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Montana to prepare for high altitude combat in harsh winter weather. The skilled paratroopers were taught how to practice stealth on skis, quietly comb mountains in the pursuit of enemies and excel inhand to handcombat.
"These guys really had to struggle, so they weren't thinking about what great heroes they were. All they were thinking about was making a living."
To this day, Cathy Gray, one of Richards' five children, often wonders what her late father endured as a member of the FSSF. He didn't speak about the war he tried to keep that part of his life in the past but she knows his time in the service severely shaped the course of his life.
The brigade frequently fought long lasting battles deep within well fortified enemy lines under the orders of General Robert Frederick. Enemies feared the arrival of blacken faced FSSF troops after dark.
Richards was a newlywed when he answered the call of duty.
An application for the Award of the Purple Heart obtained by Gray shows that a medical officer recommended Richards for the merit badge following a bombing that resulted in the radio carrier receiving life threatening wounds on June 4, 1944, near Cologna, Italy. It is said FSSF fighters were the first to liberate Rome on the same date Richards was hit.
The plan, Perras said, was to train an elite fighting force stacked with "lumberjack" type men who would excel when "inserted into Norway oncommando raids to cause mayhem."
"They came back and they didn't want to talk about it; they just wanted to get on with their lives and it was a tough time when he came back there weren't enough jobs, there wasn't enough houses, there wasn't any money," Gray said.
"It's all a matter of rattling your opponent."
She says this answer was disheartening to Richards' children, who want their father to be "rightfully honoured" as a former member of a specialized combat unit so unique it inspired the 1968 film, The Devil's Brigade.
"He suffered all of his life; he had an incision from his throat to below his belly button. He had only a third of his stomach because he had been bombed the bomb dropped on his foot and it went through his stomach and his insides were hanging out and his legs were broken," Gray said in a phone interview from her home in Ottawa.
Canadian and American officials alike are backing the proposed bill that, Gray says, will give some fine men the long overdue recognition they so deserve.
The group the first bi national unit comprised of Americans and Canadians was formed in 1942 by forward thinking military leaders wanting a "specialized arctic warfare unit" capable of Jimmy Choo Red Pumps
"They were looking for guys who were used to an outdoor life. Some were regular guys who were looking for something interesting."
"They had become known as the Devil's Brigade and nobody's exactly sure how they got that name," Perras explained.
Members ofthe FSSF received months of extensive training in Jimmy Choo Bridal Shoe Outlet
Windsor man among potential Congressional Medal recipients
Windsor native Percy Richards joined the eliteFirst Special Service Force (FSSF)from Glasgow, Scotland, during the Second World War. The former Cheverie resident, who left Hants County in his teen years, had no way of knowing what he signed up for when he volunteered to serve on a special operations force that would later become known as the Devil's Brigade.
FSSF soldiers trained for Norway but earned a "reputation for ruthlessness" in Italy, noted Perras, a published military history expert.
Gray wrote the United States government, requesting that her father be awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, but was told the honour is only granted to Americans.
"The mythology is that in some night time operation near Anzio,when one of the Devil's Brigade men was slitting the throat of a German he caught, the German called them 'Black Devils' before he died. But, there's also some people who think that Frederick and the other officers in this unit came up with this name as a propaganda ploy against the Germans to make the unit seem very ferocious."
"He was full of shrapnel you could feel chunks of shrapnel all over his legs, his arms and his whole body."
"He was a modest man who never sought or expected any recognition for what he believed was his duty to serve his country."
Richards initially farmed in rural Manitoba after the war and later settled in Winnipeg to work in dry cleaning. He died of natural causes in 1988, at the age of 71, before his children knew many details about his distinguished military career.
Gray discovered more than she could have imagined about her father upon obtaining his military records from the National Archives of Canada. She knew he was injured in combat that detail would have been too difficult for him to hide but she was shocked to discover her dear old dad was actually recommended for the Purple Heart Medal.
The 'Black Devils' are credited with capturing what was thought to be an impenetrable German position at Monte la Difensa and holding the line in Anzio during the Italian Campaign.
Instilling fear in the enemy was key for the dwindling Devil's Brigade that struggled to replace men lost with highly skilled soldiers.
The rarely bestowed honour, Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Womens Sale which has only been awarded 144 times, was first granted to George Washington in 1776. National media reports say Baucus wants the bill passed before FSSF veterans reunite in Washington this September.
"Frederick had printed up playing cards with Germans on it that said, 'The worst is yet to come,' and after they killed Germans they would put this playing card on the German's body for other Germans to find," Perras said.
capturing Norway if the Germans occupied it, said University of Ottawa history professor Galen Perras in a phone Jimmy Choo Flat Shoes 2017
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