Glass, Joe M., Sgt

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
323 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1944, 745, 1st Special Service Force (The Devil's Brigade)
Service Years
1940 - 1944


Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Glass, Joe M., Sgt.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Helena, Montana

Date of Passing
Apr 01, 2012
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

WWII heroes who served in elite unit reportedly die on same day

Published April 03, 2012

·     Two World War II veterans heralded for their service in an elite commando unit reportedly died just 12 hours apart on Sunday.

Mark Radcliffe, 94, and Joe Glass, 92, who both lived in Montana, were the last surviving members of the First Special Service Force, or FSSF, a legendary commando unit consisting of American and Canadian soldiers that captured more than 27,000 enemy prisoners during the war, the Helena Independent Record reported.

Both men were selected in 1942 for the Plough Project, described as a "suicide mission," and underwent training at Helena's Fort Harrison, according to the newspaper. The accomplishments of the FSSF -- nicknamed by the Germans as the "Black Devils" -- later became inspiration for the movie "The Devil's Brigade. 

Radcliffe, who was born in Farmington, N.M., and Glass, originally from Samia, Ontario, both returned to Helena after the war. The two died 12 hours apart from each other on Sunday, according to the newspaper.

"Mark and Joe were two of the original members of the First Special Service Force, and it's appropriate that they were the last two survivors in the state," FSSF aficionado Bill Woon told the newspaper. "It’s also appropriate that they were an American and a Canadian."

Read more:

Other Comments:

Joe Glass was born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1920. He quit school his sophomore year, and at the age of 17 became a steamboat deckhand on the Great Lakes. In 1940 he joined the Canadian Army in Chattum, Ontario.
Glass, who was a bayonet instructor at Ottawa, volunteered for a "suicide mission" so "he could get into combat quicker."
That mission was the First Special Service Force.
During his FSSF training at Fort Harrison, Glass met and became buddies with another Devil's Brigade member, Lorin Waling. The two were best men at each other's weddings, and went on to become lifelong friends.
Assigned to 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, Glass received his baptism of fire in December 1943, during the FSSF's legendary midnight assault up the cliffs of Mount la Difensa in southern Italy.
In an exchange on la Difensa with a German sniper, he was injured when a round from a 9mm shell from a Schmeisser machine gun pistol struck his hand, and when rock chips flew into his face. After the capture of the mountain, the Force had to defend la Difensa against intense mortar fire in sub-zero temperatures.
Next came the siege of the Anzio beachhead, where Glass and Waling were part of the night-time scouting operations near the Mussolini Canal.
During the breakout of Anzio in March 1944, Glass was hit by a mortar.
"A big piece of shrapnel from an '88' went through my chest and out my back. My lung collapsed, it broke all my ribs connected to the backbone and I was paralyzed from the waist down. When I started coughing up blood, I told a friend of mine, 'Say goodbye to my wife and kid.' They picked me up and dragged me out of there, and then another shell hit me in the arm."He was then transported to the beachhead hospital in a Jeep.
But God was not ready for Joe yet.
In the hospital, the doctors wired his ribs onto his backbone and removed one rib to repair his lungs. Glass returned to Helena on 50-percent disability, working at various jobs over the years, including driving cab for Taylor Taxi, truck driving for Helena Sand and Gravel, tending bar at the Moose Club, selling insurance for Franklin Life and delivering milk for Ernie Krout Dairy.
In about 1958, Glass was part of a group who built and operated the Valley Speedway stockcar race track. He worked for Nalleys Fine Foods from 1959 to 1973, sold cars for Dodge City from 1974 to 1981, and then owned and operated B&J Bingo and Glass's Fish and Chips for about 10 years.
Glass currently resides in Helena.
Taken from the Helena Independant Record

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
1st Special Service Force (The Devil's Brigade)
  1942-1944, 745, 1st Special Service Force (The Devil's Brigade)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)
  1942-1943 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Aleutian Islands Campaign (1942-43)
  1942-1943 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Naples-Foggia Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)
Copyright Inc 2003-2011