ONE FOR THE OSS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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