson and Capt. Biscoe returned from Ottawa at night having seen
Major General Letson, Mahor General Murchie, Brigadier Gibson, Brigadier Roome,
Brigadier Mortimore, Brigadier Noel, Colonel Chesley, Colonel Delalanne, Colonel
Spink and Colonel Coleman. Arrangements were made to get as many reinforcements
as possible from the transit camp at Windsor, Peteawa, Camp Borden, and M.D. #4,
those available to be transferred to D.D. $4 for selection. A request was made to have
existing pay arrangments apply in the u.K.

September 15, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Very warm and bright. Well over 200 are A.W.L. To-day is the last day of leave so to-
morrow will tell the tale and it looks as though we are infor the usual absence without
leave encountered after all leaves. Withdrwing some clothing started to-day including
rain and impregnated clothing. A number of changes among Service Bn officers seem
imminent, the definite changes are the relieving from duty with the Force of the Service
Bn Commander and the Service and Maintenance company commanders.

September 16, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Dull, rain most of the morning, fairly warm. After lunch the largest list of promotions
of officers yet was announced. The 3 Regimental Commanders were promoted Colonel.
6 Bn Commanders promoted Lt. Colonel. Bn 2 i/c's to Major. There were also a
number of staff promotions. Those that have not yet have leave were told they could
go Saturday for 6 days. The absence without leave from the last two groups is very

September 17, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Continues cool warming up by afternoon. Mid-month pay after dinner for those who
had not been AWL only. Training is primarily towards conditioning no schedule being
set up yet as there are so many away both with and without leave. Lt. Col. Gilday left
by plane for Ottawa to attend a Special Director meeting.

September 18, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cold in the morning but warmed up again by noon. The last group to go on leave got
away during the day.

September 19, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Bright and war. Colonel Williamson went on a weeks leave this afternoon. Lt. Col.
Gilday returned from Ottawa at night.

September 20, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Dull and cool clearing by afternoon. Training schedule for the week is attached.

September 21, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Four officers, Capt. McWilliams, Lieuts D'Artois, MacDonald and Tomlinson were
returned to #4 D.D. this afternoon. Also Pte. Long who was injured on Kiska and will
only have partial use of his hands. Lt. Col. Morrisey phoned from Ottawa that a
maximum of 90 O/Rs were available as reinforcements. Arrangments were made to
have them assembled at # 4 D.D. for selection Sunday. Lt. Col. Gilday to be selecting
officer. There are still about 175 absent without leave, 50 Canadians. This is getting to
be a habit and little done to get the cases cleared up.

September 22, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cold in the morning getting very warm in the afternoon. Col. Adams addressed the
Force after lunch on getting back into shape, his main concern being the large number
of V.D., cases. He urged all personnel who have been exposed to see their regimental
surgeons immediately for any treatment they may prescribe. He said the next operation
would be in "the big leaque" and all must be in A1 physical shape if they are to come
through. At 1630 hrs an officers conference was held in the theatree conducted by two
ordnance officers inspecting our weapons. It was really helpful suggestion on care of
weapons. They had found a few that would never have fired had they been needed on

September 23, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Bright and cool. Companies are listing equipment and reporting shortages and turning
in shoe pacs to be packed by the quartermaster for future use.

September 24, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool and dull. AWLs took a big jump again as the last leave group was due back. A
number came in during the day have been delayed by bad train connections. An officers
lecture at 16309 hrs b y LT. Col. Wickham on military correspondence.

September 25, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool and dull clearing by noon. Officers lecture at 1100 hrs by Col. Adams on military
courstey. A force inspection at 1430 hrs. Lt. Col.Gilday and Capt. Biscoe left by plane
for Montreal for selection of reinforcements concentrating at # 4 D.D Colonel
Williamson is expected to arrive in Montreal from his leave int he morning.

September 26, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Dull and cool. The selecting of volunteers began about 1100 hours, after they had been
inspected on the field. Those for whom documents had arrived were interviewed first.
Brigadier Delalance D.A.G. and Colonel Kipppen A.A. & Q.M.G.  M.D. # 4 were
present and sat in on the morning interviews. By 1730 hours 48 men have been
interviewd, 27 accepted, 10 questionable and 11 rejected.

September 27, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Warm and bright. The medical board rejected several men who had been accepted
when interviewed, they obviously should never have been sent for selecitons.
Interviews continued throughout the day, a total of 86 examined by evening, 18 were
rejected on medical grouns and should never have been sent from their units. Training
schedule for week App. B.

September 28, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Dull and raw. A last check of one or two doubfuls and 3 new volunteers from the
depot. Documents were in order as fare as possible, wires being sent for all missing.
Col. Williamson and Captain Biscoe left montreal at noon to fly back arriving at 1600
hrs. Lt. Col. Gilday and 65 other ranks arrived by train at 2355 hrs. An officers lecture
on military courtesy and discipline by Col. Adams at 1630 hrs.

September 29, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Cool and bright warming up by afternoon. The 1st and 3rd Regts left on 25 mile route
marches this morning. Teh 65 new Canucks looked very good marching about camp.
Canadian style. Much smarter than U.S. marching and a number of Americans
commented on it.

September 30, 1943, Ft. Ethan Allen, Vermont

Pay day for all personnel. Lieut. Mowatt, C.M.S.C. and photographic unit arrived from
Ottawa at 1730 hrs to retake all those requiring new identification cards. A review fy
the Force Commander at 1430 hrs. The new Canadians are receiving conditions,
instruciton on American drill and parachuting. An usually large number of men are in
the hospital, quite a number for tonsilectomy. Confirmation of Lt. Col. D. D.
Williamson's promotion to A/Colonel was received by wire today (29th)

Octobert 1943

To be added, September 2002.

November 1, 1943, Empress of Scotland

Continues really hot and sticky the mens quarters are very uncomfortable. The men
received their typhus shots to-day, abandon ship drill at 1400. The show "All At Sea"
began its three showings per day it is put on by the Red Cross the talent is from the
troops and W.A.C's aboard.

November 2, 1943, Empress of Scotland

Cooler and windy with showers helping to add a little more vigour to those taking their
daily dozen. Boat drill at 1400 hrs. Instructions issued that the Sun Deck would be out
of bounds from 1600 hrs for the rest of the trip. Announcement was also made that all
paper currency would be turned into unit commanders who in turn would turn it over
to the Finance Officer. All concerned receiving hand receipts. About 6 hours before
debarkation hand receipts will be surrendered and invasion currency will be issued it
is American money with a gold seal on the right hand side instead of the blue, green,
brown ones appearing on bills in the USA.

November 3, 1943, Empress of Scotland

Cool and very windy some light showers and generally cloudy. Boat drill at 1400 hrs.
we are right in the danger area now the Captain taking hardly any sleep being on the
bridge nearly all the night. The sun deck is vacated and all the anti-aircraft rockets guns
are loaded and ready. At 1330 hrs we have a "Call to Quarters" but soon "all Clear" as
the plane was identified as U.S. "Liberator" will not have air escort the  rest of the way
in and should arrive tomorrow and disembark Friday morning.

November 4, 1943, Empress of Scotland

A very heavy head wind made walking on deck most difficult not cold and not a great
deal of roll the ship being a steady one. We passed the island of Madeira at 0730 hrs.
There was an officer's meeting at 1400 hrs, when instructions re; debarkation were
issued Force officers remained and Colonel Adams again impressed on them the
serousness of the show and great care must be taken to assure everything going off
quickly and efficiently from now on. A corvette joined us to supplement the air escort.
A chicken dinner this is our last night aboard. In the evening last minute packing and
a packed lounge for cards and sing-song.

November 5, 1943, En Route

A grand morning bright warm and calm. We caught up to and passed a convoy of about
12 ships including a small aircraft carrier at 0800 hrs. at about 0900 hrs above a low
hanging mist the tops of buildings at Casablanca began showing up as the sun cleared
up the mist the whole city came into view. It appears very modern the buildings being
a mixture of white and brown stucco the apartment houses being of the most modern
design. As we approached the harbour which is large and filled with shops all personnel
were order to quarters we docked at "Gare Maritime" at 1000 hrs and debarkation
commenced about an hour later.The ships was to be left in A-1 order as the return trip
is to be battle casualties the majority of whom cannot walk. The Force was first ashore
(one soldier of the Maintenance Coy. Service Bn. was lost this A.M. was on gun watch;
when his relief arrived at 0600 hrs only his life preserver and webbing were at his post.
It was assumed he committed suicide as he had attempted it before was officially
reported "Missing at Sea"). On reaching the pier the 1st Regiment plus Maintenance
and Hdqrs. Coy's of Service Bn. were directed to a train and told they were to go to
Oran Algeria. The 2nd and 3rd. Regiments and Service Coy. Service Bn., to go by
truck to Camp D B. Passge.

November 6, 1943, En Route

The 2nd Regt and Service Company to proceed to Oran tomorrow the 3rd Regiment
the next day. The train was quite a sight there were 2 day coaches for officers one fairly
modern European style aisle down the side and 12 compartments off it supported by
2-4 wheel trucks the other smaller same style and only 4 spoked  wheels 4-8 officers
per compartments. The cars for the men attracted the most attention they are called 40
and 8's from a statement on each car reading 32-40 Hommes or 8 Chevaus, 24 men
assigned per car plus equipment. They are a miniature box car with open slats at the
topside on 4 spoked wheels have a small turret where a man stands to operate the
brakes. They are not operated from the engine but are applied by hand on whistle from
the engineer. There were a number of natives on the pier and near the train. They seem
to wear anything they can get their hands on mostly rags and sacks. Usually on arm is
free the other used to hold their so called clothes over one shoulder. They all wear
turbines, fex or small wool knit hats. Mostly bare footed or various types if sandals they
are filthy, they lie down to sleep anywhere. Flies don’t bother them a good many have
open running sores all good reason for our being forbidden to purchase anything from
them or have anything to do with them. C rations were issued to all at 1300 consist of
1 can of either meat and beans, meat and vegetable or meat and vegetable Stew and 1
can of biscuits candy and beverae (coffee, chocolate or lemon) Some of the officers
made a tour of the immediate vicinity and saw the big French Battleship "Jean Bart" it
was damaged when it opened fire on the Allied Invasion had a number of shell scars
was stripped of all guns and seemed to be getting a complete overhaul. At another pier
a French ship lay on its side some salvage work being don but hardly looked worth it
other than to get it away from the pier, a small Portugese ship was being unloaded and
one or two Swedish ships tied up. we left at 1635 for the station yards. The enging had
one of those shrill whistles like English engines the station yard was on a bay adjoining
the port had two quite large ships on the bottom another you could just see the tops of
its mast. The remains of a completely demolished French Destroyer were on the beach
and the beach was saturated with oil, it is said it will be 10 years before the oil will
disappear. Left the yard at 1750 hrs going up the coast to Rabat. Had a bit of a look at
Casblanca confirming our first impressions of its clean looks modern buildings and size
(300,000, 100,000 White, French, 200,000 Natives) we next passed a native settlement
complete contrast being a mass of dirty hovels packed together no plan just put up
helter skelter and full of kids.

November 6, 1943, En Route

A clear morning everyone spent a cold uncomfortable night at Fex 0800 stopping until
1000. A most interesting 2 hours. Soon after our arrival natives began to arrive to catch
the regular train to Casablanca and what an assembly some in the rags we saw at the
pier others no doublt well to do Arabs decked out in brilliant clothes losing hanging
usually a parka hood. Miscellaneous turbans and sandals. The woman were mostly
clothed in white completely covered just their eyes showing often a tattoo or caste mark
appearing on the forehead between the eyes. Some who did not have their faces
covering bad marks on their cheeks and chin.

There was the darnedest conglomeration of packages mostly junk the women did all
the carrying. The men travelling alone always carried a sack or crudely done up bundle
nearly all carried a bottle of wind and loaf of bread the principle form of subsistence.
None of them were allowed on the platform until nearly train time then the dandiest
amount of jabbering started the ticket agent let some through others were chased back
into the station by native soldiers with rifle and bayonet. Another bedlam broke out
when the news vendor opened up. You would think a riot was about to start by
apparently their usual way of doing business. A train arrived packed with Arabs,
French and native soldiers they began getting off before the train stopped coming out
windows off the car platforms. One really old fellow fell off nearly rolling under the car
but jumped up and away the smell was terrific but we had to stand and watch. The taxi
service was horse and buggy two automobiles arrived and one drawn by two horse. The
country is immense we cross the Atlas Mountain they are long rolling flats of land
gradually running into hills and them mountains we passed several native villages the
house as such are made of grass mud blocks or stone. The children are never too small
to run by the train and yell something and hold up 2 fingers sometimes in the V
sometimes together. There clothing varies from reasonably good to nothing. Went
through several tunnds 3 long omes the men wear their resistors the stops are mostly
lengthy and gives time to make fires and heat C rations. Hot water for shaving is
procured in helmets from the engine. There are a number of lister bags for drinking
water highly chlorinated completely ruining coffee, coco or lemon.

November 7, 1943, En Route

Another bright day after a cold night. There are no lights in the cars forcing you to go
to bed as soon as it gets dark going to bed meaning to curl up on a seat try to get
comfortable and war so help me its not possible. We spent most of the night stopped
at stations and only went 150 miles yesterday it is all up hill and even two engines have
trouble getting up. Crossed the border into Algeria during the night. This A.M. we were
parked beside a wreck a number of the little freight cars on their side others have gone
down a hill and were half way across a field. It is surprising there arn't more as on the
level more as on the level they go fast and light cars bounce about the crew are a bit
slip shot one breakman for one of the cars was in the car when the train started and
could not get back into the turrett to release the brakes when asked about how he
would release them said "Oh they will soon wear off" I believed all are quite surprise
at the amount of land under cultivation especially when you the crude implements used
there is the odd Tractor and steel plough the land is strewn with rock. We went
throuogh a whole batch of tunnels guarded by native and Sengalese troops and some
French wearing the blue uniform and baggy pants of the Algerian Army. Arrived Sidi-
Bel-Abbes at 1700 until 1815 the Headquarters of the French Foreign Legion arrived
Oran 2315 by truck 12 miles to M.B.S. (Mediterranean Base Section) bivouac area
tents up but wrapped about pooles., Soon unwrapped and all to be by 0230.

November 8, 1943, En Route

Reveille at 0800 hrs. C rations again for breakfast as no stoves have arrived another
grand day, times were allotted at the area shower hose and no one needed to be coaxed
to go. It is a wooden frame work covered with canvas 64 fawcets a heating plant
outside run by Italian prisoners. It might be pointed out that these prisoners are so
content they don't have any guards with them this is the same in this whole area and no
doubt other places. Got our first hot meal at supper. 2nd Regt. arrived at 1930 still no
lights so all to bed at dusk. This can be a very muddy camp after rain a reddish clay.
There was a German camp near her it out of bounds being possibly minded. Also a
large hill which is definitely mined.

November 9, 1943, En Route

Another bright day although it looked as if we were in for rain last night, the kitchens
started  operating by supper time last night so no more "C" rations for awhile. In the
evening the 3rd Reg. arrived and later the New Force Vehicles began streaming in a
very impressive array some 30 odd jeeps 6 Recco cars, two ambulances trucks.
Shouldn't have to do anymore walking now?

November 10, 1943, En Route

Rain last night and this morning Som of the men started getting into nearby villages and
a few as far as Oran 3 were caught and put in a barbed wire stockade for the night, one
got stabbed by a French Soldier not serious but they will not learn to do as they are

November 11, 1943, En Route

Maintenance Coy. left with their new vehicles for the port of embarkation at 0730 they
will be distributed throught the ships of the convoy. A F.G.C.M. was held at 1300.
With little office equipment we had was packed for shipment at noon as was all hold
baggage. We are to leave Saturday, at 1840 a muster was announced for 1900 hrs. a
good many were missing most just out for walks in the immediate vicinity however
quite a number were picked up out of bounds and put in the stockade.

November 12, 1943, En Route

Bright and warm One of our was discovered to have ulcers and had to be admitted to
hospital we had no alterative but to have him S.O.S. to Canada as there are no
Canadian units here. The hospital agreed to contact British Liason at Oran if he needed
any pay. He was very disapointed having to stay behind at this late stage. Leaves the
battalion strength at 38 Officers and 570 Other Ranks way below authorized strength
and 50% of the combat strength of the Force.

November 13, 1943, En Route

Reveille at 0530 for those leaving early, at 0700 as usual for the rest the first group left
at 0730 hrs. the last at 1415 the movement went very smoothly the area was left in
good shape and the next chapter of our travels is about to open. The trip from the
staging area to Oran was typical North African good looking farms and dirty Arab
villages. Oran was packed full of things to see not the least inviting, being a really dirty
place, the harbour was shuck full of ships of all countries, mostly Liberty Ships and
piles of supplies on the docks we went on past along the harbour road which follows
along the face of a steep precipice at the top of which sits Santa Cruz (Count of Monte
Cristo) overlooking the harbour through a long tunnel cut out of the bed rock and on
around to St. Andre  and to the port of Mers-El Kiber where we detrucked and marched
about a mile to where two ships were tied at the mole.

2nd Regt. and Hdqrs. Coy. went about the U.S.S. Barnett the flag ship of the convoy
very much like the U.S.S. Heywood that brought up back from the Aleutians a number
of British merchant marine transports are nearby.

November 14, 1943, En Route

Bright becoming very windy were due to leave at 0930 but was after 1300 before we
cleared the mole and nets into the harbour and with 7 or 8 other transport put to sea met
10 L.S.T.'s coming in they were really rolling as the sea is being lashed up by the wind.
At 1630 hrs the Barnett was on her way back to Oran the engine trouble that held up
our departure is worse and we are jut crawling back the convoy disappearing on its way
we have 2 destroyers with us the can catch the convoy after seeing us safely into port.
A call to quarters at 1800 for ½ hours a precautionary measure due to dusk the
dangerous times for attacks and our crippled condition. We anchored outside the
harbour for the night.

November 15, 1943, En Route

Dull and windy went into port this morning and should know something of our future
during the day. Apparently the engine trouble can be repaired fairly quickly the problem
will be whether we can get an escort. This P.M. were old the 2 destroyers that brought
us back have been recalled to be our escort and we are to be ready to leave within 15
minutes notice on their return which will likely be tomorrow morning. One of the ships
crew showed  us where the French Battleship was sunk only the top of its
superstructure appears above water it inside the mole there are evidently 2 cruiser also
at the bottom of the harbour the harbour is 47 feet deep off the mole. The British navy
again proved its mastery of the seas.

