In the Military
120 Canadian 'Devils' may pin on Bronze Star
The Army estimated that there are about 120 Canadian soldiers who served with the U.S. 1st Special Service Force, known as the "Devil's Brigade" -- one of the first special operations forces in World War II -- who are authorized to wear the Bronze Star.
The unit included U.S. Army soldiers and soldiers of the 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion and 2nd Canadian Special Service Battalion of the Special Operations Group.
About 2,500 soldiers served in the unit under U.S. Army command from 1942 to 1944, the American Forces Press Service reported. The Canadians wore U.S. Army uniforms and carried American weapons. The U.S. and Canadian soldiers were sent to the Aleutian Islands in 1943 and then to Italy. The unit hit the Anzio beachhead, participated in the liberation of Rome and fought in southern France. It was called the Devil's Brigade during the Italian Campaign because a line from the diary of a dead German officer: "The black devils are all around us every time we come into line and we never hear them."
The Army said the Bronze Star Medal is a conversion award of the Combat Infantryman Badge authorized for almost 1,200 Canadian veterans in 2005. The Canadian veterans must submit verification documents showing their complete name, rank, service number and dates of service to: U.S. Army Human Resources Command; 200 Stovall Street, ATTN: AHRC-PDO-PA; Alexandria, VA 22332-4000.
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"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org