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S.Res.577 - A resolution honoring the First Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service during World War II.
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Whereas the First Special Service Force (referred to in this preamble as the ‘Force’), a military unit composed of volunteers from the United States and Canada, was activated in July 1942 at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas the Force was initially intended to target military and industrial installations that were supporting the German war effort, including important hydroelectric plants, which would severely limit the production of strategic materials used by the Axis powers;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, from July 1942 through June 1943, volunteers of the Force trained in hazardous, arctic conditions in the mountains of western Montana, and in the waterways of Camp Bradford, Virginia;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas a special bond developed between the Canadian and United States soldiers, who were not segregated by country, although the commander of the Force was a United States colonel;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, in October 1943, the Force went to Italy, where it fought in battles south of Cassino, including Monte La Difensa and Monte Majo, two mountain peaks that were a critical anchor of the German defense line;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, during the night of December 3, 1943, the Force ascended to the top of the precipitous face of Monte La Difensa, where the Force suffered heavy casualties and overcame fierce resistance to overtake the German line;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, after battles on the strongly defended Italian peaks of Sammucro, Vischiataro, and Remetanea, the size of the Force had been reduced from 1,800 soldiers to fewer than 500;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, during the early morning of August 15, 1944, members of the Force made silent landings on Les Iles D’Hyeres, small islands in the Mediterranean Sea along the southern coast of France;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas, during 251 days of combat, the Force suffered 2,314 casualties, or 134 percent of its authorized strength, captured thousands of prisoners, won 5 United States campaign stars and 8 Canadian battle honors, and never failed a mission;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas the efforts of the Force along the seas and skies of Europe were critical in repelling the advance of Nazi Germany and liberating numerous communities in France and Italy;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas the bond between the members of the Force from the United States and those from Canada has endured over the decades, as the members meet every year for a reunion, alternating between the United States and Canada; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Whereas the traditions and honors exhibited by the Force are carried on by 2 outstanding active units of 2 great democracies, the Special Forces of the United States and the Canadian Special Operations Regiment: Now, therefore, be itCommentsClose CommentsPermalink