November 16, 1943, En Route

Not so much wind but a stormy looking sky with some rain and rainbows moved out
of the inner harbour app. 0745 hs. to await our escort outside and ready to go on their
arrival. When the destroyers arrived there was a submarine warning and they went off
to look. We finally got underway at 1600 at 1800 blackout and a precautionary call to
quarters for about ½ hour.

November 17, 1943, En Route

We and cold passed Algiers at 0900 also a call to quarters were told a German plane
fired on us also that a radio from Algiers warned that some German Torpedo Planes we
headed in this direction an officers meeting at 100 hrs. re; plans for debarkation which
will be by landing craft at 1400 a rehearsal movement to debarkation places all to be
done from starboard a number of Allied Planes flying about, turned into a bright warm
afternoon saw a number of ships we are staying very close to shore which is very
precipitous the Atlas Mountains seem to follow the shoreline usual call to quarters at

November 18, 1943, En Route

Bright and cool passed Bizerte at 0730 a lot of ships and a few planes about; a
debarkation drill at 1000 passed Cap Bon at 1100 and turned north east for icily expect
to arrive tomorrow morning. Saw a few rocky islands off the tip of Sicily after dinner
and a little of Sicily in the distance but wen straight for Naples. Submarines were
detected during the night no alarm.

November 19, 1943, En Route

Bright and quite warm saw the Isle of Capri and in the distance Mt. Vesuvius at 0730
as mist hung low over Naples and did not see much of the city until we passed Capri
it is very spread out all about the bay. We stopped in the harbour about 0830 before
proceeding to our berthing area and we were able to see some of the damage that had
been done sunken ships and demolished bldgs. We tied up to a hospital ship flat on its
side and debarkation began about 1000 there was a good size catwalk on the top  side
of the hospital ship which the troops used getting to shore. A convoy of trucks awaited
us so did not have the long march we expected. We drove through the city and got and
even more vivid idea of the destruction,; the people looked poor and dirty the shops
seemed to have only fruit and some green vegetables. Our destination was an Italian
Military Academy built in 1935 sponsored by the Bank of Naples in memory of
Costenzo Cianno father of Count Cianno. The Germans had used it for the past 3 years
and did a very thorough job of wifull destruction before leaving all windows broken
plumbing destroyed and walls smashed but even so one could see it had been a very
fine school, there were 5 main buildings and others scattered about a fine chapel for
one, a small market across the street sold oranges, apples nuts and souvenirs; cigarettes
and food bought more than money. As there were no lights most retired about 1900.
The rest of the Force arrived Wednesday and were all due to leave tomorrow.

November 20, 1943, Naples Italy

Reveille at 0600 and a lot of stiff backs were suffered after a night on the cold marble
floors. Heavy rains during the night continued off and on during the morning the First
Convoy of Service Bn., and advance Parties for each of the 3 Regts., left about 1045
a convoy of jeeps with staff officers left about 1115 the latter got lost and had quite a
tour of Naples got straightened out and away on the Rome Road over shot the mark and
dem nearly arrived in the front lines, stopping just a few miles shore and traced their
way arriving at the Artillery Barracks where we were to bivouac about 1500 having
covered about 35 miles we are 30 miles from the front lines need it be said it was a
very badly run convoy; about 10 minutes after our arrival when we were getting our
equipment sorted a great barrage of Anti-Aircraft fire went up and 3 Folk Wulf 190's
came over very low strafing, the dug outs were full in no time flat. There were back in
a few minutes and a 50 lb bomb wrecked a house nearly. Their toil in our area was one
British soldier on guard at the gate killed, one truck driver wounded and is truck
destroyed by fire. It is reported 25 came over strafing various roads and the R.A.F. got
10. The men needed no further encouragement to dig trenches it was probably a darn
good experience for them. We are again in buildings they have all been bombed likely
by the Allied Air Forces while the Huns occupied them there are enough portions with
wall and ceiling to house more than the Force. Some Canadians left her a couple of
days ago. Some British troops are moving out to-day. It gets dark about 1730 and as
there are no lights most hit the hay after supper.

November 21, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Raining and raw no Church services as all were supposed to be too busy getting settled
a lot of work done and route marches for conditions got underway there is a hill near
us that is the objective every one must climb to the top within the next day or so.
Blackout curtains were put over all open spaces and Coleman Lamps issued so that
office work etc., can continue after dark. Artillery flashes were very clear and requent
all about us well into the night.

November 22, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cool a typical fall day windy brown leaves falling etc; Col. Williamson and
Capt. Biscoe left for Naples at 0915 to contact Canadian authorities meeting Brig. a.
W. Beament, Col. Tow and Lieut Col Walker. It was agreed that since a Cdn 2nd
Echelon was available to handle our Bn., that it be recommended to N.D.H.Q. that do
so and Brig. Beament and Col. Williamson drafted a joint cable to this effect. If this
recommendation is approved it will put us on a much more satisfactory basis for all
concerned. The arraignments made in Ottawa were to cover us should we not be near
a 2nd Echelon and of necessity left much to change. An air attack at 1500 our area was
not effected but all took to dugouts in case. A patrol made up of representatives of
regiments and Force H.Q. left in the afternoon to operate over the hills aligned as our
mission to clear of German opposition. These hills are strongly and subbornly defended
are holding up the progress of the 5th. Army the patrol is to bring back as much
information of German positions as possible they are dressed as American dough boys
all clothing and equipment peculiar to the Force being replaced by that of regular U.S.
infantry. In the evening a U.S. engineer officer spoke to all officers on mines and
precautions to be taken in avoiding and handling them. A course is to be conducted in
the 4 1/12 days for all ranks on this regard.

November 23, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Dull and raw. The course on mines started with the 1st Regt. at 0800 route marches
using tactical formations were carried out for those not attending mine field
demonstrations. Col. Williamson and Capt. Biscoe contact the O 2 E at Caserta only
to find they were in the throws of moving to Avellino the Officer Commanding having
already left the remainder to leave in the morning.

November 24, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cool in the morning rain and raw by noon. Col. Williamson was at the front
in the afternoon 1000 from the hill his regt. has been assigned to capture. It is very high
and rugged and promises real difficulties in getting up even without German opposition.
The Artillery are throwing a great number of H.E. shells at it. Capt. Briscoe contacted
2nd. Echelon at Avellino after seeing Brig. Beament in Naples arraignments we made
for our operating until a reply from Monday's cable is received. We will issue our own
orders and also go on a Field Return Basis with 2 E issuing orders as soon as the reply
is received the non applicable orders can be destroyed one clerk and M.F.M. 4 will be
taken to Avellino. And unfortunate but rather amusing story is circulating to night about
a soldier on a march with his company took cover from a low flying plane by diving in
a ditch, happened to be a 20 foot sheer drop he broke his hip and then found out the
plan was our own.

November 25, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Wet and raw U.S. Thanksgiving Day rumours of turkey for dinner. Orders issued last
night to put up mosquito nets someone is supposed to have come down with malaria
any mosquito that can live this weather must be a super mosquito. One of our trucks
hit a land mine down the road the men got quite a jarring up and fortunately the load
of H.E. did not goo off. The rumours were right a turkey dinner plus nuts candy and
cigarettes. The patrol got back with much information of value for the forthcoming
operation they have a very tough time with mud wet and considerable German machine
gun and mortar fire. At 1900 hrs a lecture for all officers by Lt. Coll. Domnan U.S.
Army on his experiences in Sicily and Italy. He explained some of the German tactics
and what to expect from them.

November 26, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Cold and bright again clouding up by afternoon. Two records Sgts. went down to 2nd
Echelon to-day one to remain to handle the work of our Bn. , the other for instructions
and return here in a day or so. We had quite a exciting evening when some German
bombers came over. The amount of Anti-Aircraft thrown up was terrific the sky over
Naples was filled with red tracer shells from the 20 mm and the bursts from the 80 mm.
Apparently no bombs dropped on Naples but several bombs were dropped near here
probably aimed at the bridge at Capua over which goes all the supplies to the front,
flares illuminated the who area and some parachutist were seen probably baled out of
a damaged plane, all officers were issued with ammunition and a company sent out on
all nigh patrol to try and locate them.

November 27, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Wet and raw the Force was scheduled to leave to-day on their mission but was put off
until Monday. The 1st and 2nd. Regts have been assigned one hill each to capture the
1st Bn 3rd Regt. is reserved the 2nd Bn 3rd Regt to carry supplies and evacuate the

November 28, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Cool and bright the first day we have had some time with no rain 1st Regt. had a bad
accident this A.M. when a rocket launcher (Bazooka) exploded killing two men injuring
three. One Canadian killed our first casualty. All last minute precautions are being
made to-night as the Force leaves tomorrow looks to be a really big show with
everything being thrown in. The artillery have been pounding the crests day and night
and a great deal more is being brought up before this push.

November 29, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Dull and wee and warmer a 24 hour delay announced at noon which will give everyone
time to get their breath the operation order did not come down from Force H.Q. until
this morning making it almost impossible to be ready by 1600 to-day. Hard to
understand why it should be so late being distributed other than this is the First Special
Service Force, and things are done that way. Another 24hr delay in taking off came
down at 2200 hrs, this will mean one route marches tomorrow to keep up condition.
Apparently the artillery expected has not arrived it is coming from the 8th Army who
are evidently consolidating their positions waiting for the 5th to catch up.

November 30, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Dull and wet. A correction on the assignments noted on Nov. 27th. The 1st Regt. is
now in reserve for the 36th Division the 2nd being the only one committed for the first
show. The 1st and 3rd will no doubt be committed very soon. Capt. Biscoe and Lieut
Willison returned with one record sergeant from Avellion and Naples in the evening.
There is still no reply to our cable to Ottawa. The question of personnel hospitalized
being returned to this unit on recovery was discussed. It was felt this could be done
through the replacement pool. Unless there is a further postponement the Force is set
to leave tomorrow afternoon.

December 1, 1943

Bright and cool. Much activity as it seems certain the Force will really get under
way to-day as planned. There was much air activity, both fighter and bomber, the
front line was give a severe and thorough drubbing. Major-General Keyes
commanding general 2nd Corps to which the Force is attached was slated to speak
to the officers at 1330 hours but did not arrive till 1430 hours. 2nd Regiments
officers had to leave before he arrived to get an early supper 1415 hours as they
were first to leave. General Keyes gave a bit of a pep talk and welcomed us to his
Corps. The 2nd Regiment departed at 1530 hours, the 1st Regiment at 1630 hours
and the 3rd Regiment 1730 hours, leaving a very deserted camp.

December 2, 1943

Cool, mostly bright and very deserted area with only a part of the Service Battalion
left behind. A great deal of air activity, fighters and bombers.

December 3, 1943

Bright and cool. Captain Biscoe and Mr Willison went to Naples to 1st Echelon to
get a report on procedure re reports from Graves Registration, no report having been
received as yet for Sgt. Gibbon and seemed necessary some policy be laid down for
future case. No much to be done until a reply is received from Ottawa. Lt. Colonel
Cowley P.M.C.T. was then contacted, our position explained and information re
local procedure obtained*Reports from the front advise that the 2nd Regiment took
their objectives one and one half hours ahead of schedule but lost one kill during a
counter attack during the day. Casualties are fairly high.

December 4, 1943

Dull, wet and warmer. No reports from the Regiments, not even a good rumour.

A call from 1st Echelon in the P.M., the recommendation cabled to Ottawa is
approved and Captain Biscoe to go to Naples to-morrow and on to 2nd Echelon at
Avellino to make the necessary final arrangements.

A report from the front this evening that the 1st Regiment is committed and a high
rate of casualties, nothing confirmed.

December 5, 1943

Bright and warmer. Reports from the front seem to confirm the rumour that Lt.
Colonel MacWilliam was killed, a very popular officer and a real loss to the

Captain Biscoe left for Naples at 0900 hours to get instructions re going on Field
Return Basis and saw Brigadier Beament with regard recommendation for honors
and awards.. The matter to be referred to C.M.H.Q., and the 15th Army Group.

Major Mills at Avellina made the final arrangements for taking over our Battalion
records as we go on a Field Return Basis, effective to-day.

In the evening 100 men were requestioned from the Service Battalion to go to the
front to carry supplies, the Force seems to be handicapped by injuries.

December 6, 1943

Wet, clearing by noon, continues warm.

Our first incomplete casualty return arrived, all of minor injuries, personnel being
evacuated to various hospitals and will likely require some time to locate them all,
some are know killed, 5 of them officers, 1 Canadian. The Force is expected to start
returning to this base this evening, a few walking wounded arrived in this evening,
some to pick up clothes on the way to hospital, others stayed at the dispensary. The
Force not expected until to-morrow.

December 7, 1943

Bright and fairly warm. Another list of wounded received it is known that 115 have
been evacuated through one advance evacuation hospital to Naples, other being
brought in as fast as they can get them down. It takes 10 men to bring down one
stretcher case and takes them the best part of a day, the mountain is so precipitous,
all able bodied men are needed for combat. The Air Corps has made one or two
unsuccessful attempts to drop supplies of food, water and ammunition to advance
groups who are right out and the supply lines can't get to them. The Germans for the
first and the other was a way off the other way.

December 8, 1943

Part cloudy and cool. A few stragglers came in during the night. 9 officers reported
killed and no check on other ranks. Casualties continue to flow back to general

The 2nd Corps band came in to welcome the boys back but another delay was
announced and they put on a half hour concert for those that were here.

The 1st Regiment arrived back during the evening, a tired dirty looking crowd but
spirits good. A portable bath house was set up to, provide showers and the kitchens
open for hot meals and no time afterwards was wasted getting bedded down. The
2nd Regiment due in to-morrow noon and the 3rd immediately after.

December 9, 1943

The 2nd Regiment began to arrive about 0200 hours, the showers were in operation
as were the kitchens. The men though extremely tired perked up considerably after
getting cleaned up and a hot breakfast. The 3rd Regiment and Service Battalion
arrived during the morning and by noon practically everyone who was not a casualty
had arrived. The 2nd Corps band played throughout the day, the Red Cross
furnished coffee and doughnuts during the morning, moving pictures in the evening.

Plans are now in motion to get all the men, a few at a time, into a rest home in
Naples for a few days.

The chief stories were; 1. The spirit and determination of the men on the attack and
their superiority man to man over the Germans. 2. The large number of German
shells that were duds and 3. Their respect for the machine pistol which was used
more as a signal for laying of deadly mortar fire than as a killing weapons although
it was used a lot by German snipers.

December 10, 1943

Rain during the night, a fair day. The last patrols arrived in the evening and a Force
muster was called, also pay for present to receive it. The result of a muster form a
Canadian point of view disclosed 26 killed (2 officers and 9 other ranks buried, 15
other ranks seen killed) 86 wounded, 1 missing, 41 suffering from fatigue, a total of
154 casualties, some fatigue and lightly wounded are already returning to duty. At
this rate the Canadian element which is not being reinforced will not survive many
like missions, the Americans have requested reinforcements from 5th Army.

To S/Sgts. Develin and Story were made Lieuts on the field and 3 more Canadians
and 2 Americans are recommended.

The Force lost 8 officers killed, 1 missing and several wounded, 100 men were
selected from the Force to go to a rest home in Naples for a few days and left during
the day. A pass schedule was announced providing 15% with passes and
transportation to Naples, leaving in the morning and returning late afternoon. 35 %
more to get passes to Santa Maria and Capua for the early evening.

December 11, 1943

Part cloudy and fairly warm. The wind up on morning coffee and doughnuts and
band concerts to-day as the Force is to get back to business Monday with another
mission scheduled for the near future.

Colonel Williamson left with Major Biscoe in the afternoon to inquire about the
possibility of acquiring reinforcements and if a decision had been reached re honors
and awards. Brigadier Beament was away, both maters to be taken up on his return.

December 12, 1943

Rain and raw. Those in the area were on parade at 1000 hours for address by Lieut
General Mark W. Clark, commanding General 5th Army. After an introduction by
Colonel Frederick he welcomed the Force to the 5th Army, expressed his
satisfaction with their accomplishment of their very difficult mission, promised the
Force would alway fight as a unit and would be given a new mission soon. He said
we were not marked men and must always dress and act the part at all times
especially on leave or pass when in contact with other military personnel. A
memorial service was then held for those killed in action. After the General had
gone, Colonel Frederick said he now had a suggestion to offer for the spending of
the money collected by the Force on the way to the Aleutians for a fund to replace
the cruiser "Helena". The money (over $5000.00) had been turned into bonds and
held for the Force, he suggested a memorial be erected in Helena for all, the
members of the Force killed in battle. Those present unanimously approved.

In the afternoon Colonel Williamson with Major Biscoe went to Avelino to see the
officers of the Canadian O 2 E, who have now taken over our administration. All
battle casualties were reported for transmission to N.D.H.Q.

December 13, 1943

Mostly fair. The daily 15% left by trucks for Naples at 0730 hours.

A few of the more minor casualties are returning to duty.

December 14, 1943 Santa Maria, Italy

Bright, warm in the sun. Another trip to Naples, Brigadier Beament was away and
Colonel Williamson explained our position re honors and awards and
reinforcements to Colonel Tow, the former has created an embarrassing situation in
so far as the Americans are ready to award theirs and we can give no answer
regarding our own. Some Canadians in hospital have been given Purple Hearts,
these can only be souvenirs at present. The latter is a problem to be referred to the
Brigadier. Brigadier Beament returned later in the afternoon from the 8th Army front,
said he expected an early discussion on awards and would have no part of the
reinforcement angle in view of the C.G.S. decision not to reinforce. It now becomes
a matter to be taken up through Washington for M.D.N.Q. to decide whether we are
to be reinforced or continue to be a wasting asset and withdraw from the Force
when the Battalion peters out.

The Brigadier approved Colonel Williamson’s recommendation, appointing 8 of our
men to the rank of Lieut. The all did a fine job through the operation and would fill
vacancies created by officer casualties.

December 15, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cool. The personnel effects of our two officer casualties were taken to
Avelline and Colonel Williamson contacted the Reinforcement Headquarters,
meeting Brigadier Haldenby and his Staff officers.

