An elite World War II military unit was recently awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for its major achievements, and among its members were three residents of Dawson Creek. Gordon Baker, Andy Olson and Geoffrey Hart were all part of the “Devil’s Brigade”, the official First Special Service Force made up of both Americans and Canadians.
The first of its kind, the unit became a guide for future special forces units.
The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest honours the United States Congress can bestow, given to “persons that have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.” Other recipients include the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and Jackie Robinson.
The First Special Service Force Association will receive one medal, while another will go to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
The honour will be celebrated in Dawson Creek on July 29, with the public showing of a documentary about the unit, Daring to Die, as well as tales of the team regaled by Geoffrey Hart’s son John Hart. The event is open to the public, and will run from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Alaska Highway House.