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A Windsor veteran of an elite special forces unit during World War II has died.

Ralph Mayville was a member of the 'Devil's Brigade', the nickname used for the elite Canadian-American force that landed in Italy in 1944. That unit would later become a model for the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Mayville was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015 as a member of the force.

Mayville was trained as a paratrooper for the Second World War and received a set of wings in 1945, but never jumped out of a plane until 2014.

That is when he completed a tandem jump from 2000 feet near Niagara Falls at the age of 92.

Mayville, who grew up in Amherstburg and later lived in Windsor, passed away early Friday morning at the age of 97.

He would have celebrated his 98th birthday on August 21.