Elite fighting unit from World War II earns Congressional Gold Medal

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITI) — The United States Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal Tuesday, February 3rd to an elite fighting unit from World War II, the First Special Service Force.  The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow.  At the ceremony, the current commander of American Special Forces called them “the elite fighting force of their time.”  House Speaker John Boehner, and other leaders of both the House and Senate were there to pay tribute to these brave men.  Forty-two surviving force members were there for the ceremony.

In the winter of 1943/44, a 36-year-old Army Colonel named Robert Frederick, FOX6 Anchor Brad Hicks’ grandfather, led his men on an impossible mission. The entire 5th Army was stuck south of a line of mountains between them and Rome, the mountaintops controlled by German artillery. Frederick insisted the joint American/Canadian commando force he’d been training could scale…

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