Congressional Gold Medal issued to elite WWII unit

PFC Harland Pond in the uniform issued to the First Special Services Force unit before deployment to the Aleutian Islands in August 1943. The success of this first special forces unit during WWII earned a retroactive Congressional Gold Medal.

by Mimi Larsen Courier Staff Writer On Feb. 3, 2015, the United States Congress awarded the First Special Service Force unit the Congressional Gold Medal. Of the original 1,800 soldiers that comprised the joint U.S.- Canadian WWII commando unit, 41 were on-hand to receive the honor. Not included among that number was Harland G. Pond of Roberts County, who died in 1978. This gold medal is the highest civilian award for distinguished achievement the U.S. Congress can bestow.

News of this honor was not widely reported and is still trickling down to the families of the men who served in the first-ever special forces unit. Lance Pond, owner of the Sisseton Dairy Queen and Harland’s son, heard of the honor only recently. For more on this story and many more please purchase a copy of the Sisseton Courier on news stands now or purchase a copy of the E-edtion on this website..