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'Tools of the Trade'

The First Special Service Force was trained in almost all aspects of combat training and special warefare. Because of this they were allowed a selection of weapons which were chosen at unit level. The following is a list of weapons used by the FSSF in combat. This does not mean everyone will carry different firearms in the field. The weapons the FSSFLHG will use is what is in accordance with the Chief Firearms Office law within Canada and by State Law within the United States unless deemed deactivated. Bladed weapons are fine.


V-42 Combat Knife

 

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VEHICLES

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The Force used many jeeps, both officially and unofficially throughout their existence. The jeep was mostly used by headquarters units from Company to Regimental levels. Mainly they were used for radios and quick movement of personnel.

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As we restored jeeps within the unit, we tried to copy period photos to make sure we had the markings correct. The Force did not follow the standard US Army identification system for bumper markings. The only marking used were a white pentagon to denote the FSSF and a number on the opposite side of the bumper. The period photos were few and far between, so we had to guess as to the markings on the sides of the jeep and other vehicles.

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Frequently debated is the use of the "Invasion Star" and whether it should have a solid or broken circle. The broken circle was made because the breaks were part of the stencil. Whether or not the breaks were later painted in to complete the circle was entirely at the discretion of the motor pool doing the stencilling and that is why there was so much variation.

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When jeeps arrived overseas, they were supposed to be repainted with white hood numbers over the original factory blue ones. The invasion star should have replaced the smaller star from the factory that covered the cowl and hood. Whether this actually happened or not depended on how much time anyone had to do it.


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If you are restoring one, use your own discretion and try to find a period photo to back up your choice. I chose to copy the photo of Colonel Moore's jeep at Anzio as seen in Todd Ross' book Supercommandos. Another one we did was of Gene Liggit's jeep(chaplain) in Southern France, and another was Bernie Kassoy's jeep in Helena. If you can't find a photo of one you like, just use a pentagon and your favorite number on the bumper!


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The Force did use the chev 1-1/2 ton truck, but there is no photographic evidence that the vehicle was used overseas.

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There are some period films in which the trucks can be seen taking troops up into the mountains at Helena for ski training. Most of the vehicles at Helena seemed to have no markings. This may have been due to the secrecy of the unit.

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When we restored our chevy, we took the liberty of marking it as if it had gone overseas, which technically is incorrect. If anyone has any pictures of a g506 in Italy or France, we'd be very grateful to see them.

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The GMC CCKW was used extensively by the Force overseas, but not while at Helena.

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The CCKW we restored was marked to match a photo of one in Southern France.

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The original photo shows an 8-ball on the hood. It has been suggested that the 8-ball had something to do with the 8th beach engineers or something similar which was attached to the Force on landing in southern France. This cannot be confirmed.

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Both open and closed cab variations have been seen in use by the FSSF.

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The weasel the Force trained with was the first model, or T-15. It was manned by a crew of two and used extensively in Helena. Although the machine was designed for Force to use on the Norway mission, the Force never really got to use the machine at all except in training. There are photos of the T-15's at Kiska, but in use by other units.

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In Italy, there is one picture in Todd Ross' book "The Supercommandos" showing an M-29 in use by Forcemen taking supplies up to another unit. That is the only known photo of it in use in Italy. If you are going to restore one, you would be more correct to do a T-15. These are harder to find and get parts than the M29 or M29 C. We restored an M29C and have had many years of use out of it. They are truly an amazing vehicle in the snow.