Office of Strategic Services Patch (Replica)

Artifact Details

This is a replica of the patches that General Donovan procured in 1943.

General William J. Donovan, founder of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), had a patch designed by the Army Quartermaster Corps as the insignia for OSS. In a memorandum dated June 16, 1943, he stated:

“Black is associated with activities which may be performed under cover of darkness. The gold is used for strong contrast and visibility of the insignia. The spear head is taken from the design of force of attack and defense of the nation’s honor and is indicative of opening the way to subduing the enemy’s defenses.”

According to an OSS document dated July 9, 1943, anticipating that approval of the patch would be granted, General Donovan procured 195 fully-embroidered cloth shoulder sleeve insignia.  However, the Joint Chiefs of Staff rejected Donovan’s request. Exactly what happened to General Donovan’s unusable patches is not clear. It is thought that most were destroyed.

This patch is thought to be one worn by a CIA courier and is based on Donovan’s OSS prototype.

Artifact Specs

8 cm x 5.5 cm

(L x W)


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The Office of Strategic Services: America’s First Intelligence Agency