First Special Service Force Bronze Medal

At a ceremony held yesterday, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded collectively to the members of the First Special Service Force in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II. The award of the medal was authorized under Public Law 113-16.

The First Special Service Force was an elite joint American-Canadian commando unit which fought battles during World War II at high altitudes, in rugged terrain, and severe weather. The Force was instrumental in repelling the advance of Nazi Germany and liberating numerous communities in France and Italy. During 251 days of combat, the group suffered 2,314 casualties, or 134 percent of its authorized strength, captured thousands of prisoners, earned five United States campaign stars and eight Canadian battle honors, and never failed a mission.

Last year, the US Mint had provided 18 different obverse and 21 different reverse design candidates for the medal to the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Images of all of the candidates and the recommendations offered by each group can be found here and here. The final designs were selected by the Secretary of the Treasury and appear below.

First Special Service Forece Medal

The obverse design highlights the mountaineering, silent landings, and waterway training abilities of the First Special Service Force. The group’s spearhead patch representing the unique partnership between the United States and Canada also appears. The inscription reads “First Special Service Force”. The obverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and engraved by Joseph Menna.


The reverse features the First Special Service Force’s insignia with crossed arrows at the bottom of the design, and a banner in the eagle’s beak that reads “USA” and “CANADA”. The inscriptions include the names of their five campaigns, “Act of Congress” and “2013”. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and engraved by Don Everhart.

As in the past, the United States Mint has made bronze duplicate versions of the Congressional Gold Medal available for sale. A 3-inch version of the medal is available priced at $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version of the medal is available priced at $6.95.

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  1. MikeinPA says

    nice medal, my dad would have liked it, he was a ww2 vet wounded twice, i was in vietnam also wounded, my older son in iraq, thankfully unhurt, hope there comes a time when we won’t have a need to issue anymore war medals

  2. Dustyroads says

    As the writer puts it:
    During 251 days of combat, the group suffered 2,314 casualties, or 134 percent of its authorized strength, captured thousands of prisoners, earned five United States campaign stars and eight Canadian battle honors, and never failed a mission.

    That is rough…

    Proverbs 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
    7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

  3. Ends in Error says

    I got the last 1. They are all sold out.

    Can I get an official LAST SOLD label somewhere ?

  4. Ends in Error says

    Maybe an official LAST SOLD counterstamp applied by the shippers?


    Last sold scribbled on the invoice and signed by the picker/ packer?

  5. Ends in Error says

    Whats going on with US Mint made Medals lately? They are issued all these sets with Coins & Medals. The First Spouse Medals sell out and go for crazy money. There is a hi relief Coin and Medal planned for later in the year. This Special Services Medal sells out on the first day.

    What is going on ?

    Everyone turning from Coin Freaks into Medal Heads?

  6. JagFan says

    Based on the new selling Practices of the U.S. Mint, can I get a TPG Capsule with no coin and the label states, Official U.S. Mint Backorder?

    I not only enjoy the copper medals but collect them as well. They may not increase in value down the road but they are just as good as a History Book! Each one of them has a story to tell and an easy way to pull the kids of today into collecting for a very nominal cost.

    I would love to see the Code Talker series produced by the U.S. Mint in Silver with a nice presentation case to go with it. To keep them different then their other core base collectibles, I would be ok if they produced them with an antique finish. Sorry, just dreaming!

    Ha – I was partially on topic!

  7. fmtransmitter says

    BUT they will NOT designate any Coins from the 3 Coin Marshal Set with the distinction of the Word “SET” on the Label. They will in other words NOT designate coins from the 3 Coin Marshal Set as being unique and will not place on the Label it was from the 3 Coin Marshal “SET”.

    So for those of you going to send in your 3 Coin Marshal Set and expecting to get them Graded with the label having the word “Set” on the label designating it was from the 3 Coin Marshal Set. Forget it. They will not do it!!!

    And they shouldn’t! And they don’t for the LESPS either, NGC..PCGS does however…

  8. Ralph says

    Very understandable. None of the 3 coins are unique to the 3-coin set.
    The end!