December 16, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Mostly bright and raw. The seeming daily flight of 36 bombers plus a few escort
planes went over in the morning to give jerry something to think about.

Our only case of “missing” returned to duty from hospital today.

December 17, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cool. Training consists of trying to get the men back into shape again and
is rather a slow process. The severity of the last show has burnt them out and there
are still a number of cases of trench feet and dysentery. A number of the wounded
have returned but the Force will go into the next show considerably under strength.
There were warned for to-day but now postponed to Sunday. There is another even
higher hill. Mt. Sumcro which is causing considerable trouble and will be our next

December 18, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Dull and somewhat warmer. Force orders today showed the shuffling of officers to
fill the vacancies resulting from the last operation.

Major (A Lt-Colonel) R. W. Becket was transferred from Battalion to Asst., “S 3"
and his health would not permit his continuance with his Battalion and Colonel
Frederick expressed his desire to have a Canadian officer on his staff and
particularly not to lose Colonel Becket.

December 19, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and warm. News brought in from the front reveals the Germans are retreating
toward Cassino, Mt. Suncro is now in our hands as is S. Pietro which means a new
mission, the Force is warned for 2200 hours but not likely to move before to-
morrow night, they are to establish an advance base at S. Pietro however all
decisions await the return of a recce party that went out this A.M. and are due back
late this evening. The recce party reported part of our bivouac area still in enemy
hands very hard to tell where the front line is and there is heavy artillery fire all
around this area.

December 20, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and fairly warm. The Force will not move before to-morrow morning. Our
mission is a spear head to a general 5th Army advance the hill assigned is higher than
the last one. The Force is  operating on the right flank of the 36th Division. The 6th
Corps are on our right. The objective will provide O.P.’s for the area right up to
Cassino, but are presently believed to be right to the sphere of enemy artillery fire.
Our ability to hold the objectives is very much dependant on other elements of the
attack, taking out German.

December 21, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cool. The Force to move off, starting with 3rd Regiment, at 1730 hours,
the 2nd Regiment to move last at 2000 hours.

The whole situation has changed and no one has been told the score. The bivouac
area has been moved back from S Pietro to Venafro, and our mission may be
changed to one of clearing out O.P.’s Machine gun nests etc.

The Germans are raising hell with their artillery and mortar fire, and also employing
some dive bombers. The fight for Cassino will be a tough one for us. The Regiments
moved off schedule in the pouring rain.

December 22, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

A real soaker, pouring practically all day and into the night. Personal effects of the
other ranks killed in the last operation were taken to Avellino for disposal.

The 1st Regiment were schedule to undertake their mission to-night, but we don’t
know yet whether the position of the enemy will permit.

December 23, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Still raining and cold, snow in the hills. A rather large number have been returned
from the front, mostly foot trouble which has stayed upon getting wet again. They
say the bivouac area is in a woods also occupied by Italian soldiers and mules, the
mules get precedence on sheltered space. A message came back from one of our
Padres to say he was well and sleeping with the dead. Apparently some of the aid
detachments got in a cript moved the bones of the dead off the marble slabs they lay
on and used the places to sleep it would at least be dry, but???

December 24, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Rain continues and cold. One hundred men from the Service Battalion were sent to
the front in response to a phone call this morning. They are required for pack duties.

Christmas eve spent at the front preparing for an early morning attack. All the mens
rucksacks with dry underwear shelter halves, etc have been taken to the front, they
must be expecting to be there for some time.

December 25, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Partly bright and a warm morning, raw by afternoon. Reports from the front that the
1st Battalion 1st Regiment attacked at 0300 hours and captured their objective at
0700 hours.

Two German prisoners were taken a day or so ago, by other troops under the
influence of Vino, one a Pole was quite talkative, said they hated their officers and
pointed the officers’ billets on the map a good artillery barrage was laid on the spot
just in case.

Lieut Jackson was declared fit for duty and returned to the from the P.M. Two U.S.
Officers to return to-morrow, all stomach trouble. A high wind came up by night.

December 26, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Very windy, wet and raw. Unconfirmed reports from the front, 1 U.S. officer
approximately 20 other ranks killed in yesterday’s engagement. Tremendous
quantities of Christmas parcels and mail have been arriving during the last few days.
The letters are going on to the front, the parcels kept for the men’s return.

December 27, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Wind continuous, clearing and colder. Casualty return from the front confirms
yesterdays report. Apparently the mission was fairly easy, but they were shelled by
their own artillery.

The Force have returned to their forward base at Ceppagna, near Venfro, they are
mostly billeted in the town and have requested books, radio battery sets etc., and are
much more comfortable than the last ordeal they expect to be inactive for about a
week, pending the situation being cleared up. Their original mission still stands.

The city of Naples was placed out of bounds for all 5th Army troops excepting those
stationed in its limits, due to typhus epidemic among the civilian population.

About 70 American reinforcements arrived in camp to-day, the first of those
selected last week.

The honor and award question came up again to-night. General Clark is ready to
give some American awards to the Force and included on or more Canadians, but
since we have had no reply Brigadier Beaments cable, he had to be informed that
Canadians could not yet be included.

December 28, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Bright and cold. A chaser cable was sent by 1st Echelon on our accepting U. S.
awards for gallantry.

Forty more U.S. reinforcements arrived.

We were advised that Captain Cotton died of wounds and got a report of one officer
(U.S.) And 17 other ranks (4 Canadian) being buried, with a few more to be brought
in off the hill.

December 29, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Partly cloudy and cool. The boys at the front were buying up a number of piglets
and preparing them for a fresh pork dinner. New Years Eve, if they do not go into
action before. Artillery fire is continual, heaviest at night. An Italian women came in
from S. Vitorri, saying the Germans were evacuating the town, this is the last
fortified place this side of Cassino, if this report is true the Force would soon go into
action as their objective is just past S. Vitorri.

Canadian casualties resulting from the last engagements amounted to one office died
of wounds, 7 other ranks killed, 4 officers wounded and 49 other ranks wounded.

December 30, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

Dull and raw. The above casualties were reported to 2nd Echelon. Major Mills and
Captain Dawy of 2nd Echelon visited us at noon.

December 31, 1943, Santa Maria, Italy

A miserable wet cold day. The new U.S. reinforcements went on a route march this
afternoon. A quiet and sober New Years eve.

A request for 50 men from the Service Battalion to be pack carriers was received
during the evening from the forward base. The 3rd Regiment should be starting off
on their mission very soon now. This ends another year, it has been a very eventful
one for the Force which covered a good 20,000 miles during the past 12 months, a
long way before getting into real combat, and at that finds itself in a definitely
secondary theatre being used as glorified infantry and all the special training going
by the boards, expect possibly for mountain climbing. The question that can only be
answered in the new Year is “Will the Force be permitted to peter out here, which is
it doing rapidly, or will it be employed in a new theatre where some of its
specialized training can be used to advantage?”

January 1, 1944

Rain and cold. A very high wind blew down most of the latrines and a good deal of
the blackout curtains. A really nice turkey dinner at noon.

Colonel Williamson came in from the front in the afternoon, he had been called into
the Force Commander's C.P. in the morning, shown statements sighed by some of
his regimental officers, declaring lack of confidence in him as a result of the La
Defensa operation four weeks ago. Not one officer said a word to him about it and
he was given no intimation that they lacked confidence in his leadership until he was
handed the declarations four weeks after. He felt that he might have been told. He
was asked how quickly he could be packed and leave as he had been relieved from
his command, he had no opportunity to defend himself a most unfair way to handle
the case and especially to treat the man who had helped to create the Force and who
has been at the helm through its many turbulent and trying times.

January 2, 1944

A bright and cold day. The 3rd regiment received another 24 hour delay, expect to
go in to-night. Parakas are being sent forward as there is about 5" of snow on the
hills and quite cold.

January 3, 1944

Bright and warmer. We witnessed the greatest show of air power seen yet in this
area when 140 Fortresses and their fighter escorts went over on their return from a
bombing mission somewhere up the line they could have come from England bound
for Africa dropping their bombs enroute.

Colonel Williamson left the Force at noon to report to Brigadier Beament, Lt.
Colonel Gilday assumes temporary command until Lt. Colonel Akehurst is released
from hospital unless instructions to the contrary are received from M.D.H.Q.

January 4, 1944

Part cloudy and raw. Personal effects of last casualties taken to Avellino.

The huns did some bombing and straffing at the front this evening, three of our
trucks hit and several men. A U. S. outfit suffered quite heavy casualties.

January 5, 1944

Bright and cold. The Force is in action with some casualties although the opposition
is not so severe as formerly and they only have one ovjective left to take, this action
is expected to-night.

Colonel Williamson is a patient in the 14th Canaidan General Hospital at Caserta,
getting a rest and complete overhaul.

January 6, 1944

Bright and cold, all puddles frozen over this morning, the coldest night yet.

The men continue their training, getting conditionery drill and demolitions.

January 7, 1944

Bright and cool. Casualty returns from the front include a number of frost bitten feet.
There is no information of the fighting other than everything is going satisfactorily.

January 8, 1944

Continues bright and cold. To-days casualty return from the R.A.P. lists nearly 100
names half of them frost bit and exposure, the rest battle casualties. The weather in
the hills is very cold, high wind and snow. German resistance is quite servere,
artillery and mortar fire still taking its toll.

January 9, 1944

Warmer, some rain in the moring, snow in the hills. To-day Force casualty returns
has 122 names again nearly half are frost bite and exposure. There soon won't be
much left of the Force if casualties keep at this rate. Captain Perry is reported killed,
Lieutenant Atto seriously wounded.

January 10, 1944

Mild and damp. News from the front is bad, the Force commander  now commands
Task Force B of which the First Special Service Force forms a part. The Force is
being thrown into one action after another with only a handful of able bodied men
left and no sign of their being relieved. Seventy three names on to-days casualty
report, 40 frost bitten feet. Those retuning to camp on light duty say it is really
rugged and they are all played out. Three weeks to-morrow since they left here.

January 11, 1944

Bright and mild. Reports from the front continue to be very meagre. The 2nd
Regiment is supposed to be going into action to-night or to-morrow.

January 12, 1944

Continues bright and warm, maybe there is something in this "Sunny Italy" after all.

Major Fleury phoned from 1 echelon to say M.D.H.Q. had approved Lt. Colonel
Gilday as temporary officer commanding and a recommendation for a permanent
appointment to be submitted at a future date, also the officer commanding the
battalion now below the rank of Lt. Colonel is permitted to accept on behalf of the
Canadian Government. American Gallantry decorations awarded to personnel of the

January 13, 1944

Bright and warm. Lt. Colonel Gilday returned from the front to find out what was
going on, he had heard of Colonel Williamson's release, but had no particulars.

Whats left of the Force continues to do a good job, but all are thorougly tired out.

January 14, 1944

Fog early, clearing and warm, Lt. Colonel Gilday and Major Biscoe left for
Avellino, had lunch and a visit with Colonel Williamson who is to go to the 8th
Canadian Reinforcement Battalion at Forino in the morning, pending transfer to
U.K. Lt. Colonel Gilday met Colonel Dunn and Major Mills at the 2nd Echelon and
the latest casualties were reported.

January 15, 1944

Bright, and cool wind. Lt. Colonel Gilday discussed with Brigadier Beament our
status in view of our greatly depleted strength, we have nearly 300 in hospital and
on light duty and hard to say how many of of the rest are really fit. A cable was sent
to General Stuart for consideration.

A few came back from the front this evening and feel the Force will start returning

To-day's casualty return had 3 more Canadian other ranks killed and previosuly
reported by phone killed, confirmed.

January 16, 1944

Partly cloudy and cool. The 1st Regiment, amounting to only about 5 officers and
100 other ranks returned to camp in the late afternoon.

January 17, 1944

Clear and cold. More personal effects taken to Avellino. Second and third regiments
and service battalion returned during the day for a much needed rest. Joe E. Brown
entertained the boys in the afternoon.

They all had a chance to get a shower at a shower unit near Capua and an issue of
clean underwear and socks.

January 18, 1944

Clear and cool. had our delayed Christmas dinner to-day, plenty of turkey and all
the trimmings.

Brigadier Beament told Colonel Gilday that where practical we could S.O.S.
medical cases to Canadian General Hospitals for evacuation to Canada. A band
concert in the evening.

January 19, 1944

Clear and cool. A large number of Fortresses went over in the morning and again in
the afternoon. In the evening the Red Cross entertained and gave out coffee and
dougnuts. There are two shows each afternoon and evening and passes are issued to
the nearby towns. The only work being done is cleaning and sorting equipment as
the officers and men need a good rest, training for the new group continues.

January 20, 1944

Clear and cool. A final list of deceased personnel from the last missing was take to

At 1400 hours, Major General Keyes, commanding 2nd Corps presented American
Gallantry Awards to both Canadians and Americans of the Force and in a short
address, commendded the Force on the excellent job it did and hoped to hve it
attached to his Corps on another operation. The following Canaidans received the
Silver Star:

                              Lieutenant J. D. Mitchell
                              H-205057  S/Sgt. L. H. Rudolop
                              D-158506  Sgt. C. Gagnon
                              M-31330   Sgt. J. A. Parfett
                              M-102270  Sgt. R. A. Stirling
                              D-109795  Pte. R. B. Aitken

Four American, 1 officer and 3 other ranks completed the list.

January 21, 1944

Cold and clear. Sight seeing trips to Pompeii leave each morning at 0800 hours,
aranged for those who have come back from the front, it takes a day, they have
guides and seem to consider it well worth while. A good many of the rest get passes
from noon to 1730 hours to hearby towns, not much to see or do but a change and
they can buy oranges, apples, nuts and some gloves, cameos, etc.

Air acitivity has been heavy, likely softening up measure before the amphibious
landing near Rome scheduled to get under way to-night.

January 22, 1944

Clear and cold. Some reconditioning of troops getting under way, training will begin
again Monday 2 officers and a number of men from the Force are on detached duty,
driving the T-24 cargo carrier , taking supplies right to the front, only about a dozen
of the 100 odd we have, have been uncrated for use but are evidently very useful
although the rocky terrain plays cain with their track. The T-24 is a more modern
version of the T-15 (Weasel) we were trained in so thoroughly at Fort Harrison, last

January 23, 1944

Cool, and cloudy, a little rain. A memorial service was held for those who died
during the last operation, all personnel attended at 0900 hours. Passes were issued
to the nearby towns in the evening, the officers had quite a party, a good quantity of
liquor was presented for us in officer’s clubs, rather a change of policy for the U.S.
Army which is a “dry” army. There was also a turkey dinner.

Most of the remaining deceased’s officers were taken to Avellino

January 24, 1944

Cool and dull, some rain in the morning, clearing by afternoon. Training was mostly
sports, in the evening a softball game between officers of the combat echelon and
service battalion.

January 25, 1944

Partly cloudy and raw. Lt. Colonel Akehurst, Lt. Colonel Gilday and Major Briscoe
went to Forino to say good bye to Colonel Williamson who expects to leave for
U.K. in a day or two.

It is sincerely regretted that he should be leaving the Force and certainly under
conditions which he did not deserve.

January 26, 1944

Part cloudy and raw. We were advised this morning that the Force would leave its
present camp and move to the new beach head established at Nettuno to await
orders for future operations. Lt. Colonel Gilday left for Naples to advise 1 echelon
of the move. Major Biscoe went to Avellino to advise 2nd Echelon and make
administration arrangements. It is also expected to evacuate 1 officer and 12 other
ranks to Canada for medical reasons.

January 27, 1944

Bright and cool. The number of medical cases to be evacuated to U.K. now stands
at 2 officers, Major Hoskin and Lieutenant Heaman and 19 other ranks.

Preparations for moving getting under way.

January 28 & 29, 1944

Everyone busy packing and getting in a few last trips to town, officer’s hand bags
and man’s “B” bags will be stored here and sent up to the Beachhead later on. A
good deal of our equipment including parachute and T-24s will be left behind.

January 30, 1944

Bright, and cool wind. The Force left by truck convoy for a staging area in an olive
grove 2 miles above Pozzuoli, pitched their pup tents and bivouacked over night.

The Force Commander was promoted to Brigadier General today.

January 31, 1944

Bright and warm. Movement by foot began soon after noon with full pack to
Pozzuli, where the Force embarked on 4 L.S.Ts. And 7 L.C.Is. These craft left port
at 1800 hours, joined a large convoy in the bay and set out for the Beachead during
the evening.

February 1944

To be added September 2002.

March 1, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull, rain and cold wind. Moving day for the base echelon, having completed 4 weeks
in this area yesterday, we moved to a pine woods on the coast approximately 4000
yards above the Mussolini Canal. This move the Force closer together and provides a
much more secluded spot for our base and supplies.

Reveille at 0630 hours, breakfast at 0700 hours and instructions to pack everything
including all the fence poles and lumber collected as we will not be permitted to cut any

Trucks dispatched individually starting before noon. Headquarters and Headquarters
Company moved to-day.

The final count of P.Ws. taken by 1st Regiment is 4 officers and 107 other ranks, plus
several killed.

March 2, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright and warm in the morning. Several hundred heavy and medium bombers hit all
along the front and enemy supply lines. Cloudy and showers by afternoon. More troops
and supplies arriving from the old base, they had a number of shells land in the area as
the hun laid down a barrage directed at the road which is the only supply line to the
central sector of the front. Intelligence reported the enemy planned throwing 200
rounds every hour at the road from the bridge above us to Nettuno.

A heavy air attack at night by bombers based in Northern Italy, 1 and possibly 2 shot
down. Large fires started in Nettuno area where fuel and ammunition dumps were hit.

Thirty two officers and men arrived from hospital in the evening and supplies from the
old bivouac area in all night.

March 3, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Mostly dull and cool. Supplies continue to arrive at approximately 15 minute intervals,
all quartermaster property.

Everyone busy digging in and pitching tents, digging is bad as the ground is loose sand
and collapses easily. This should be a much more quiet area but will not provided the
grand sand seat for air activity that the other one did.

March 4, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull, some rain and raw. Q. M. property coming all day. About a dozen men
discharged from hospital returned to duty and were sent to the front after dusk.

