Text: H.R.324 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 113-16 (07/12/2013)
[113th Congress Public Law 16]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[[Page 127 STAT. 477]]
Public Law 113-16
To grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the First
Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service during
World War II. <<NOTE: July 12, 2013 - [H.R. 324]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: 31 USC 5111
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The First Special Service Force (the ``Force''), a
military unit composed of volunteers from the United States and
Canada, was activated in July 1942 at Fort Harrison near Helena,
(2) The Force was initially intended to target military and
industrial installations that were supporting the German war
effort, including important hydroelectric plants, which would
severely limit the production of strategic materials used by the
(3) From July 1942 through June 1943, volunteers of the
Force trained in hazardous, arctic conditions in the mountains
of western Montana, and in the waterways of Camp Bradford,
(4) The combat echelon of the Force totaled 1,800 soldiers,
half from the United States and half from Canada.
(5) The Force also contained a service battalion, composed
of 800 members from the United States, that provided important
support for the combat troops.
(6) A special bond developed between the Canadian and United
States soldiers, who were not segregated by country, although
the commander of the Force was a United States colonel.
(7) The Force was the only unit formed during World War II
that consisted of troops from Canada and the United States.
(8) In October 1943, the Force went to Italy, where it
fought in battles south of Cassino, including Monte La Difensa
and Monte Majo, two mountain peaks that were a critical anchor
of the German defense line.
(9) During the night of December 3, 1943, the Force ascended
to the top of the precipitous face of Monte La Difensa, where
the Force suffered heavy casualties and overcame fierce
resistance to overtake the German line.
(10) After the battle for La Difensa, the Force continued to
fight tough battles at high altitudes, in rugged terrain, and in
[[Page 127 STAT. 478]]
(11) After battles on the strongly defended Italian peaks of
Sammucro, Vischiataro, and Remetanea, the size of the Force had
been reduced from 1,800 soldiers to fewer than 500.
(12) For 4 months in 1944, the Force engaged in raids and
aggressive patrols at the Anzio Beachhead.
(13) On June 4, 1944, members of the Force were among the
first Allied troops to liberate Rome.
(14) After liberating Rome, the Force moved to southern
Italy and prepared to assist in the liberation of France.
(15) During the early morning of August 15, 1944, members of
the Force made silent landings on Les Iles D'Hyeres, small
islands in the Mediterranean Sea along the southern coast of
(16) The Force faced a sustained and withering assault from
the German garrisons as the Force progressed from the islands to
the Franco-Italian border.
(17) After the Allied forces secured the Franco-Italian
border, the United States Army ordered the disbandment of the
Force on December 5, 1944, in Nice, France.
(18) During 251 days of combat, the Force suffered 2,314
casualties, or 134 percent of its authorized strength, captured
thousands of prisoners, won 5 United States campaign stars and 8
Canadian battle honors, and never failed a mission.
(19) The United States is forever indebted to the acts of
bravery and selflessness of the troops of the Force, who risked
their lives for the cause of freedom.
(20) The efforts of the Force along the seas and skies of
Europe were critical in repelling the advance of Nazi Germany
and liberating numerous communities in France and Italy.
(21) The bond between the members of the Force from the
United States and those from Canada has endured over the
decades, as the members meet every year for a reunion,
alternating between the United States and Canada.
(22) The traditions and honors exhibited by the Force are
carried on by 2 outstanding active units of 2 great democracies,
the Special Forces of the United States and the Canadian Special
SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.
(a) Award Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate
arrangements for the award, on behalf of the Congress, of a gold medal
of appropriate design to the First Special Service Force, collectively,
in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II.
(b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the award referred to
in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (in this Act referred
to as the ``Secretary'') shall strike the gold medal with suitable
emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
(c) Award of Medal.--Following the award of the gold medal in honor
of the First Special Service Force under subsection (a), the medal shall
be given to the First Special Service Force Association in Helena,
Montana, where it shall be available for display or temporary loan to be
displayed elsewhere, particularly at other
[[Page 127 STAT. 479]]
appropriate locations associated with the First Special Service Force,
including Fort William Henry Harrison in Helena, Montana.
SEC. 3. DUPLICATE MEDALS.
The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold
medal struck under section 2, at a price sufficient to cover the costs
of the medal, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and
overhead expenses, and amounts received from the sale of such duplicates
shall be deposited in the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
SEC. 4. NATIONAL MEDALS.
Medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes
of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
Approved July 12, 2013.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 324:
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 159 (2013):
May 21, considered and passed House.
June 27, considered and passed Senate.