    Topic Smopic!! Lighten up will you!!

  9. fmtransmitter says

    Everyone turning from Coin Freaks into Medal Heads?
    Not sure ends but I like medals and I hope others do…

  10. GoldFishin says

    I really like the design of this metal, I would like to have one if it was gold and affordable. I read about it yesterday in a Coinworld article.

    @KCSO- Yes, the early part of any year is slow on ebay. There will always be exceptions for new releases and such, but January through early March is slow. If you think about it, most people have just spent a wad on Christmas presents, year end taxes, college tuition, beginning year 401k and Roth Contributions, just to name a few expenses. Buying action picks up as folks begin to get their IRS tax refunds and get their Christmas purchases paid off. A lot of folks may be surprised when their tax refund gets debited by the Affraudible Health Care Act and they may not have as much of a refund as in past years. In Summary, it is like this every year….a good time to buy, but not so great for selling if you want top dollar. I would be patient with your BIN price and not give anything away by auction unless you have to.

  11. Hidalgo says

    From what I can see, the 1.5 inch medal is available for sale. The 3 inch medal is out of stock.

  12. GoldFishin says

    @KCSO- also run your BIN on 10 day cycles instead of 30, you get more views in the last several days of any auction and I have had more success running them on 7 or 10 day cycles.

    My USM’s arrived today Priority mail, like many of you my label was created late in the evening on the 1-30, but since the Post Office doesn’t receive incoming parcels until Monday, except by your carrier, I didn’t expect to see an Arrived Scan until Monday, which is what happened in my case. I feel all of you that have not seen any movement in your scans, it’s definitely because the fulfillment center has not delivered them to UPS or USPS yet. It is very easy to blame the carrier service, which seems to be what they are doing.

  13. thePhelps says

    The Marshals coins should be doing well on eBay…since it appears that is where you have to go to buy them…not saying…just saying.

  14. Ends in Error says

    I’ve been researching the subject of Medals and am seeing a new possibility for my waning interest in Coins. There are a lot of very artistic Medals out there and in relation to rare Coins, the prices are low.

    Medals are making more sense to me. Glad I had this experience with the First Special Services Medal. This may be my first step into a new collecting hobby.

  15. cagcrisp says

    Supreme Court Antonin Scalia will be in Fort Smith Arkansas later this month to speak about the US Marshal service…

  16. mark says

    Can not believe the expected in stock date for the 3 coin set. ..still shows Monday Feb 2 2015. Boy,who’s minding the mint.

  17. fmtransmitter says

    @Ends: yea, one of my first medals was a Frank Gassparo design to commem the first visit to US soil by the Queen in 76. It was put in a cheap plastic holder and has since.developed some stunning colors around the edge. I plan to have it stabbed one day. Medals is a huge hobby.

  18. thePhelps says

    Dante…accuracy counts in health insurance. Note it is actually just insurance and not healthcare.

  19. MikeinPA says

    thePhelps, i agree, enjoy the site hope it doesn’t turn political, many other formats to voice your political opinions

  20. fmtransmitter says

    Over on WBN:
    On a very sad note, I have just learned that World Mint News Blog contributor Gabriel Bellman has lost his home in a fire. His articles here on the Mexican Libertads have been well received and provided us with a lot of great information. If you are interested, this campaign is raising money to help Gabriel and his family.

  21. GoldFishin says

    Last five USM 3 coin sets sold on ebay for $599.99, $650, $650, $625, $$650 in order of most recent being $599.99.

  22. stephen m says

    Brad I doubt if you sold that Sacagawea with the missing edge lettering. Sounds like an inside job at the mint and it was smuggled out somehow.

  23. The Real "Cool" Dave says

    @jeff says/February 4, 2015 at 9:39 am
    “Dave I’ll take 20 sets send the check when I receive them, thanks jeff.”

    Jeff — did I say I had 20 sets to sell? I am not a dealer, so I don’t do “pay on approvals;” however, provide the funds ($400.00) and I will send a set to you, no problem.

