The FSSF leaves Montana for Fort Ethan Allen Vermont
Farewell Parade (Army Day Parade) 6 April 1943
Leading the parade is Colonel Frederick (second from left) and to his far left is Lt. Colonel D.D. Williamson (CO Canadians and 2nd Regiment) . Also in this group is Lt. Colonel Cookman Marshall (CO 1st Regiment) and Lt. Colonel "Jiggs" Mahoney (CO 3rd Regiment). Mahoney is a mystery and was replaced on 19 May 1943, temporarily by Major Jack M Secter and permanently by Lt. Colonel Edwin Walker. His name does not even appear in Burhans roster.
Image from : The Navy Seal Museum https://www.navysealmuseum.org/about-navy-seals/seal-history-the-naval-special-warfare-story/seal-history-origins-of-naval-special-warfare-wwiiType your paragraph here.
On Their Way to Action !
Fort Ethan Allen, Burlington, Vermont. The FSSF traveled there in April/May 1943 to conduct tactical training in the Blue Mountains as well as to induct reinforcements. Some were parachute trained as evidenced by the Canadian Parachute Badge card of Corporal Roy Leonard. This extremely rare card was issued on behalf of the Canadian CO Williamson and has the unit typed on top. US and Canadian officers in Vermont in a Dodge WC-57 Command Car. Some would cross the border to Montreal and purchase badges of the Canadian Parachute Corps.
Originally the FSSF was intended to undertake a parachute and glider assault into Northern Norway. The only means of transport in the pipeline at that time were the 15 place Waco CG-4A Glider and the Douglas C-54 Skymaster. There was also talk of using the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. However none of these aircraft would be available in any numbers by the winter of 1942.
The FSSF traveled to Fort Bradford Virginia at the request of the War Department so that they could undergo training in amphibious assault techniques. This involved landing in various types of assault vessels to include intense training on rubber boat handling. Since the FSSF was a compact all encompassing organization, members were also selected to undergo aspects of the US Navy Underwater Demolitions Team (UDT) training (Future Navy SEAL's) which mainly involved the destruction of man made and natural beach obstacles. The photo center above, although not of the FSSF, shows how the FSSF would be brought close to the assault beach where rubber boats were deployed from larger landing craft.
Despite continuous changes in planning regarding possible operations into Norway or elsewhere, Winter warfare, skiing and survival training was conducted over the 1942/43 period. This included detailed training on the driving and maintenance of the T-15/24 Weasel. Although the United States Operations Division at the War Department continued to come up with plans to send the FSSF everywhere except where there was snow, the British clung on to operations in Scandinavia. The bottom far left and right photos are actually of members of the 10th Mountain Division however they show the fact that they too were supplied with the Weasel and that clothing and equipment continued to be developed.
While all aspects of training continued, in the spring, in preparation for amphibious training in Virginia, the FSSF built a mock-up to conduct training in scaling a rope net into and out of landing craft from the side of a ship at sea. .
Demolition Training, A gold stamping plant goes up! .
Note: NCO of FSSF Military Police Detachment