Display to be unveiled honouring Devil’s Brigade members

Nancy
Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE — They were called the First Special Service Force, dubbed the Black Devils.

Greg Deighan and George Dalton look over a storyboard featuring local members of the Devil’s Brigade, including Deighan’s brother, Charlie. A veterans’ group in Summerside wants members of the elite fighting force who are now dead to receive a medal that is being bestowed on members still living.

On Saturday, during a special ceremony at the Queen Charlottetown Armoury in Charlottetown, the P.E.I. Regiment Museum will unveil a new display honouring the Devil’s Brigade.

The display, entitled “Islanders in the Devil’s Brigade — The Prince Edward Island Connection to the First Special Service Force 1942 to 1944” will be unveiled at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1.

There were numerous Islanders, including the late Charlie Deighan of Summerside, who were part of the Second World War military unit, which was made up of Canadian and American soldiers.

Last year, members of the force still living were awarded the prestigious U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest honours the United States Congress can bestow.

The medal is 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 Queen Charlotte Armoury is located at 3 Haviland St. in the province’s capital.

For more information, contact 620-3759.

 

newsroom@journalpioneer.com

 

Organizations: P.E.I. Regiment Museum, First Special Service Force, United States Congress Wright Brothers

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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  • Rick gallant
    February 25, 2014 - 19:09

    I think the move to recognize these soldiers is long overdue and I commend what these folks are doing to honour them. My Father, Elmer Gallant of Summerside served in the Black Devils Special Forces during the invasion and liberation of Italy. I understand a commorative poster has been designed. How could I obtain one of them?

  • David Griffin
    January 28, 2014 - 11:00

    Great work Greg and George. This is a great honour for the Islanders in the Devil's Brigade ,members both deceased and living. All Veterans of any war should be honoured and we should never forget the sacrifice they all gave in order for all of us to live in peace without conflict.