A 90-year-old California radio amateur — Stan McEtchin, WB6KDZ, of Paradise — will be among the surviving members of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) known as “The Devil’s Brigade” to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on February 3. The medal recognizes the unit’s extraordinary heroism and service during World War II.
“We used to go behind the lines at night and sit out there, and we could hear the Germans talking,” McEtchin told The Paradise Post. “Our guy would write it down, so we would find out where their guns were and that kind of thing.”
Montana US Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus worked for 5 years to honor the unit. “The Devil’s Brigade represented the very best of our Greatest Generation that defeated tyranny around the world,” Tester said. “The Medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow, and yet, while a small token of this nation’s gratitude, it is an everlasting reminder of the sacrifices these men made for all of us.” Remarked Baucus, “Without these brave volunteers, there would be no Special Forces today.”
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