Colonel Marshall, officer commanding 1st regiment was in, said his men were very
elated at capturing 111 prisoners since they only expected to get about 30.  This hun
company was apparently the forerunner of a major attack, since it was made up from
many units and had engineers and artillery observers. he added however that the men
were getting tired after over a month of continuous night patrolling and little time
during the day for sleep.

March 5, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull, raw wind and rain. Services at 0900 hours. A reasonably quiet day, personnel
continue digging in and supporting the walls with any odd bits of lumber available.

March 6, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Mostly bright and fairly warm the middle of the day, raw and rain by night. quite a bit
of artillery fire but generally the front was quiet, both sides were actively patrolling.

Colonel Gilday came into our wooded picnic area to prepare and sign end month
returns etc, leaving for his sector before dusk.

March 7, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Mostly clear and warm. Limited air activity and artillery fire light.

March 8, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright morning, cloudy and raw by afternoon. Captain Willison left for the base at
Santa Maria to pay personnel in hospital and prepare documents for those to be
evacuated to U. K.

German artillery in this sector very active, seemed to be trying to hit the main road
between here and Nettuno. At 1900 hours about 12, 88 mm shells came in close,
directed at the castle on the point which we used as an OP, all shells landed in the

March 9, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright, but cool. Routine patrolling, the enemy on the Force front appear to have
withdrawn, likely for rest and reorganizing for a further offensive. Part of the 15th
Division moved into our area this evening for a rest period, despite a bright moonlight
night only one German plane came over, just looking around, no bombs, no A.A.

March 10, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright, continues cold. The recent shelling has prompted a good many to substantial
rooves over their sleeping quarters. Protestant service at 1600 hours. A shower unit was
set up for those of the 3rd Division in here for a rest, so far our boys haven't been
allowed to use it but have hopes of getting a good shower before it pulls out.

March 11, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Cloudy and cool. A bit of air activity last night and early this morning, some good
shows of A. A. during the night, some heavy bombs dropped during the night on Anzio.

Our combat echelon is very indignant and feel insulted to find an Italian Marine unit is
being used opposite them instead of the all German units encountered to date.

March 12, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

A soaker, poured until late afternoon, a bright sunset and moonlight night. Protestant
service under the trees at 0900 hours.

Received advice that Lt. Colonel Akehurst assumed command of the Battalion effective
27th January 1944.

In the evening we were warned that starting in the morning and there after from 6 to 9
the area will be included in a large scale smoke screen of the harbour. Were also
warned that the huns might start shelling when they see the smoke. The idea is to cover
the harbour to permit the ships that anchor outside at night to get in undetected. The
harbour is in a defiladed position and can only be observed from the air but has been
too heavily bombed at night to permit ships to stay inside in comfort.

March 13, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright and cool. Smoke screen did not include our immediate area, only a little drifting
in early. The winds was inland and the smoke pots were burning all day gradually
obscuring the otherwise good visibility which always favours the enemy who still hold
the high ground.

We were advised unofficially that Canadian reinforcements were being considered. Lt.
Colonel Akehurst, Lt. Colonel Gilday and Major Biscoe had a meeting at the forward
C.P. re, reinforcements and decorations. When these two questions are cleared up we
should have some clear sailing, we hope. If the Force is to continue it will need a
complete reorganization taking 2 or 3 months, this will be ample time to train any
replacements in both specialized Force training and American weapons.

In the morning, 6 German shells were dropped in our rear area as harassing fire, one
artillery truck to our front was set afire. In the evening we were advised that 50 German
parachutists landed on the left flank of the Beach Head, all O.Ps, were specially alerted
and some additions were made.

March 14, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright and cool. It appears the parachutists were only imaginary, planes came in low
and someone jumped at conclusions, however, better ready than sorry.

General Frederick's staff officers had a birthday party for him in the evening at the
Force C.P. to celebrate his 37th birthday, an excellent dinner was prepared to include
punch, turkey and birthday cake.

March 15, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Cool and overcast. Some heave German shells came in a bit too close rocking the trees
and ground. Their artillery is increasing in both quantity and caliber. This morning an
American officer who was captured the night before last, returned to the Force, he had
been near Littoria and soon after a German officer started questioning him our artillery
opened up, the huns beat it and he escaped. He had been beaten on neck with a rubber
hose when he failed to answer questions. Hun prisoners can expect some rough
treatment from here in. Heavy rain by evening and one of the blackest nights yet, really
tough on drivers. One of our supply trucks upset in the ditch.

March 16, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Clear and cool. Lieut Jennings and Lieut Morrison returned from Hospital this morning. A fairly heave air raid over 0700 hours, no damaged reporfted. Lt. Colonel Akehurst was in during the morning.

March 17, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Overcast and cool. A heavy air raid early this morning (0400 hours), no reports yet on
damage a noticeably quiet day as far as artillery was concerned in this sector, both
sides must be resting up after their activity yesterday. Protestant service at 1600 hours.

March 18, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

A really fine day, bright and quite warm and no wind. German planes seemed to be
overhead nearly all night in small numbers A.A. was busy, a cruiser was blasting away
at Littoria all afternoon in support of our lines.

March 19, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Another fine day, visibility not quite as good. A few planes over head during the night
but no report of any bombs dropped yet. Services at 0900 hours in the Red Cross tent.
The shower unit back of our area set up for 3rd Division rest center is accommodating
our men who are also in need of a good soaping. The next thing is to get our own
combat echelon back at least a few at a time and give them a chance to clean up.

March 20, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

The morning started off dull and cool but cleared and warmed up before noon. Lt.
Colonel Bourne made his first trip into the base camp this morning. General Frederick
is expected to make his first visit this afternoon. A large group of enemy planes came
over high at 0700 hours, about 32 planes, no doubt looking over a large convoy that
came in yesterday afternoon, no results of their bombing received yet.

March 21, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Another dull and cool morning clearing by noon. No emeny air activity during the night
or day, some shelling of the port and roads leading in. A large duck park between our
area and Nettuno got a lot of shelling, but keep very busy going out to ships and
bringing their supplies in. They operate from Red and X-ray beaches about 2 miles
below Nettuno.

Lt. Colonel Akehurst was advised that 15 officers and 250 other ranks are available as
reinforcements, and he will likely go to Naples to arrange for training in the U. S.
weapons etc, before the join the Unit.

The 509th Parachute Battalion (U.S.) is expected to be attached to the Force to-
morrow. What is left of the Rangers were attached to-night, those having served
overseas 2 years are to return to the U.S.A. there are very few left, of 19 officers
eligible to return, only 2 are alive. A fairly heavy air raid at 2030 hours if A.A. means
anything, no bombs dropped near us.

March 22, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull and raw in the morning after a light rain in the night, clear and warm again by
noon. a number of officers came in from the front, some to see the picnic spot we have
as it seems the base is again to be moved. This will throw administration into a cocked
hat as it is the first time on the Beach-Head we have had good enough working
conditions to get caught up and with the prospects of having each battalion come in
from the lines for a few days rest, we could have brought all the pay books up to date
as they haven't been touched for over two months and also have a must parade for the
Canadians in each battalion.

March 23, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Cool and rain this morning. A quiet night no enemy planes in evidence. Orders to move
after dark to-night so once again all the work suspended and packing began. The move
was held up when jerry decided to bomb the woods, one dud fell in the area and one
flare on which the parachute did not open.

The new area is divided, the Canadian section, American, Finance, Personnel and
Administration moving into a large house. There are many Italian families in the house,
some have to be moved out and sent back to Naples. The rest of the base, including
supplies and equipment moved into a ditch some distance north of the house which is
a bit of a mud hole and causes considerable difficult in getting in and digging in.

The 4th Ranger Battalion was attached to the Force at 0001 hours and retained their
position on the line temporarily.

March 24, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright and cool. Much smoke is being put up to obscure enemy observation, our house
being in the open and in clear view of enemy O.Ps., requiring a minimum of outside
activity. The men are very cramped, some sleep in their officers, the others in an
adjoining bar. After supper a number of 88s landed just behind us .3 in the middle of
a bivouac area. Yesterday, before we arrived, one hit a cow and there is much fresh
meat in the house to-day. The nightly air raid in the early evening and a fairly quiet

March 25, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull and cool, a very strong wind accompanied by rain developed about 1130 hours
and became colder during the day, clear and cold by night. Considerable air activity
during the day but apparently no raid at night, the high wind may have prevented it.
Artillery was active, some of jerry's shells again covering the area behind us and down
to a busy cross roads. The smoke pots were soon in operation covering the cross roads.

March 26, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Clear and cool. Protestant service in the stable at 1000 hours. Some harassing fire in
the area, one ammunition carrier was hit with much black smoke and heavy explosions
as the result. A good air raid in the evening, the flak was sining about the house, the
Elites we all huddled in their rooms, shaking, Fadeski, no Bone, (German's no good)
in their chief greeting to us during these occasions.

March 27, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Clear and cool. The usual harassing fire in these areas. Have been told the Hun is really
pasting Nettuno and Anzio these days with 270 mm shells, ( 10 inch) the buildings go
up in a cloud of dust when hit. Quite a heavy raid about 1630, a least 10 planes bombed
the harbour, the R.A.F. shot down 5, no further raids during the night.

March 28, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Bright, and cool wind. An increase in hun artillery fire, some men in the first regiment
were hit, one killed when an 88 came in a window and exploded in the room they were
in, the man sitting under the window was untouched.

Lt. Colonel Akehurst and Lt. Colonel Gilday were in during the morning concerning
Canadian matters generally and reinforcements in particular. It is sincerely hoped the
Force can be withdrawn from the line and taken off the Beach Head for a few months
reorganization and training of reinforcements. They have been in the line for nearly two
months and agood many men are getting very jittery from lack of sleep and continual
patrolling. There are rapidly getting out of condition, particularly the forward element
who are pinned in the their foxholes all day. The 34th Division completed relief of the
3rd and took command of their sections of the line at 0900 hours. The 3rd Division are
now resting in the woods we just left.

March 29, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Partly cloudy and cool. A very quiet day after fairly heavy artillery fire during the night,
hun planes were over but no A.A. A raid was made at 1530 our A.A. knocked down
two. They had straffed and bombed the harbour but no damage reported. Rome radio
had noting to say about the Italian theatre so it much have been an uneventful day.
Another raid in the evening, a batch of A. P. bombs were dropped near a woods, heavy
A.A. fire.

March 30, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull and raw. Some engineers blew up 3 containers of hun A. P;. bombs that had failed
to open and the bombs inside were intack, they landed in the field behind, several
nights ago. An air raid in the evening, didn't sound like many planes and were driven
off by A. A.  A windy and cloudy night.

March 31, 1944,  Anzio Beachhead, Italy

Dull, windy, some rain. The body of one of our N.C.O.s missing since 29th February
was recovered this morning, all effects had been taken off him, also his boots by the

We have been advised that 15 officers and 250 other ranks were reporting to our old
bivouac area to-day as reinforcements. Lt. Colonel Akehurst is leaving to-day for
Naples to arrange for their coming up after they are equipped with U.S. clothing and
weapons etc. The month closes with the Beach Head in a relative state of inactivity.
The month of April, apart from bringing mosquitos and the danger of Malaria should
bring better weather and we hope either the Beach Head can be considerably expanded
or the Force can be relieved and return to the rear for a rest and reorganization. The
question of Honours and awards remains unanswered.

April and May 1944

To be added, September 1944.

June 1, 1944

Bright and warm. Messenger run established between here and Artena, but still little
information received.

Lt. Colonel Akehurst's regiment moved south along highway six last night and met
the French at Collaferro, they took over 400 prisoners, they expect to be in Rome by

June 2, 1944

Bright and warm. Advances continue all along the line but no details re Force

June 3, 1944

Bright and warm. Force is supposed to be out for a two day rest, but on arrival at
Artena found every one busy packing, ready to take off after dark for another push
toward Rome. Force C.P. and Medics are moving up highway six to Del Finocchie,
it is not expected the hun will try to defend Rome.

June 4, 1944

Bright and warm. Rumours have the Force in Rome but can get no confirmation and
again have no contact with our forward C.P.

June 5, 1944

Bright and warm. Fifty Army reports they are beyond Rome so the Force supply
officer has gone up to try to locate the Force and arrange to move the Base forward
as we are now much too far back to establish contact. Received orders after supper
to move first thing in the morning to Ost Finocchio on highway six about six miles
this side of Rome. A busy evening packing.

Colonel Marshall O.C. 1st regiment was killed by a sniper just outside of Rome, one
of the finest officers and a serious loss to the Force.

June 6, 1944

Bright and cool. Breakfast at 0600 hours, advance party left at 0700 hours,
destination changed to Tor Sapinenza, halfway between highways 6 and 5, 4 miles
from Rome. On arrival found that 8th Army had taken over sector and the Force to
be moved below highway 6, bivouac area not decided upon and a good many left to
see Rome.

The 2nd battalion 3rd regiment was relieved from guarding eight bridges in Rome
over the Tiber this p.m. The Force now at rest in the Fifth Army reserve. The Force
was given credit as being the First into Rome. There was considerable Hun. rear
guard activity by small groups well armed with tank support and the men found
themselves being embraced whole heatedly by the populace one minute and
engaged in heave street fighting the next.

June 7, 1944

Bright and warm. Air raids on one hour duration in Rome this a.m. What could be
rounded up of the Force moved to our new bivouac area on the north shore of Lake
Albano below Castel Gandelfo last night. It will likely take a day or two to get them
all assembled as they don't all know our new station. This is the best rest area we
have hit in Italy. Lago Albano is an old volcanic crater, the steeply rising shore is
well wooded, the lake is clear and grand swimming. No living in dugouts or fox
holes and no sound of artillery fire or bombing. The men are spending the days in
the water, lying in the sun, boating, fishing and getting laundry up to scratch.

Lt. Colonel Akehurst for Naples this p.m.

June 8, 1944

Bright and warm. Administration Personnel arrived this morning, set up in a small
house and went to work getting casualty reports up to date, it will be a big job and a
pay parade must also be arranged as the men hope to get a day in Rome in the near

June 9, 1944

Bright and warm. Training consists of one hour in the morning of P.T. and one hour
in the afternoon of P.T. or route march, the rest of the time in the lake or sun

Captain Willison arrived from Santa Maria this afternoon to pay the troops.

June 10, 1944

Bright and warm. Contact was made with the Fifth Army regarding dispatch of our
casualty cables through U. S. channels. This service was handled by 6th Corps
while we were attached to them and continued during our attachment to 2nd Corps.
We are now in Fifth Army reserve.

A training schedule came out to-night to start to-morrow also a pass schedule
permitting 10 % of the command to visit Rome daily from 1600 hours to 2200
hours. The men have been very browned off about being confined to this area when
they did much hard fighting in the city before it was taken and most other units seem
to be having the run of it.

June 11, 1944

Dull, rain and cool. Twenty trucks with Force personnel left at 0830 hours for a
thanksgiving service in St. Mary's church. Rome for the Allies liberation of the city.
It was a Roman Catholic Service open to all dominations. Protestant services in the
area at 0930 hours and 1330 hours.

The first group to go on pass left for Rome at 1600 hours. A number of petitions
were made by company and platoon commanders re the short pass, the matter was
referred to the Force Commander and in the future 50% of the command go daily
and starting Tuesday the ours will be 1000 to 2200 hours.

June 12, 1944

Mostly dull, some rain. A Force memorial service was held at 1430 hours for those
killed or missing since the last service in December 1943.

Pay parades were held for all ranks during the morning, a muster parade was held in
conjunction with the pay parade.

June 13, 1944

Bright and warm. The 50% of troops not on pass are training, cleaning weapons
which rust quickly at night when there is heavy dew and listing their shortages of
clothing and equipment.

June 14, 1944

Bright and hot. Clothing and equipment parades in the morning before the men left
for Rome. A good deal of practice firing of small arms and mortars.

In the evening the officers of the 463rd Parachute  FA battalion, attached to the First
Special Service Force, had a party known of a "Prop Blast" a number of officers
from the Force were invited and a good time had by all.

June 15, 1944

Bright and warm. Routine activities. Captain Walliston went back to Santa Maria in
the evening.

June 16, 1944

Bright and war. Another Canadian War Correspondent called, interviewed some of
our officers and other ranks.

In the afternoon Majors Chambers and Lewis from 2nd Echelon came in to check
into our casualties and effective strength and arrange for our inclusion in the D. R.
run between Naples and 5 Canadian General Hospital in Rome. The D. R. service
would be a great help to expedite returns etc. We received a cable this afternoon
sent from 2nd Echelon on the 2nd June 44.

June 17, 1944

Bright and warm. A good number of tickets were given to those on pass to Rome to
Irving Berlin's show, "This is the Army".

A real storm in the evening soaked those returning from Rome.

June 18, 1944

Dull, cool and still raining. Services at 0815 and 0900 hours.

June 19, 1944

Dull, cool wind and rain. Lt. Colonel Akehurst returned from Naples at 0800 hours.
He was advised this evening that he could request reinforcements to brought up here
for training and is flying to Naples in the morning to arrange for their selection.

The mission planned for the Force has been cancelled and so long as the Fifth Army
keeps rolling it is unlikely to be called upon. The mission was a ship to shore behind
the first wall of resistance the Hun. put up.

June 20, 1944

Dull, cool and some rain. Lt. Colonel Akehurst left by plane for Naples, hoping to
get 250 other rank reinforcements. Officers will only be taken if they appear
especially good.

Our casualties from the 1st of May to and including the capture of Rome were 18
officers, 194 other ranks, (including killed, missing and wounded) approximately
30% of our strength.

June 21, 1944

Bright and warm. A training schedule came out to-day for the combat echelon,
attached as an appendix.

Major Harrison, Historical officer from 1st Corps came in this afternoon to compile
a complete history of the battalion to supplement and enlarge upon our war diaries
and monthly returns. The main point of view from an Historical interest seems to be
the feeling of Canadians serving in the American Army, and the fundamental
differences in the administration and discipline of the two armies.

June 22, 1944

Bright and warm. One hundred and forty five heavy bombers passed overhead going
North at 0900 hours, Jerry can expect some rough treatment.

A cable was received to-day requesting transportation for 210 Canadian
reinforcements to be brought up her tomorrow.

June 23, 1944

Dull and cool. A parade at 0900 hours for presentation of awards to 15 officers and
other ranks.

