The video below is dedicated to members of the First Special Service Force (a.k.a., “The Black Devils of V-42″), predecessors to warriors like Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life is chronicled in the just-released book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice, by Bob McCarty.
The “Force” was a joint American-Canadian commando unit with separate combat and service echelons, according to this website dedicated to the group’s history. It was activated July 20, 1942, under Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick, and was based at Fort Harrison, Mont. The men selected for their rugged, outdoor backgrounds received the most rigorous training schedule — under live fire — ever undertaken by an American Army unit. They became an elite body of soldiers.
This all-volunteer “shock-troop” was to parachute into German-held Norway, knock out important hydroelectric plants, perform other acts of sabotage, and then fight their way to a neutral border. They trained for nine months for the Norway Operation, taking extensive courses in raider and commando tactics and receiving intense training as paratroopers, ski troops, mountain fighters, demolition experts, amphibious forces and hand-to-hand combat experts.
Like those who served with The Black Devils, former Green Beret Stewart knows much about difficult training and combat. None of his most-challenging wartime experiences compare, however, to his ongoing fight to clear his name. Details of that fight can be found in Three Days In August.