  24. Erik H says

    cagcrisp & GoldFishin,

    I just checked my Shipping label and it now shows that it’s about 90 miles from my location, I should get it tomorrow. Looks like this time is was USPS’s fault… Go Mint! LOL

  25. MikeinPA says

    coin world says the missing edge sac was part of a multiset submission from first commemorative mint in New York

  26. Erik H says

    Just to clarify… the mystery labels that were printed on 1/30 but never picked up, mine was picked up!

  27. cagcrisp says

    @Erik H, Got 3 packages today. No tracking in between 01/30 and today… All my order is complete…

  28. Dave SW FL says

    Just took the Naxion survey for the mint. Lots of ability for free form comment and they got an earfull. If you have the opportunity, PLEASE take the time to express yourself. Hopefully SOMEONE will pay attention.

    One of my suggestions was to have mint employees read this blog and make recommendations to management and be allowed to respond on the blog.

    Warning – some of the survey is repetitive and some is unclear.

  29. Tinto says

    @Dave SW FL

    They didn’t include me this time around … shucks .. I would have told them what to do with the Rumsfeld dollars plus some other choice words on what I think about their OOS/SO/BO BS and “Limted” labeling …….

  30. sharks2th says

    @Dave SW FL – I got the survey a few days ago and got around to filling it out today and did tell them about the problems with the ordering system. I was really negative on the Out Of Stock and Remind Me status items. They should either let you order the item or just list it as sold out.

  31. Jerry Diekmann says

    I am almost embarassed to say that I have never heard of this joint force before. I think I have tried to keep up with WW II history and am wondering if others have also had the same feeling – why haven’t we known about these heroes before?

  32. Dave SW FL says

    Yea, Sharks, I hit em on tha plus inability to order product that was OOS but has not reached mintage limit.

    These ” packaging” problems are just ridiculous. I have ordered that kind of stuff and believe me OT is cheaper to order the full run and pitch or repurpose packaging that to do multiple orders of smaller quantities. As far as the coins are concerned, I’m sure they have scrap that has to be melted, so it can’t be all that expensive to just do the ful l run and do a big melt of leftover product at the end of the year.

    Also mentioned the outlandish concept of selling 2014 LESPS in 2015.

  33. sharks2th says

    Dave SW FL – Maybe they’ll get rid of the OOS if enough of us complain. I don’t like the OOS. If I’m placing an order I want to order all of the items I want and not have to come back and check for weeks or months at a time on an item they can’t properly stock. I agree it has to be cheaper to order more packaging at once than to do many smaller orders. Why list a mintage limit if there is no intent to make that amount of the product available (plat eagles for example).

  34. VaBeachEd says

    Jerry D,

    You would remember them by their other name “The Devil’s Brigade”, they have made movies about them.

  35. fmtransmitter says

    Jerry, I have seen many websites set up to lobby for unknown heroes to get the CGM. They just don’t teach to much about past military things anymore in school so the internet has helped many unsung heroes receive recognition where otherwise they had been forgotten by all except the ones who were there and their loved one’s. A GOOD thing the internet has been able to do…

  36. G says

    fm- thanks for the kind note and thanks so much to Michael for his generous contribution and news- coin collectors are really a great group and I am humbled by all the kindness we have been met with.

  37. Jerry Diekmann says

    If they’re selling the 2014 LESPS only in 2015, obviously the date means nothing to the masters at the Mint, so bring back the 2009 proof ASE after that phony excuse of only being able to mint uncirculated coins and ruining a series that haqd started back in 1986. There is absolutely noi sense as to what the Mint does any more. The inmates are running the asylum.

  38. Jerry Diekmann says

    VaBeachEd – Thanks – yes, I have heard of the Devil’s Brigade. But I did not know it was a joint USA-Canadian force. Good for us and good for our friends up north! I wonder if I could have done one-tenth as well had I been a soldier back then. We owe all those brave soldiers, marines, pilots, and support people a debt of gratitude that we can never repay.