The Force commander spoke to, the personnel present on the pleasure it gave him to
presenting these awards, which were all well deserved. He then expressed
disappointment  that he had been ordered to leave the Force, effective to-day. This
was a stunning announcement to all present and entirely unexpected. He apparently
has been offered the command of the 36th Division on several occasions and turned
it down each time until order to take it now. He has been the driving power behind
the Force and its future is now in the air. Colonel Walker officer commanding 3rd
regiment assumes command of the Force.

Lt. Colonel Akehurst returned from Naples about noon. The Canadian
reinforcements arrived about 1700 hours, 4 officers and 206 other ranks, they were
assigned to the regiments and will received their training with the companies to
which they are assigned.

June 24, 1944

Bright and clear. Major Bates and two clerks arrived from 2nd Echelon to-day to
check all records of the new men and help bring us up to date on hospitalization etc.
It appears all our C.Rs have not yet arrived at Echelon.

Major Harrison obtained the last of his information for the historical record on the
battalion, discussing the psychological aspect with Lt. Colonel Akehurst.

June 25, 1944

Bright and warm. The usual quota to Rome, the remainder training. Rubber boats,
small arms firing, hand to hand combat etc.

A group of U.S.O. personnel put on a good show after dinner.

June 26, 1944

Bright and warm. Pass schedule cut down to 50% of one regiment per day from
1200 hours to 2200 hours. Training from 0730 hours to 1700 hours daily.

June 27, 1944

Bright and warm. Major Bates departed for 2nd Echelon this morning. Our records
have all been checked with those at echelon and were are up to date again.

Contact was made with 1 echelon in their new high class establishment in Rome.
We will have D.R. service daily and if possible to our new stations after we start
moving again.

June 28, 1944

Mostly dull and sticky. Warning orders were received this morning for the Force to
move to Naples area.

Lt. Colonel Becket is to command the 3rd regiment, replacing Colonel Walker, now
Force Commander.

Lt. Colonel Gilday's request for transfer back to the Canadian Army was approved
to-day. He had reached the end of his tether at swallowing American Army
methods. He has done an excellent job as battalion commander and was offered
command of a regiment recently but wants no further part of the Force. He goes
with the best wishes of those who served with him and no few Canadians will be
envious of his getting back into his own army.

June 29, 1944

Mostly bright and hot. Lt. Colonel Gilday left to report to 1 echelon to-day with an
adverse report made out by the new Force commander, who only a few days ago
saw fit to give his command of his old Regt.

This is one of the things that makes the Canadians wish they were back in their own
army. It is the first official act of the new Force Commander concerning Canadians.

Brigadier Weeks came out to the camp in the afternoon, met all the Canadian
Officers and left soon after supper.

June 30, 1944

Bright and warm. Pay day for Canadians, starting at 0730 hours also muster paraded
and check on next of kin.

Movement orders received, the Force to move to an undisclosed destination
between Santa Maria and Salerno, advance parties to receive directions at Santa
maria. Organizational equipment to go overland by truck. Personnel to go by truck
to Anzio and by Liberty ship to Naples. One again packing gets under way.

July 1944

To be added October 2002.

August 1, 1944

Bright and hot. Col. Akehurst returned from Avellino last night, having selected 4
Officers and 57 O.R's. 7 O.R's were sent to X-9 List this morning. Authority was
received to select a further 4 Officers and 10 O.R's.

August 2, 1944

Bright and hot. 3 O.R's sent to X-9 List. Major Viscoe went to Avellino to make the
additional selection of 4 Officers and 10 O.R's. At 1630 hrs 7 Officers and 65 O.R's
left Avellino to begin training at the Base Detachment, Santa Maria. Some of the
skips to be used in the operation have arrived and are anchored in the bay at
Agrololi, one the Prince Henry, is Canadian. The Prince David is also in the Force
with the French. Lt. Col. Wentemute PMCT, Capt. Digby and 3 Clerks arrived at
noon. We were advised that we were no longer to receive our pay at the U. S.
equivalent, and began work figuring out the over payments to 30 June 44, to be
written off. From 1 July we pay $4.47 per 400 Lire. There is always someone
digging moral busters out of the hat. Lt. Col. Wickham, Force Executive Officer,
returned from Hospital and left to be General Fredericks Chief of Staff.

August 3, 1944

Bright and hot. A number of Officers have been visiting the Prince Henry and
meeting chaps they have known or have friends in common. All ships Captains
came to dinner, and most Officers came in from the ships to attend a boxing match
run by have Regiment...Some very good matches.

August 4, 1944

Bright and hot. Training being rounded off. All personnel working as far as possible
from the ships they will be on in the operation. All ships have not yet arrived.

August 5, 1944

Bright and hot. 2nd Regiment had a night landing problem. The Forces Officers
Club had an open house in the evening with the first issue of beer.

August 6, 1944

Bright and hot. The Prince Boudouin arrived today, and 1st Regiment arranged a
problem for the evening so all can get at least somewhat familiarly with whats to be
expected. All the Royal Marine crews for the L.C.As are new and haven't
experienced rubber boats before. Services throughout the day at Regimental C.Ps.
As a result of the problem everyone is very glad that tommorrows show is just and
exercise and not the real McCoy.

August 7, 1944

Bright and hot, a very calm sea. Troops embarked during the morning, completed
before noon. Weighed anchor at 1400 hrs, and along with the French Commandoes
Force put to sea. French Force turned in near Gaeta. Ours arrived at the islands of
Ponza and Zannone at about 2200 hrs. A great deal of difficulty was experienced
getting away from the ships, units being up to an hour late in getting away. A bright
moon, alright for an exercise, but not for an operation.

August 8, 1944

Bright and hot. All troops had embarked by 1200 hrs and the ships got underway.
Some went into Naples for refuelling and supplies. The 1st Regiment returned direct
to Santa Maria and had another exercise getting to shore by rubber boats. More
successful than the previous night.

August 9 - 10, 1944

Bright and hot. Time spent replacing lost and damaged equipment. some of the
ammunition that was unserviceable was replaced, it was probably old ammunition
that had been stored in Africa for some time and was very rusty. The ships all left
for refuelling and supplying.

August 11, 1944

Bright and hot. the combat echelon, along with their equipment and supplies
embarked during the morning, and the convoy including the French Commandos put
to sea at approximately 1230 hrs for a staging area in Corsica. The rear Echelon
began movement back to Santa Maria Capua Vetere.

August 12, 1944

Bright and hot. Administration moved today and were set up for work by night. The
training Bn. are getting in route marches and firing all weapons and mortar on the

August 13, 1944

Bright and hot. A busy day unloading the trucks as each convoy came in. The
barracks have been considerably improved since we left last January. There is some
running water and two showers in operation. It is the hottest place we have hit yet,
being away from sea breezes, and still having to wear woollen clothing.

August 14, 1944

Bright and hot. Contact made with A.F.H.Q. to insure that all returns from the unit
after the Base moves forward will be delivered to 2nd Echelon. They will hold mail
for pick up by D.R.L.S. and cables will be despatched by motorcycle courier direct.

August 15, 1944

Bright and very hot. "D" Day, and everyone is wondering how the Force and the
invasion generally is making out. 15th Cdn General Hospital will admit our men
who are returned to unit as fit but are not ready for combat. After all the time we
have been here and all the circulars issued to U. s. Hospitals re the handling of
Canadian personnel, there are still some that don't know what to do, and seems to
return them to the Unit to get them off their hands. 7th Army Rear will see that all
Canadian matter coming through their hands is sent either to A.F.H.Q. or 2nd
Echelon. If these arrangements hold up in practice we should be able to get casualty
reports through quickly. A year ago, "D" day on .

August 16, 1944

Bright and very hot. Only news is that the Force took their two Islands with little
opposition and went on to take a town on the mainland before dawn yesterday. (The
Force did not reach the mainland until D day plus 2)

August 17, 1944

Bright and still hot. Training for reinforcements goes on as usual. Some night

August 18, 1944

Partly cloudy early, and hot.

August 19, 1944

Heavy rain early, bright and warming up by 1000 hrs. A number of our personnel
have been admitted to a U.S. General Hospital in Naples, from France. Apparently
casualties were higher than we expected. 2nd Regiment taking quite a beating.
Nothing official as yet. Our gas truck caught fire this morning and made quite a
blaze, as 1600 gallons went up in flame and smoke. Negro fire department from
Caserta couldn't get near it, and it had to burn itself out. The tanker was a total loss.

August 20, 1944

Bright and hot. First returns came in from the Force. Casualties fairly high.
Considerably more Canadians killed than Yanks.

August 21, 1944

Bright and hot. Major Biscoe visited 1st Echelon concerning our next move which
may possibly detach us from 1st and 2nd Echelon. We are prepared to assume our
own 2nd Echelon functions if necessary. The O i/c suggested our requesting to be
allowed to take our own so-called 1st Reinforcements into battle the same as the
Americans, as it will complicate business if we have to hold them back, especially if
we have no established base. He also agreed to again take up the question of
Honours and Awards which doesn't seem to be any farther ahead than when we
arrived here. It seems very unfair that a unit of the Canadian Army should be
required to draw its own Awards out of a foreign allotment.

August 22, 1944

Bright and hot. Very little news coming back from the Force. A few casualty
returns, and it is understood that have been committed again to take a third Island
that has been causing a bit of trouble. It was originally to have been taken by French
Commandos, but they went directly to the mainland. The heat is hampering training.
Morning route marches are scheduled sick parade doubles.

August 23, 1944

Bright and hot. No news from the Force. A number of our old hospital cases are
returning and are ready to go forward when the base moves up.

August 24, 1944

Bright and hot. Training as usual. No news from the Force.

August 25, 1944

Bright and hot. The Training Detachment and some personnel returned from
Hospital were warned for movement last night, postponed until this A.M. and it now
appears that they would leave before tomorrow. Last minute instructions received at
2nd Echelon regarding our procedure after departure and also should we be required
to act as our own 2nd Echelon.

August 26, 1944

Bright and hot. 200 all ranks from the Training Detachment left camp after dinner
for their ship, loading to start at 1500 hrs and be completed by 2359 hrs. The
remainder will go up when their ship comes in, and may not get away until the Base
moves. A beer ration of 12 bottles per Officer and O.R. issued in the afternoon...
should be a lively Saturday night>

August 27, 1944

Bright and hot. Another casualty return came in. One O.R. DOW and 2 Officers
wounded and a few O.R's. The base is in a small costal town named Frejus, west of

August 28, 1944

Bright and hot.

August 29, 1944

Bright and hot. Little activity other than packing and awaiting moving instructions.
The cast of "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" came to the base after the
performance for a party, all but Katherine Cornell came over, they seemed to have a
good time. All organizational equipment and personal baggage was taken at 1400
hrs. Personnel will not likely leave before Thursday or Friday.

August 30, 1944

Bright and hot. It seems definite that personnel will embark on Friday morning. Our
date of arrival is still 4 Sept, No news from the Force, it is believed they are going
East towards Nice.

August 31, 1944

Bright and hot. First convoy will leave tomorrow at 0830 hrs for Naples and
embarkation to the U.S.S. Jefferson will take place. 15 Officers to the U.S.S.
Florence Nightingale and Q.M. personnel with their property on the British Liberty
Ship Samoland.

September 1, 1944, Santa Maria, Capua Vetere

Bright and hot. First envoy left Santa Maria at 0830 hrs for Naples and embarkation
on U.S.S. Thomas Jefferson. 15 Officers left at 1000 hrs, embarked on U.S.S.
Florence Nightingale. The Q.M. Section left at 1700 hrs, embarked on Br. Liberty
Ship Samoland.

September 2, 1944, On Route

Bright and hot. Convoy got underway at 1800 hrs, 7 Transports with 3 escort ships.
Very calm.

September 3, 1944, On Route

Dull and windy. Wind developed to 50 M.P.H. lashed up the sea and made a rough
passage, quite a number seasick, one sailor was washed off a Corvette. Passed
through Strait of Bonifacio at 1800 hrs, turned north, the ships really rolled.

September 4, 1944, On Route

Bright and warm. Sighted the coast of France about 0700 hrs, dropped anchor near
St. Michele at 0930 hrs. Unloaded by landing craft. By convoy along the coast road,
a beautiful drive, a certain amount of destruction by some lovely estates intact. The
people all along seemed genuinely glad to see Allied Troops. all waving and
laughing, an excellent first impression of France. Arrived at Nice at 1700 hrs, are
bivouacked in two really fine Villas, by far the best we have hit yet complete with
running water and electric lights. The Force is a few miles east of here but no one
knows the exact location.

September 5, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and warm. Contacted Lt. Col. Akehurst at his C.P. in Bougheas. The Force is
in the hills, not much action but flares up every now and the, They have walked all
the way from St. Rafael and are on the tired side. The French Forces of the Interior
are doing a good job bringing in information and prisoners, besides their own
waring. First Regt is opening an advance C.P. in Peillon tonight. Everyone is always
on the move and hard to find, one never knows when they may overshoot their mark
and e in enemy lines. The Germans have some very powerful forts all through these
parts that must be knocked out one by one.

September 6, 1944, Nice, France

Partly bright, rain by evening. Busy catching up on Admistrative routine.

September 7, 1944, Nice, France

Rain and cool. Force continues to advance slowly through the mountains. Very cold
at night and their "B" baggage has not arrived. The Liberty ship can't unload due to
rough sea. Col. Akehurst was in at noon, his C.P. has moved up to Menton.

September 8, 1944, Nice, France

Partly cloudy and cool, clearing and warmer by noon. Force C.P. is moving to
Menton, near the Italian border on the coast.

September 9, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and warm. Third Regt is running into stiffer resistance in the hills although
the Jerry seems to be falling back to the M.L.R. across the Italian border. Our
patrons have been across the border.

September 10, 1944, Nice, France

Clear and cool. Enemy resistance still stiffening. A reported landing on Cap Martin,
our patrol sent there made no contact.

September 11, 1944, Nice, France

Clear and cool. Menton is receiving some heavy shelling at night. 2nd Regt.
engaged in some stiff fighting in the mountains. Germans seem determined to retake
some of the high ground.

September 12, 1944, Nice, France

Warm and hazy. Hospital reports are again conspicuous by their absence. We
confirmed that a Cdn Officer and O.R. had died of wounds, the hospital sending no
notification to the unit. It is not known at this time if 7th Army is notifying 2 Ech.

September 13, 1944, Nice, France

Dull and wet. One of our Sgts was wounded yesterday, fell into German hands, was
treated and when our stretcher bearers came on the scene an armistice was agreed
upon, our Sgt being exchanged for a Heinie Officer (a fair exchange). The Heinies
carried our Sgt in after their Capt had said good bye and wished him luck.

September 14, 1944, Nice, France

Clear and cool. Major Biscoe spent the day at Dragingnon checking with the 51st
Evacuation Hospital for Cdn admissions, discharges and transfers. They handle all
personnel evacuated from this sector and either return them to duty when recovered
or send them to a convalescent Hosp or evacuate them to the interior (at present
Italy). They send all there returns to 7th Army but as yet the unit has been given not
information except for 1 D.O.W., and also checking with the American Military
Cemetery for Cdns buried there, found one officer who had been buried 27 Aug. No
information had been sent by the hospital in which he died and burial returns always
take along time to come through. The Br. Graves Registration were going to send
the effects to Cairo, having no other instructions. They were asked to obtain
authority to send them to 2 Ech and the effects they had were brought to the unit for
shipment to 2 Ech.

September 15, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. The Heinie one man submarines keep turning up. They don't seem
to do much damage and several have been destroyed. A Frenchman suspected of
espionage was brought in and put in the stockade until he sobers up.

September 16, 1944, Nice, France

Clear and cool. The Frenchman was turned over to French Intelligence today.
Artillery still scattered along front lines and taking its toll on our personnel. Looks
like the Force is getting another Anzio deal, being given a very large front to hold by
active patrolling with its high rate of casualties. The Force is completely committed
with no reserves and for that matter there are no troops to speak of between here
and Marseilles, but the hun seems to be fighting a holding war though he has more
troops than we and some really fine forts (built by the French as the southern portion
of their maginot line)

September 17, 1944, Nice, France

Bright, warm and windy. 3 more Cdn O.R's killed when a shell hit there fox hole.
Force Commander is requesting more Cdn reinforcements. O.C. requests we be
brought back up to strength while the Base Det is at Santa Maria, Capua Vetere. It
is proposed the Base will move out by the end of the month and come up here. If the
reinforcements can be selected in time they will come up with the Det and get their
training here. From now on it will be a different matter with no base in Italy.

September 18, 1944, Nice, France

Cool, dull and wet. Little activity along the line, some artillery. A push is planned to
straighten out the line, to take place possibly today. It is unlikely there will be any
offensive action in this sector, both sides digging in. It is hoped the French will take
over and relieve the whole of the 1st A.B.T.F. (Airborne Task Force)

September 19, 1944, Nice, France

Dull, cool and wet. Set our clocks back 1 hour at 0200 hrs to A Time. The city of
Nice did not change making dealings with civilians a bit complicated from a time

September 20, 1944. Nice, France

Clearing and cool. A.B.T.F. HQ were contacted regarding lack of official mail
coming in. There is no air courier to Italy nor is there cable service. They could give
us no hope that mail etc routed to England would be any faster. It seems that as long
as we are in this sector we are an isolated group and reports are bound to be slow
getting to Echelon. Acting as our own 3 Ech at this point would not improve the
situation as communications is non existent other than by water. Our first official
mail arrived this P.M. but no indication that any of ours has reached Echelon yet.
Lieut Bennett, W. R. promoted to A/Capt. to-day.

September 21, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. Lieut McDonald, M. A. returned to Avellino this A.M. on medical
grounds. 7th Army General Order #77 d/15 Sept 44 publishes the following U.S.
awards to Cdn personnel.
          Distinguished Service Cross    Lieut. A. L. Wright
          Silver Star    Capt. W. W. Wilson - Lieut J. C. Legault - Lieut C. J. McNair -
     B53066 Pte. Magee W. J. F. E. - B67363 Pte. Mitchell, E. V. (Posthumous)

September 22, 1944, Nice, France

Cool and bright. The French set their clocks back an hour at midnight, we are now
all on A time. The Base Det, those rend from hosp and US reinforcements arrived in
Marseilles to-day and will move to Nice likely tomorrow. All fit personnel will
proceed at once to the front where they are badly needed. Enemy artillery has been
heavy, particularly in 3 Regt sector, they are using heavy calibre guns.

