[113th Congress Public Law 16]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 127 STAT. 477]]

Public Law 113-16
113th Congress

                                 An Act

   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 

    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 
        Axis powers.
            (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 
        severe weather.

[[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 
        Operations Regiment.

    (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.

    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.

    Medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes 
of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

    Approved July 12, 2013.


            May 21, considered and passed House.
            June 27, considered and passed Senate.