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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering WWII Nova Scotia Casualties
Daniel (Dannie) Serrick Rank: Staff Sergeant Service No: U1805 Service: Canadian Special Service Battalion, R.C.I.C. 1st Division Date of Birth: September 14, 1920 Place of Birth: Jollimore, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: September 21, 1938/ October 25,1941 Place of Enlistment: Manchester / London Address At Enlistment: London / ‘Holmlea’ Falmouth, Cornwall Age at Enlistment: 18 / 21 Height: 6 feet ½ Inches Hair: Light Brown Eyes: Brown Complexion: Fair Trade: Labourer Marital Status: Single Religion: Church of England Next of Kin: Mrs. Mabel Serrick (Mother) Jollimore, Halifax Co., NS Staff Sergeant Serrick was the son of Daniel W. and Mabel E. Serrick and brother of Richard C. and Evelyn W. Serrick. Daniel’s brother, Richard, served with No. 3 Battery, Mobile Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A., 10th Indian Command , B.P.B. India. Daniel left Canada on September 12, 1938 and travelled to England with the intention of joining the British Army. He enlisted with the Manchester Regiment on September 20, 1938. He served in all operations with the Manchester Regiment serving with the British Expedition Forces in France. He was evacuated from Dunkirk on May 31, 1940. On January 29, 1941, after two and a half years with the Manchester Regiment he transferred to No. 5 Commando Special Service where he served for a period of six months until October 23, 1941. On October 25, 1941 he enlisted with the Canadian Forces completing attestation papers at London, England. He was assigned to C' Squadron, 8th Canadian Recce Regiment (14th Canadian Hussars). On August 23, 1942 he was transferred to 2nd Company, 1st Regiment, 1st Special Service Force. He earning his British jump wings in September 1942 at Ringway, England before returning to Canada and the United States for further parachute training at Camp Shilo, Brandon, Manitoba, Fort Benning, Georgia in November 1942, and Helena, Montana in December 1942, qualifying for his Canadian and American jump wings. In April, 1943 Daniel moved to Norfolk, Virginia in the United States serving with 1st Canadian Special Service Force, an elite American-Canadian commando unit under command of the United States Fifth Army. The unit was organized in 1942 and trained at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States. As part of this force, Staff Sergeant Daniel Serrick served in Amchirtka, Aleutian Islands between July 24, 1943 and August 22, 1943. He returned to San Francisco on September 1, 1943 and from there embarked on October 27, 1943 at Newport News, Virginia for Naples, Italy via Casablanca, French Morocco and Oran, Algeria, arriving in Italy on November 18, 1943. On April 25, 1944, Sergeant Serrick was a member of a searching patrol with the mission of retrieving a wounded comrade who had been shot while close to the enemy lines in the vicinity of Cerreto Alto. The patrol advanced to a point as near as possible to the enemy without endangering themselves. At that point, Sergeant Serrick put into effect the Rules of Land Warfare by proceeding with an aid man wearing the medical red cross arm band out into full view of the enemy, unarmed. They followed a road which led to the position where his wounded comrade was last seen. Before reaching this point, enemy fire was put on them and the aid man received a foot injury. Immediately, Sergeant Serrick found cover for him and was successful in getting this man back a distance of about one-half mile, where litter bearers could assist the wounded man. Daniel was killed in action near Artena, Italy on May 29, 1944 and buried in the American Military Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. He was reburied in the Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio in October, 1944. Staff Sergeant Serrick was posthumously awarded the United States Silver Star for Gallantry, conferred by the President of the United States, in recognition of distinguished services in the cause of the allies. It was at Anzio that the Germans dubbed the 1st Special Service Force the "Devil's Brigade." The diary of a dead German soldier contained a passage that said, "The black devils (Die schwarzen Teufel) are all around us every time we come into the line." The soldier was referring to them as "black" because the brigade's members smeared their faces with black boot polish for their covert operations in the dark of the night. Battles and Campaigns - First Special Service Force Pacific Theater - Aleutians Campaign Kiska-Little Kiska August 15-19, 1943 Segula Island August 17, 1943 Mediterranean Theater - Naples-Foggia Campaign Monte la Difensa December 3-6, 1943 Monte la Remetanea December 6-9, 1943 Height 720 (Monte Sammucro) December 25, 1943 Radicosa January 4, 1944 Monte Majo January 6, 1944 Monte Vischiataro January 8, 1944 Mussolin Canal (Anzio) February 2 - May 10, 1944 Monto Arrestino May 25, 1944 Rocca Massima May 27, 1944 ate of Death: May 29, 1944 Aged: 23 Cemetery: Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio Plot: XVII. A. 3. Commemorated on Page 440 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on September 23 Sources and Information: Dave Gilhen, Halifax NS Veterans Affairs Canada - U.S.-Canadian 1st Special Service Force in World War II
Family photo: Courtesy Operation Picture Me
Initial Grave Marker Courtesy Operation Picture Me
In Memoriam Plaque Artena, Italy "During the battles in the areas near Artena in June 1944 the following soldiers of the US-Canadian Special Forces gave their lives To these courageous men who sacrificed their lives for the peace and liberty of Europe and for the rebirth of Italy we dedicate this marker"