September 23, 1944, Nice, France

Dull and cool. Trucks left this A.M. for Marseilles, will bring personnel here in two
shifts those with duty status will come first. 1st and 2nd Regiments are bringing one
platoon at a time down to Menton for a 24-48 hrs rest and let them get a bath and
clean clothes.

September 24, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and warm. The 1st Convoy of U.S. reinforcements and personnel returned
from hospital arrived at 0100 hrs. As many as possible will go to their companies
today. The rest from Marseilles should arrive late today or early tomorrow. 3rd Regt
came in for some very heavy shelling this A.M., no casualties reported. Church
services were held where possible at unit C.P's. Pay is being issued in instalments,
some having to be paid up at the top of the mountains. They have no need for it in
the line other than P.X. supplies but want some when they come down from their
days rest.

September 25, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and warm. All personnel from Marseilles have arrive and those ready for
combat are being equipped to return to their coys or be assigned to coys. Those who
require more training are being billeted in the hotel near the Var river and a training
centre has been selected, if Cdn reinforcements arrive they will receive their training
there also.

September 26, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. Shelling about Menton and front line area has increased, several
civilian casualties reported yesterday. 1st Regt patrol captured 2 P.O.W's and killed
2 of an enemy artillery observation relief on their way to their post. This A.M. an
officer and 3 men out to investiage their disappearance were also taken P.O.W.

September 27, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. M. Lavall was at this base to dinner he is a Belgiam, a lawyer from
Brussels living in Menton for the war, he defended Edith Cavell, said he had been
told after the trial that she had been sentenced and condemned before the trial took
place. Enemy activity increasing, considerable shell fire. The majority of the new
arrivals went forward this afternoon.

September 28, 1944, Nice, France

Cool, dull and scattered showers. Very heavy and concentrated enemy artillery fire
on Menton last night from 271600A to approx 280600A est. 300-400 rounds mixed
calibre. A number of civilian casualties, M. Lavall who visited us yesterday was
killed. 2 soldiers killed and 2 wounded. Rather dempens the prospect of the
platoons taking their day or two rest in town. They may bring them back to Nice to
the Reinforcement hotel.

September 29, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. Artillery fire and activity generally considerably lighter during last
24 hrs.

September 30, 1944, Nice, France

Bright and cool. The enemy are bringing in a great deal of artillery and have definite
superiority numerically. Our men are confined to their fox holes and just have to
take it. It is quite noticeable how many of the old original men are cracking, they
have been through too much of this sort of thing 99 days without a break at Anzio,
over a month already here and no prospects of relief.

October 1, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Another night of heavy shelling in Menton. Civilians being
evacuated by bus and truck to Nice to be completed by Wednesday, a good many
do not want to leave. The evacuation was ordered by the French. Three French Red
Cross girls are doing a great job, they drive their ambulances through the thick of
the shelling to get wounded people. They also go out into no-mans land to take
supplies to isolated families.

October 2, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull, wet and raw. Enemy artillery fire and mortar heave, inflicting several

October 3, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. Enemy artillery noticeably decreased, our counter battery fire seems
to be having its effect. Three escaped P.O.W's were recaptured by our M.P's, have
come all the way from Hyers and had a very dim view of our prison camps. (run by
the French).

October 4, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cloudy and cool, rain by evening. The one enemy plane continues to fly over the
front lines most nights. The French Red Cross girls successfully arranged and
executed the evacuation of the civilians in Castittorn back through our lines early
this morning. She arranged the evacuation yesterday, the Germans being most
hostile and uncooperative she went back as planned this morning about 0300 hrs
carrying as instructed a red light, navigated the rugged paths and found the German
had quite changed their tune and were relatively decent. No one could help but
admire the girls courage. She came into 1st Regt. C.P. about 0700 hrs completely
tired out but with her mission accomplished.

October 5, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool and dull. Major Biscoe left for Marseille to visit U.S. Hospitals and Cemetery
re reporting to 2 Ech.

October 6, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool, rain and very windy. The Huns seems to be preparing his defensive
arrangements, digging in and building new gun emplacements.

October 7, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool rain and still a high wind. Major Biscoe returned this afternoon. All hospitals
visited were most cooperative and seemed very glad to be advised what reports
were required and how to handle Canadian patients. Despite the instructions that are
supposed to be circulated not one hospital had any idea what to do about Cdn
personnel nor had they seem any instructions pertaining there to. All promised to
send reports to 2 Echelon.

October 8, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cloudy some rain, quite warm. Lt. Col. Akehursts request to return to the Cdn Army
has been approved by the Force Commander and went into effect to-day insofar as
the Force is concerned as he left his Regiment and returned to the base pending
advice from 1 Ech as to his next move. Lt. Col. Becket is recommended to
command the Bn. Lt. Col. Whitney, Force Adjutant assumed command of 1st Regt,
a big assignment for an administrative officer. Col. Akehurst will be missed both in
the Bn. and the Force he is a most capable officer and highly regarded by all ranks
but he could not see eye to eye with the Force Commander and felt it was in the best
interests of all concerned if he asked to be returned to the Cdn Army. The feeling of
dissatisfaction within the Force is increasing rather than decreasing and involves
Americans as well as Canadians.

October 9, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. A real ration racket has been unearthed involving 2 Canadians and 1
American selling cases of 10 in 1 rations to civilians at $60 each. We must now get
enough officers off the line for a F.G.C.M. a rather difficult matter when the force
has its 10 mile front to cover.

October 10, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool and showers. Little artillery activity, our patrols were active. Cases for our
Court Martial are increasing as some long time AWL's return. Discipline has
reached a very low plane. Men are not returning on discharge from hospital, others
are taking off right from the lines, and is reaching rather serious proportions. The
feeling of dissatisfaction within the Force is again increasing both among Canadians
and Americans. The Canadians still feel their own country has let them down and
written them off to the U.S. Army. They did not volunteer to become American
soldiers but to join a 1/2 and 1/2 outfit. There is little Canadians about the Force.

October 11, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Lt. Col. Becket came in to Base to-day and with Col. Akehurst
went over all authorities etc from the beginning of the Bn to be familiar with what
has gone before when he takes over on Col. Akehurst's departure.

October 12, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Two more cases for F.G.C.M. to-day making 9 to date, Court
convenes at 1300 hrs tomorrow, 5 cases are ready for trial. The Yanks have about
40 cases for Court Martial. Although no excuse for breach of discipline the men are
getting pretty fed up and tired sitting up in the mountains day after day, its over a
month now and nearly two months steady fighting.

October 13, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull wee and cool, a really severe thunder and lightening storm during the night.
Our first F.G.C.M. convened at 1300 hrs. 5 cases were brought before it.

October 14, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool after a wet night. An new Court convened at 1300 hrs to hear 4 more
cases, they will be busy for some time, although the officers on the Court must be
drawn from the line the low state of discipline requires immediate and severe
disciplinary action.

October 15, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. Usual Sunday Services. Exigencies of the service required the
F.G.C.M. to continue to-day. It has be authoritatively reported the German General
Commanding the line across from us uses a white staff car with a red cross, another
German violation of the Geneva Convention.

October 16, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool  and rain. The front seems fairly quiet. The Force now going into its third
month of uninterrupted fighting. F.G.C.M. in session all day.

October 17, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool dull and heavy rain. A First Regiment raiding party captured 11 POW's in a
house, the first hun out looking for a fight were cut in two by our automatic rifle fire,
the others all German "supermen" were more reasonable. Court Martial tried its
tenth and last case to-day finishing after 2100 hrs.

October 18, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool, after wet morning. An A.B.T.F. rest hotel opened in Nice to-day to
give about 50 from the Force a 2 day break from the line, which is much needed.

October 19, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool after a windy night. Enemy patrol activity has been stepped up,
particularly along the Coastal Sector. Fighter planes are doing some patrolling along
the coast during the day and small coastal craft patrol at night for possible enemy
raiding parties coming by water.

October 20, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool and clear. The Force Cannon Company had a field day catching a heinie Bn
moving down a hill into a woods, they estimate they threw 300 rounds at them,
results unknown.

October 21, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull and light rain. Our quota at the rest hotel has been upped to 80 as one of the
other units is not using its quota, seems to be very successful the men get good bets,
lots of hot water and really good meals for $1.00 a day. They have passes in Nice to
mid-night and through short, makes a complete break for them. A heinie plane
dropped some photo flares about 2000 hrs last night over the line.

October 22, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cool mostly bright. The 463 Pcht F. A. Bn has rejoined the Force. Our personnel
are glad to have them back and theirs to be back. Our two units have always hit it
off very well. The Navy was doing quite a bit of firing last night. Lt. Col. Akehurst
left for 1 Ech at Rome at 1400 hrs, expecting to return in about a week.

October 23, 1944, Field, Southern France

Partly cloudy and cool. Enemy Artillery fire stepped up considerably last night. Two
more or our deserts apprehended, looks as though we will have to have another
F.G.C.M. soon.

October 24, 1944, Field, Southern France

Mostly dull and cool. First Regiment are expecting the French to relieve on Bn, but
as they are completely green troops only 2 Coys will come out and 1 Coy remain to
get then established. What few French troops we have seen here to date do not
impress on favourably, they are inexperience untrained and undisciplined. Two
Canadian broke out of the stockade this evening about 2130 hrs, one had just been
tried by our recent F.G.C.M., the other waiting the next. They were able to charge
the guard and get away. Our M.P.'s have never been what we consider M.P. calibre.

October 25, 1944, Field, Southern France

A raw wet day. American General Court Martials getting underway at A.B.T.F. HQ.
They have over 30 cases. One of our last nights escapees was apprehended to-day.

October 26, 1944,  Field, Southern France

Dull wet and cool. Some very heavy shelling on our front line units last night and
this morning killing two and several wounded.

October 27, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clearing and cool. Enemy seemly to be carrying out some extensive movement to
N.E., their artillery fire much lighter.

October 28, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Many explosions in Castillon fort last night. Our patrols are active
to-day. The Germans are withdrawing Castillon Fort is in our hands but no doubt
well booby trapped. Troops staying clear of it. It was noted that when our Cannon
Coy fired some shells through the fort doors awhile ago the completely demolished
a flak wagon. This evening our troops are in Sospel and still no contact with the
enemy. Our Clearing Station is moving forward and possibly some of the
Headquarters. The Germans are expected to fall back to the France-Italian Border or
further into Italy.

October 29, 1944, Field, Southern France

Heavy rain and storm last night, mostly cloudy today with rain in the morning. Our
patrols continue to advance without resistance, have occupied Sospel. Enemy
harassing with artillery and mortar fire. Menton received some shelling this evening
and its pouring rain again. These people that told us it never rained in Nice:

October 30, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull raw and rain. Storm in evening. Third Regiment moving forward to take up
new positions and straighten our lines. Some enemy shelling and small arms fire on
our forward positions. Force HQ are moving from La Turbie to Menton and our
supply Section will probably move up as well. A Cdn Sgt in 1st Regt died this
morning in Menton, believed acute alcoholism. An autopsy will be held tomorrow.

October 31, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull and wet in the morning, clear and warm by noon and cold by evening. First
Regiment straightening their line, moving forward to-day. Our line is now shortened
sufficiently that 3rd Regt can bring 1 Bn. out of the line back to Menton for a rest.
They have been in continuous action for 77 days, the rest of the Force continues the
fight still hoping one of these days to be relieved by the French who are always
supposed to be coming but never arrive.

November 1, 1944, Field, Southern France

November got off to a great start, pouring rain and raw.1 Bn. 3rd Regt. who had just
come out of the line to rest in Menton took a severe shelling this P.M., their hotel
receiving 7 direct hits, 1 killed, 1 D.O.W. and 6 wounded.

November 2, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull and wet.The myth about sunny Italy is being carried on in Nice where it never
rains?? The Natives say this weather is unprecendent. We have miss unprecedented
weather. Lt. Colonel Akehurst returned from Rome this afternoon had a successful
trip including an interview General Burns who instructed him to go to London to see
General Stewart re: the Force. He continues meanwhile in command of the

November 3, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. 1 Bn. 3 Regt moved out of their well shelled hotel yesterday and
moved to Vic of Roquebrune. Capt. Willison held a pay parade for them this
afternoon, was not very successful as they sent half the men into Nice on pass
although they knew he was coming out.

November 4, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Normal front line activity. Another of our new officers Lieut.
Mergler, lest to Bn. lost a foot on enemy mine. Three O.R.'s returned to duty from
X-8 List.

November 5, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Regular Church Services at Regt'l C.P's and rest hotel.Two more of
our deserters apprehended in Marseile. Another prison break this evening 2
Americans both apprehended in their old hangout down town with same girls as
well. On their return they beat up the one who gave them away, necessitating his
admission to hospital.

November 6, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Our draft of 7 Triwound, 6 for Reallocation and 9 prisoners left for
Avelliono at 0620 hrs.

November 7, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. A 3rd Regt. patrol got caught in an enemy minefield, another patrol
went out to help them and got in another. There were 2 killed and 7 wounded, a
rather disastrous evening. Patrolling is at a minimum as there is little to be gained
for the risks taken.

November 8, 1944, Field, Southern France

Mostly dull and cool. Nothing to report.

November 9, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear warm in the sun during middle of the day. Decidedly cool at night. Small
patrol activity, some enemy artillery fire.

November 10, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. 2 F.G.C.M.'s being convened to try 3 cases from 1st Regt Monday
and 4 cases from 3rd Regt Tues. 1st Bn 3rd Regt. complete relief of 2nd Bn
yesterday afternoon. A good many were in town this evening, some their first time,
since arriving in France.

November 11, 1944, Field, Southern France

A beautiful, day. Some local parades, continuous entertainment at the
Mediterranean, a large modern recreational Bldg on the Sea, plays, musical, raffles
etc finishing with an all night dance.

November 12, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. 3rd regt got into a fire fight with a fairly strong group of enemy this
morning. As enemy plane came over last evening, caused a partial blackout in Nice
but nothing dropped. Some long convoys came through Nice to-day, it is reported to
be an American Division just in from the States. Our hopes of being relieved are
mounting, will pass our 3 month mark of steady fighting this week.

November 13, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cloudy and cool F.G.C.M. convened at 1300 hrs and tried, three cases of A.W.L.
all 1st Regt. all pleading guilty. The convoy that came in is the 100th Bn composed
of American naturalized Japanese, they are relieving a Parachute Bn. they have just
come down from the Belfort Gap area.

November 14, 1944, Field, Southern France

Dull wet and raw. A 2nd F.G.C.M. convened at 1300 hrs to try four 3rd Regt cases.
A good many of these men do not want to be defended preferring to take their
sentence rather then go back in the line. It is noted that practically every case is
from reinforcements and not among the originals that came overseas with us.

November 15, 1944. Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. The U.S. Admin are trying to account for 4 missing prisoners who
escaped from the stockade last night (1 Cdn Sentenced by F.G.C.M. Monday) No
one knows when they left, they got under the barbed wire fence a few feet from a
sentry post. Each of 3 sentries on that post last night swear they did not leave during
their tour of duty.

November 16, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. The Cdn escapee on Monday night turned himself in this morning
and all 3 of Monday's sentences were promulgated. Lt. Col. Akehurst has accepted
a temporary job working for Major General Frederick until his instructions from 1
Cdn Corps comes to make his trip to England.

November 17, 1944,  Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. Our 3rd and we hope last F.G.C.M. convened at 1300 hrs to
try the second of our 2 AWLs apprehended in England. A total of eight cases
have been tried this week.

November 18, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. All quiet on this front. 19th Inf (US) relieved the 517th
Parachute Bn.

November 19, 1944, Field, Southern France

Mostly clear and cool. 2nd Bn 3 Regt completed relief at 1st Bn. Major Biscoe
left this morning for a periodic check of Hospitals and cemeteries between here
and Marseille.

November 20, 1944, Field, Southern France

Partly cloudy and cool. Little activity among front line units.

November 21, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. Major Biscoe returned from Marseille this evening. 43rd U.S.
General Hospital promised to finish Gardners autopsy and get it in the mail
today. The US Military cemetery at Draguignan have new instructions
requiring them to send all effects to E.T.O.U.S.A. in Paris where effects for
Cdns will be turned over to Cdn Authorities. Lt. Colonel Akehurst received a
telegram from 6th Army Group re the Cdn element of the Force and plans to
leave for London tomorrow to protest to the proposed plans.

November 22, 1944, Field, Southern France

Partly cloudy and cool. Lt. Colonel Akehurst left by plane this A.M. for London,
England. Preparations started for our next evacuation of prisoners and medical
reboard cases as escorts to Italy to leave Sunday morning.

November 23, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cloudy and cool. Lt. Col. Becket as A/o.c. confirmed the last three Ct. Martial
Proceedings so all should be ready to go to Avellino Sunday. In Marseille we were
informed two of our last group of prisoners escaped from Delta Base Section
Stockade, Massie and White have been reported back in Nice, so far no reports as
to circumstances or time of break.

November 24, 1944, Field, Southern France

Clear and cool. Preparations being made at the new bivouac area near Villeneuve-
Loubet for the Force when it comes out of the line next week.

November 25, 1944, Field, Southern France

Party cloudy not so cool. Moving is expected to commence tomorrow. The Japs are
taking over our sector with some French troops in reserve. The Front is very quiet.

November 26, 1944, Field, Southern France

Cloudy some rain cool. 2nd Regt move postponed 24 hrs. Very few troops moved
back today. Some artillery fire on the line last night. The Officers dinner and dance
staged by 463 Pct F.A. Bn to which our officers and friends (girls of course) were
invited was very successful. It was held in Beauesoleil near Monte Carlo the
forbidden city.

November 27, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Troops began moving back to bivouac area at 0700 hrs and will
continue to move as quickly as possible. 1st and 2nd Regt's expect to be moved by
tomorrow. As will Force HQ. 3rd Regt begin moving tomorrow to finish Wed. The
Base remains in its present set up.

November 28, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and warm in the sun. Movement from Menton to our bivouac area going
according to plan. Col. Dunn O I/C 2 Ech arrived this morning. He was able to give
the Force Cmdr a good deal of information regarding the next move, apparently the
cables covering administration instructions have not been sent on from 6th Army
Group yet. Plans are being made to be in a position to move as soon as possible,
after the information is passed to the troops.