  39. Jerry Diekmann says

    fmtransmitter – Chalk up one good thing for the internet if it has allowed more people to become more knowledgeable about some of our unsung heroes. Most of them did their duty, and came home and never mentioned their trials and tribulations, successes or losses.. Many of their buddies never made it home because of the terrible odds they faced against determined enemies. I wish our country could have honored them many years ago – now only a few of them are left.

  40. Ends in Error says

    Are sales numbers available on these Medals? I’m really curious about how many sold on this first day OOS.

  41. Tinto says

    @Ends in Error

    Come to think of it, I’ve never seen any Mint report that shows medal sales except for the Prez dollar and FS medal combo … Wonder why the Mint doesn’t report them, and the same goes for the San Fran unc atb quarters .. and probably others … maybe there is a different special link to access them? Does any one know?

  42. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    GF – thanks for the thoughts/experience, I shall reset the expectations to “sit patiently” then. After having too much fun depressing the buy trigger last fall, I’ve decided to ‘forward fund’ future purchases, so if the coin bongos aren’t already sitting there available, it’s not going to get bought. Too easy to get carried away in this hobby/addiction.

    Tinto – doubtful, I’ve wondered the same thing and have searched high and low, and nada!

  43. VaBeachEd says

    Jerry D,

    My father will be 93 on March 1st. He was under Patton and in the “Battle of the Bulge”. Part of what he had to do was go thru the lines and take messages. He will not talk about much of it, but his Bronze Star says, “for meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy in France, Germany, and Austria and served as Battalion Messenger during this period of combat in a superior manner. On numerous occasions_________came under enemy sniper and artillery fire and encountered newly created roadblocks as he faithfully delivered every message without regard for his personal safety. __________ made repeated trips through woods, known to be occupied by moving enemy groups, often times moving at night over lonely, unfamiliar trails, with operational instructions and messages. The ………” (short form, parts left out due to my farther not wanting to talk about it) That was only part of what he did in WW II. One thing he did tell me about, was when he was going to deliver a message and a bullet (from a sniper in the forest) went over his shoulder and then between the brake and clutch pedal of his jeep. He said, that was just one time I came close to not being born!!! I was born Jan.1951. Years ago he would talk about some things, but not the things a kid wanted to hear about (he would talk about interesting things, but not the terrible things) and the older he gets the less he talks about it at all. He did talk about one time when a few of them captured a very large German payroll and saw a bombed out church and they decided to give all the payroll (mostly had paper money but also some silver and gold) for the church to be rebuilt. He has always wanted to go back and see if it was rebuilt or if the money was just taken away.

    Everyone that has met or know my father has said they had never known a kinder or finer man. In almost 72 years of marriage I never heard my parents raise their voices to each other, at least none of us kids ever heard it.

    Obama has taken this country back to the rise of Hitler days, for some reason he cannot or will not see what is going on in this world. I really do not think he understands history or how it has a way of repeating itself. They behead one of our people and he goes and plays golf. They burn up a Jordanian pilot and Jordan’s King hangs two convicted bombers.

    Sorry if I bored anyone, but felt this late it would not matter.

  44. stephen m says

    Many veterans did their military time to the best of their ability to serve and protect our country. I thank them all. It’s time to bring back the draft and/or make it mandatory to serve. America, love it or leave it. Many left it in the Viet Nam days only for Jimmy Carter to grant them amnesty. Come on back to the US fellas and all is forgiven. That’s still a sore spot for a lot of us that did the right thing. Why he did that I’ll never know.

  45. cagcrisp says

    Well MAYBE the Mint is listening. Today All the Marshals are Available for sale. 6 items are listed as BO and the Unc Gold is Available for sale with no BO…

  46. stephen m says

    cagcrisp, I could actually put three of the six in the bag. Proof dollar, unc. dollar and the three piece set. I couldn’t put the rest in the bag. Sacagawea c&c is gone. The mint site is working slow for me. Dunno why.

  47. says

    Despite some commenters previously stating that there were sell outs with the Marshals, particularly the 3 coin set, there was no doubt in my mind that they would again become available.

