ONE FOR THE OSS
The innovative clandestine warriors of the World War II era have finally earned well-deserved recognition. The Office of Strategic Services Congressional Gold Medal Act passed this week in the House, marking a final chapter in the push to honor members of the “OSS” — the forerunner to both the CIA and U.S. special operations forces. The Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation earlier this year.
“The heroic contributions of the OSS — which included some of the most daring covert operations of World War II — remained shrouded in secrecy, their contributions largely unknown to the American public,” says Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, who co-sponsored the Senate bill with Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican. “Today, Congress is able to publicly recognize the members of the OSS for their remarkable heroism and many sacrifices.”
The OSS once boasted nearly 13,000 members; a precious few — under 100 — remain. The roster of OSS personnel includes some distinguished and famous names. Among them: Marlene Dietrich, Julia Child, Nobel Peace laureate Ralph Bunche, film director John Ford, Pulitzer Prize recipient Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and four CIA directors — William Casey, William Colby, Allen Dulles and Richard Helms.