Garrison Petawawa Military Museum

63 Colborne Road

Garrison Petawawa


First Special Service Force (FSSF)

The First Special Service Force began its history on 10 July 1942 as a joint Canadian/United States formation for special operations in Europe. This unit later became known as the “Devil’s Brigade”. Joint training was carried out in Helena, Montana prior to being sent into action.

3 Companies of 1st Bn, 3rd Reg. FSSF at Helena, Montana in 1943

The First Special Service Force was initially deployed in the Aleutian Islands in the summer of 1943. In November of that year it was deployed to Italy where it distinguished itself in the successful assault on Mone La Difensa and Monte Rementanea.

During its tour in Italy the Force saw action at Anzio and was the first allied unit to enter Rome. It was subsequently deployed to Southern France where it saw the remainder of its action.

On 5 December 1944 the Force was disbanded at Menton, Southern France after being awarded the following honours:

  • Monte Camino
  • Monte La Difensa
  • Monte La Remetanea
  • Monte Majo
  • Anzio, Rome
  • Advance to the Tiber
  • Italy 1943-44
  • Southern France
  • Northwest Europe