The bigest units of the First Airborne Task Force are assigned to 3 different sectors to progress to the Italian border. The 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion is moving along the coast and must approach Cannes. On its left flank ; the First Special Service Force, attached since 22 August to the First Airborne Task Force to replace the 2nd British Independent Parachute Brigade, which must go to Grasse. The most northerly unit is the 517th Regimental Combat Team, which must advance towards Saint Vallier and ensure the responsibility of the north-east road to the Col de Larche.
On August 17, the 887th Engineer is attached to the First Special Service Force in Le Mitan. The unit will work with the FSSF until the end of the campaign. For a long time, the FABTF forces progressed so fast that they struggled to keep up with the front line.
On August 21, the 602nd GFAB is ordered to be supported by the First Special Service Force. The commander of the unit, Major George Hunt, immediately left with his battery commanders to recognize new firing positions to better support the 1SSF. The battalion commander requested and received permission to call the 602nd observers and radios because the Major had been informed earlier by the 460th PFAB Commander that his liaison officers and his advanced observers had already replaced those 602nd.
Late in the day of August 22, the 3rd Regiment of the FSSF crosses La Siagne river, just after the 517th PIR took Saint-Cézaire a few kilometers further north. The 3rd Regiment managed to cross the river at the price of two Forcemen under the fire of machine guns and small arms dominating north of Tignet by 20mm guns and aircraft guns. The crossing of Siagne River and the liberation of Le Tignet village was made without much difficulty during the night of August 22 to 23, and the FSSF continues its progression towards Grasse by following the D562. On August 23, an "artillery duel" took place between an 88mm gun and two half-tracks of the Cannon Company of the First Special Service Force. After this furious hang where shots sent in all corners, the Flak 88 is destroyed.
The first major commitment of the FSSF is in Tanneron, led by the 1st Regiment of Akehurst. At the same time the 3rd Regiment on the left flank of the 1st Regiment took positions on the Siagne River. The 1st and 3rd Regiment then take positions along the Siagne. On August 23, they bridge over the river 4 miles south of Grasse and progress to encircle the city.
The 602nd GFAB B Battery, part of the Headquartes and the Service Battery leave Les Gourins at 1 pm on August 23 and occupy new positions 15 miles away in the vicinity of the Tignet at 6:30 pm.
The liberation of Grasse
The First Special Service Force, which is at the center of the three main forces of progression, must seize Grasse to the northeast of the Siagne River, located on a major road junction including the Napoleon Road.
The 2nd Regiment is located further north of the river and heads northwest of Grasse. The 3rd Regiment takes responsibility for its flank while the 1st Regiment attacks Saint Marc, a small village southwest of Grasse. The village is free after a brief fight.
The FSSF's plan of attack for the capture of Grasse plans to take the city in pincers: the 1st Regiment arriving from the south from Peymeinade while the 2nd Regiment attack from the north. Only two German companies are in Grasse, most of them are Polish. Almost the entire city is not defended and Grasse is taken without a single ally soldier being killed.
At dawn on August 24, Grasse is attacked simultaneously from all sides. The first contacts took place between the handful of Resistance Villeneuvois represented by Louis Murolo and Georges Tremellat and the men of the First Special Service Force. The first skirmishes intervene in the heart of Jas de Madame and the Germans, as a prelude to the battle, order the evacuation of all the houses of the village. The Cannon Company is quickly called to reinforce an 88mm battery that threatens the area. The Force take 86 German prisoners.