The third mountain campaign of the FSSF was the Monte Majo plateau northwest of Monte Sammucro. The top of the mountain is a large, rocky plateau that is largely devoid of any tree cover. The southwestern side of the plateau is defined by Monte Vischiataro (Hill 1109) while the northern side is bound by the eastern Monte Majo (Hill 1259) and the western Colle Aquilone (Hill 1270). To the east of the mountain is a series of hills and valleys that separates it from Sammucro. From January 1-6 of 1944, FSSF captured and cleared the German emplacements in these rugged hills and valleys, and the Force forward company post was established in the hamlet of Radicosa in the main valley. The weather was windy and bitterly cold with the freezing rain turning to snow.

    On the night of January 6, the advance scouts for Third Regiment silently eliminated the Germans manning the machine gun nests on the lower eastern slopes of Majo using their commando techniques, and then the regiment attacked Hill 1259 and its adjacent ridges. In a long night of fighting, they methodically destroyed each enemy emplacement using a flanking and crossfire maneuver they had honed during training. Once they secured the peak and its ridges, they set up defensive positions. The Germans attempted over two dozen counterattacks, but none were successful. At one point, some Forcemen were so low on ammunition, they had to switch over to the captured enemy guns. Once the counterattacks ceased, the Germans bombarded Third Regiment’s positions with mortar and artillery fire. Third Regiment was not able to extend their hold to the west and capture Hill 1270.

    First Regiment’s objective on January 6 was to attack Hill 1109. They were initially successful on the approach to the hill, but the Germans had set up a long line of interlocking machine gun emplacements along a ravine that was impossible to overcome from the open slope the regiment was forced to cross. With dozens of men wounded and 10 killed, the regiment withdrew to find a better way. The next night they moved through Third Regiment’s position to take Hill 1270 and then attack Hill 1109 from that higher ground. Surprisingly both locations had been vacated by the Germans who had withdrawn from the plateau to regroup. The enemy made one last attempt to take back Monte Majo on January 9, but Allied artillery barrages defeated them. The Force was given one final mission on Majo. While Third Regiment manned the far western end of the mountain from January 11-18, Second Battalion of Second Regiment moved down the southern slope, and eliminated enemy troops retreating west of the town of Cervaro in the valley below.

    The total Force losses during the 18 days of the Majo operation were dramatic with 34 men killed and hundreds of men either wounded or incapacitated from illness. Only 48% of the men in the combat echelon were still fit for duty after the Majo campaign.