Victory Remembered Video Library
The story of The Black devils is far too broad and the footage we shot far exceeded the time limitations for a single film. Therefore, I have created The "Victory Remembered Video Library" where you can find individual chapters and moments from the Entire film project as well as expanded outtake footage that covers additional parts of the story but didn't make it into the film. This makes it very convenient to view and share specific moments that you find particularly interesting, informative or meaningful. The reason I did this is to make this entire story easier to "pass on" to others and help preserve the memory of the story of The Black Devils. We want everyone to learn about these great men, what they did and how they have shaped the lives of so many people around the world. These chapters may not be posted in order initially but will be completed in time. The original music in all videos was composed by Alex Hernandez
Remember & Honor (3:13)
Chapter 1 establishes the beginning of the film starting with the FSSF Association visiting Washington, D.C. in September 2013 for their Reunion and as guest of the Canadian Embassy who were helping to lobby for the Congressional Gold Medal. Following that begins the dramatic story of The Black Devils.
The Beginning (5:42)
Chapter 2 Tells of the men that volunteered for the dangerous mission of the First Special Service Force, how and why they were formed, and the leadership of Colonel Robert T. Frederick.
They Volunteered (3:12)
Charlie Mann, Eugene Gutierrez and Jack Callowhill talk about why they joined the First Special Service Force during WWII.
They Arrive in Helena (2:27)
Colonel Frederick chose Ft HArrison in Helena, Montana due to the mountainous terrain and harsh winter climate in order to train for their original mission. In July of 1942 volunteers from Canada and the U.S. began to arrive for training.
They Train in Helena (5:44)
Charlie Mann, Jack Callowhill and Eugene Gutierrez recall their experience of the brutal training of the FSSF in Helena, MT. and the beginning of their identity as The Force.
The Montana War Museum (3:42)
A trip to the Montana Military Museum at Ft. Harrison exposes patrons to First Special Service Force history and memorabilia. Family members and veterans who visit have personal reflections on the origins and training of the Force.
The Brides (3:34)
When the Forcemen first arrived the young Women of Helena were quick to notice! Romance lead to marriage for many of them.
St Helena Cathedral (1:24)
The architectural centerpiece of Helena is St Helena Cathedral which holds a unique significance in the history of the First Special Service Force.
The Gold Bar (2:18)
Besides the military training the Canadian and U.S. soldiers shared in the FSSF, payday in the Helena bars provided additional opportunities for "bonding" and practicing there fighting skills.
To War (2:21)
The First Special Service Force was ready when they were called into battle and the new spouses were facing the reality of being war brides. The war affected everyone.
Pipes & Drums of The Black Devils (1:39)
The Pipes & Drums of The Black Devils prepare for their important role in the FSSF Association's trip to Europe in 2014.
In 2014 the FSSF Association Meets in Rome (3:03)
In May, 2014 members of the First Special Service Force Association visited Italy and France to celebrate the liberation of Rome 70 years earlier. The "Force Family" would learn much and grow closer.
Chapter 13VR (2:30)
The town of Mignano, Italy Pays Honor
A parade and speeches in Mignano was the first of many celebrations honoring the visit of the Black Devils in 2014.
A Meal that Pays Tribute (4:30)
The FSSF tour group enjoyed lunch at the foot of Monte La Difensa. The meal was prepared with love and honor and was a tribute to the men of The First Special Service Force.
The Battle of La Difensa (6:56)
The Battle of La Difensa in Italy is perhaps the Black Devils most famous victory. It proved to the Allies what the First Special Service Force was capable of. Bill Woon and Jack Callowhill describe the engagement.
Climbing La Difensa (13:48)
In 2014 the FSSF Association visited Monte La Difensa in Italy with plans the hike to the top of the infamous battle site. Some members climbed the same cliffs that the Forcemen did when they surprised the Germans in 1942. (original music in all videos by Alex Hernandez)
Le Noci, Italy (3:16)
As they revisited sites where the Black Devils had been during the war the FSSF Association members could better sense the history and difficulty that those soldiers experienced. Le Noci was particularly unchanged in over 70 years.