  48. MikeinPA says

    Va BeachEd, again i would like to state that i enjoy the site , informative, and enjoy the chatter, however i do not not enjoy the Obama bashing that some seem to throw in every posting, that’s why there is fox news, let’s stay neutral here guys

  49. cagcrisp says

    @Ralph, Good observation on the date for Gold Proof. That could be a game changer for the flippers. IF someone pre-sold and can’t get supply before 05/02……hmmm….

  50. cagcrisp says

    I usually like the Proof better than the Unc, but in the case of the Marshal Gold, I think I like the Unc better…Both are really nice coins…

  51. Ralph says

    cagcrisp: I was thinking the same., having done a little pre-selling myself. When I saw that I thought there must be a few sellers who’s morning was just ruined!

    Wonder why it’s going to take 3 months to produce the coins. Is it packaging issues again?

  52. Ralph says

    2 Marshal Gold Proofs I ordered 1/30 will be arriving tomorrow. 3-coin set’s today!
    Can’t wait to see the coins.

  53. cagcrisp says

    @Ralph, I know what Some on here say about buying the 3 coin set vs. the individuals, however, I have viewed 8 – 3 coin sets and numerous Individual Silvers, from 4 separate shipments, and I can tell you that the Silvers in the 3 coin sets seem to be better quality than the individual Silvers. I think there was some cherry picking done on the 3 coin sets…

    The difference is on the obverse of the Silvers were it spells out LIBERTY… That’s going to be where some coins get downgraded…

  54. Ralph says

    cagcrisp:: Thanks for that info. I also have 10 Silver Proof’s scheduled to ship 2/10. I will look for that. Mine will be from a later batch so I’ll see if they have the same problem around LIBERTY.

    Wouldn’t doubt it about cherry-picking. Have you seen the Presidential $1 Coins in the Coin & Medal Set’s? I have never opened a Mint roll and seen such quality coins.

  55. fmtransmitter says

    @Ralph: is it because that is a PROOF coin and if you had pres dollar ROLLS, those would not be PROOFS, but uncirculated, not frosted with a cameo appearance…

  56. Ralph says

    UPS just delivered my 3-coin set’s to the PO. Have to go dig out again (another 6 inches overnight) and go get them!!!!


  57. Ralph says

    fmtransmitter : Sorry, but you are incorrect. The coins in the 2014 set’s are from the Philadelphia Mint and are business strike.

  58. Mark says

    Received my (2) 3 coins sets yesterday, but still not have opened them. Waiting to see how this all plays out as far as first strike/early release. Just ordered (3) more 3 coins sets, still says in stock Feb 2 2015. But who knows whats up with that. Think i will call and ask them.

  59. cagcrisp says

    @Ralph, I pretty much only buy Gold or Silver products… I keep some Gold but give away most things that I purchase…

  60. Mark says

    Called the mints customer service, and asked why the three coin set shows in stock Feb 2 2015. She says wait while i get some assistance. After about 5 minutes comes back and says, we do not know when we will get them. But go ahead and order and when we get them they will ship. So maybe they have done away with the remind me button.

  61. jeff says

    Ralph turn to FOX NEWS for your Obama bashing, where did that comment come from , don’t need that BULL***’t here just turn the channel get all the racism you want there.

  62. thePhelps says

    jeff… that was uncalled for. There was nothing in what Ralph said that was racist. You need a sensititvity course in understand the english language. Many of us do not like the current presidents politics or policies or the direction he has taken this country in the last several years… that doesn’t equate to racisim. Racisim as your defense to a poor job being done is ignorant.

  63. MikeinPA says

    thePhelps, this is not the format to voice opinions on politics, religion, or race relations, don’t care what you or others think on those matters, plenty of other formats to voice your opinions on such, let’s just enjoy the hunt for the prize that we all have an interest in, and keep the rest to ourselves, opinions are just that, not everyone shares yours or mine

  64. thePhelps says

    Mike…I didn’t say a word until someone else decided to start calling racism to end an argument. I don’t care if you don’t like me calling that BS. Ignore me and move on or do whatever you like. I am not going to be talked down to just because you think your condescending tone will win some argument. Get over yourself.

