WW II vet receives Bronze Star 73 years after it was awarded
BY JEFF WILKINSON
May 20, 2017
AIKEN During World War II, Pfc. James R. “Boots” Beatty of Barney, Ga., served in the 1st Special Service Force, also called The Devil's Brigade, an elite American-Canadian commando unit.
The 1,800 “Force Men,” as they were the called, were the first commando unit, trained in special tactics from mountaineering to skiing to amphibious operations. They were the predecessors of today’s Army Rangers, Green Berets and Navy Seals.
They fought the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands, then the Germans in Italy and southern France, conducting night raids behind enemy lines, killing as many enemy soldiers as possible and capturing the rest. In Italy they would leave cards on the bodies of dead German soldiers with the ominous warning: “Das Dike Ende Kommt Noch!” which translates as “The Worst Is Yet To Come.”
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