Hill 720 (7:22)
Many of the Forcemen gave their lives in the mountains of Italy. Two women in the FSSF Association never met their dads who fell there and the stories of their death in battle are recounted here. In 2014 the FSSF Association paid respect to the fallen in a ceremony on top of Hill 720, also known as Mt Sammucro.
The Abbey of Monte Cassino (7:45)
The Abbey of Monte Cassino and the Battle of Cassino played strategic roles in the Ally's battle plans in Italy. It's hard to believe the beautiful Abbey was completely destroyed and then rebuilt following the war.
The Pipes & Drums of The Black Devils (3:25)
The Pipes & Drums of The Black Devils performed their version of "Amazing Grace" in honor of those Forcemen buried at the Cassino Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cassino, Italy.
It was at Anzio where the First Special Service Force acquired their fearsome name The Black Devils. The Germans were terrified of the Force as their night raids and affective kill rate forced the enemy to overestimate their numbers and retreat. Cabbage Castle was at the very end of the beachhead where the Force was entrenced for 99 days and where the FSSF Association visited in 2014. Charlie Mann and Eugene Gutierrez tell of their experience at Anzio and describe "Anzio Annie", the feared German giant railway canon.
The Breakout (8:26)
In 1944 after months of being pinned down at Anzio the Allies broke out and made their push to Rome. Eugene Gutierrez tells John Hart stories of the breakout as they visit the site of his encounter with a German tank.
Artena is a beautiful mountain village in Italy that was liberated by the First Special Service Force during their push to Rome in WWII. Historian Gianni Blasi stands at the wall of the castle and describes the battle. Eugene Gutierrez describes his own experience there as a medic and communications specialist under fire.
Alatri & Frozinone (6:17)
Memorial services and parades took place throughout Italy during the First Special Service Force Association's visit in 2014. The Pipes and Drums of the Black Devils received special recognition along with the families and members of the Force. The atmosphere of celebration was shared by all.
The people of the town of Frozinone, Italy turned out for all of the events when they celebrated their liberation of 70 years earlier. Ken Beaton, a nephew of a Forceman, paid tribute to his uncle who was in the Force by wearing their uniform.
Rome Liberated (4:36))
The liberation of Rome on June 4th 1944 was the high point of the Allies efforts to liberate Italy from German control. The grateful population embraced the allied soldiers. The Black Devils were the first boots into the city and secured the bridges for the others to follow. Charlie Mann recalls the story.
Raymond Gatti (7:17)
One of the most remarkable stories surrounding the the legacy of The Black Devils is that of Raymond Gatti. His first hand experience with the Forcemen during WWII led to a lifelong dedication to preserving their story. The FSSF Association tour group met up with Raymond in Italy.
The Bond of The Forcemen (2:26)
Hear from the veterans themselves as they describe their unique brotherhood
Rhone American War Cemetery (5:28)
the Rhone American War Cemetery visit by the FSSF Association.
The guide recited a particularly poignant poem for everyone.
Interview with Charlie Mann (58:51)
Charlie Mann, FSSF. His entire interview with supporting images.
Interview with Eugene Gutierrez (51:35)
Eugene Gutierrez, FSSF Service Company, entire interview with supporting images. Also includes Eugene's visit to the Texas War Memorial with friends and his daily physical workout.
Interview with Jack Callowhill (46:46)
Jack Callowhill, FSSF. His entire interview with supporting images. Jack speaks of the training, comraderie, and being wounded at the Battle of La Difensa.
the FSSF Reunion in 2014 in Helena, MT. (18:28)
Includes portions of Opening Remarks, visit to the Montana Military Museum and Muscle Mountain,
portions of the Memorial church service, dancing at Awards Dinner, FSSF Memorial visit.
Black Devils Round Table, FSSF Reunion (23:47)
a round table at the 2015 FSSF Reunion in Helena where several of the
Black Devils shared stories from their wartime experiences.