  65. MikeinPA says

    The Phelps expressing a opinion on things, is not unique to you, although by your tone one would certainly think so, i simply stated this is not the format for that sort of thing, perhaps you should take your own advice

  66. Jerry Diekmann says

    VABeachEd – thank you for the story. Yes, our parents were certainly part of the “greatest generation” and we were very lucky to have them as our parents, and heroes most of them were, men and women, and those serving in the European and Pacific theaters and those at home building the tanks, and plnes, and ships, and the women who stood right there along side the men during those dark years. I had four uncles who served in WW II, and my wife’s father may have been with her dad somewhere in Europe too as he also served under Patton. I am honored to have these men as relatives. My dad was inhis early 30s and married when the war broke out, and he spent the war years at the Long beach naval Shipyard in southern California building Liberty ships, the same name that is on all our coins. My mother was an excellent typist and keypunch operator and she did some of that kind of that work for the government during and after the war (I was born in 1944 so I don’t remember the war – I was born in the week between DDay and Saipan, and on Flag Day (June 14) no less! I have to agree with you that our country today is not the same as it was back then, and the enemies today are every bit as bad as the nazis and Japs were during the war, or the Communists in Korea afterwards. It’s not the Democrats or the Republicans – it’s the whole leadership – they don’t work together and “a house divided among itself will surely fail”. That’s what i worry about for my children and grandchildfren. Check out this website for another hero none of us have ever heard about:
    You may need to copy this URL into your browser – I know the hyperlink works.

  67. Jerry Diekmann says

    Ouch – let’s stop fighting over political differences. I just define whether a president was good or not good by the question, “Was the country better off – economically, militarially, socially, etc. when the President left office than when he began his Presidency? ” A “yes” answer means the president (at least for me) was “good”, even though his Presidency may have been through one or more crises. Using that “test” Washington, Jefferson, Polk, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Wilson, Truman, and Eisenhower and Reagan come out as “good” whereas presidents like Van Buren, Tyler, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Harding, Hoover, Nixon, and George Bush come out as “not good”, which is NOT the same as bad. All political parties are represented by “good” and “not good” presidents. Obama’s presidency has two more years to run so it’s not fair to judge his presidency until it is over, IMO. So far, his record is decidedly mixed , along with some others, like Jackson, McKinley, LBJ, Carter,GWH Bush, and Clinton, all who had good points, but also failed opportunities that will prevent them from every being numbered among the “great” presidents. JFK is a really tough one to call, since his presidency was tragically ended too soon, but I believe he could have gone on to be a very “good” President. This analogy works for me – others may agree or disagree – it’s OK to feel however you feel – I’m not a missionary for any one side.- I just try to look at all the pluses and minuses.

  68. Mk says

    Two of my silver proofs in the three coin sets look terrible. Like an extra silver spot or small drop of silver on the large star. Not happy. Anyone else have this problem? On a positive note the gold proof looks amazing.

  69. MikeinPA says

    Jerry D exactly the point i was trying to make, but said in much more eloquent matter, thanks for your wise words, and hopefully we can put this to rest, on a lighter note i believe i scored a 1888/87 S1 indian cent on ebay for 15 dollars, sending it to pcgs today for verification, keeping my fingers crossed

  70. thePhelps says

    Mike… I have opinions – and if I feel like expressing them I will.

    I did note that you took offense to both Ralph and my comments and said nothing to jeff. So apparently your skope of offense only includes those who don’t fall on your side of a topic. Similarly… Jerry takes a middle of the road stance and you feel necessary to comment in the affirmative to him – ignoring your own decree to keep this on topic for coins. silver and circus

  71. MikeinPA says

    the Phelps, i did not take sides or offense by anyones comments if you read the reply to Ralph, i said it would be his choice yours took a more political nature, expressing your dislike for the current administration, i liked jerry d’s reply because he seems to be where i wish we all could, open minded and non judgemental, no offense taken none meant, life is too short, hope all your endeavors are 70s

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