November 29, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Muster parade for 2 Regt Cdns in afternoon also check of next of
kins. With one or two exceptions the Force has completely moved from Menton to
the bivouac area.

November 30, 1944, Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. Muster parades and check on Next of Kin for 1st and 3rd
Regiments. All Cdn Officers were advised by the Force Cmdr of the segregation of
Cdn and US personnel in the Force and Colonel Dun gave some particulars that
move to another theatre was to be made forthwith the disbandonment is Top Secret
and no mention is to be made in correspondence. Lt. Col. Becket advised on the
tentative breakdown for purposes of moving. Lt. Col. Akehurst arrived from London
at 1430 hrs just 23 hrs from time he left England.

December 1 - 4, 1944    Field, Southern France

A very busy period. Force Commander knows nothing on the Force break-up from U. S. channels
and the wires are being kept hot trying to get the information. All higher headquarters are shying from
it and we are getting nowhere. It is definite that the Bn. is being withdrawn from the Force and sent
to Italy for disbanding and is to be done soon but no shipping space or definite instructions as yet.

December 5, 1944    Field, Southern France

Mostly bright and cool. Colonel Dunn was advised this morning that A.F.H.Q. were to handle our
move and he left by air for Italy to tie in that end. At 1400 hrs the Force was assembled near
Villeneuve Loubet for a farewell parade and memorial service for those who fell in France. The official
Order was read advising that the Canadian element was being withdrawn and moved immediately to
another theatre. The Bn. Commander spoke, saying the Canadians were now returning to the Cdn
Army that they had enjoyed their being with the Americans and hoped the Americans would remain
as a unit and continue to carry the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes as our thought and good
wishes would always be with them. Then the Force Commander spoke saying there was now no
longer a First Special Service Force, that he was sorry the break-up had to come but that it was far
better to break-up with a really good reputation rather than be wiped out like the American Rangers
and that Special units were being broken up all over. The Roll of the fallen was then read and prayers
by both Chaplains and the last Post. The Force flag was shethed. The Canadians were then asked to
fall our forming into a 3 Company formation and marched passed the American element while the
band of 442 Regt. an all Japanese (Naturalized Americans) Regt played. Again forming up while the
Force Commander shook hands with every Officer and man. Major Tate and Lieut MacIntosh left for
Marseille at 2200 hrs, Major Tate going on to Italy to arrange our arrival there. Lieut. MacIntosh to
arrange details at Port of embarkation. Our time of departure from Marseille to be 0730 hrs 7th Dec.
Pay Parades were held during the afternoon and many farewell parties in the evening.

December 6, 1944    Field, Southern France

Bright and cool. The balance of the Pay Parades were held during the morning and early afternoon.
Everyone busy packing and saying their farewells. The convoy of 36 trucks left Villeneuve-Loubet 2315
hrs to start the long cold trip to Marseille.

December 7, 1944    Field, Southern France

Mostly bright and raw. Embarkation on the Ville d'Oran was completed by 0645 hrs a tired, cold lot
of men. The ships Coy were most co-operative, they did not expect us until later but soon got
organized and by 0730 hrs had hot tea and the men's meat component of their K ration hot. During
the morning a conglomeration f some 800 Russians, Yugoslavians and Italians came aboard, mostly
escapees from German prison camps or liberated by Allied advances. Had a boat drill and left port
to anchor in the bay at 1400 hrs.

December 8, 1944    As Sea

Rain and raw. Sailed at 0630 hrs rough and a very top heavy ship, many were sea sick. The Bn was
given all the ships details as our officers were senior and we were travelling as a unit.

December 9, 1944    Field, Italy

Rain and raw. Italy again, we had all hoped we would never see it again after we left some 3 months
ago. Arrived Naples 0830 hrs. Disembarked at 1000 hrs over the same sunken hospital ship we did
on our first arrival over a year ago. Cdn Officials met us at the dock and the Bn moved to a transit
camp where dinner was served from mobile kitchens. The Bn. was split for the move, the 1st draft
left at 1230 entrained at 1330 the 2nd draft left at 1300 entrained at 1340. At Nola troops detrained
and entrucked for Avellino, arriving at Canada Barracks between 1700 and 1830 hrs where we all
received a good reception back into the Cdn Army.

December 10, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull, rain and raw. A busy day organizing and getting a reorientation training program set up.

December 11, 1944    Field, Italy

Bright and cool. Re-clothing and equipment parades began, also training drill etc.

December 12, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull rain and raw. Quartermaster parades in high gear.

December 13, 1944   Field, Italy

Mostly bright and cool. Things are really hectic getting changed over into Cdn clothing and customs.
Our efforts to draw a liquor ration for officers and men has been successful. Col. Akehurst left for
Rome at 0930 hrs.

December 14, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and wet, real Italian weather. Bit by bit our people are getting into Cdn uniforms and turning in
American clothing. Many conference with Gp. Depot and 2 Echelon. Many things to be ironed out
and a ruling on breaking up date.

December 15, 1944   Field, Italy

Wet and raw. All concerned trying to get the last men clothed so the UK draft can meet its departure
for Forino on Sunday as laid down by Gp Commander.

December 16, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and raw. Finally got our break-up time set at 0830 hrs tomorrow when C I C Rfts will be turned
over to Depot and at 1400 hrs the UK Detachment will leave for Forino, leaving behind the Admin
and Pay staffs to clear up the odds and end, before the Depot can be left happy. Col. Akehurst arrived
back from Rome at 1700 hrs. He had visited the Allied Military Cemetery at Nettuno on his return
and found all our personal had been moved to the new British Cemetery.

December 17, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and raw. Muster parade called at 0800 hrs for those being SOS to 1 CBRGp and at 0830 hrs
official transfer began, being completed soon after 1000 hrs. Just before the transfer Col. Akehurst
spoke to them, told them he was sorry the 30 days Para Pay had not yet been approved but a decision
was expected from NDHQ, hoped they would continue to give a good account of themselves and
wishes them au revoir. At 1330 hrs a muster was held of the UK group and the first convoy left for
Forino about 1430 hrs and by 1600 hrs Canada Bks looked very deserted. In the evening 1 Bn.
Officers Mess had a Christmas party, our officers were invited and came back from Forino for one
of the best parties we have had in a long time.

December 18, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and raw. Admin busy getting N/Rs amended to cover last minute Hospital Admissions and
discharges, AWLs and answering a hundred and one questions from those who were posted to one
unit and wanted to go to another. Everyone in this section should be grey haired by night.

December 19, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and wet. Training goes on in its limited way in Forino are being Td. O.E.T. and those passing
will go to the ranges tomorrow and to Corps for a talk by the Corps Commander Thursday,
considerably quicker getting forwarded than was expected. Colonel Akehurst awaiting plane
accommodation to London.

December 20, 1944   Field, Italy

Clear and cool, raw wind. Administrative details being cleared up prior to our joing the Bn. at Forino,

December 21, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and raw. The men are looking smart in their drill about the streets of Forino, as they get back
into Cdn parading.

December 22, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull and windy. The base Det. moved to Forino this afternoon and a Muster Parade was held for all
ranks at 1400 hrs. All personnel are broken down into truck groups who fall in opposite the number
of their truck which is painted on the walls. This seems to be a good system as everyone knows where
to go and it is claimed a convoy can be loaded in five minutes. An Officer's meeting at 1430 hrs when
all available information was passed on. It is expected we will leave on the 26th. Lt. Colonel Becket
is to be O/C Cdn Draft and Major Biscoe Adjutant.

December 23, 1944   Field, Italy

Dull, wet and windy. All matters outstanding with 2 Ech are being cleared up. Stencilling is being
completed for all ranks.

December 24, 1944   Field, Italy

Partly bright and windy. Final preparations being made for the men's Christmas dinner and some
decorating being done.

December 25, 1944   Field, Italy

Partly clear and windy. The men's dinner was pronounced very successful, Officers and senior NCO's
waiting table. There were three sitting between 1130 hrs and 1500 hrs. Officers dinner in the Evening.
Our embarkation date postponed until 27th.

December 26, 1944   Field, Italy

Wet and windy. All organizational property and Officers baggage picked up by noon to-day, the
advance party leaving with it about 1400 hrs. An Officers meeting at 1400 hrs for giving final
information and instructions.

December 27, 1944   Field, Italy

Mostly bright and windy. Reveille at 0500 hrs, breakfast at 0530, mustering at truck positions at
0640. Trucks arrived shortly after 0700 hrs and moved outside town when loaded. The convoy
moved off at 0745 hrs for Naples. Embarkation began onto the Arundel-Castel about 0930 hrs. Ptes
first, Sgt WOs and Officers. All the Cdn draft was embarked by approx 1100 hrs. Quarters good, a
noon meal was served and the afternoon was spent organizing duties, details etc. Lt. Col. Akehurst
finally got off for England from Naples Airport at 0830 hrs and arrived England 1445 hrs.

December 28, 1944   Field, Italy

Raw mostly clear. Due to leave at 0839 hrs but held up, getting away from dock about 1100 hrs
putting to sea with two other transports. No escort. A very quiet running ship, good meals and looks
like a good trip. Quite a change to be under British discipline. Many details required but is a very well
run ship.

December 29, 1944   At Sea

Rain and raw, a fairly calm sea. The "Kit Bags" put on the first of their nightly shows to a full house
this evening. They will play each night until all personnel have seen it. Two dogs found aboard one
to be destroyed and one declared and entered into UK legally. There is always someone who trys to
smuggle a pet with them.

December 30, 1944   At Sea

Partly clear, some rain and windy. A heaving sea and quite a few sea sick. Expect to arrive at
Gibralter to-night or early tomorrow.

December 31, 1944   At Sea

Clear and cool. Gibraltar dead ahead at breakfast time 0830 hrs. Convoy assembling and will be here
all day. Plans for a dance in the Officers lounge complete. No blackout so dancing on deck, a bright
moonlight night. The party was a real success a good time had be all. the Royal navy put on a real
show at midnight all the searchlights on the rock being played on the many ships in harbour made
quite a spectacle. All ships blowing their whistles and flares and star shells going up all over the place.
a New Years Eve that won't be forgotten by those aboard.

Janaury 1, 1945, At Sea

Bright and windy. Much activity in the harbour, planes in the air, destroyers moving about, an Air Craft carrier put to sea and 1030 hrs our convoy assembled and put to sea, some 12-15 large transports with an escort of 6 destroyers. The convoy cleared the straits by late afternoon heading due west. At about 1530 hrs the escort dropped depth charges and claimed a submarine based on large oil slick and bubbles. The Royal Navy right on the job.

January 2, 1945, At Sea

Bright and windy, a very calm sea. Everyone catching upon their resting.

January 3, 1945, At Sea

Some rain, colder and very windy. A routine day afloat. Ocean getting rough.

January 4, 1945, At Sea

Wet cold and windy. A high sea, even the largest transports burying their bows in the waves. A few sea sick as most people have had a chance to get their sea legs in the easy roll to date.

January 5, 1945, At Sea

Wet cool and calm. We sighted land this morning. We are going in to the Irish Sea via St. George's Channel. We were due to arrive to-day but the high seas and head wind slowed us down very much. We will go up the Clyde to-night.

January 6, 1945, Field, England

Due and raw. At anchor off Gouroch when we were awakened early with instructions for disembarkation. Cdn draft split in two first half disembarking by tender to Gouroch at 0930 hrs. Second half including the Bn, by tender to Greenock at 1245 hrs. Lt. Col. Akehurst set us on board the Arundel Castel. A grand feeling on 1330 hrs going through Glasgow and Edinburgh.

January 7, 1945, Field, England

Dull and raw. Arrived Aldershot approx 0745 hrs and the Bn by lorry to Warburgh and Willens Bks. The rest of the draft going to the Reception Depot. Breakfast ready on arrival and the morning spent getting settled down. At 1330 hrs a Muster Parard by #5  C.I.T.R. as they began their documentation parades.

January 8, 1945, Field, England

Due and raw. Day spent with documentation, Medical, Dental and QM parades. At 1330 hrs a rehersal for a review for the M.G.A. tomorrow morning.

January 9, 1945, Field, England

Dull and raw, heavy blizzard early and off and on during the day. A few rehersals early. The M.G.A. arrived at 1100 hrs. He spoke to all ranks telling then that the Bn was now finished, that Para Pay ceased to-day although recommendations had been sent th N.D.H.Q. for a period of continuation but he gave no promise. He thanked the Bn on hehalf of the Chief of Staff for a job well done, that the Cdn Army would be proud of them when security would permit publishing the full story. The Bn then marched past in review order, the M.G.A. taking the salute. General Weeks spoke to the Officers in the Ante room afterwards and left before dinner. All ranks preparing for a 4 day leave starting tomorrow and promised of a 10 days after their course. Considerable number of movies and photos of this parade were taken which wo probably never be released. It is doubtful if any other Force has been as frequently photographed and yet neither its members nor the families at home have ever seen any of them.

Newspaper Index

For several years now I have been working on a index of newspaper clippings related to the First Special Service Force. The index is now over 90 pages. The project has involved reading microfilm copies of the Helena Independent, London Free Press, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Winnipeg Free Press, Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Toronto Telegram, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Journal, Montreal Standard, Halifax Herald and several other Canadian newspapers. I still have some
copies of the index (unbound) if you would like to obtain one the cost is $25.00 please contact me.

Below is a 10 day section of the index covering June 1 to 10, 1944.

Toronto Star, June 1, 1944, page 3.
 Note:  Photograph of Pte. W. P. Lelivre and Pte. L. E. Roussy.

Ottawa Journal, June 1, 1944, page 3.
Note: Picture of Lt. H. Rayner.

Edmonton Journal, June 2, 1944, page 1.
Note:  Group photograph.

Calgary Herald, June 2, 1944, page 3.
Note:  Sgt. H. Ian Macrae wounded by a mine on May 6, 1944 at Anzio.

Globe and Mail, June 2, 1944, page 13.
 Note:  Photographs.

Montreal Daily Star, June 2, 1944, page 1.
Note:  Article about the capture of Valmontone and Velletri.

Toronto Telegram, June 2, 1944,page 28.
Note:  One photograph of unit.

Helena Independent Record, June 3, 1944, page 1.
Note:  Capture of the Alban hills, south of Rome.

Toronto Star, June 3, 1944, page 3.

Ottawa Journal, June 3, 1944, page 3.
Note:  Photograph of Lt. H. Rayner.

Toronto Telegram, June 3, 1944, page 2.
Note:  Photograph.

Toronto Telegram, June 3, 1944, page 4.

Maple Leaf - Italy, June 3, 1944, page 1.

Montreal Daily Star, June 4, 1944, page 1.
Note:  General article on the liberation of Rome.  No names mentioned.

Helena Independent Record, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 1944, page 1.
Note:  Cpl. Gordon Baker.

Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 1944, page 13.
Note:  Bridges and important buildings marked on map.

London Free Press, June 5, 1944, page 1.

London Free Press, June 5, 1944, page 1.

London Free Press, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Toronto Star, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Toronto Star, June 5, 1944, Page 4.
Note:  Photographs.

Ottawa Journal, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Ottawa Journal, June 5, 1944, page 13.

Ottawa Journal, June 5, 1944, page 13.
Note:  FSSF members mentioned in article.

Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Winnipeg Free Press, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Winnipeg Free Press, June 5, 1944, page 18.
Note:  FSSF mentioned.

Edmonton Journal, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Calgary Herald, June 5, 1944, page 1.
Note:  News report of advance of unit into Rome but no names mentioned.

Calgary Herald, June 5, 1944, page 1.
Note:  Observations of Daniel De Luce, Associate Press War Correspondent of Italian reactions to the liberation of Rome. No names mentioned.

Montreal Daily Star, June 5, 1944, page 13.
Note:  Photograph and brief biography of Lt. Blake Atto.

PHOTOGRAPH (no title)
Toronto Telegram, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Toronto Telegram, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Toronto Telegram, June 5, 1944, page 3.
Note:  Article plus photographs.

Vancouver Sun, June 5, 1944, page 3.

Vancouver Sun, June 5, 1944, page 3.

Vancouver Sun, June 5, 1944, page 3.

Maple Leaf - Italy, June 5, 1944, page 1.

Toronto Star, June 6, 1944, page 14.
Note:  Sgt. Jim McCrank, Pte Charles Garbidian, Capt. Stuart Diamond, Sgt. Archie Grummett, Lt. C. D. Seith, Lt. P. N. Crichlow and Pte. Victor Hall.

Edmonton Journal, June 6, 1944, page 5.

Edmonton Journal, June 6, 1944, page 9.

Montreal Daily Star, June 6, 1944, page 15.
Note:  Article by Sholto Watt describing actions of FSSF from breakout at Anzio Beachhead to the fall of Rome. Names mentioned in article: Lt. Jim Pringle, Lt. Col. Legault, Lt. H. M. MacIntosh, and Staff Sgt. Charles B. Grey.

Maple Leaf - Italy, June 6, 1944, page 1.

Edmonton Journal, June 7, 1944, page 2.
Note:  Photograph of FSSF troops on a tank.

Montreal Daily Star, June 7, 1944, page 15.
Note:  General article on the liberation of Rome by Sholto Watt.  No names mentioned.

Vancouver Sun, June 7, 1944, page 17.
Note: Lt. Ernest J. Fortune

Toronto Telegram, June 8, 1944, page 18.
Note:  Lt. H.H. Rayner.

Toronto Telegram, June 8, 1944, page 18.
Note:  Sgt. H. R. Haykyard.

Helena Independent Record, June 9, 1944, page 5.
Note: Staff Sgt. Grant D. Erickson promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Toronto Telegram, June 9, 1944, page 4.

Toronto Telegram, June 9, 1944, page 18.
Note:  Edward Bloomfield.

Helena Independent Record, June 10, 1944, page 5.
Note: Sgt. Maj. Irvine Phillip Fox killed in action.

London Free Press, June 10, 1944, page 7.

Edmonton Journal, June 10, 1944, page 3.
Note:  Article about Lieut. Richard "Dick" Coleman.


Listed below are various links to maps on the Internet dealing with the First Special Service Force. Please remember to press the back button on your browser to return to this sight.

