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Posted on Dec 17, 2013 in History News

Congress Considers Bill to Honor WWII’s OSS

By Media Release

We received the following media release from the OSS Society, based in Falls Church, Virginia.

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Legislation was recently introduced in Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II predecessor to the CIA and the US Special Operations Command (H.R. 3544 and S. 1688). The OSS was founded and led by the legendary General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, the only American to receive our nation’s four highest military honors, including the Medal of Honor. President Roosevelt called General Donovan his “secret legs.” When General Donovan died in 1959, President Eisenhower said he was the “last hero.”

General Donovan said OSS personnel “performed some of the bravest acts of the war.” They included the actor and Marine Sterling Hayden, who won a Silver Star; Virginia Hall, the only American civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross in World War II; Col. Aaron Bank, a founder of US Special Forces; Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize; Col. William Eddy, who was described as the “Lawrence of America”; the “French Chef” Julia Child; and four future directors of central intelligence: William Casey, William Colby, Allen Dulles and Richard Helms.

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Our present day intelligence and special operations communities trace their creation to the OSS. Both the National Clandestine Service and the US Special Operations Command chose the spearhead as their respective insignias because it was the OSS insignia.

We would be grateful if you could mention this legislation in an upcoming issue of your magazine and on your website. Here’s a link to a recent AP story about it:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/congress-seeks-medal-ww-ii-era-us-spy-agency

We have set up a website to make it easy for people to contact their Member of the House of Representatives and their senators about the two bills:

https://www.popvox.com/orgs/osssociety/

The OSS Society is a nonprofit organization that celebrates the historic accomplishments of the OSS during World War II and educates the American public regarding the continuing importance of strategic intelligence and special operations to the preservation of freedom in this country and around the world.

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