Aleutians 1943

Kiska 1943

Kiska 1943

Winter Operations 1943-1944

Mount Sammurco, December 8, 1943

Mount Majo, January 5, 1944

Anzio Beachhead 1944

Anzio Beachhead, February 28 - March 3, 1944

Anzio Beachhead The Breakout May 25-26, 1944

Anzio Beachhead The Breakthrough May 31 - June 4, 1944

Rome 1944

Southern France August 1944

Southern France August 1944

 First Special Service Force Links


Adleman (Robert H.) Papers

Bibliography: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of World War Two

Devil's Brigade - Not the Movie, the Book!

First Special Service Force: A Bibliography

Super Commandos

Unconvential Warfare


Boyer, David

Clayton, James Griswood

Cordahl Larry

 Dobrucki, Joe

Fairbairn, William E.

Fairbairn, William E.

Frederick, Robert T.

Frederick, Robert T.

Galdav, Tom

Gozzer, Vittorio T.

Jamieson, Joe

Johnson, Howard Ravenscroft
Originally offered command of the FSSF.

O'Neill, Dermot Michael (Pat)
Helped to train the Force in hand to hand combat.

Paratroopers Data Base Find Old Buddies

Powell, Winfred

Prince, Thomas George

Prince, Thomas George

Prince, Thomas George

Prince, Thomas George

Prince, Thomas George

Sgt. Tommy Prince: The Most Decorated Candian Aboriginal Veteran

Pyke, Geoffrey (1894-1948)

Pyke, Geoffrey (1894-1948)

Pyke, Geoffrey (1894-1948)

Walker, Edwin A,

Walker, Edwin A.
"The strange case of Major General Edwin A. Walker"

Walker, Edwin A.

Walker, Edwin A.

Wahto, Doug

White, Maurice Douglas


1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 6th Airborne Division

The American Influence on the Canadian Military

Canadian Airborne Regiment Home Page

First Special Service Force

The IVA's Regimental Pages

Operation Restore Honour


Beach Head War Cemetery

Italian Cemeteries


Airborne and Special Operations Patches

SOF Mythology: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Historical Societies

Montana Historical Society


The Devil's Brigade

First Special Service Force Brigade

History of the U.S. Special Operations Forces

Interrogation: Special Forces

Military History Online

A Salute to the Paratroopers of the 40's

Special Operations Com: World War Two Special Operations Units and Missions

Suicide Mission

U.S. Army Special Operations in World War II
By David W. Hogan, Jr.

History - The Home Front

The Early Days of the Force
by William Story

Fort William Henry Harrison

Fort William Henry Harrison Museum Foundation

Pat Taylor: Hello From Home (1944/1945)

A Photo Gallery of Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana

The Fairbairn Fighting System

Fairbain and Styles

    Fort Ethan Allen

    Fort Ethan Allen

    Fort Ethan Allen
    Series of post card views of the Fort.

    Vermont Forts

    San Francisco Port of Embarkation
    July 4-10, 1943

    Fort McDowell

    General History of Angel Island

History - Alaska

184th Infantry Regiment

Aleutian's Home Page

B-24s and a Bombing Raid Over Kiska

Aerospace Power in Alaska and the Alaskan NORAD Region

Aleutian Islands 1942-1943: The Aleutian Campaign

Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

Back to Attu

Battle of Komandorski Island: March 26, 1943

A Brief History of the Alaska Statehood (1867-1959)

Dealing Realistically With Fratricide

History of World War II In the Aleutians Experience Your America

Let's Go Northern California's 184th Infantry Regiment

Military History in Alaska 1867-2000

Shipwrecks Off Alaska's Coast

Submarines on Eternal Patrol

Terrace Muntiny

United States Navy Combat Narrative: The Aleutians Campaign June 1942--August 1943

USN Combat Narratives: The Aleutians Campaign

World War II In The Aleutians: A Brief History

History - Italy

The Battles For Monte Cassino and the Defence of the Gustav Line: January - May 1944

Italian Campaign - First Special Service Force


Canada - Italy 1943-1945
"Canadian troops played a vital role in the 20-month Mediterranean campaign which led to the liberation of Italy during the Second World War. In fact, this campaign was the first large-scale land operation in which the Canadian Army stationed in Great Britain took part"

Fifth Army at the Winter Line

Gone But Not Forgotten

John Dawson 2nd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force

Medical Department: Medical Service in the Mediterranean and Minor Theaters

Million Dollar Mountain to San Pietro
36th Infantry Division Association, Memories Never Forgotten, by Colonel by Vincent M. Lockhart.


Special Operations in the Mediterranean

World War I I History of the 2nd Chemical Motor Bn.

History - Anzio

14th Engineer Battalion in World War II

36th Division in World War II: May Offensive

Allied Agony At Anzio


Anzio 1944

Bill Mauldin

Darby's Rangers

The Early Days of Radar: Secrets and My Recollections of World War II

General Clark's Decision To Drive On Rome

Gone But Not Forgotton

Into The Lion's Den - Anzio, Italy, 1944

I Remember Anzio
Memories of George Avery, Company A, 84th Cml. Motar Bn.

Liberation of Rome

Rangers: Selected Combat Operations in World War II

Velletri and the Fall of Rome
Information on the 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division's advance to Rome in 1944.

World War II History of the 2nd Chemical Mortar Bn

History - Rome

36th Division in World War 2: Rome Falls

Address of the President on the Fall of Rome
June 5, 1944, 8:30 p.m. E.W.T.

The Churchill Society: The Invasion of France
Copy of speech given in the House of Commons, June 6, 1944.

History - Southern France

Dates de Liberation

The Princes and Preparedness

Southern France

Honour Roll(s)

American Battle Monuments Commission: Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial
The World War II Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial is situated at the edge of the town of Neuttuno, Italy. It is just east of Anzio and thirty miles south of Rome.

The Books Of Remembrance
"The Books of Remembrance contains the names of Canadians who fought in wars and died either during of after the war. All the books are kept in the Memorial Chamber located in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill."

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial
"Over 110,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders made the ultimate sacrifice in World War One and Two. Thanks to the generosity of Commonwealth War Graves Commission you can now search the Canadian and Newfoundland database to find the final resting places or memorials in which these brave souls are honoured"

EcCoelis Mountain
An impressive series of mountain peaks that, in 1911, were named the Kadonna Peaks by the early 20th century adventurer and explorer, Mary Schaeffer, were renamed ExCoelis Mountain in 1994, in honour of the First Canadian Parachute Battalion of World War Two.

We Remember War Monuments in Canada

Honours and Awards

1st Special Service Force Anzio and the Devils Brigade

50th Anniversary - First Special Service Force [Senate - August 12, 1992]

Airborne Forces Monument

Forgotten Veterans Remembered With Highway Rededication

Honneur et Patrie 1939-1945

Kiska Island National Historic Landmark

Memorial Stones At Ft. Bragg

Montana's Capital Big On Staying Small

Monte La Difensa Street

Ronald Reagan (speech)


160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment

History of the Administrative and Techinical Services Branch of Service Insignia

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of Rangers and the Special Service Force

Living History

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion

Home Page - B Coy 1CPB(LH)


FSSF Campaign Maps


Docmentaries by Darryl Rehr - The Devil's Brigade


The Anzio Beachhead Museum
The Anzio Beachhead Museum was inaugurated on January 22nd, 1994,the 50th Anniversary of the Allied landing. It is housed on one of the ground floor rooms of the Villa Adele.

Calvert Marine Museum
Museum dedicated to the veterans Solomons Amphibious Training Base.

Rocky Mountain Museum


Bagpipes in the Movie



Newspaper Accounts

Local Vet Wants Secret Unit Honoured
Article about Jim Crozier, member of the FSSF.


Helena Independent Record


Anderson, Grant W.

Bocher, Joseph H.
Died May 12, 1996.

Boschet, Lloyd Verlin

Cochrane, Morley
November 12, 1997

Cowan, Orville
March 5, 1999

Cox, Leslie J.
September 22, 1997

Curran, William G.

Czekaj, Edward J.

Dieroff, Arthur T.
December 30, 1995

Feather, William M.
June 25, 1998

Foster, William W.
January 27, 1996

Frain, W. Glen
October 2, 1999

Hall, Gordon S.
September 8, 1998

Kennedy, Harold W.
February 4, 1996

Kilppel, Berhardt
April 17, 2000

Kuhlman, Milton Louis
Died, April 12, 2000.

Lamb, William D.
May 24, 1996

Lavery, Kenneth
November 20, 1997

Layton, Douglas
February 3, 1996

Leblanc, Medric
March 14, 1997

MacDonald, Wilfred

MacLellan, Keith W.
September 28, 1998

Matchett, Burton T.

McLean, Roy J.
October 3, 1996

McLean, William J.
June 11, 1999

Miller, Ernest R.
March 6, 1997

Planinshek, Tony

Preine, John Millard

Rose, John

Sample, Clarence M.
July 12, 1997

Sauve, H. Pierre
April 15, 2000

Shelton, Leslie D.
October 8, 1995

Taylor, James H.

Thomas, Samuel George
December 20, 1999.

Torpe, Norman D.
March 2, 2000

Tune, Harry R.
October 15, 1999

Walczack, John Joseph

Waters, Maxie Claborne

Special Forces (USA)

5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

A Quick History of Army Special Force

American Special Forces

The Early Years: 1961-1965

Elite Forces Past and Present

History of the 2nd Rangers

The Korean War

Sine Pari: Without Equal: The Story of Army Special Operations

Special Forces Creed

U.S. Army Special Forces: The Green Berets

Veteran's Associations

Airborne Veterans Associations

War Games

First Special Service Force Kit # 9823

The Gamers Net: The Infantry


The Case V-42 Stiletto

Johnson 41 Rife

U.S. Fighting Knives of World War II

Weasel / M29

M29 Weasel

MFHF Picture Page

Tracked Vehicles at American Heritage Park

World War II Studebaker Trucks
Information on where to buy models of the M29 Weasel in various designs/colour schemes.


Adleman, R.H. & Walton, G. (1969).  The Champagne Campaign.  London: Leslie Frewin of London.

Adleman, R.H. & Walton, G. (1966).  The Devil's Brigade.  Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

Adleman, R.H. & Walton, G. (1968).  Rome Fell Today.  Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Beaumont. R.A. (1974).  Military Elites, Special Fighting Units in the Modern World.  Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

Beaumont, R.A. (1988).  Special Operations and Elite Units, 1939-1988: A Research Guide.  Westport: Greenwood Press Inc.

Burchard, J.E. & Thiesmeyer, L.R. (1947).  Combat Scientists.  Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Burhans, R.D. (1947).  The First Special Service Force: A War History of the North Americans, 1942-1944.  Washington: Infantry Journal Press.

Burton, H. (1971).  The Ski Troops.  New York: Little Brown & Company.

Chandler, A.D. (1970).  The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, The War Years.  Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.

Cohen, E.A. (1978). Commandos and Politicians: Elite Military Units in Modern Democracies.  Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Cohen, S. (1981).  The Forgotten War; a Pictorial History of World War II in Alaska and Northwestern Canada.  Missoula, Mont.: Pictorial Histories Pub. Co.

Dawson, J.R. & Kutemeier, D. (1986). First Special Service Force, 1942-44 [1].  Military Illustrated: Past and Present, June/July.

Dawson, J.R. & Kutemeier, D. (1986). First Special Service Force, 1942-44 [2].  Military Illustrated: Past and Present. August/September.

Dzuiban, S.W. (1959).  Military Relations Between The United States and Canada, 1939-1945.  Washington: Department of the Army.

Eggleston, W. (1950)  Scientist at War. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Garfield, B. (1971).  The Thousand Mile War.  Toronto: Ballantine Books.

Garrett, R. (1980).  The Raiders: The Elite Strike Forces  That Altered the Course of War and History. New York: Van Nostrand, Reinhold Company.

Galloway, S. (1991).  A Devilish Experiment.  Legion Magazine, March 1991.

Harcup, G. (1970).  The Challenge of War.  New York: Taplinger Publishing Company.

Hogan, D.W.  (1993).  Raiders or Elite Infantry?  Westport: Greenwood Press.

Kelly, R. (1989). Special Operations and National Purpose.  Lexington: Lexington Books.

Lampe, D. (1959).  Pyke. The Unknown Genius.  London: Evans Brothers Ltd.

Low, F. (1978). Canadian Airborne Forces, 1942-1878: A Graduating Essay Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements, in the Honours Programme.  Victoria: University of Victoria.

McMichael, S. R. (    ). A Historical Perspective of Light Infantry. Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Command and General Staff College.

Neely, A.L. (1993).  Index to First Special Service Force Newspaper and Magazine Articles.  London, Ontario: Privately Published.

Stacey, C.P. (1966).  Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Six Years of War.  Ottawa: Queen's Printer.

Story, B. (1987)  Cowboys and Canucks.  Legion Magazine. July/August, 10-11.

Resources Held at the Directorate of History

(D58) Memo d/29 Mar 45 re flags of 1st Cdn SS Bn.

(195) Summary of corresp on Plough Project (org of Spec Service Force) Apr 43. Memo d/2 Feb 44 re emp of 1st SS Bn.

(D197) Rept on visit of DCGS(B) to Plough Project (1st Spec Service Force) Helena Montana 5/6 Apr 43.

(D30) Corresp, recommendations, reports, minutes of meetings, tables of pay and allowances, etc re financial arrangements for 2nd Cdn Para Bn d/28 Jul/5 Sep 42.

(D256) Corresp, msgs memos, We's instrs PC's, etc, re org, comp, mob, financial arrangements, disbandment etc of 1st Cdn Special Service Bn, d/13 Jun 42/27 Feb 45.

(D1) Account of 1st Cdn Special Service Bn (including background of organization) prepared by Maj J. W. Ostiguy.

(D2) Lists and citations for honours and awards granted to personnel of 1 Cdn Spec Service Bn, d/Dec 43/Jan 45.

(D3) Instrs and directives for 1st Cdn Spec Service Bn, d/Jun 43/Dec 44.

(D4) Daily bulletins of Hq 1st Spec Service Force d/Jun 43/Dec 44.

(D5) Org and admin corresp and instrs for 1st Cdn SS Bn d/Jun 42/Dec 44.

(D7) Monthly reports of 1st Cdn Spec Service Bn, d/Aug 42/Jan 45.

(D1) Notes on interview with Col. D. D. Williamson, 1st Cdn SS Bn, 1st SS Force, re Hist. Sketch on Force activities, 1943/Dec 43.

(D43) Corresp and instrs re org and admin of 1st Cdn SS Bn (2nd Cdn Para Bn) d/16 Jul 42/20 May 43.

(D2) Report on the activities of 1st Cdn SS Bn, Kiska, 1943, period 1 Aug/30 Sep 43.


Activiation Order



I .......................................... hereby volunteer for special service with the Second Canadian
Parachute Battalion of the Canadian Army for so long as my services with that unit may
be required, and agree to undergo training in parachute jumping and in warfare under
winter conditions, and upon completion of such training to serve wherever required.

 I further understand that the Second Canadian Parachute Battalion will be ordered
to serve with the Armed Forces of the United States and that in the course of such service
it will be necessary for personnel of the Second Canadian Parachute Battalion to serve in
units or formations commanded by officers and N.C.O.'s of the United States Army and for
personnel of the United States Army to serve under the command of Officers and N.C.O.'s
of the Second Canadian Parachute Battalion.

 I further agree that while on service under the conditions set forth above, I will obey
all lawful orders and commands given to me by superior officers in the said armed forces
of the United States as if such superior officers were members of the Canadian Army of
relative rank.

 I further declare that I understand that while on service under the conditions set
forth above, I shall continue to be subject to the laws, orders and regulations applicable
to the Canadian Army and to be disciplined by Canadian Army Officers.

 I further declare that I understand that while on service under the conditions set
forth above, I shall continue to receive pay and allowances, including dependents'
allowance, as provided for the Canadian Army and such additional rates of pay as may be
authorized for parachute troops and to be eligible for a pension if entitled under the
Pension Act.
Ottawa, Ontario,     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
August, 1942   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Commanding Officers

Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick

Army officer, born San Francisco, Calif., March 14, 1907, son of Marcus White and Pauline Adeleida. Student Staunton (VA) Military Acad. 1923-24, B.S., U.S. Military Acad. 1928, grad. Coast Arty School. Married Ruth Adelaide, June 9, 1928. Decorations: Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart with 7 Oak Leaf Clustres, Officer of the Legion of Honor, Croix de Guerre with Palm (France), Distinguished Service Order (Great Britain), Liberation Cross of Haakon VII (Norway).

Died January 1971, Buried Presidio Cemetery, San Francisco, CA.

Colonel Edwin A. Walker

Weasel (M-29)


M-29 Fitted With Parachute For Practice Air Drop


Side View of M-29

Camoflage M-29 (winter colours)

Kiska 1943


Mount La Difensa

Anzio 1944

Sample War Diary May 1944


Autography Book




    War Memorials and Honours

Address of the President and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada Before a Joint Session of the Parliament in Ottawa

March 11, 1981

I'm not here today to dwell on our differences. When President Eisenhower spoke from this spot in 1953, he noted his gratitude asAllied Commander in World War II for the Canadian contribution to the liberation of the Mediterranean. This touched my curiosity, and even though I'd participated in that war myself, I did a little research.

In the Second World War, there was something called the 1st Special Service Force, a unique international undertaking at the time.This force was composed of Canadians and Americans, distributed equally throughout its ranks, carrying the flags of both nations. They served under a joint command, were taught a hybrid close-order drill, and trained together as paratroopers, demolition experts, ski troops, and then as an amphibious unit.

The 1st Special Service Force became famous for its high morale, its rugged abilities, and tough fighting in situations where such
reputations were hard earned. Alerted to their availability, General Eisenhower requested them for special reconnaissance and
raiding operations during the winter advance up the Italian peninsula. They were involved in the Anzio Beachhead campaign in
Italy and were at the spearhead of the forces that captured Rome. The 1st Special Service Force made no distinctions when it
went into battle. Its men had the common cause of freedom at their side and the common denominator of courage in their hearts.

They were neither Canadian nor American. They were, in General Eisenhower's term, liberators.

Helena, Montana, War Memorial

(Coming soon, once I learn how to scan slides)

Menton, France, Memorial

Highway Dedication
(Alberta, Montana)

Highway 4

Last Updated August 8, 2002